Thanks to a series of trades on Days 1 and 2, the Philadelphia Eagles found themselves with a quartet of fourth-round picks.
The Birds have done some damage in the fourth round, having selected a handful of full- or part-time starters (including Jason Avant, Todd Herremans and Max-Jean Gilles) in the last few years.
They also drafted some receiver named Carter from Ohio State there way back when, but he didn’t really pan out in Philly.
If you haven’t caught on yet, that was Cris Carter, a surefire soon-to-be Hall of Famer.
Anyway, chances are that even the most ardent fans have no idea who at least one of the newest Eagles is. But that’s we’re here to remedy.
Let’s meet the “fourth-round four.”
If there’s anything you can say about Trevard Lindley, it’s that he’s consistent.
The 5’11, 186 pound Lindley was a four-year starter for the Wildcats, and has all of the attributes to be a good cover corner in an NFL man-to-man scheme; that bodes well for the Eagles, who tend to leave their DBs on an island at times.
Lindley has great hands and is a sure tackler, even if he’s not a particularly hard hitter.
His biggest knocks are that he’s not overly strong—he only benched nine reps at the combine and can be easily out of a jump-ball situation by bigger or stronger receivers—and that he’s injury-prone.
Lindley missed four games last year due to a high-ankle sprain, and a shoulder injury suffered at the end of his junior year was a major catalyst in his return to Kentucky—even though he had received a second-round grade.
Those injuries hurt his 2010 stock a bit, and he was ranked as the No. 181 prospect (and No. 22 CB) by NFL Draft Scout’s big board.
That earned him a fifth- or sixth-round projection, but he goes to the Eagles very early in the fourth.
Some might see this as a bit of a reach, given that there were faster (IUP speedster Akwasi Owusu-Ansah), bigger (South Florida’s Jerome Murphy), and sexier (Oklahoma’s Dominique Franks) on the board.
But Lindley’s NFL comparison is Fred Smoot—which in “Smoot-ease” means that he’s either the first Trevard Lindley, next Fred Smoot, or next-next Deion Sanders.
No matter what you may tag Trevard Lindley, you can call definitely him a Philadelphia Eagle.
At 6’1”, 229 pounds, Keenan Clayton is kind of a tweener.
Clayton was originally a safety at OU, and was the No. 3 safety in the nation according to Rivals.com coming out of high school.
But after a pair of indistinguishable seasons in the secondary, Clayton moved to strong-side linebacker as a junior.
He started 26 of 27 games at SAM for the Sooners, racking up 159 tackles, 16.5 tackles for loss, eight forced fumbles, six sacks, and three interceptions in 2008 and 2009.
Clayton, who was the No. 339 overall prospect (and No. 29 OLB) according to NFL Draft Scout, also has great athleticism (as his 4.57 40 time and 41.5” vertical jump display) and led his linebacker group in nine of 10 drills at the Combine.
Andy Reid likes versatile guys, and Clayton could fill a number of roles; he’ll likely see time on special teams, could be a prospect to back up Moise Fokou at the SAM (especially in nickel situations), or could possibly move back to safety to give the Birds more secondary depth.
The Eagles were rumored to take a developmental QB, and they get Mike Kafka at No. 122.
Kafka was only a full-time starter for one year, but he had a very good 2009 in the Wildcats’ spread offense—passing for 3,430 yards and 16 TD with a 65 percent completion rate.
He’s big (6’3”, 225 pounds), tough, and fairly accurate on short and medium throws. He doesn’t throw the deep ball particularly well, but on an offense with burners on both sides of the field, that might not be a big issue.
Kafka is also willing to tuck the ball and run if need be—he had the size to take hits and the speed (4.81 40) to surprise defenders.
All that said, this is a bit of sketchy pick.
Overall, NFL Draft Scout had him listed as the No. 196 overall prospect (a sixth-round grade) and No. 11 QB. Kafka is, according to CBS Sports, an “intelligent player capable of understanding and running a pro-style offense.”
However, with both Tony Pike and John Skelton—more “polished” signal callers with very similar attributes to Kafka—on the board, it may have been a reach.
Andy Reid loves versatility, and that’s what he gets in Clayton Harbor—a 243-pound mauler who can line up as a tight end, fullback, or H-back.
Frank Cooney of NFLDraftScout.com, who had Harbor rated No.1 as a fullback (and No. 120 overall prospect), called him “an athletic beast who can line up at three positions and create matchup problems for a defense.”
Harbor is fairly fast for a TE/FB (4.75 40), very strong (30 bench reps at the combine, more than three of the four offensive tackles taken in Round 1), and explosive (40-inch vertical leap).
He left Missouri State as the Bears’ all-time leader with 150 catches, and his 1,906 yards are third in school history.
His 59 catches in 2009 were the second most by a tight end in the nation, and his performance earned him first-team Division I FCS All-American honors.
Also of note is that 16 of his catches were third-down grabs that resulted in a first down, proving that he was a clutch target in crunch time for the Bears.
Again, Reid likes versatility, so getting a guy who can line up anywhere in the backfield and excel, especially on third down, is a great choice in the fourth round.
Harbor was just the fourth Bear ever to play in the East-West Shrine Game, and he’s the seventh man to be selected by the Eagles in 2010.