Let's talk about the Eagles and the Senior Bowl. There were several prospects who the team will be interested in that had strong games.
Defensive end could be a position of priority if the Eagles don't go after someone in free agency. Brandon Graham had a great showing in the Senior Bowl and could be a target of the Eagles. Graham is short at 6-1, but weighs 263 pounds. He has a thick, muscular build. Graham is relentless as a pass rusher. He will do whatever it takes to get to the quarterback. He can fly off the edge, use a spin move or go hard to the inside. He uses his hands well and plays with very good leverage.
Graham could easily be a first-round target of ours. We value defensive ends and he is the kind of productive, high motor, high quality prospect that we like to go after. He's not a lock to go in the first because of his height and the fact he has short arms. Still, he was dominant in the game and in the regular season. I find it hard to believe that he makes it to the second round.
Cornerback is another position the team is likely to target. Kyle Wilson of Boise State had the best week of any defensive back in Mobile. He looks like the top senior cornerback. In the game, Patrick Robinson of Florida State was the best defensive back on the field.
Robinson is very gifted and had a first-round grade coming into his senior season, but things didn't go so well. His level of play was very inconsistent this year. Florida State had a down season and the defense really struggled. Against Florida, Robinson was getting beat play after play. It was very discouraging to see such a good player struggle so mightily. That all changed in Mobile. He came alive and showed the cover skills that we had seen in the past. Robinson's performance in the game could move him back into the first round and the Eagles could be interested in him. Robinson has great feet and cover skills. He is a good tackler and isn't afraid to be a physical player. He also can be a playmaker. Robinson had six interceptions back in his sophomore season.
Running back LeGarrette Blount had a worse senior year than Robinson. Blount punched a Boise State player back in the season opener and was suspended for the next few months. He played late in the year, but not much. Getting on the field in Mobile was critical for him and he took advantage of the situation. Blount has great size at 245 pounds. He ran behind his pads, but also showed some burst and athleticism. Blount isn't as mammoth as Brandon Jacobs, but he is a very interesting prospect. If the Eagles want a big back to pair with LeSean McCoy for the near future Blount could definitely be a guy to watch. He has some character issues that will hurt his value, but Blount is a unique player and that can't be overlooked. Imagine a backfield with Leonard Weaver as the lead blocker and Blount behind him. That might be fun to watch.
Some quick thoughts on various players:
• Count me off the Taylor Mays bandwagon. He had an interception in the game, but I continue to be frustrated by his style of play. He hit a receiver along the sideline. Great. Any safety can do that when a guy is exposed and out in the open. He missed a running back coming up the field when there was traffic around them. Men like Wes Hopkins, Andre Waters, Mike Zordich and Brian Dawkins didn't just come hit you when it was easy or convenient. They punished players any time they could. I was more impressed with Terrell Skinner of Maryland as far as consistent hitting and tackling.
• DT Dan Williams had a great game. He was powerful and athletic in the middle. He probably played his way into the first round. He weighs 329 pounds, but is more than just a big body. The Eagles could throw us a curveball and go for him.
• DT Cam Thomas is another big defender. He had a solid game and is only a mid-round target. Thomas is 331 pounds and has some athletic ability.
• DE Austen Lane didn't play poorly, but he also failed to stand out as I had hoped he might. Lane has NFL size at 6-6 and 267 pounds. He plays hard, but I didn't see the kind of pass rush ability that I was hoping for.
• RB Ben Tate had a strong showing during the week. He's an ideal fit for the Eagles. Tate can block, catch, and run. He has a thick build and runs hard. I really like this guy.
• LB Sean Weatherspoon had a terrific game. He played the run well, but also looked good in coverage. He broke up one pass and picked off another. I'm just not sure that the Eagles will take a weakside linebacker early in the draft.
• QB Zac Robinson helped himself with a strong showing. He threw the ball well and brought a big spark to the offense. I think the Eagles will target some quarterback in the mid to late rounds. The question now is whether Robinson will last that long.
For my thoughts on Howie Roseman's promotion to the general manager post and whether the Eagles should target Julius Peppers in free agency, click here for my Fan-Demonium column ...
-- Posted by Tommy Lawlor, 12:15 p.m., February 2