2012 NFL Draft: Day 3 Targets for the Philadelphia Eagles

CLEMSON, SC - NOVEMBER 21:  Chase Minnifield #13 of the Virginia Cavaliers runs with the ball during the game against the Clemson Tigers at Memorial Stadium on November 21, 2009 in Clemson, South Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
James DudkoFeatured ColumnistApril 28, 2012

The Philadelphia Eagles added three defensive playmakers and found their backup quarterback during the first two days of the 2012 NFL draft. Day 3 presents them with the opportunity to find a quality third corner to replace Asante Samuel, and boost the depth along the offensive line and at safety.

Here are the four best Day 3 prospects for the Eagles to choose from.

 

Chase Minnifield, CB, Virginia

Chase Minnifield is a great fit for the new emphasis on man coverage in the Eagles secondary. He is a physical player who enjoys roughing up receivers at the line of scrimmage.

He has decent closing speed and some skill as a blitzer, so he would be best suited to a role in the slot. If they can take him in the fifth round, the Eagles will have grabbed a steal.

 

Phillip Thomas, S, Syracuse

Phillip Thomas is a quick and rangy safety who could be an effective deep coverage spy in the Eagles' defense. The Syracuse star has good hands and plays at top speed.

Thomas lacks ideal pro size for the position at 5'11" and 198 pounds. However, he is active, closes on the ball very well and could also be a useful special teamer.

 

Nate Potter, OT, Boise State

Nate Potter is a big and athletic tackle who could backup at either tackle spot for the Eagles. Potter doesn't possess top-level strength, but he has the mobility skills to be an asset out in space.

CINCINNATI - OCTOBER 30:  D J Woods #3 of the Cincinnati Bearcats is tackled by Phillip Thomas #1 of the Syracuse Orange during the Big East Conference game at Nippert Stadium on October 30, 2010 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Given free-agent signing Demetress Bell's injury history, the Eagles could use a solid backup tackle. Potter is exactly that.

 

Lucas Nix, OG, Pittsburgh

Quality depth at guard is thin behind starters Evan Mathis and Danny Watkins. That problem can be solved by adding Pittsburgh bruiser Lucas Nix.

Nix is powerfully built at 6'5" and 317 pounds. He does not possess elite movement skills, but is a strong drive blocker at the point of attack. As an in-line force, Nix would add some aggression to the Eagles' front-five rotation.

 

Conclusion

The Eagles have had an outstanding draft so far. All the major needs have been addressed, and now all that remains is to strengthen depth in one or two key areas.


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