2013 Eagles: Predicting Draft Night

2013 NFL Combine Johnson is rising up draft boards fast — and has grabbed the Eagles’ attention.

The Eagles are on the clock.

The same place they have been since the midpoint of 2012, when the season unceremoniously spiraled out of control. The franchise’s reward was the No. 4 overall pick in Thursday night’s draft.

The names being considered there are common knowledge: Dion Jordan, Lane Johnson, Star Lotulelei, Eric Fisher, etc. But don’t rule out the real possibility of the Eagles trading down, if the right opportunity presents itself.

They could swap the No. 4 pick for a combination of a lower pick in the first round and a late-round selection. Several reports have surfaced in recent days that the Eagles might be talking to Miami, who holds the No. 12 pick.

Coach Chip Kelly mentioned last week that there was no sure-fire choice.

“There is not a can’t-miss player, is what I’m saying,” he said. “So no matter who you take.”

No matter which name Kelly calls out, it will be memorable. After all, it is the start of the Chip Kelly era in Philadelphia.

Predicting the No. 4 pick

Dion Jordan is the one name Chip Kelly mentioned, unprompted, when he first started discussing the draft weeks ago. The defensive end/linebacker starred at Oregon under Kelly and would be a perfect fit in an attacking 3-4 defense. Problem is, the Eagles have a myriad of hybrids already on the roster, including Brandon Graham, Mychal Kendricks and Connor Barwin. Jordan has raw skills, but he might not necessarily be the right fit — or even be on the board. Several mock drafts have Jordan going No. 2 overall.

Lane Johnson is probably the most athletic offensive tackle in the draft and has been rising up boards as of late. Johnson privately worked out for the Eagles, then made an official visit to the NovaCare Complex … so interest is there. Johnson is fast — 4.72 in the 40 — can jump out of his cleats — 34-inch vertical leap — and has quick, quick hands. He played quarterback in high school and both tight end and defensive end at Oklahoma before switching to right tackle in 2011. Then, he moved to right tackle in his senior season. Huge upside here.

Dee Milliner is the top-rated cornerback, and he’ll no doubt be sitting there at No. 4. He’s considered a tough, physical corner adept at pressing receivers at the line (sound familiar?) We’re not saying that’s a bad thing … if nothing else Milliner would fill a dire need in the secondary. However, there are huge risks with Milliner, in the form of five surgeries, including a shoulder operation in March. If drafted, he will miss the start of training camp.

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