Philadelphia Eagles News

Combine Watch List: Interior O-Line, TE

After highlighting some of the offensive tackle prospects to watch during the opening of the combine drills tomorrow, let's take a look at the rest of the players who will be working out.

It's highly unlikely that the Eagles will spend a draft pick on a specialist this April and tight end is a position of strength, but the interior of the offensive line is certainly an area that could use an upgrade. The center and guard positions are in some flux with Jamaal Jackson working to recover from a torn ACL suffered late in the season and guards Nick Cole and Max Jean-Gilles both restricted free agents.

The Eagles can add depth to the interior O-line in the middle and later rounds, but there are also two highly-rated players who are considered first-round possibilities.

OG Mike Iupati, 6-foot-5, 331 pounds - Iupati turned a lot of heads during the Senior Bowl practices and put himself squarely in the first round, but he also struggled during the Senior Bowl game when he was moved to right guard from his natural left guard position. He's also thought to be a possible right tackle in the NFL because of his run-blocking ability. Iupati is a strong, physical player who projects to be a starter from day one, which is certainly something the Eagles could use. If the former Idaho Vandal is still on the board when the Eagles pick in the first round, he will be very tempting.

C Maurkice Pouncey, 6-foot-4, 304 pounds - Pouncey is by far the highest-rated center in the draft, and he also has the versatility to slide over to guard in the NFL as wel. A three-year starter at Florida, Pouncey is a well-rounded prospect who is a definite possibility for the Eagles in the first round.

TE Jimmy Graham, 6-6, 260 - Though the Eagles aren't likely to use an early-round pick on a tight end, they can still use some depth at the position and Graham, a former basketball player for the University of Miami, is a player who could present value in the middle rounds. Because of his inexperience in football, he's only played one season since high school, Graham is a project, but he is explosive and athletic. He is expected to perform well in drills and projects as a pass-catching tight end.

OG Mike Johnson, 6-foot-5, 312 pounds - Johnson, a member of the National Championship Alabama team, is expected to come off the board somewhere between the third and fourth rounds, where the Eagles have a number of picks. Not quite as powerful as the elite guard prospects like Iupati, Johnson is nonetheless well-versed at playing guard at a high level and could be a mid-round possibility for the Eagles.

C J.D. Walton, 6-foot-3, 300 pounds - The center class in this draft has a big drop-off after Pouncey, but Walton is deemed by many to be the next best option, though he could last all the way to the fourth or fifth round. The Eagles can certainly use depth at center though and Walton, a high-effort player with fringe measurables, is a mid-round option.

TE Michael Hoomanawanui, 6-foot-4, 264 - The Eagles already have three tight ends who are weapons in the passing game, Brent Celek, Cornelius Ingram and Martin Rucker, so the ideal complement at the position would be a blocking tight end, and that's exactly what Hoomanawanui is. He's not going to be much of a threat in the passing game, and he likely won't be picked until the tail end of the draft, but Hoomanawanui has the ability as a blocker to make an impact at the next level.

-- Posted by Bo Wulf, 9:06 p.m., February 26

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content