By Michael Guise
With the draft just a few days away the Eagles will look to build off their strong 2013 draft. The class of 2014 is deep, and the Eagles will look to take advantage with their six total picks. The Eagles have the 22nd pick in the first round, and there are five guys that could hear their named called by commissioner Roger Goodell when the Eagles are on the clock.
Cody Latimer, WR, Indiana
Latimer has been a late riser in this year’s draft process. He went from a mid-round pick to sure fire first round selection. The 6-3, 215 receiver has an NFL ready body. He has the speed and athletic ability to back up his strong hands. He showed the ability to separate at the collegian level with his solid route-running. He would be a great fit on the outside in Chip Kelly’s offense. He would begin to help replace the production that left when Desean Jackson was released. Drafting Latimer would also allow Jeremy Maclin to move to the inside, which is more suited to his skill set. With Latimer and Riley Cooper on the outside and Maclin on the inside, the Eagles could possess a dangerous group of playmakers. With the addition of Darren Sproles in the offseason and the continued improvement of Zack Ertz, the Eagles offense could begin to take that next step with Latimer.
Marqise Lee, WR, USC
Chip Kelly has not been shy in showing his love for Pac-12 players. Lee is one of the best players after the catch in this draft. He is a dynamic player with breakaway speed. But he struggled during the 2013-1014 season. He was injured and had inconsistent quarterback play. His durability is an issue but his skill set is undeniable. He gets off the line and uses his awareness to get into space and then uses his size to catch the ball in traffic. Lee would thrive in Kelly’s high tempo offense and would be a great addition to the wide receiver group.
Anthony Barr, OLD, UCLA
The Eagles need help with their pass rush and Barr would be an instant impact player. He would be a player the Eagles would have to trade up for though. General manger Howie Roseman has said that he has no problem trading up for a player that the team covets and Barr could be that player. With Trent Cole getting older and the Eagles lacking a consistent pass rush, Barr could be the player that helps with that. He has NFL size- 6-foot-5, 225 pounds and possess great athletic ability. He has great balance that helps him generate leverage against tackles and uses his long arms to keep offensive lineman at bay. He is a freak prospect that is at his best rushing the passer but he still needs work in defending the run and pass. He is still raw- he moved to linebacker in 2012 after coming in as a running back. He is still learning the game and the position. His ceiling is high and could form into a scary LB coming off the edge. He is at his best as a stand-up outside linebacker in the 3-4 defense, which fits with the Eagles system.
Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State
Cooks is another wide receiver the Eagles could target. He is a speedster with great open-field vision. He has great acceleration to go with his quick start off the ball. He is nothing short of spectacular with the ball in his hands and has good hands. He is tough- never missed a game at any level- and can help the Eagles on special teams with his return skills. He was the 2013 Biletnikoff Award (Nation's Top Receiver) winner after his Pac-12 and Oregon State record setting season: 128 catcher for 1,730 yards. He also set the school record for touchdown catches with 24. Cooks does lack elite size for the WR position. He needs to put on size and work on getting separation from bigger, physical defenders. But there is no denying he is a homerun threat every time he touches the ball.
Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech
Justin Gilbert is the top CB this year but Fuller is a special player. He is a physical corner that could help the Eagles with the depth. He does not possess the size that Kelly has been preaching on the defensive end but he plays bigger than he is listed. He is athletic and smart. He recognizes the receiver’s route and makes a play on the ball. Fuller broke up or intercepted one out of every three passes thrown his way. He is not shy in aiding in run support and would push Bradley Fletcher and Cary Williams for playing time. He can be overaggressive at time but he can make up for it with his superior ball skills. His senior season ended early because of injury, but durability has never been an issue for Fuller. He is a natural player who will only get bigger with the help of NFL strength and conditioning.