The Philadelphia Eagles are now up with the fourth pick of our 2013 Big Blue View Community Mock Draft. That means our friend 'JimmyK' of Bleeding Green Nation and Blogging The Beast is in the house, playing the role of general manager for the Eagles.
Let's see how smart you think Jimmy is. His selection for the Eagles at No. 4 is ...
Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon.
Jimmy has provided us with a very lengthy explanation for the pick. Here it is:
While the Eagles' new coaching staff has been unwilling to put a label on what kind of defense they're going to run this year, the overwhelming thinking is that it is going to be some sort of 4-3/3-4 hybrid, similar to the one run by the Seahawks. The two OLBs have different jobs, and they are explained here by Sheil Kapadia of Philly Mag.
"One linebacker is lined up across the tight end. This would be your typical outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme. You need a player who's capable of rushing the passer or dropping back into coverage. Chike Okeafor filled this role for the Cardinals in 2008 under new Eagles DC Billy Davis. According to PFF, he rushed the QB about 70 percent of the time and dropped back about 30 percent on passing downs.
And then there's the pass-rush specialist on the other side. This is the player Davis referred to as the "Predator." For the Cardinals, that spot was occupied by Bertrand Berry and Travis LaBoy. Per PFF, Berry rushed the passer 94 percent of the time and dropped back just 6 percent. For LaBoy, the exact same percentages applied."
The Eagles seem to be set at the "Predator" position, which is where recently signed Connor Barwin is slated to play, along with Trent Cole.
The other OLB position is still a bit of a mystery. Brandon Graham is a good pass rusher, but how well he can drop into coverage in the pros is a complete and total guess at this point.
Dion Jordan would fill the role of the first OLB perfectly. He's 6-foot-6, 248, very athletic, and extremely versatile. He can rush the passer, but his real value was that Oregon moved him all over the field and asked him to drop into coverage quite a bit, where he also excelled.
There are a large number of mobile QBs that have flooded the NFC (Robert Griffin III, Colin Kaepernick, Russell Wilson, Cam Newton, and even some other guys like Aaron Rodgers, Tony Romo, and Jay Cutler). The more athletic guys you can add to your defense to chase those QBs around, the better off you'll be.
The Eagles add a "do-everything" player to their front 7, and can continue to build around him and potential star Fletcher Cox.
Valentine's View: This pick has been the 'chalk' for a while, both because of the fact that Jordan played for Kelly at Oregon and because of the versatillity and pass rush potential Jordan possesses. This pick would hardly be a surprise if it's the one the Eagles make in the real draft next month.