It all comes down to which one of them falls the furthest.
They have to know which teams in the early to mid teams are willing to trade down and what it’s going to cost.
Right now it’s hard to tell which one of these guys, Thomas or Morgan, will be there because it seems that their stock is rising or falling depending on the day of the week.
Thomas compares favorably with the other top safety Eric Berry of Tennessee. I think both of them are going to be exceptional safeties in the league and the fact that the NFL is now a passing league makes their value go up every day.
Teams used to be able to hide safeties who were coverage-challenged. That is no longer the case because of the use of three-wide receivers sets and the likes of more and more athletic tight ends.
Defensive coordinators like the versatility of not having to go to nickel just because the offense brings in a third wide out. Keeping an extra linebacker on the field makes the defense more solid versus the run. Thomas or Berry would allow a defense to do that because of their cornerback skills.
A safety has to be able to cover and these guys can do that. Thomas and Berry can move outside and play the corner position in a pinch. NFL safeties will find themselves in one-on-one situations with the best wide outs in the league.
Berry is going to be gone in the top five, six or seven picks, so we’ll stop talking about him and just focus on Thomas.
I think they want Thomas in the first round but I believe they would be happy if they got Morgan. He happens to be the defensive end who is best prepared to step on the field tomorrow and play NFL football.
University of South Florida’s Jason Pierre-Paul is the most talented of this year’s defensive ends, but he hasn’t played football very long. He’s raw but extremely talented.
He has a burst that Morgan doesn’t have but he’s probably more of a risk. I think the Eagles would grab him if he falls to them but I don’t think they will move up to get him.
Morgan has all the athletic tools of size, speed, quickness, power and arm length, but he also has the intangibles. He has solid technique in making inside and outside moves and he brings it every down.
I like the way he gets rid of blockers on running plays and takes good angles versus the run or the pass.
Thomas or Morgan will give them a starter and hopefully a Pro Bowler on their defense for the next eight years.
On this Monday night at 7pm at P.J. Whelihans on Rte. 70 in Cherry Hill, NJ I will be talking about what I think the Eagles will do in Thursday’s draft. Stop by and give me your opinion about what you think they should do.
We’ll start watching the Eagles intently on Thursday night, after Jacksonville makes their pick at number ten. We’ll be able to see who is still on the board and I think the Birds will be on the phone talking trades.
If the trades blow up, they settle for Florida center Maurkice Pouncey, who can also play either guard.¬† Starting center Jamaal Jackson is trying to come back from knee surgery and he’s not getting younger.
Pouncey would be a great get for the Birds because he’ll be able to handle all of those 3-4 nose tackles by himself and free up the guards to help elsewhere. Quite a few teams around the league are transitioning to the 3-4, including the division rival Washington Redskins.
The Cowboys already play the 3-4 and Pro Bowl nose tackle Jay Ratliff gave the Birds the fits in the three losses to Dallas last season.
Pouncey could secure the position for the rest of the decade because he’s an outstanding athlete for the center position. He’s very strong and plays with great technique.
In the second round, the target is a cornerback and the guy is Alabama’s Kareem Jackson with that 37th pick. He’s a young Sheldon Brown, but a step or two quicker and faster.
I’ve heard quite a few player evaluators call him the cornerback most ready to step in and play right now.
The kid has quick feet and great technique. His hips are loose and he comes out of his backpedal very smoothly.
Jackson is a competitor who will knock you out if he gets the chance. He’s a smart football player who understands the game.
He should be there at 37.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the Eagles make a trade or two overnight after the first round, but they can’t make the mistake of trying to get too much and letting the guy they want slip through their hands.
I think they made that mistake a year ago at the tight end position.