Philadelphia Eagles News

Kiper: Eagles Class Of NFC East

"I have offensive tackle as the top need for a team that has to make sure they don't take the athleticism of their starting quarterback for granted," Kiper writes. "In Carimi they get a guy who loves to run block and will sustain those blocks. But he can also take on great pass-rushers, and has shown enough that it figures he could fill in at either tackle position early, potentially starting on the right side with the goal to become a starting left tackle."

However, on a conference call with reporters, Kiper insisted that the Eagles may not be wedded to the 23rd pick - a good point considering the Eagles have traded either up or down from their slotted first-round pick in each of the last four drafts.

"They could move down, that's a possibility," Kiper said. "At 23, if Carimi's still there, and he may not be, if he is then they could look at that position as an upgrade. If you wanted to deal down, there's no cornerback I see at 23. Pass rusher at that point, depends who they like. That's going to be dependent on their grades. I would think if they want a Carimi, they take him, they don't trade down. If they want to take a corner, you obviously get out of there and you get an Aaron Williams from Texas, a Brandon Harris from Miami, or a Brandon Burton (from Utah)."

In this scenario, Kiper is assuming the Eagles would move into the early second round, which would likely take them out of the running for Colorado cornerback Jimmy Smith, who is widely considered one of the more talented, but mercurial, prospects in the draft.'s Adam Caplan recently mocked Smith to the Eagles in the first round.

"Jimmy Smith (from Colorado) I think would be gone if they traded down too far, he's borderline late first, early second," Kiper said. "If you move off of 23 into the early second-round area, you may lose a Jimmy Smith from Colorado, who's a top-15 talent if he can stay focused on the job at hand and maximize that ability and those off-the-field concerns are a thing of the past. Then Jimmy Smith is going to get great value at that point, because like I said, he's a top-15 talent guy."

The good news for the Eagles, from Kiper's perspective, is that in the confines of their division, they're moving forward as the front-runner.

"They've drafted well over the years. I like their front office, the way they have everything locked in there now," Kiper said of the Eagles. "I'd say, when you look at that division right now, they're the team, because they have a youth and experience mix. The Giants and the Cowboys and the Redskins are all lining up and trying to catch the Eagles in terms of personnel right now. But you got Vick and the all the skill people they have, the Eagles are the team to beat in that division."

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