ESPN's Mel Kiper, Jr. conducted a conference call with reporters in advance of the 2010 NFL Draft which is now less than two weeks away. Of course, Kiper was asked for his take on how the Donovan McNabb trade affects the Eagles' draft strategy.
Kiper believes the loss of one of the top offensive players in franchise history will lead to help for the defensive side of the ball. In his latest mock draft, Kiper has the Eagles drafting cornerback Kareem Jackson out of Alabama in the first round with the 24th overall pick.
"There are still some injury question marks around Ellis Hobbs, and with the addition of the 37th pick in the McNabb trade, the Eagles can strengthen their cornerback group and then add a safety value such as Nate Allen or Major Wright in Round 2 and really upgrade the secondary," Kiper said. "Jackson is fluid and displays exceptional anticipation."
As much as Kiper and his on-air adversary Todd McShay disagree on various draft-related topics, they are in unison when it comes to which position the Eagles will draft at No. 24. However, McShay has the Eagles tabbing Boise State's Kyle Wilson instead of Jackson..
The Eagles have added flexibility in the draft after the McNabb deal with a total of 11 picks in the bank. The acquisition of the fifth pick of the second round will be even more valuable with the long break between the first and second rounds. Kiper compared the new draft format to a final exam in college and stated that this extra time will allow teams to essentially study a little bit longer.
"They get more time to re-evaluate, make some calls, check on players, check with agents, do some more due diligence. Have a chance to talk to coaches and scouts again. Re-do their boards," Kiper said. "Remember, it's a long day and a long night. You lose sight of that, how draining it is… In terms of the critical rounds, I think it's important to have that break in the action. I think it benefits the teams from that standpoint, that if they make a decision, it was well thought and not because we rushed it or were fatigued."
-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 1:05 p.m., April 9