Eagles are ignoring very important position during their top-30 visits

Howie Roseman, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
Howie Roseman, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

You can’t base an overall theory on what any NFL team’s overall offseason strategy is simply by paying attention to what you see them do or where you see them show up. Just because the Philadelphia Eagles host Ahmad Gardner on a pre-draft visit, that doesn’t mean they intend to trade up in the NFL Draft to select him.

Seeing Howie Roseman spend time watching Malik Willis at the Senior Bowl, knowing that they took Kenny Pickett to dinner, and hearing about their top-30 visit with Matt Corral doesn’t give us cause to state, with certainty, that any of those guys will be Eagles after the draft wraps.

What we can do, however, is take a few snapshots and diagnose a few theories. We’ve long known that upgrading the linebacker position isn’t one of Philadelphia’s priorities, but perhaps the route we’ve seen them take in organizing their top-30 visits can give us reason to believe that they haven’t given a ton of thought to early-round upgrades when the NFL Draft arrives.

Where are the linebackers in these top-30 visits that the Eagles are hosting?

The goal here isn’t to insult anyone’s intelligence, but we also don’t want to take for granted that everyone has a full grasp of how top-30 visits work. The name can be slightly misleading.

“Top 30” doesn’t imply that these are the players that the Eagles see as their best options. During the process, Philly will visit with highly-touted prospects as well some of the guys expected to go on days two and three. The Eagles, however, are expected to sit with 30 prospects for in-house visits during the pre-draft process. As a matter of fact, the Birds have already begun seeing players.

If you’ve been keeping up with them, you may have already seen some of the guys they’ve hung out with, but a quick glance should bring something else to your attention. None of these guys, at the time of this story being written and published, have been linebackers.

Here are the prospects we’ve seen that have had reported visits with the Eagles as of Sunday morning on April 10th: QB Matt Corral of Ole Miss, DTs Devonte Wyatt and Jordan Davis of Georgia, CB Ahmad Gardner of Cincinnati, CB/Returner Marcus Jones of Houston, OL Kenyon Green of Texas A&M, CB Andrew Booth of Clemson, OT Tyler Smith of Tulsa, EDGE Kayvon Thibodeaux of Oregon, DT Perrion Winfrey of Oklahoma.

Again, where are the linebackers? It doesn’t seem like there’s a huge emphasis being placed on finding one, does it?

Some teams use top-30 visits to allow their physicians the opportunity to evaluate the health of some of these young guys. With that being said, if cornerback Derek Stingley (LSU) and wide receiver Jameson Williams (Alabama) are serious targets, it would make sense that the Birds bring them in to give them a look.

Related Story. 5 high-profile prospects the Eagles have hosted. light

In the meantime, with the knowledge that Philadelphia already has Davion Taylor, Shaun Bradley, and T.J. Edwards in the nest and following the news of their Kyzir White addition, it may stand to reason that those of us waiting to see the Eagles break the 43-year drought of taking a linebacker on the NFL Draft’s first night won’t see that occur at the end of April.

Things can change. Still, as of now, it may not be a priority, and history has taught us that this isn’t how this team does business.