One of the biggest needs for the Philadelphia Eagles heading into the 2011 draft is offensive line . Andy Reid failed to draft any offensive lineman last year, but I can guarantee that this is in area that will be heavily targeted come April 28.
The offensive line proved to be inconsistent last season and it felt Mike Vick was scrambling for his life on every play. If the Eagles are able to sure up the offensive line, this Eagles offense has the potential to be scary good.
One player that the Eagles appear to be coveting is Will Rackley; a 6’3” 310 lb. offensive tackle out of Lehigh University. Before you begin to ask why in the world are the Eagles targeting a player from Lehigh consider this: Rackley started every game in each of his four seasons, which is the first time in the last 20 years at Lehigh. He is also a 3 time 1st team All-Patriot winner (2008-2010) and was an AP 1st team All-American in 2010.
An immediate cause for concern is how his game will translate from a mediocre Patriot League to the NFL. However, Rackley showed that he can hang with the big boys when he played in the East-West Shrine game.
To view some of his college highlights click here.
Will Rackley has good size and mobility for being over 300 lbs. Rackley is far too small to play tackle, but he has the athletic ability and quickness to become a solid guard. Rackely is an intelligent player and has shown great durability throughout his college career. The best aspect of Rackley’s game is that he stays low to the ground and establishes good position off of the snap. Rackley has the ability to get to the second level very quickly, which bodes well in the NFL.
An obvious weakness is that Rackely has not been exposed to NFL-style blitzes in college and therefore he lacks awareness. Rackley’s short arms will more than likely cause him to slide inside to play guard. He lacks lateral movement from time to time and tends to lock into a position rather than deliver an initial punch to the defender.
Overall, I like the way Will Rackley plays the game and I think he would be a great fit for the Eagles if he can make the transition to right guard. Howard Mudd would enjoy coaching this kid because he has all of the intangibles to succeed in the NFL. Rackely is likely to get drafted in the 2nd or 3rd round and I believe the Eagles will take a serious look at drafting this kid.