Eagles draft DE Joe Kruger with first 7th-round pick

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Eagles draft DE Joe Kruger with first 7th-round pick
April 27, 2013, 6:00 pm

The Eagles used their first pick of the seventh round to select their second defensive lineman of the draft, Joe Kruger (see profile) out of Utah.

Kruger (6-6, 270) leaves Utah after his junior season, when he recorded a team-high six sacks in 2012 and had eight tackles for loss.

"At the end of the season I just kind of looked at my future and what was going to be best for me, and I thought that I played well enough to leave this past season," Kruger said. "I think that I'm mature enough and strong enough. I have a brother Paul that plays for the Cleveland Browns now, and he's been in the league for four years. I think I'm ready to play -- been around it for a while now, and I know I can play with these guys."

Head coach Chip Kelly likes versatile players, and Kruger said he's comfortable rushing the passer either as a standup end or a down end (starting with hand on the ground) but prefers the latter. Kelly has said they plan to mix 3-4 and 4-3 and sees Kruger as a five-technique defensive end. Among those Kruger will compete with are Vinny Curry, Cedric Thornton and fellow draft picks Bennie Logan (third round) and David Lee (seventh round). 

"I've played both positions," Kruger said. "They haven't really told me what kind of defense they'll be running this year. I can do both, but right now I don't know what I'll be doing. ... I'm pretty good at doing both, but if I had to pick, I'd be a down end."

Kruger's brother Paul also attended Utah and played four seasons for Baltimore before signing with Cleveland this offseason. His brother Dave is a defensive tackle for the Utes.

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