Phil Savage, the new executive director of the Senior Bowl, arrives at his new position in Mobile, AL, after two years serving as a player personnel executive for the Eagles. Savage, a native of Mobile, was a part of the draft process with general manager Howie Roseman and company for the last two seasons, during which time the Eagles selected nine Senior Bowl graduates. In April, the Eagles drafted four players who showed their stuff at this year's Senior Bowl in addition to signing two Senior Bowl graduates (Chris Polk and Emil Igwenagu) in undrafted free agency.
Now serving in his new role, Savage has been reviewing the fits between the players who participated in this year's Senior Bowl and the teams who selected them. Because he was involved with the Eagles' draft this year, Savage is uniquely qualified to address how certain Eagles rookies will fit in with the team. The first player selected by the Eagles in this year's draft who played in the Senior Bowl was defensive end Vinny Curry, the second of the Eagles' two second-round picks. Savage tabbed Curry as one of the "Best Values" in the second round.
"Another 'value' pick was made by the Philadelphia Eagles when they selected Marshall defensive end Vinny Curry with the 59th choice," wrote Savage. "Vinny grew up as a big-time Eagles' fan and let it be known at the Senior Bowl that he would walk to the NovaCare Complex if Philadelphia chose him. The 'value' was too much to pass for the Eagles because he is an easy projection into their 4-3/wide-nine technique scheme."
In the third round, the Eagles surprised some by selecting Arizona quarterback Nick Foles. Savage tabbed Foles as the third round's "Spotlight Prospect."
"Most observers will be interested to see what becomes of Arizona quarterback Nick Foles, who was taken by the Eagles at pick No. 88," wrote Savage. "He is a big-bodied thrower who will compete with Mike Kafka and Trent Edwards to become the primary backup to Michael Vick. He does not have the traditional feet and athleticism of a typical west coast quarterback, but Philadelphia and head coach Andy Reid have a history of coaching up quarterbacks beyond their perceived level of ability."
Finally, perhaps the Eagles' most universally well-received pick after the first-round selection of Fletcher Cox took place in the fourth round, when they added versatile Georgia cornerback Brandon Boykin. Savage recognized Boykin at the "Best Fit/Immediate Help" in the fourth round.
"The Eagles chose cornerback/return specialist Brandon Boykin from Georgia with the 123rd selection," Savage wrote. "Last season, Philadelphia struggled to find success in their Nickel package because of insufficient play from the slot position. With his return skills, Boykin should be the fourth corner right away and should ultimately emerge as a solid cover man on inside receivers."
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