On this weeks edition of Bird Watching, it’s more draft news and predictions. With the draft less than two weeks away, more and more mock drafts are beginning to come out and the variety in picks seems to be much smaller than it was a couple of weeks ago. Now without further adieu, let’s put on our binoculars and go Bird Watching.
LUKE JOECKELOTTEXAS A&MChip Kelly understands the importance of protecting the passer, which is why drafting Joeckel makes complete sense in this scenario.
GENO SMITHQBWEST VIRGINIAWith this move, Chip Kelly would be getting a young quarterback who has experience playing in an up-tempo offense. Michael Vick’s veteran presence will give Smith some time to sit and learn before he takes the reins in Philly.
Philadelphia Eagles: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
There’s no question the Eagles have to upgrade their offensive line. Their tackle position is in shambles. Jason Peters tore his Achilles; Demetress Bell was released after being a bust signing; while King Dunlap, who wasn’t any good, signed with San Diego. Even if Peters comes back close to 100 percent – a tough challenge, considering his weight – an upgrade could be made at right tackle, which would allow Todd Herremans to move back to his natural guard position. Eric Fisher would then become the heir apparent to Peters on the blind side.
This pick was a close call between Eric Fisher and Star Lotulelei. The latter was just cleared medically and should be considered a top-five prospect once again.
Star LotuleleiComment: “Of all the teams in the top five overall, the Eagles did the best job in free agency and are most free to take the best available player for their schemes. The D-line isn’t a pressing need, but Lotulelei is a top-five talent and would give the Eagles another solid 3-4 end and some flexibility in their new 3-4 hybrid scheme.”
Comment: “I still can’t pull the trigger on the Eagles taking West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith, because my sense is Chip Kelly views Florida State’s E.J. Manuel a more viable option early in the second round. In Joeckel, the Eagles get one of the draft’s elite offensive tackles and give themselves alternatives as both starters at the position, Jason Peters and Todd Herremans, return from injury-marred 2012 seasons.”