Eagles 2012 Mock Draft: Buying or Selling Matt Miller's Latest Picks
The 2012 NFL combine is officially over, and now, we can get a feel of what most of the prospects' true value is at this point. Some players upper their stock, some not so much, but most players just proved they were as fast and as strong as we previously thought.
The Eagles are a team with few needs, but still some needs that need to be addressed. Middle linebacker, a wide receiver who can make plays in the red zone and a good young pass-rusher or two to add to Jim Washburn's rotation are the main needs for the Eagles.
After that, the Eagles will be looking at who are they best players available at each pick and go from there. Most positions are set for the Eagles, but every position is susceptible to an injection of youthful competition.
I'll take a look at Bleacher Report's own Matt Miller and his latest post-combine mock draft and buy or sell each of the Eagles' 10 draft picks.
1st Round, Pick 15
Michael Floyd, Wide Receiver, Notre Dame: Sell
Until the Eagles upgrade at middle linebacker, you can't buy any pick in the first round that isn't named Luke Kuechly. Kuechly did everything to impress scouts and coaches alike at the combine, and then some.
Kuechly has already proved on film that he is an excellent textbook tackler with football instincts that are off the charts. At the combine, he proved that is a worthy first-round pick based on his athleticism alone.
Kuechly ran a 4.58 40, put up 27 reps in the bench press and jumped 38 inches in the vertical. He is the perfect fit in the 4-3 as a middle linebacker. The Eagles need a middle linebacker for their 4-3 defense, so any other pick than Luke Kuechly is laughable at this point.
If the Eagles sign a solid veteran linebacker in free agency, then the Eagles should draft the best player available. Michael Floyd only makes sense for the Eagles if they trade recently-franchised DeSean Jackson.
2nd Round, Pick 46
Jerel Worthy, Defensive Tackle, Michigan State: Buy
I don't understand why some scouts are sour on Worthy. He keeps being speculated as a first round talent that will be taken in the second round. He is an ideal fit in the Eagles wide-9 scheme.
Worthy is a very explosive lineman with a great explosion right off the line. He excels in the pass-rush, but also has the strength to make a big impact against the run. When you watch the tape of him against Wisconsin, you see a defensive tackle going up against two future first-round interior linemen and just dominating him. That says a lot.
Worthy would be a steal for the Eagles in their first of two second-round picks. He would fit right in the rotation with Mike Patterson, Antonio Dixon and Cullen Jenkins. A full offseason learning from coach Washburn, and you could see Worthy making a huge impact right away.
Round 2, Pick 51 (Via Arizona)
Luke Kuechly, Middle Linebacker, Boston College: Buy
Luke Kuechly in the second round would be the greatest steal in the history of the NFL craft. No way he falls this far; even if he got arrested the night before the draft, he still gets taken by somebody in the first round.
Nobody has come out of college with this high level of football instincts and IQ in a long time. He proved at the combine he is an extremely athletic player as well. He really is the total package at middle linebacker.
I believe the Eagles will try and sign a solid veteran middle linebacker like Stephen Tulloch, Curtis Lofton or London Fletcher instead of relying on a rookie in the middle once again. This is a win-now team, and you can't start a rookie at one of the most important positions without risking backfire.
If the Eagles don't sign a middle linebacker, either because they don't want to overpay or they don't like who is available, they will go all out for Kuechly. Even if they do sign a Lofton or Tulloch, you would have to buy the selection for Kuechly in the second round. You can always trade the free-agent acquisition once Kuechly is ready to start.
Round 3, Pick 77
Brock Osweiler, Quarterback, Arizona State- Buy
The Eagles could draft a quarterback of the future in this year's draft, but normally, I would like taking someone in the third round with Joe Adams and Trumaine Johnson still on the board. Adams is a dynamic punt returner is ready to make an impact as a very quick slot receiver right away, Johnson is built similar to Nnamdi Asomugha and could greatly benefit from learning under Asomugha for a couple seasons.
Having said that, I think Osweiler has a very high ceiling that would be hard to pass up on in the third round. Michael Vick isn't on the way out yet, but with his style of player and his very fragile frame, he could be replaced by the 2014 season.
Osweiler doesn't have many starts, at just 15 for his career, but that is the only reason why he would last until the third round. He has a very quick release and good overall arm strength and accuracy. He has the size you dream about for a quarterback at 6'7", 240 pounds. He played mainly out of the shotgun, but with a couple seasons to learn as a backup he would of plenty of time to learn to play under the center.
With the work Andy Reid has done with quarterbacks in the past, this pick should really get Eagles excited for the future.
Round 4, Pick 100 (Via Tampa Bay)
Ladarius Green, Tight End, La-Lafayette: Buy
Even if the Eagles sign Plaxico Burress for red-zone help, you have to love the selection of Ladarius Green if you're an Eagles fan. Why settle for just one player who can help you in the red zone?
Green isn't your old-school, big, bruising tight end. He is more like an wide receiver in a tight end's body. At 6'6", 236, he has great size and length. He is a good jump ball target with good enough route running ability to be moved in the slot and on the outside.
Green gives offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg a player to really get creative with in the formations. He can really look to create mismatches with Green, Brent Celek, DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin and LeSean McCoy on the field together.
Round 4, Pick 115
Ronnie Hillman, San Diego State. Running Back: Sell
Ronnie Hillman is a very good running back and will surprise a lot of people next season with his ability to be a good inside and outside runner at the next level, but it won't be in midnight green.
If the Eagles do decide to draft a running back, it will be for a third-string back with good speed who can catch the ball well out of the backfield and return kickoffs.
Hillman is a good runner, but didn't demonstrate much ability as a receiver and doesn't have much experience as a kick returner, which the Eagles desperately need. He also had nine career fumbles in 25 career games, which is a horrendous stat.
Look for the Eagles to draft a more capable receiver and returner at the running back position like an Isaiah Pead or Chris Rainey.
Round 5, Pick 146
Travis Lewis, Outside Linebacker, Oklahoma-Buy
Travis Lewis demonstrated his strong work ethic when he bulked up to 246 pounds for the combine. He was listed at 229 pounds this past season. He know projects as a solid strong side linebacker in the 4-3 instead of an undersized weak side linebacker.
Lewis posses good instincts and has the athleticism to drop back into coverage. He is also a very reliable tackler, which is something the Eagles defense could use in 2012.
Lewis wouldn't be an automatic starter as an outside linebacker, but would add some real tough competition with a chance to win the job in camp.
Round 6, Pick 177
Eddie Whitley, Free Safety, Virginia Tech: Buy
The Eagles need to add a fourth safety with starters Nate Allen and Kurt Coleman, along with second-year strong safety Jaiquawn Jarrett. Whitley is a very versatile player at free safety that can be moved all over the secondary. Reminds me a little bit of another former Hokie the Eagles selected, Macho Harris.
Good athlete at the position, but needs to add some bulk to his 6'1",184-pound frame. Could play on special teams right away and will have to make a name for himself on special teams in order to make a roster right away.
Good prospect for new Eagles defensive backs coach Todd Bowler to develop for a couple seasons. Could become a real wildcard in nickel packages because of his versatility. Fourth-round grade for Whitley, so getting him in the sixth round would be a huge steal for the Eagles.
Round 6, Pick 185 (Via Denver)
Chris Galippo, Middle Linebacker, USC: Sell
The Eagles already have a back-up middle linebacker that has limited speed. They spent a seventh-round draft pick on Greg Lloyd last season. Lloyd was still recovering from an ACL injury he suffered in 2009 and hasn't entered a season at full strength since then. He might get back to form in 2012.
Chris Galippo is a good special teams player with experience at all three linebacker positions, but doesn't have the speed needed at the next level. In his defense, though, he still had a better 40 time (4.87) than Vontaze Burfict had(5.10).
Galippo isn't seen as much more than a special teams effort player. You can find those type of player after the draft is over and some quality special teams players went undrafted. I don't see Galippo being drafted at all. If the Eagles like him, they can scoop him up after the draft. Look for them to take at least one back-up offensive lineman with their three sixth-round picks.
Round 6, Pick 191 (Via New England)
James Brown, Offensive Guard/Tackle, Troy-Buy
James Brown was an excellent left tackle at Troy, but doesn't have the size at just 6'3" to project as a left tackle at the next level. He could play right tackle, but is being projected as a guard at the next level.
Very raw player that has shown some athleticism and the ability to block upfield. Not a player that would get an automatic roster spot on any team and would be more of a project than he would a key backup.
Could be a player that Howard Mudd molds into a very versatile backup lineman that could be a reserve right tackle and guard.