Dec 31, 2013; El Paso, TX, USA; UCLA Bruins guard Xavier Su
OG Xavier Su’a-Filo (UCLA)
Ever since the news leaked that Eagles’ all-pro offensive guard Evan Mathis was reportedly on the trading block, this pick has appeared to make more and more sense with each passing day. It may not be a glamorous pick to please the fans, but drafting UCLA offensive guard Xavier Su’a-Filo with the 22nd overall pick could make a lot of sense for Philadelphia.
Regardless of whether or not the reports surrounding Mathis are true or misleading- he is a 32 year old interior lineman looking for a payday sooner rather than later. If he holds out of camp for his money or gets traded, it is extremely possible that the Eagles will then be left with a huge hole on their offensive line. That hole may seem insignificant, but the lacking support at interior lineman will hurt the production of Philly’s running game going forward- which ultimately hurts the passing game as well. It is essentially a domino effect.
The Eagles could potentially alleviate any possible future issues with their offensive line by drafting by far the best offensive guard in the entire draft. Su’a-Filo is strong, keeps his hips fluid and anchored, and follows through on play developments and blocking downfield. Those attributes are all of the key things you look for in a franchise guard, and all it could cost Philadelphia is their 22d overall pick.
It may not be the most glamorous pick in the world and it may not seem to fix some of the team’s biggest needs immediately, but there is a good chance that Xavier Su’a-Filo could prove to be an extremely wise insurance plan for when Evan Mathis’ tenure in Philadelphia inevitably ends.