2012 NFL Draft: 7 Late Round Picks That Could Benefit the Philadelphia Eagles

Cody Swartz@cbswartz5Senior Writer IJanuary 24, 2012

2012 NFL Draft: 7 Late Round Picks That Could Benefit the Philadelphia Eagles

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    The first round pick in each NFL draft typically receives all the glory and attention, but a good football coach is one that can find a gem in the later rounds.

    Bill Belichick’s selection of Tom Brady as the 199th overall pick in the 2000 draft is one that rewarded him with three Super Bowl championships. Other teams have been fortunate enough to find All-Pro caliber players in the later rounds: the Philadelphia Eagles took Trent Cole in the fifth round of the 2005 draft, the New Orleans Saints found Marques Colston in the seventh round in 2006, and the New England Patriots snagged Asante Samuel with their fourth round pick in 2003.

    Every coach wants to get the late-round steal that puts his team over the top. With the Eagles likely going all-in again for the 2012 NFL season, here are seven late round picks that could make an impact on the Eagles.

Joe Adams, WR, Arkansas)

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    The Philadelphia Eagles could get a steal if they go for Joe Adams in the later rounds. Adams is a former high school cornerback projected to go in the fifth to sixth round of the 2012 NFL draft. He is still raw and unpolished as a wide receiver, but a good offensive coach could coax the most out of him.

    Adams has pure speed (4.38 40-yard dash), and as everyone knows, you can’t teach speed. He has good hands and rarely drops a pass. In addition, he was an extremely effective punt returner while at Arkansas. If he can add on some muscle and work on his route running, the Eagles could have a steal of a player in Adams, a receiver with straight line speed and top return skills.

Travis Benjamin, WR, Miami

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    Travis Benjamin is a hit-or-miss as a late-round prospect. He is one of the fastest players in all of college football, clocking as low as 4.27 on the 40-yard dash. Regardless of how small he is (5-foot-9, 175 pounds), Benjamin is dangerous when he gets the football in his hands.

    The Philadelphia Eagles also need a return man, especially if DeSean Jackson walks in free agency. Benjamin could fill that void, as he has the speed and experience doing so.

Case Keenum, QB, Houston

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    Case Keenum had instrumental success at the collegiate football level, and Andy Reid may want to see if that can transition over at all to the NFL.

    The odds are against Keenum ever making an impact in the league: he’s undersized, he piled up loads of passing yards against poor defenses, and he may not be able to make the transition to an NFL-style offense. It might be worth a shot, considering Reid has done well in the past at developing quarterbacks. Reid may at least be able to swap him for a second or third round pick, as he did with A.J. Feeley back in the day.

Blake Gideon, FS, Texas

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    Blake Gideon is probably hurting his draft stock by choosing to go after his junior year, but a coach with a keen eye for developing defensive players could help Gideon’s case.

    Gideon is said to have the tackling ability, and he’s a notorious hard hitter. The Philadelphia Eagles have lacked intensity in their defensive backfield ever since letting Brian Dawkins go, and Gideon’s hard-hitting prowess could toughen up a defense that has been said to be soft in recent years.

Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State

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    He lacks a lot of the physical tools that would make him an elite or even a solid starting quarterback in the NFL, but he has the brains to succeed. Kellen Moore is smart, an excellent decision-maker, and might be a good fit on the Philadelphia Eagles offense.

    Moore could be groomed to be the Eagles backup behind Michael Vick, since the team will likely allow Vince Young to walk. Moore is smart, just like Mike Kafka, the guy the Eagles took in the draft back in 2010.

Mike Ryan, OT, Connecticut

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    This pick likely won’t happen if Howard Mudd comes back as the offensive line coach again, since Mudd likes quick and undersized linemen that are traditionally more mobile.

    Mike Ryan might be a good fit for the Philadelphia Eagles line though, in the sense that he is a mammoth of a man at 6-foot-5, 335 pounds. Ryan can play both offensive tackle and guard, which could be helpful in case the Eagles allow Evan Mathis to walk in free agency and move Todd Herremans back over to right tackle. Either way, Ryan probably wouldn’t be ready to contribute to the team in 2012, but he could be groomed to help out the Eagles in a few years.

David Snow, C, Texas

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    David Snow is more like the kind of guy Howard Mudd likes, as he’s an undersized linemen that could fit Mudd’s schemes well. Snow is said to be a center that doesn’t dominate or blow away scouts with his skills, but he is an aggressive blocker.

    Snow is much like Jason Kelce, given his size. Jamaal Jackson likely won’t be back in 2012, considering he will want to start somewhere, so Snow could become the Eagles’ new backup in that he’s made much in the mold of Kelce.