The NFL Combine is upon us, so let’s take a look at the offensive lineman that the Philadelphia Eagles should be watching closely.
Players to Watch
Tyler Linderbaum – Iowa
The offensive apple to most Eagle fans eye. With Jason Kelce nearing retirement, the need to have a replacement becomes extremely important. While the team could eventually move their stalwart LG, Landon Dickerson to Center, it would be more practical for the Eagles to look at other options.
Enter Linderbaum. The Center whose literal draft profile is Jason friggin Kelce. The Eagles could replace their Hall-of-Fame Center with a brand new one on draft day. I mean we saw a highlight like this first play every single game since 2012.
The only issue here is that Linderbaum is such a good option for the Eagles at 15 or 16th overall, that a good combine could actually put him inside the top 10. The Giants, Jets and others all need interior OL help. Linderbaum could be the answer for those teams.
But my god if the Eagles are able to take him…
Kenyon Green – Texas A&M
If you look at any mock draft over the last month, if Linderbaum isn’t selected by the Eagles, Green is.
Green is a mauler of a guard at 6’4 325lbs. He has good flexibility and has the versatility that the Eagles always love to have in their OL. He did have penalty concerns at A&M but playing in the SEC will give him a higher advantage on draft day having seen the best possible interior rushers at all times.
This is a player that Eagle fans wouldn’t be surprised seeing if Linderbaum is off the board.
Trevor Penning – Northern Iowa
Penning had a superb senior bowl and definitely has the tape to go into round one. With a strong combine, Penning could definitely be available for the Eagles and would be an intriguing option with one of those three first round picks.
At 6’7, 321 lbs, Penning offers great size for an OL. He plays with a ton of edge and that energy paired with the coaching of Jeff Stoutland could see the Eagles find their replacement for Lane Johnson if need be. He’ll need a strong combine though.
Alec Lindstrom – Boston College
One of my big draft crushes heading into the combine, Lindstrom could absolutely be seen as a day three type-prospect with starter upside. Once again, if the Eagles miss on Linderbaum, then they’ll have a great opportunity to nab a prospect at the center position that will need a year being molded by Stoutland to be ready for the starting job.
It’s really easy to point to any young OL that needs work and see how Stoutland can work with him, but when you have the best OL coach in football, there really is a “sky is the limit” mindset with any type of player. Lindstrom would be in a perfect situation with a scheme that fits his playing style, and a coaching staff and roster that can allow him to wait to play and perform.
The Stay-Away Pick
Marquise Hayes – Oklahoma
Hayes certainly has the potential to be picked within the top two rounds. He has good size for a guard, is an excellent run blocker, and has perfect hand usage.
But he is the exact opposite type of prospect the Eagles have targeted along the OL. Philadelphia has loved athletic freaks along their line that are versatile enough to play any position. Suemlao, Dickerson, and Jack Driscoll can back up really any position they chose.
Hayes isn’t that type of player. He is only a guard and doesn’t have speed or pop out of his stance the Eagles have been known for. As good a fit as a pick like Lindstrom or Linderbaum would be for the Eagles, it’s the exact opposite with Hayes.
There’s just no way he fits into doing anything the Eagles are great at.
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