The Philadelphia Eagles feel as though they got a steal in the sixth round of the 2009 NFL Draft in former Washington State wide receiver Brandon Gibson. And with these positive feelings towards Gibson, Scout.com has confirmed that the Eagles sent their West Coast scout Anthony Patch to a WSU practice early in the week to check out what kind of talent the Cougars have for the 2009 season.
A team that’s always looking to upgrade in the trenches, it’s likely that the Eagles were drawn to Washington State to take a look at the Cougars most promising prospect, center Kenny Alfred. At 6-foot-2, 300 pounds, Alfred is entering his third year as the Cougars starting center. A two-time Rimington Trophy [awarded to best college center] nominee, Alfred is an athletic, hardworking lineman who has the versatility to play guard. He’s an intelligent blocker who’s explosive at the point of attack. He plays with leverage, stays square and uses his balance and strength to keep the opposition at bay. He does a nice job of sealing defenders with his positioning and possesses great technique. He’s aware of his surroundings and works well with his linemates. Alfred has to improve his upper body strength, as he tends to struggle against a bigger opponent.
Alfred is currently the sixth rated center (144th overall) in Scout.com’s 2010 NFL Draft Rankings.
There was speculation leading up to this past April’s draft that the Eagles were entertaining the notion of drafting Louisville center Eric Wood with the 28th pick overall, because starter Jamaal Jackson has struggled the last two years. But after trading that pick to Buffalo in the Jason Peters deal, it was highly unlikely that the Eagles would draft Wood with their first pick in the draft. The Eagles did however target an offensive player in the first round and moved up two spots from 21 to 19 to select Missouri wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, who endured an unforeseen fall. Ironically, there were two centers selected in the first round with draft picks originally owned by the Eagles; California center Alex Mack was selected by the Browns 21st overall and Wood was selected by the Bills at No. 28. The last time the Eagles drafted a center was in 2004 when they used a seventh round pick on Dominic Furio from UNLV. Furio is no longer in the league.Other players from Washington State that will receive interest from teams are: senior linebacker Andy Mattingly and juniors; wide receiver Jeshua Anderson, offensive tackle Micah Hannam and running back James Montgomery.
A member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America, Chris Steuber has provided his analysis of the NFL and NFL Draft prospects on the web and on the radio since 1999. Steuber’s features are published across the Scout.com network and on FoxSports.com. If you wish to contact Chris Steuber, email him at: email@example.com.