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Moving on from the linebackers now, the position the Eagles have historically targeted the most frequently has been along the defensive line. Many of the Eagles' first-round defensive linemen have been Senior Bowl participants.
Could they strike there again this year? As much as I hate to say it, yes, they could.
If so, I think the player they would be most interested in (again, just from the Senior Bowl rosters) would be South Carolina's Melvin Ingram. He has decent size and is the type of player the Eagles usually look at in DEs.
He's a player seen as being on the rise recently and is putting on a show at the Senior Bowl. Here is what Daniel Wolf at NationalFootballAuthority has to say about him:
His burst at the snap allows him to get over the top of his defender and cut off the edge on plays designed to his edge. Ingram also has great lateral quickness (for a guy his size) and can make up for any errors caused by his initial burst by recovering to make a play or cause the ball carrier to change directions.
In other words, Ingram's impact in the NFL should be felt immediately. His high motor, relentless pursuit of the quarterback and overall quickness are all reasons why some analysts think he could transition over to become an outside linebacker (in a 3-4).
Though his impact could be felt much quicker staying as a defensive end, in a 4-3 scheme, since he has the versatility to be a three-down player who can play defend both the run and the pass.
Ingram is currently trending to be a mid-to-late first-round pick this April.
Ingram also is a favorite of Tommy Lawlor at Scouts Notebook. Here's what he had to say about him, as he's down there scouting the Senior Bowl:
The star of the Senior Bowl so far. He won’t be taken first, but has really helped his cause. He beat guys inside, outside, and with bull rushes. Used a spin move to beat a blocker at one point. Works out with the DL, but when they go to team sessions, lines up at 3-4 OLB. Looks like a 1st round player down here.
Ingram might not be everyone's favorite pick, but I bet he'll have the Eagles' attention come draft day.
Another defensive end the Eagles could be looking at is Marshall's Vinny Curry. Not only is he talented, but he's got some personality, as evidenced by the above photo. Personality is also something the current defense lacks, so he'd be a good addition in that regard too.
Here's what Charlie Campbell over at WalterFootball has too say about him:
Curry has been the most consistent pass rushers in college football over the past two seasons. This season, the redshirt senior had 77 tackles with 22 tackles for a loss, 11 sacks, three blocked kicks and seven forced fumbles. In 2010, he had 12 sacks, 18 tackles for a loss and 94 tackles. For his career, Curry totaled 26.5 sacks with 49 tackles for a loss, 10 forced fumbles and 239 tackles. Curry's production didn't fall off despite seeing extra blockers sent his direction this year.
Curry is a dangerous edge rusher who commands a lot of blocking attention. He has a great get-off when the ball is snapped with a good combination of moves to beat offensive tackles. Curry has the agility to drop his hips and shoulder to get turned to the quarterback with the speed to close in an instant. In college, Curry was a prolific pass rusher.
Curry has improved his run defense as he has added weight. There were times when going against big offensive tackles that they were able to push Curry around. While he has gotten better, he does not look like a base end who will hold his ground at the point of attack. Curry does well in run defense when he can use his speed in pursuit.
Good pass rusher, good pursuit, can't hold his ground versus the run...sounds like an Eagles DE to me! Currently, he's generally projected to be a second-rounder, but could rise up draft boards after the combine.
Quinton Coples is generally regarded as the best DE in the draft, but he'll likely go in the top 10. I can't foresee the Eagles trading up in this draft, at least not for a DE.
However, I can see them drafting another DE with one of their first three picks. Howie Roseman was recently asked what he thought about the New York Giants making the Super Bowl, and his response was that they have "good quarterbacking" and a "fierce pass rush."
The whole "fierce pass rush" response definitely gives some credence to their way of thinking. The Eagles love pass-rushers and have that mindset that one can never have too many of them.
Furthermore, Jimmy Kempski over at Blogging the Beast, noted that the Eagles were seen talking to six pass rushers after Senior Bowl practices this week. They talk to multiple players, but it is being noticed that they seem to be a little more enamored with the defensive ends.