NFC East: marcus mcneill
April, 2, 2012
By Dan Graziano | ESPN.com
One of the topics our man Adam Schefter addressed in his regular SportsCenter spot Monday morning was the Philadelphia Eagles' effort to replace left tackle Jason Peters, who ruptured his Achilles tendon last week and could miss the entire 2012 season. Adam notes that free-agent Demetrius Bell was in for a visit this weekend but didn't sign, and that Bell also has visited the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Washington Redskins, and he says the Eagles might not be willing to pay him what he seeks.
Schefter also discusses free-agent Marcus McNeill, but he says injury concerns have knocked him out of the picture for Philadelphia.
Schefter indicates he believes the Eagles could address the tackle position in the draft, which is an interesting idea. We did our bloggers' mock draft last week, and it'll be posted soon. I gave the Eagles Mississippi State defensive tackle Fletcher Cox at No. 15 in the first round, and then after the Peters news broke I was going to change it. But I don't think the Peters injury, as devastating as it is, changes the Eagles' approach in the first round. Stanford's Jonathan Martin or Georgia's Cordy Glenn are options, but if I'm the Eagles, I don't feel I need to solve this problem with my first-round pick.
The Eagles have two second-r0und picks, first of all. And it's important to remember that offensive line coach Howard Mudd seeks specific types of linemen. He found his starting center, Jason Kelce, in last year's sixth round, and afterthought free-agent signing Evan Mathis became a star at left guard. It's entirely possible the Eagles could find a viable starting tackle in the middle or late rounds if they strike out in free agency, trusting in their system to get the best out of a player on whom other teams passed.