By REUBEN FRANK phillyBurbs.com
The draft hasn't taken place yet, and Eagles fans are probably already sick of hearing about Michael Griffin, Reggie Nelson and Chris Houston.
Today, finally, all the speculation ends, and Andy Reid will make his ninth first-round pick as head coach of the Eagles.
So far, Reid has taken one quarterback, one wide receiver, one cornerback, one defensive end, one offensive lineman and three defensive tackles. And no running backs, no tight ends, no linebackers and no safeties.
Here's a look at 10 candidates — some realistic, some longshots — for the Eagles to select if they stay with the 26th pick in today's first round of the draft.
* Jarvis Moss, DE, Florida
It may be tough to imagine the Eagles taking a defensive end since they have so many high-priced guys under contract, but they could certainly use one. Eagles haven't drafted a defensive end who played in the Pro Bowl in an Eagles uniform since Clyde Simmons, 21 years ago.
The Measurables: 6-6, 250, ran 4.73.
The Positives: Quick, active and mobile.
The Negatives: Do the Eagles need yet another undersized defensive end?
* Michael Griffin, S, Texas
Seems like a perfect fit. He could replace Sean Considine if he struggles at strong safety or he could replace Brian Dawkins whenever Dawkins decides to end his brilliant career.
The Measurables: 5-11 1/2, 205, ran 4.49.
The Positives: Smart, instinctive and productive.
The Negatives: Not a great run supporter.
*Brandon Meriweather, S, Miami
The Eagles demonstrated last year that they won't let minor character issues prevent them from picking a player they like Brodrick Bunkley, Winston Justice. But Meriweather's past may be too checkered for Reid.
The Measurables: 5-10 1/2, 195, ran 4.56.
The Positives: Productive and versatile.
The Negatives: Character issues and size.
*Chris Houston, CB, Arkansas
Houston put himself on the map with a monumental combine performance. A corner makes sense for the Eagles, who have two solid starters but are missing that lights-out nickel that Jim Johnson loves to have (Al Harris, Rod Hood).
The Measurables: 5-10, 185, ran 4.39.
The Positives: Played well against some of nation's top receivers, tough vs. run.
The Negatives: Size and lack of experience playing zone.
*Paul Posluszny, LB, Penn State
A question mark coming off an average senior season following knee surgery. Posluszny is the first choice of a lot of fans, but defensive players taken in the first round out of Penn State rarely are worth it.
The Measurables: 6-1, 240, ran 4.70.
The Positives: Typical Penn State linebacker — tough, inspirational, fiercely competitive.
The Negatives: The knee.
* Greg Olsen, TE, Miami
L.J. Smith is under contract only through 2007, and there's a good chance he won't be back. Olsen is the only first-round tight end, and if he's on the board when the Eagles pick — which is unlikely — they'd have to consider him.
The Measurables: 6-6, 250, ran 4.55.
The Positives: Great hands, athletic and can produce big yards after the catch.
The Negatives: Junior eligible. Not particularly strong and not a polished blocker.
* Aaron Ross, CB, Texas
Only started one year, thanks to the ridiculous array of talent that Texas piled up in front of him, but made most of that year. Reid loves to draft at positions of strength, and a Lito-Sheldon-Aaron Ross cornerback lineup would certainly be formidable.
The Measurables: 6-0, 195, ran 4.54.
The Positives: Smart and instinctive, likes to support run. Can return punts.
The Negatives: Sometimes gives up big plays going for interceptions.
* Dwayne Bowe, WR, LSU
Even with the Kevin Curtis signing, the Eagles could still seek help at wide out. One more playmaker on offense certainly couldn't hurt.
The Measurables: 6-2, 217, ran 4.48
The Positives: Smart, consistent, knows how to work corners.
The Negatives: Not explosive down the field
* Anthony Spencer, LB-DE, Purdue
Comparable player to another Purdue tweener, Willingboro High School's Shaun Phillips, who has become a terrific player for the Chargers.
The Measurables: 6-3, 266, ran 4.63
The Positives: Big, fast, productive pass rusher with outstanding technique.
The Negatives: Needs to become stronger and may be better fit in an odd front.
* Reggie Nelson, S, Florida
Nelson is versatile enough to play corner and a true playmaker, something the Eagles can sure use in a secondary that at some point in the near future will have to continue on without Dawkins.
The Measurables: 6-0, 193, ran 4.37.
The Positives: Big hitter who doesn't shy away from contact. Instinctive and savvy, always around the ball.
The Negatives: Doesn't have great tackling form.
E-Mail: REUBEN FRANK
April 28, 2007 5:27 AM
April 28, 2007
By REUBEN FRANK phillyBurbs.com