With a variety of needs, it’s difficult to predict how the Philadelphia Eagles will pick in the first round of the NFL draft Thursday night.
If they decide to wait on wide receiver and cornerback and take a pass-rusher at No. 22, UCLA’s Anthony Barr would be an ideal fit. The Eagles might also need to trade up to grab Barr, according to the Philadelphia Daily News.
“I don't think he's (Barr) sliding,” NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock told the Philadelphia Daily News. “I think that's more of a media perception. I think he could go as early as 11 to Tennessee. I think Dallas would love him at 16.
“This draft is not deep in edge-rushers. Barr has only played the position for two years and needs to get stronger at the point of attack and needs to learn the position from the perspective of learning how to pass rush. But he has great talent. He's the prototype 3-4 outside linebacker. I don't think there's any way he gets into the 20s.”
The Eagles finished 20th in the league in sacks last season, and veteran Trent Cole led the way with eight.
“The NFL has become such a pass-first league,” Mayock told the Philadelphia Daily News. “If your sub-package is on the field 60-70 percent of all the snaps, it doesn't matter as much as it used to (if a linebacker can drop into coverage), because if you're a 3-4 base team, you're probably a four-down (lineman) team in your nickel, which is what the Eagles do.
“It's gotten to the point that, regardless of what position a kid played in college or what scheme he played in, it's about how good he is at getting to the quarterback. With his hand in the dirt or standing up, it doesn't matter.”