The rumors have been flying regarding the Eagles and their No. 8 overall pick in this year's draft. Will the team look to trade up, possibly for a shot at a quarterback, or will it stay put and select someone like Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott?
According to Dan Hatman, director of scouting development at The Scouting Academy, he wouldn't be surprised to see Philadelphia value a talent like Elliott, even though some would disagree with the decision to select a running back that high.
In his mind, Elliott is a unique and special player who should be graded above most others.
"I think they would rate him in a position like that, yes," Hatman said on the latest Journey to the Draft podcast presented by AAA . "Those individuals, Howie (Roseman), Doug (Pederson), they're not afraid to look a good player in the eye, regardless of position, and identify that. I think they're aware of positional value, but I think they're also aware of a unique talent and in my personal opinion, I think Ezekiel Elliott provides a unique talent.
"Now, I'm someone that is outspoken about not valuing running backs by comparison to other positions as highly. That comment assumes all players are graded the same. If I had a bunch of players all graded the same, I would take a variety of other positions before I would address running back. In this particular case, I do not see Ezekiel Elliott being graded similar to everybody else in the class. I think he's in that absolute top tier of players that can be difference-makers."
Hatman also commented on the depth this 2016 NFL Draft provides at specific positions, such as the offensive and defensive lines. Due to the fact there isn't a major drop off between rounds in those groups, it supports the idea of a team selecting Elliott with one of the opening picks.
"I don't think there's someone in the running back class that matches him, him being Elliott," Hatman said. "I could see (the Eagles) taking a shot at that and I think it would be an excellent addition to that run game."
Also on the Journey to the Draft podcast presented by AAA:
Draft Buzz at 1:30
Pick 6 – Six Players from Small Schools at 31:56
Unofficial Visit – WR Robby Anderson at 37:52
Draft Mailbag at 39:03
On the 50th episode of the Eagle Eye in the Sky podcast, Fran Duffy caught up with former NFL defensive lineman Stephen White to discuss the Eagles' transition to a 4-3 scheme this upcoming season.
White was quick to describe the increased freedom for defensive linemen in the type of attack defense Jim Schwartz is bringing to Philadelphia and explained why he is especially excited to watch Fletcher Cox in 2016.
"It's like the difference between lining up in front of a tackling dummy and trying to run and getting into sprinter stance and having clear blue skies in front of you," White said. "That's literally what it is. You get to run around guys and show off that athleticism when you're in that 4-3 attack defense, which is what you guys are transitioning to. A guy like Fletcher Cox had to fight his butt off to get through the middle just to get to the quarterback. It's really remarkable the way he was able to get to the quarterback last year.
"But, you put him on the edge and now more than likely that guard isn't going to get any help from the center because Fletcher's going to be able to blow by him, it's like you woke up in heaven basically. So, I saw where he tweeted out when the rumors started about going to a 4-3. I'm expecting Cox to have a career year this year, man. He's going to be a monster in that kind of defense."
Also On The Eagle Eye in the Sky podcast:
Chalk Talk with Stephen White at 1:43
Two-technique at 18:42
Saturday Scouting - a scouting report on Bennie Logan at 23:50
The Eagles' defense has added a lot of pieces this offseason. How will they fit in to new defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz's attack-style defense? Schwartz joined Dave Spadaro for this week's episode of the Eagles Live podcast.
On safety Rodney McLeod: "He's not the biggest guy in the world. He doesn't have the best timed speed, but he covers a lot of ground. He can really roam the middle of the field. For a small guy, he's a big hitter. He's got some corner in his background so he's not a mismatch in coverage. Again, there's a lot to like there. He's played real consistent football for the past three years.
"He's not a household name, but people in the NFL know about him, particularly the people in that division have a lot of respect for him."
On linebacker Nigel Bradham: "He's been sort of the same player since he came out of Florida State. He's an explosive athlete. He's fast. He can cover a lot of ground. He's a good blitzer. He's good in coverage. He's good against the run, so he's a multidimensional player. There's a lot to like there."
On who will start at each of the linebacker positions: "We'll have to see the dynamic between (Bradham) and (Mychal) Kendricks and (Jordan) Hicks and Najee (Goode) and maybe anybody else we draft and see who is the best fit."
On the cornerback picture with the additions of Leodis McKelvin and Ron Brooks as well as the re-signing of Nolan Carroll: "You can never have enough corners. ... You've got to have a lot of guys that can cover.
"It'll be a great competition in camp to see how those guys shake out. ... We're in a much better position than we were a couple of weeks ago."
Also on the Eagles Live podcast:
Three Questions with linebackers coach Ken Flajole at 6:30
Interview with SI.com's Don Banks at 9:00
Fans Weigh in on the Offseason, Draft at 18:15