Thoughts and analysis on the Philadelphia Eagles

The Draft day 2... More Meat!

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It's said that day 2 of the draft is where the meat of a team is really built. This is where good GMs and personell men really make their money, so I think it's important to take a look at what the Eagles picked up here, since these guys should be important little pieces of the overall machine that Andy Reid is trying to build.

After drafting Broderick Bunkley and Winston Justice, 2 guys over 300 lbs, and another DE you may have thought the Eagles were done building the lines... Not quite. They traded up to take Max Jean Gilles, a mountain of a man that stands 6-3 3/4 & weighs in at 355 pounds. He was ranked as either the best or 2nd best guard in the entire draft. He was projected as a day one pick, so for the Eagles to be able to grab him on day 2 made for yet another strong value pick for them. The reports on him are basically that he's a massive man, strong as an ox that just manhandles opponents and is nearly impossible to push around. The knock on him is that he's a bit slow and can be beaten by speed rushers. He started out as a tackle, but was moved to the inside to avoid dealing with speedy edge rushers. He will most certainly be competing for a starting job at LG this year with the trade of Artis Hicks.

An interesting rumor I heard about Gilles is that the Eagles may see him as a future center. His body type and size certainly would fit there. There are football people who believe that you rarely draft a pure center, you draft better talent along the line and develop a guy into a center. The Eagles haven't given much indication if this is their plan, and there certainly is a hole at LG that he could fill... but it's an interesting thought to keep in mind for the future.

With another 4th round pick the Eagles tooke Michigan WR Jason Avant. I wrote up an entire scouting report on him here in my WR preview. A quick look at him is that he's a decent sized, sure handed, strong, polished possession reciever that has been a valuable target in the red zone. He's been called the best route runner in the entire draft and not afraid to go over the middle, which is a skill that Eagles cleary value in the west coast offense. They also value that he's considered a good character guy that gives full effort on every play. He's not overly fast however, and won't burn anyone or present much of a deep threat. He doesn't project as much more than a #2 WR in the NFL. He was projected as first day pick, so again the Eagles made a decent value pick here.

In the 5th round with pick #147 the Eagles selected one of the most interesting stories in the draft in Jeremy Bloom. He was a mogul skier on the us olympic team in Torino. As a skier he won two World Cup championships and went to the Olympics twice. He started his football career at Colorado as a WR/KR/PR and was considered an emerging star there, but was made ineligible for his last 2 years of school because he accepted endorsements so he could continue his professional skiing career.

The scouting report on him? "Extremely fast...A great natural athlete...Has outstanding quickness...Explosive and a terror to try and tackle in the open field...Knows how to train and work hard...An amazing return man who can literally change a game on special teams."

He's not really projected to be a starting NFL WR any day, but he should step in and improve the return game from day one here. We all know that Reno Mahe is perfectly capable of fair catching any punt that comes near him and that Dexter Winn can take a kickoff back 15 yards and get tackled with the best of them... What the team has lacked is a dynamic special teams player that is a legit threat to taking a kick to the house. Bloom appears to be that guy, in the mold of a Tim Dwight. He may be able to be molded into a decent #4 WR one day, but I doubt the Eagles are expecting him to contribute on offense anytime soon. He needs to get his body in "football shape" and will obviously have an adjustment period after not playing football for 2 years... but this guy clearly knows how to train and should be a very exciting addition to this team.

The Eagles final picks of the draft were Omar Gaither LB from Tennesse and DT LaJuan Ramsey out of USC. Gaither is an oustide LB that could play either side, is good in coverage but considered a bit weak against the run. He should be a decent special teamer in kick coverage. Ramsey is a pass rushing defensive tackle that spent most of his career stuck behind, ironically, Mike Patterson at USC. When he finally got to start he showed some real explosiveness and ability to pressure the passer. He needs to bulk up and get stronger against the run. Since Hollis Thomas was traded to the Saints, Ed Jasper is here on a one year deal and Grasmanis may not make the team... Ramsey is here for depth and hopefully to develop into a more complete DT.

All in all the Eagles second day looks promising. As with all second day picks, it's all complete craphoot, but the birds got good value with most of these picks and a potential game changer in Bloom. Also, just in case you were counting... The Eagles added a total of 1,515 lbs to the line of scrimmage or three quarters of a ton.

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