If there is one thing the Philadelphia Eagles are, it is stubborn. And rigid. That's two things already, but they are also highly unpredictable when it comes to the draft. It is rare that they ever take the player that everyone projects them to take.
Three currents mock drafts, two from CBS Sports and one from Sports Illustrated, have the Eagles selecting Boston College middle linebacker Luke Kuechly with the 15th pick. That makes it seem unlikely that he will be the name announced by Roger Goodell on draft night.
As for the rigidity of the Eagles, they have a handful of positions they deem worth big money. Quarterback, offensive line, defensive line and cornerback. Their pay scale philosophy seems to tie into their draft philosophy.
Of Andy Reid's 11 first-round picks, he has selected five defensive linemen, two offensive linemen, two wide receivers, a quarterback and a cornerback. That means nine out of 11 are from their most valued positions. The only exception is wide receiver.
The highest the Eagles have drafter a linebacker in the Reid-era is 35th, in his first draft. It's hard to believe that will actually change this year.
Then there is the traditional stubbornness of the Eagles. It may only seem this way, but it does seem that they can not stand doing anything that anyone else thinks they should. There is an air of thinking they have always outsmarted everyone.
Everyone thinks the Eagles will draft a linebacker with their first pick, therefore they will not draft one.
Will the Eagles actually take a linebacker in the first round?
That is not to say a linebacker won't be in the cards early. They will likely expend one of their two second-round picks on the position. The likely candidate is someone who is small for the position and probably not especially fast or exciting.
Actually that does sound like the description of Kuechly.
He is highly productive and a good football player, but he is small at 237 pounds and is not an elite athlete. He is smart and steady, and that seems like the type of player the Eagles go for. Maybe not the highest upside, but not much risk either.
A lot of fans would like to see them take a chance on Arizona State's Vontaze Burfict. His intense, physical, emotional and sometimes dirty play is something Eagles fans have been craving. He would bring an attitude and intimidation this city hasn't seen since Brian Dawkins left.
The fans love Burfict, so he is unlikely to end up in midnight green.
If, in fact, Kuechly is the player the Eagles would like to draft, they have three months to convince draft analysts that they are taking someone else. If conventional wisdom continues to say the Boston College Eagle will be a Philadelphia Eagle, don't be surprised if they just pick another defensive tackle.