Eagles Looking For Tight End Help?
University of Delaware tight end Ben Patrick was one of a number of players who returned to Indianapolis this weekend for the combine recheck. Team doctors reexamined Patrick's shoulder and foot as the result of previous injuries and he was given a clean bill of health. Presently, Patrick projects as a third-round choice and will battle University of Iowa's Scott Chandler to be the first senior tight end drafted. Patrick has already visited the Philadelphia Eagles this week and is set to meet with the New York Jets on April 11. The Carolina Panthers, who sent their tight ends coach to his pro day, have also shown a lot of interest in Patrick.
It should be noted that Philadelphia starting TE L.J. Smith is on the final year of his rookie contract and no extension is close to being met so their interest in Chandler or any tight end isn't too much of a surprise.
As for Carolina, they haven't had a solid tight end since Wesley Walls last played for the team back in 2002.
The Jets are also a team that has struggled at the tight end position for many seasons.
Linebacker Garnering Attention
Linebacker Quincy Black is getting a lot of attention recently, and the feeling is the University of New Mexico prospect is flying up boards after his great combine workout. Black has a full slate of visits in the coming weeks as he is set to meet with the Kansas City Chiefs, Jacksonville Jaguars, Chicago Bears, Miami Dolphins, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Cincinnati Bengals have also set up a private workout for the speedy defender who many think is a lock to be a first-day choice. They have a need for a linebacker after releasing MLB/WLB Brian Simmons last month and they lack quality depth at the position.
Sleeper Linebacker Finding Interest
Another sleeper prospect at the linebacker position getting tons of interest is Clint Sessions from the University of Pittsburgh. After not being invited to the combine, Sessions turned in a great pro day workout, running his 40s in the mid 4.5-second range and completing 36 reps on the bench. Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith attended the Panthers pro day to specifically scout Sessions.
Several NFL people told us they feel Sessions has better long-term potential than college teammate H.B. Blades. The thinking is he will start off as a special teams player and hopefully develop into a starter. Sessions is best suited as a one-gap linebacker, which is why the Bears and Indianapolis Colts will be bringing him in for a visit and both teams could have an opening at WLB to start training camp. The Colts are expected to try fourth-year LB Gilbert Gardner at WLB this season after failing at SLB in 2006.
Other teams slated to visit with Sessions include the Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Buffalo Bills, and Cleveland Browns.
Because he's still recovering from the MCL he sprained in the Sugar Bowl, Notre Dame DL Derek Landri is not expected to be 100 percent until rookie mini-camp. He's still getting plenty of attention, and despite the Buffalo Bills recent acquisition of veteran DT Darwin Walker, they still have a pre-draft visit with Landri.
Cleveland Checking Out Under-the-Radar Defensive Lineman
Michigan State DL Cliff Ryan is flying under the radar from many on the outside, yet scouts feel there is a possibility he could slide into the late part of the draft's first day. An intense defender with great character, Ryan is being viewed as either a two-gap end or possibly an under-tackle in a 4-3 alignment. The Cleveland Browns are scheduled to bring Ryan into their facility in the next 10 days.
Small College Prospect Gaining in Popularity
Small-school product Jacoby Jones is getting a lot of attention recently. The game-breaking wideout who also doubled as a return specialist for Lane College had several big names attend his pro day workout, including Norm Chow (offensive coordinator of the Tennessee Titans), Kippy Brown (receivers coach of the Detroit Lions), and Mike Johnson (receivers coach of the Baltimore Ravens).
Jones has visits scheduled with the Philadelphia Eagles and San Diego Chargers while the New England Patriots are set to privately work him out. Jones grades as a third-round pick, yet with a plethora of terrific talent at the receiver position ready to come off the board in round two, he could slip into the draft's second day.
College Visit Notebook and Analysis-4/4
Eagles Looking For Tight End Help?