The 2011 Senior Bowl will take place this Saturday and will host plenty of talented young players trying to improve their draft stock.
Howie Roseman and company will be on hand all week as they try to find players to potentially fill holes on the 2011 roster. There are a few key areas the team will look to address, specifically the offensive line and secondary, and will have the opportunity to check out some of the nation’s finest seniors.
Although it’s hard to tell exactly where the Eagles will focus in the draft, here are 15 players to keep an eye on that could help the team in 2011.
1. Nate Solder – OT, Colorado
Solder is a big boy to say the least. Out of the University of Colardo, many rate this 6’8” 300 pound offensive tackle number one at his position.
With questions about the play of Winston Justice this season, the Eagles may look to bring in a talented offensive tackle that can step in and be a starter right away. Jason Peters had a solid year, but with Michael Vick being a left-handed quarterback, Peters is no longer protecting the blindside.
Solder is great in pass protection as he utilizes his long reach and also has shown that he can be an exceptional run blocker despite his height.
2. Anthony Castonzo – OT, Boston College
Out of Boston College, Castonzo is another large offensive tackle, standing at 6’7” 295 pounds.
He uses his size to his advantage in pass protection and makes it very hard for defenders to get around him with his large wingspan. Castonzo has room for improvement in his run blocking, but he’s a very intelligent player. He was the first true freshman to start on the offensive line at Boston College in 10 years.
3. Jason Pinkston – OT, Pittsburgh
While Solder and Castonzo are projected to be first round selections, Pinkston is a guy the Eagles could most likely look at in the second round.
He doesn’t have the greatest height for an offensive tackle but makes up for it in weight. At 6’3” 308 pounds, Pinkston is a guy the Eagles could look into drafting for their vacancy at right guard.
Pinkston has a few flags. He’s been questioned about his commitment to the weight room and also had shoulder problems in college. Although he possesses most of the physical attributes to be successful, he needs to work on the mental side of the game.
4. Derek Sherrod – OT, Mississippi State
Sherrod is also a player the Eagles could look at in the second round of the draft. He stands at 6’5” 303 pounds and as known as more of a pass blocker.
He has shown signs of being a good run blocker at times, but needs to improve on his consistency. However, he’s known as a very grounded individual and likes to lead by example.
5. Clint Boling – OG, Georgia
At 6’4” 304 pounds, Boling showed a lot of versatility in college playing both the tackle and guard positions. However, he is projected to be a guard at the NFL level.
He played in 38 out of 39 possible games in his college career (was suspended one game due to receiving a DUI charge), and started all but two of those games.
Although the Eagles would likely look for him to play guard, his versatility is still a definite plus.
6. Steve Schilling – OG, Michigan
Schilling is also a player who showed a lot of versatility in college. He played both guard positions as well as right tackle during his time at Michigan.
Schilling stands at 6’4” 300 pounds and has shown more strength in pass protection then run blocking. He tends to stand up to high when run blocking; however, this can easily be worked on.
7. Rashad Carmichael – CB, Virginia Tech
There’s no denying that the Eagles will need to find some help at the corner position this offseason. At 5’10” 182 pounds, Carmichael is a bit undersized but has great speed.
He’s had experience in both man and zone coverage’s and has shown good instincts in jumping routes.
Carmichael isn’t one of the higher-rated corners in this year’s draft but could be an option for the Eagles in the later rounds.
8. Quinton Carter – S, Oklahoma
The Eagles also have some decisions to make at the safety position. Quintin Mikell is scheduled to be a free agent. Behind Mikell, they have Nate Allen and Kurt Coleman who showed promise as rookies, but still lack much depth.
Carter is a talented safety who could afford to bulk up a bit, but has above average closing speed.
He’s also very active in the community and started his own foundation for underprivileged children while at Oklahoma.
9. Eric Hagg – S, Nebraska
Hagg could be an option for the Eagles during the later rounds in the draft. He has good size and matches it with good speed.
As mentioned, the Eagles could afford to add some depth at the safety position. Whoever they bring more than likely won’t be someone who will start right away, so they will need to be able to play special teams.
Hagg was known for being an exceptional special teams player while at Nebraska.
10. Jaiquawn Jarrett – S, Temple
Jarrett has local ties as he played for Temple and could be a guy they bring in for a workout if they like what they see this week.
At 5’11” 196 pounds, Jarrett could afford to bulk up a bit before the draft roles around, but he has shown that he has good closing speed.
Jarrett is a hard worker on and off the field and has received multiple awards for his work in the classroom.
11. Greg Jones – LB, Michigan State
Jones was a three-year starter at Michigan State and was elected as a team captain by both his teammates and coaches.
He’s also been called a leader that works hard in practice, in the weight room and in the film room by his head coach.
Although Jones is a bit undersized to play in the middle at 6’1” 237 pounds, he has shown the ability to locate the ball quickly against the run.
He may be a better option as an OLB with Ernie Sims’ contract expiring.
12. Nate Irving – LB, North Carolina State
At 6’1” 231 pounds, Irving is another player who might look to make the transition from an ILB to an OLB in the NFL.
He’s a talented player but one that teams will approach with caution as he suffered multiple injuries from a serious car crash in 2009.
Irving has strong fundamentals and should be able to translate them into the NFL. He gets off blocks well against the run and has shown good instincts in pass coverage.
13. Allen Bailey – DE, Miami
In a year with a lot of talented defensive ends, Bailey has flown a bit under the radar. At 6’3” 287 pounds, he’s a bit of a tweener DE/DT, but is a player that could provide a lot of versatility for the Eagles.
He has the ability to rush off the end with a lot of power, which is something the Eagles have lacked for a while. He could also be the type of player the Eagles like to rush from the middle on passing situations.
The Eagles attacked the defensive end position last season, so it’s hard to determine how much they’ll look into it in 2011. However, Bailey provides a lot of versatility that could be very useful.
14. Bilal Powell – RB, Louisville
With Jerome Harrison and Eldra Buckley both scheduled to be free agents, the Eagles may look to take a running back late in the draft.
Powell could potentially be a nice compliment to LeSean McCoy as he possesses good size. At 6’0 215 pounds, Powell would be a nice change of pace back.
In his senior year at Lousville, Powell ran for 1,405 yards on 229 carries and scored 11 touchdowns.
15. DeMarco Murray – RB, Oklahoma
Although Murray has all the talent in the world, teams will be cautious of drafting him due to his long injury history.
However, in his senior season, Murray played in all 14 games totaling 1,214 yards on 282 carries and 15 touchdowns. He also caught 71 passes for 594 yards and five touchdowns.
Murray may be off the board before the Eagles are ready to draft a running back, but he’s too talented to not take a close look at.