Q. Like most fans, I was pleased with the Eagles trading for linebacker DeMeco Ryans. While some may argue they now have depth at linebacker, do you think it would be wise for them to introduce more competition into the position through the draft? It seems that year in and year out, defensive backs and ends run neck and neck for playing time, but as soon as a linebacker goes down, the team is caught scrambling personnel at unnatural positions.
-- Dan Orlando, New York
A. Im always in favor of adding competition and even with the addition of Ryans, the Eagles are hardly set at linebacker. I expect them to draft another linebacker or two, and they should. This isnt a great linebacker class, but there are a few prospects who could slip into the middle rounds and be available to the Eagles.
One is Keenan Robinson, a 6-foot-3, 240-pounder from Texas. The other is Miles Burris, a 6-foot-2, 240-pounder from San Diego State. Robinson played in the middle at Texas, but he has the lanky frame and range to play weak side linebacker. I like Brian Rolle, but weve seen his lack of height pose problems in pass coverage. Robinsons length works to his advantage.
Burris comes from the same college program as Matt McCoy, but dont hold that against him (McCoy was over-drafted by the Eagles in the second round, in 2005). Burris has better tools, but will probably be drafted lower because scouts cant seem to decide where he should play: inside or out, strong side or weak. I think he is best suited for the strong side. He is physical and highly productive.
Robinson could be on the board in the third round, and Burris in the fourth. They would both be great value at that point.