Injuries are part and parcel of the NFL, but when you’re possibly giving up a valuable draft pick you’ll always want to know that your new prospect will stay healthy for the majority of their career. You’d never wish an injury on someone, at the same time the NFL is a business and a team makes an investment when they draft someone. They need that investment to pan out, hence why injury ridden players generally drop come draft day. Rightfully so.
Who are the big names going into tonight and are they worth the risk and finally are they of interest for a late pick for the Eagles if they drop?
Lattimore is a well documented halfback out of South Carolina. He’s of particular interest in this article as the Eagles have shown a good amount of interest in him and looking at his past you can see why. Without injuries Marcus would be a top ten, possibly top 5 pick in this years draft he is an explosive runner and an excellent little receiver who has an unmatchable motor. The injuries though are grimacing, as he has injured both his knees, the most recent one being in a game against the Vols where he tore is ACL, MCL and LCL in a tackle that would make many gag. His other knee also found it’s ACL being torn back in 2011. Everyone seems to be saying ‘if AP can do it anyone can’ not true at all, AP’s knee was a clean tear, the doctors said it was in a good condition and they always knew he recover to some degree if not completely. Lattimores knee(s) are going through a lot more and that was in college, the NFL is a mean mistress to HB’s knees and I question whether Lattimore will last. Not draftable in my opinion.
Star Lotulelei from Utah is another well documented case this time it’s in regards to his heart, an issue that seems to have hit all kinds of sports of late from the NFL through to soccer. Star’s issue is that the left ventricle in his heart is pumping blood at an abnormal rate, this is due to weight loss it’s been revealed. Doctors have cleared him but i’d never trust a player with heart issues before they’ve even hit the NFL. He’s a great player, a 1st round talent, in fact top 5, his heart issue will have him dropping but no lower than the first round. The Eagles again have shown a good amount of interest in him, but he’s not worth the fourth pick with his condition. A trade back is an option, though if we did trade back I see us going for someone else like Dion Jordan if he drops.
Jarvis Jones the OLB from Georgia suffers from spinal stenosis, basically his spinal column is thinner than normal and the Trojans (he was at USC before transferring to Georgia) medics even said he should retire from football and refused to clear him. He went to Georgia and became a beast and one of the best defenders in the SEC. I would always fear that his neck issues will haunt him and I don’t think his NFL career will last long. From an Eagles stand point the neck issue I think is the final reason why not to take him even if he drops to the second day. He’s too small for Chip’s defense and far to slow. He wouldn’t fit in a 3-4 I think personally so despite his name popping up I really doubt he’ll end up in Philly.
Again off to Tommy Lawlor who has commented on the above, on Jarvis Jones “Jones is too small for the Eagles to consider him at 4 and frankly I’m not sure Chip Kelly will have any interest at all. Jones is slow (4.90). He has 33-inch arms, which is average. He had great production in college and that can’t be ignored, but his skill set doesn’t make you think he’s likely to thrive in the NFL.”
On Lattimore, “The most interesting is South Carolina star Marcus Lattimore. He’s coming off a horrible injury, but has major talent and upside.” and finally Star, “I do think there is some confusion with Star. People think he is a massive run-stuffer. Not so. Star is 6-3, 311. He has the frame to be 330 and carry it well, but for now he’s got solid size.”