NFL Draft 2011: Could the Philadelphia Eagles Not Take an Offensive Lineman?
NFL Draft 2011 Could See The Philadelphia Eagles Take Linebacker Akeem Ayers, According To One Draft Expert
It seemed like all we heard about when the Philadelphia Eagles entered the draft discussion was the need for an offensive lineman, specifically a guard.
That's certainly true and it wouldn't surprise anyone to see the Eagles take Gabe Carimi or someone of that nature if they're there at No. 23 (barring any trades that involve Kevin Kolb). But then Todd McShay of ESPN raised an interesting idea during his latest mock draft, and it involved the Eagles and linebacker Akeem Ayers.
"The Eagles have a history of drafting hybrid DE/OLB prospects and plugging them in at linebacker, and Ayers would offer an upgrade on the outside over Moise Fokou, who started 11 games as a second-year player in 2010," McShay wrote.
Now I should add that McShay has Carimi off the board in this mock draft by the Eagles' pick, but let's consider it for a moment. Ayers is the type of linebacker the Eagles would love; someone who can get to the quarterback and also provide support in run and pass defense. Linebacker is also somewhat of an understated need for the Eagles with Ernie Sims unlikely to be back.
Let's be honest, offensive line should be the biggest concern for the Eagles heading into the draft. I've written this before, but it can't be understated how much Michael Vick or whoever's under center for the Eagles needs to be protected.
The only other mock draft that I've seen going outside the offensive line was Chad Reuter's of CBSSports.com, who had the Eagles taking talented cornerback Jimmy Smith out of Colorado. And despite the Eagles also needing secondary help, I can't see them taking a cornerback there when there are other corners who could be had in the later rounds like Aaron Williams of Texas.
Then again, we never really know with Andy Reid.
For more NFL Draft news: Bleacher Report's NFL Draft 2011 Page
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