The official number of times it’s been written, murmured, yelled and whispered that the Eagles need a “big back,” has officially reached 1,000,432,231. I’m probably responsible for about 100 of those, but honestly, it’s not that big of a deal. If McNabb and Westbrook can stay on the field for an entire season, this team is going to have zero problems on offense.
That being said, this is one draft where I’d love to see the Eagles use a second round pick on a “big back,” but only if that back’s name is Brian Leonard.
A rumor making the rounds today may point toward the Eagles doing just that. NFL Draft Bible is quoting sources as saying that the Eagles are shopping Ryan Moats. Moats is the basically the poor-man’s Brian Westbrook. When Westbrook went down in 2005, Moats stepped in and electrified. Last year, he regressed, and hardly found his way onto the field at all.
If the Eagles do draft a back who can contribute, Moats would be hard pressed to make the team. If the Eagles can get back a “mid-round pick in next week’s draft,” as the blog states, I’d consider it a win.
Speaking of the draft, there are mocks going on all over the place, here are a few links and projections for the Eagles first-round pick:
- Bleeding Green Nation: Greg Olsen, TE, Miami (FL) - Everyone has the Eagles pegged as going defense in round one, but Olsen is too hard to pass up. LJ Smith is going into the final year of his deal and judging by what some less TEs got in free agency this offseason, he's going to paid bigtime. Getting Olsen would give them the option of letting LJ walk for the huge money, while replacing him with a guy that very well may be more talented... The draft is deeper at safety and corner than it is TE, so the Eagles will look to fill those needs later in the draft. (My take: Although I don’t like the idea of taking an offensive player with this pick when the defense is where the Eagles need help, it makes a lot of sense. The Eagles pride themselves on drafting for next year, not this year. L.J. is probably gone if he asks for too much, so the Eagles could try to reload)
- ESPN’s Mel Kiper Mock Draft: Reggie Nelson, S, Florida. (My take: Makes sense, but I don't think I've ever seen Kiper get an Eagles' first-round pick correct.)
- Scott Wright’s Draft Countdown: Brandon Meriweather, S, Miami (Fla), After replacing Donte' Stallworth by signing Kevin Curtis the Eagles are now free to address another position in the first round and based on value and need Brandon Meriweather would appear to be a nice fit. The play of Michael Lewis really declined and the team let him leave as a free agent and even though his replacement Sean Considine was solid they can certainly do better and would prefer to keep him in a rotational role. A talented player who probably would have gone a little higher if not for character concerns, Meriweather is a great all-around safety who can play not only the pass but the run as well and he could even slide over and play a little bit of corner. A playmaker in the deep patrol, Meriweather can be groomed by Brian Dawkins before helping to carry on his legacy. Andy Reid always likes to look to the trenches in round one so you can't rule that out and another intriguing possibility here could be Brian Leonard, who'd provide a big, physical presence to the run game and compliment Brian Westbrook while easing his load. (My take: I doubt the Eagles take a guy with “character issues” with their first round pick. Especially when there are arguably better safeties likely to be left on the board)
- CBS Sportsline.com: They have 3 mock drafts up, each has a different selection for the Eagles: Anthony Spencer, LB; Brandon Meriweather, S; Lawrence Timmons, LB. (My take: See above for Meriweather. As far as LB goes, I’m not sure the Eagles will consider it such an immediate need now that they traded for Takeo Spikes.)
- Tremendous Upside Potential: 26. Eagles- WR Ted Ginn Jr., Ohio State. The story of the Eagles 2006 season is one of two halves: the first half with Donavan McNabb and the second half with Jeff Garcia. Garcia rallied the Eagles to a playoff birth after McNabb went down, in large part because of the coaching staff’s decision to run the ball more with Brian Westbrook. With Garcia moving on to Tampa Bay this season, Philadephia might look to supply McNabb with some more offensive weapons, and Ted Ginn Jr. would be a great addition if he were somehow still around with the 26 pick in the first round. Ginn is the fastest of stellar wide receiver class, as he was Troy Smith’s favorite target the past two seasons. If Ginn is gone, the Eagles could add another wideout or look for help at safety or linebacker. (My take: If Ginn’s still available, he’d be hard to pass up, but I think they should. Defense, defense, defense.)