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Breaking It Down With Ron Jaworski

Rewind once. Twice. Again. Ron Jaworski sees something he doesn't like as Kansas State quarterback Josh Freeman takes the snap from center and throws to his left. Freeman's right foot swings all the way around to his left side, and in the half-second it takes for Freeman to adjust his shoulders and set his sights on an open receiver, NFL defenses will see the flaw and jump the pass and, who knows after that?

It is that time of the year for Jaworski, the former Eagles quarterback who hosts ESPN's NFL draft coverage. By the time the draft rolls around, Jaworski will have seen every one of Freeman's throws during his senior season at Kansas State, will have talked to scouts a personnel heads about Freeman, and will have a complete knowledge of what many believe to be a first-round draft pick in April.

"Good size, but the kid has a lot of flaws," said Jaworski. "Look at how he sets up, how he never puts his weight over his back foot. He's just 'arming' his throws. No body. All arm. When you throw a little pass like this, it's one thing. But it's consistent on his other throws, too. He doesn't get his weight back and drive the ball.

"I've seen a lot of this kid and I don't understand why people are so high on him. It's early. NFL teams draft players because of what they can be, not what they are right now. For me, Freeman should have stayed in school for another season. I see too many things I don't like about him."

Is there anybody who loves the game more than Jaworski? He offers a balanced, unbiased opinion of players, and he isn't afraid to say when he makes a mistake. To gain credibility, which Jaworski has as much as anyone in the field, requires a knowledge of what to look for and the understanding that a young player gets taken to an entirely different level in the NFL, in every way.

"We just finished watching (Georgia's) Matthew Stafford, and it's my opinion that Detroit should not mess around and that he should be the top pick in the draft," said Jaworski, who is watching on this day with producer Lou Russo. "Stafford is just a more polished passer who makes every throw, who is a leader and who has done it against big-time competition.

"At this point, among the quarterbacks, I'm not even sure there is a first-round draft pick worthy of that selection other than Stafford. Now, I haven't seen (USC's) Mark Sanchez too much, so I can't comment on him in depth. I know teams are going to see Freeman's size, his pretty arm strength and believe they can project him into a good quarterback at this level. He is sort of like Joe Flacco from last year, although Flacco was much more polished than this guy."

Of course, the Eagles aren't going to take a quarterback with their first draft pick – I'd love to guarantee it, but who really knows what Andy Reid is thinking – nor would they appear to be in need at all of one with Donovan McNabb, Kevin Kolb and A.J. Feeley on board. At 21 and 28 in the first round, though, the Eagles have a chance to get some immediate impact.

What will it be? An offensive lineman? A running back? A defensive player?

"I think there will be some wide receivers there and I think there will be some tackles there," said Jaworski. "It is a deep draft for those two positions. I don't think there is any kind of 'standout' receiver in this draft. I think there will be good receivers throughout this draft, though.

"But the guy I like, a player who can come in and help for the Eagles at a position of need, is Georgia's Knowshon Moreno. This is a good year for running backs, and I think Moreno is just perfect for what the Eagles do. He is an excellent receiver, he can give you effort blocking and he runs the ball very well. Beanie Wells is right up there as far as talent and running the football, but I can't believe that Wells, coming from Ohio State, has the kind of ability needed as a receiver to play in this offense.

"Go tell Andy Reid about Moreno. I'm sure he already knows …."

Now we're back to Freeman. Both Jaworski and Russo notice that Freeman lifts his left heel an instant prior to the snap of the ball and, well, that is trouble with a capital T in the NFL.

"Defensive ends will see that and they will be on top of that immediately," says Jaws.

Amazing what a different perspective brings. Jaworski is here, bringing the 6-foot-6 Freeman down to size. Other analysts speak of Freeman rising in the rankings and by April 25, who knows just how far he will have vaulted up the charts.

"That's fine. I understand that teams see the flaws and believe they can improve a player. The hard part about drafting is that teams have to project what a player will be in the NFL," said Jaworski. ""I can tell you, this kid should be playing college football next year. It's going to be tough if he is in a situation where he has to play next year."

As for the Eagles …

"They have a lot of draft picks and they are always one of the more active teams in the league," said Jaworski. "I think predicting what the Eagles might do is very difficult. I don't know if they will keep all of those picks. I don't know how they can use all of those picks. It should be fun to watch."

Yeah, we'll be watching. There is still some work to be done in free agency, but there is no doubt that the draft looms large in the not-too-distant future.

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