Can you smell it, the aroma of the 2010 NFL Draft day approaching?
This is expected to be one of the deepest and talented drafts coming into the league in a long time—and at many different positions.
The Eagles are in a very appealing situation with a total of 11 draft picks, five of which are in the first three rounds: their first at No. 24, No's. 37 (Redskins) and 55 in the second, and 70 (Seahawks) and 87 in the third round.
As you can see from the above layout, the Eagles are prime candidates to move up in round one and draft a stud at one of the remaining positions of need—with their eye on safety.
The top three safeties coming into the 2010 NFL Draft are Tennessee standout Eric "Superman" Berry, Texas product Earl Thomas, and Southern Cals Taylor Mays.
Of those three players the Eagles have had two in for private workouts: Eric Berry and Taylor Mays.
Peter King of sportsillustrated.cnn.com wrote an article titled "Inside the NFL", and writes not only does he think the Eagles want to move up in the draft—he knows it!
He believes the Eagles are eager to draft either Eric Berry or Earl Thomas but if the Eagles go into the top 10 picks then they should just go all in and take Berry—if not him then go mid first and get Mays in my opinion.
This is what King had to say:
"I think the Eagles want to come up."
"Let me rephrase thatI know they want to come up. The Eagles are in a very small club, teams that want to jump up from low in the first round to the upper half. I believe Philly wants one of the two safeties in the draft Eric Berry of Tennessee or Earl Thomas of Texas. With the 24th, 35th, 55th and 70th picks, the Eagles absolutely have the ammo to move up."
Could the Eagles—would the Eagles make a statement draft day move and find a way to acquire the likes of Eric Berry?
What an early christmas present such a player would be to the Eagles franchise and their fan base if they did find a way to make it happen!
Berry is a the ultimate package at safety who has a dominating blend of strength and athleticism. He is an intelligent defender with phenomenal instincts and has been one of college football's most productive players, not only in Tennessee's regime but all of college football, over the last three seasons.
When it comes to finding a weakness on Berry, I hope you have some time to invest!
The only thing the Eagles and other teams around the league would need to be concerned with is his shoulder surgeryand that isn't even so much of a concern than it is just getting a thumbs up from the teams doctor.
Berry is a top 5 pick so the Eagles would have to work their magic if they really like what they saw in their workout with him.
Second best safety in the draft is Texas Earl Thomas.
Thomas is a ball hawk safety who has superb straight line speed. He is well versed in route jumping as he is consistently watches the QB eyes. Earl is a very tough football player and won't shy away from contact in the run game.
He has his weaknesses however. Thomas isn't a very tall player and is relatively lean.
At 208 pounds Thomas might not have the ideal size and might struggle inside the box in the NFL: I said he didn't shy away from contact—shy being the keyword!
Even said, I still think Thomas will too turn out to be a good safety in the league and will be drafted between picks 10-14 unless something unforeseen happens and could be the answer for Philadelphia.
The third best, depending on who you talk to, is Taylor Mays.
Don't get me wrong about Mays, I think he is going to be a very physical force in the NFL and make one team in the league a much better team once he's drafted.
Mays is projected to be drafted in the middle of the first round, anywhere from picks 15-20 I would say. So again, if the Eagles want Mays services they would have to move from No. 24 to somewhere in the range of what I just mentioned.
Mays has an appealing trio pack of size, strength, and athleticism for a safety.
He has tremendous speed and burst for his size which shows his versatility as a player and capable of fitting in multiple defensive schemes. He is an instinctive run defender and also makes big plays in coverage as a deep safety.
He does have a few areas of weakness, as he tends to go for the big hit instead of making a play on the ball when it is in the air. He also tends to take incorrect angles when attacking the ball carrier.
His outstanding athleticism does allow him to recover and still make plays, and with new DB coach Dick Jauron leading the squad, I'm sure Mays could get that corrected in a hurry—Jauron's mouth is watering right now at the thought of having either one of these young men at his disposal in 2010!