Looking At Who The Eagles Are Looking At

The Eagles spent this week talking to players who will take part in the Senior Bowl. As the process moves on, the Eagles will likely narrow their sites, but for now, let's take a look at who some of the names are that they're kicking around.

One of the first guys that the Eagles sought out in Mobile was Tennessee defensive lineman Jesse Mahelona. This is a guy who is a bit of a project, but if somebody can get through to him, they'll have quite a find. He's big - too big for his six-foot frame - at 311 pounds and isn't as physical as he could be. He tends to stay too low on his blocks and offensive linemen simply take advantage of that and before long Mahelona is sucking in grass and dirt. If he excels in one thing, it's rushing the passer, which explains why the Eagles may be interested. He gets a little too anxious and jumps offside too often, but that's all part of the process of getting him to be the player that many believe he can be.

The Eagles also spent some time looking at Broderick Bunkley, a defensive lineman from Florida State. This is the guy that scouts hope Mahelona could blossom into. Unfortunately, Bunkley suffered a concussion in practice and won't play in the Senior Bowl this weekend. Scouts rave about how Bunkley combines size and quickness and how he knows how to get himself to the ball. At 6' 2", 300 pounds, Bunkley is a monster. There's no fat on this frame. Bunkley was repeatedly double-teamed in practice this week, even by some of the bigger and better offensive linemen and didn't budge.

Late in the week, Chad Greenway caught the eye of the Eagles' staff. Greenway is an outside linebacker out of Iowa, who weighed in at 6' 2", 242 pounds this past week. This is a kid that you have to see day after day to truly appreciate, because he doesn't necessarily do anything spectacular, but he is steady and will work hard on every play. He has a knack for being in the right place at the right time and is more than willing to let coaches do their job and coach him. There's no guarantee that he'll actually still be available when the Eagles pick at 14, because Greenway is projected to go between the 7th and 12th picks in the first round. Don't be surprised if Greenway starts to drop a little if the Eagles look at moving up to insure that they can get Greenway. This is a guy who the Eagles could be very happy with and simply plug him into the defense and let him do his job, which he does well on both pass and run coverage. It doesn't hurt that Greenway has an interesting background story to tell of how he grew up raising hogs and had only played football with nine men on a side prior to being recruited by Iowa. The coaches there simply love the kid and he was very popular with his teammates as well. Watch for Greenway between now and when the Eagles make their first round pick in April.

Penn State's Tamba Hali hasn't had a good week in Mobile. While Hali showed himself to be a good player, scouts weren't able to get a good read on just how he would help their defense since he didn't do any one thing consistently well. Many times, he found himself being pushed away from the play and was too far out of position to help. His pass rush wasn't strong, primarily because he didn't get off the ball well. If anything, Hali's stock probably fell a little in the practice week and he'll need to make up some ground between now and draft day.

The chances that the Eagles will draft for offense in the first round are slim. They did however spend some time talking with some offensive players during the Senior Bowl practices. New Mexico wide receiver Hank Baskett met with the Eagles, but Baskett wasn't overly impressive in his practices. At times, he was simply lost and actually lined up wrong a number of times. He doesn't run the type of crisp routes that scouts like to see and at times seemed to almost float through the practices and not show the aggression that scouts were looking for. His best performance came on blocking. He wasn't afraid to throw blocks and he stayed on them. For now at least, Baskett doesn't appear to be a guy that would help the Eagles.

Finally came Georgia quarterback D.J. Shockley. At some point, the Eagles are going to have to start grooming a successor for Donovan McNabb, but for right now, they're simply concerned about finding backups for McNabb. Odds are that Shockley isn't going to be able to fill either of those roles. He's got decent arm strength, but his passes float at times and his accuracy tends to be off. Receivers spend a lot of time trying to catch passes that are much lower than they should be even when Shockley has plenty of time to get rid of the ball. He's got a quick release, but doesn't seem to have a sense for leading receivers to the ball and a lot of his passes would be candidates for interceptions in the NFL.

 


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