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2011 NFL Draft: Eagles Not Impressed With First Round Offensive Line Talent?

Eagles GM Howie Roseman met with members of the media this week to talk about the upcoming draft and Reuben Frank pulled a few choice quotes that might give us a hint into the Eagles thinking. The first seems to hint that Roseman isn’t particularly impressed with the top of the offensive line class.

“In past years, you’d get into the middle rounds and … you worried that you were forcing up a guy because you wanted to draft an offensive linemen,” he said. “I think this year, we talk about maybe the top not being as strong it’s been as in years past, but maybe the depth is there more so than it’s been in years past throughout the draft.”

This is likely a sentiment a lot of teams share. This is the first year in a while that there’s no elite offensive tackles. That has probably led to mock drafters and perhaps GMs overrating what is on offer this year. We’re seeing guys like Nate Solder and Mike Pouncey being projected as first round picks when in fact their performance doesn’t seem to be first round material.

Roseman was also asked about whether he though a pass rusher was more help to a secondary than a good secondary was to pass rushers?

I think that the pass rusher can help your secondary … when you’re able to get a guy who can impact the timing that allows corners that aren’t maybe as talented to be able to play. Really talented corners can be thrown away from." And then this: “Defensive line is a really talented area in this draft.”

Again, I don’t think you’d get a whole lot of disagreement here. I think it’s generally accepted that a good pass rush can make for a good secondary. However, I’m not sure that I’d take this mean the Eagles would take a defensive lineman over a good corner in the first round. Fact is, their actions have shown that they value players in the secondary during the Reid era. They’ve picked secondary players high, they’ve handed a mega free agent deal to a corner… Clearly they value that position highly.

That said, his valuation of the defensive line talent in the draft could be telling. Plus, there’s probably more corner talent available in free agency than there is defensive line help, so that could factor in their decision as well.