There is disagreement among fans about whether the Eagles are set at tight end. We all think highly of Brent Celek as the starter. He had a breakout year in 2009 and looks like a star on the rise. Last year's backup Alex Smith isn't part of the plans for 2010, at least at this point. Cornelius Ingram is rehabbing from last summer's ACL tear. The coaches are very high on his potential and think he can be a real asset to the offense. Behind him is Martin Rucker. He was an incredibly productive pass-catcher at Missouri, but has yet to really get going in the NFL.
I don't think the Eagles need to take a tight end in the draft, but there is a really good group to choose from. We already have three gifted receivers so I'm not as concerned about finding a player to impact the passing game. I'd love to add someone who can help as a blocker and special teams player. Iowa's Tony Moeaki is a really intriguing player. He is 6-3 and 245 pounds. He had to be a solid run blocker in order to stay on the field in the Hawkeyes' rushing-oriented offense. He's athletic and has good receiving skills. Stanford's Jim Dray is an outstanding blocker with good hands, but he will probably go before we consider a tight end. I don't think we'd take one prior to the fifth round. Michael Hoomanawanui of Illinois and Nate Byham of Pitt are good blockers who have some talent as receivers.
We could also look in our own backyard at Temple's Steve Maneri. He is 6-7 and 264 pounds. That's a big guy. He has some athletic ability, but is a solid blocker. He only caught 38 career passes, but that's OK. We've got pass catchers. A big guy who can block would be a nice addition.
Don't forget to check out my look at the game within a game that takes place leading up to the NFL Draft.
-- Posted by Tommy Lawlor, 4:00 p.m., April 13