Eagles Draft Nate Allen, Daniel T'eo-Nesheim, and Stockpile Draft Picks

Leo PizziniAnalyst IApril 24, 2010

TAMPA, FL - OCTOBER 15:  Safety Nate Allen #5 of the University of South Florida Bulls intercepts a pass against the Cincinnati Bearcats October 15, 2009 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Day two of the NFL draft began like most imagined. With the 37th overall selection, the Eagles addressed the secondary with an excellent free safety prospect in Nate Allen from South Florida.

This was a great pick and it needed to be. Everything was right for the Eagles to take Allen here and this of course was the Donovan McNabb pick.

Allen is both a ball-hawk and solid in run support. He may not be the big hitter that Taylor Mays has been, but he's twice the cover-man. And he may not be the ball-hawk that Earl Thomas is, but he's twice the tackler.

After Eric Berry, Nate Allen was the most complete free safety in the draft. His presence will afford both Macho Harris and Marlin Jackson an opportunity to compete for a cornerback role. 

For that brief moment in time when the Eagles drafted Allen, everything seemed quite normal and satisfying.

When the Eagles 55th overall selection arose, things got interesting quickly (or perhaps boring slowly). They made a series of progressive trades down the draft board until they stopped at 86th overall (third-round) where they selected Washington defensive end and linebacker Daniel Te'o-Nesheim.

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There are some negative scouting reports on Te'o (pronounced T.O.), but you should know this kid is a solid football player. He textbook tackles and attacks with great ferocity. He's very much like Brandon Graham and Darryl Tapp.


How many Trent Cole prototypes are the Eagles looking for?

I don't think it's a stretch to imagine this Somoan-Norwegian hybrid as the powerful SAM linebacker the Eagles are looking for. He's very athletic, quick and just a plain-old high motor football player that can lay down the hammer. 

He is a tweener though and that reeks of Chris Gokong.

Still, along the way down to Te'o, the Eagles acquired two more late fourth-round picks and an additional fifth-round pick.

The Eagles also passed on a few very strong prospects at cornerback in Jerome Murphy, Brandon Ghee, and Chris Cook, and yet another falling first-round defensive end prospect in Everson Griffen.

The fact that they passed on Griffen is what leads me to believe that they are looking at Te'o as a linebacker.

But what will the Eagles do with their stockpile of third- and fourth-round draft picks?

I believe they will look to package draft picks in exchange for a young veteran cornerback or defensive tackle, but they will need a dance partner. I don't think that they will look to trade for a linebacker or offensive lineman.

If they decide to use all of their remaining draft picks, I would expect them to address cornerback, running back, quarterback, defensive tackle, and offensive line.

There are a pair of cornerbacks that could be considered second-round prospects in Dominique Franks and Akwasi Owusu Ansah. Both have great speed and size and Ansah is versatile enough to play both safety or cornerback.

I expect that the Eagles will take one of these cornerbacks with their first fourth-round pick. Either of them should challenge for the nickel-back duties at least.

I also wouldn't be surprised to see the Eagles take a second cornerback by round six. I personally think AJ Jefferson from Fresno State would be a great pick. He measured-out with ridiculously impressive athleticism at the combine.

And the Eagles haven't selected a defensive tackle yet and I would expect them to do that in the fourth round, though they could look at linebackers instead.

Geno Atkins from Georgia would be a great selection at defensive tackle. At 293 pounds, Atkins ran a 4.78 second 40-yard dash. The guy is a tremendous athlete that can play tackle and add another dimension as a defensive end.

Andy seems to be going after these versatile types.

If he's looking for a big tackle, Cam Thomas from North Carolina is a beast that could fill out the defensive front at 330 pounds.

As for linebackers, the Eagles have been linked to AJ Edds from Iowa, but I think the selection of Daniel Te'o Nesheim will change that. They may look for a more versatile and athletic linebacker like Jamar Chaney from JMU or possibly Thaddeus Gibson from Ohio State.

There are a couple interesting strong safety prospects still on the board as well. It's not a position of great need, but Quintin Mikell is not getting younger. Reshad Jones from Georgia would be my top safety prospect, but the ever-interesting Myron Rolle could be had for a lesser draft pick. 

On the other side of the ball, Mitch Petrus is an interior lineman from Arkansas that has tremendous power. He seemed to breeze through 45 presses at 225 pounds, tying the combine record. Tony Washington from Abilene Christian is another project lineman that had one of the most impressive combine workouts overall.

Running backs Joe McKnight from USC and Jonathon Dwyer from Georgia Tech have tumbled far down the draft board. The Eagles could find good value there in the fourth round.

Quarterback John Skelton from Fordham, offensive lineman Ramon Harewood from Morehouse State, and running back Deji Karim from Southern Illinois could also be great sleeper prospects for the Eagles in these rounds.

All things considered, day two was satisfying to a degree. Nate Allen was a home-run selection, but the third-round draft picks traded in exchange for Brandon Graham were sorely missed, leaving many fans disappointed.

Day three will kick off with some fireworks from the Eagles. 

The war room will be busy.

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