The Eagles Have Been Looking at Some Top-Flight Draft Talent

Written By Bob Cunningham On Thursday, March 19, 2009
The Eagles have been quite busy this offseason.

Chill out guy who is very upset the Eagles didn't do much of anything in free agency, I'm talking about the draft.

The Eagles have been looking at a number of top-flight prospects. But not simply going to Pro Days.

They've been bringing the guys to the NovaCare Complex.

Guys like Eugene Monroe, LeSean McCoy, Everett Brown, Darrius Hayward-Bey, Donald Brown, and even Matt Stafford - A guy they have no chance and really no intention of drafting - have all been under the watchful eye of the Philadelphia Eagles' coaches and scouts.

All are first-round prospects (with the exception of maybe Donald Brown) and there's a chance that they all may be off the board by the 21st pick (the Eagles' first).

However, a guy who they looked at just recently has caught my attention more than any of the other top-flight prospects who every team goes to watch simply because of their name.

Cornelius Ingram.

The Eagles were one of many teams on hand for Florida's Pro Day to watch Ingram and Florida teammate Percy Harvin, but it's not Harvin who the Eagles were most interested in.

Ingram has been invited to the NovaCare Complex next week for a private workout.

For those who do not know of Ingram, prior to the 2008 season, Ingram was regarded as one of the better tight ends in the country and a top target of Tim Tebow down in the swamps of Gainesville, Florida.

So what happened in '08? Injury.

In 2006, Ingram showed promise as a tight end after moving from quarterback. He caught 30 passes for 380 yards with 1 touchdown in '06 - not great, good, but not great.

2007 was a totally different story.

By this time Ingram had established a rapport with Florida quarterback Tim Tebow, and it showed on the field.

In 2007, Ingram caught 34 passes for 508 yards and 7 touchdowns. That's 4 more receptions, 128 more receiving yards, and 6 more touchdowns.

Guess he found his groove.

Unfortunately, after showing such promise, Ingram was hampered by a knee injury which occurred in practice.

The prognasis: a torn ACL which would keep him out for the entire 2008 season. While devistating at the time, it doesn't seem to have slowed him down any.

The word out of Gainesville is that Ingram ran in the 4.5 range, measured in at 6'4 and 246 pounds, and didn't drop a single Doug Johnson-thrown pass.

"I personally think he's the best tight end prospect in the draft," said Drew Rosenhaus, Ingram's agent. "I've been representing some of the tight ends in the NFL for the last 20 years. He's as good a prospect as I've seen. He's a great person. He is a gigantic wide receiver in a tight end's body. He can catch everything, can run any route, just superior hands and great route-running skills.

He's a physical specimen. He's come back from the injury. His knee is as functionally sound as anybody else that will work out. You cannot detect that he's had any injuries. He looks even better than he did before the injury and if I'm an NFL team, I'm not going to wait long before I call his number on draft day."

Rosenhaus says he expects Ingram to be a first-day pick, which under the new system would be either the 1st or 2nd round as the 3rd has been moved to day 2.

While this may seem to go against the Eagles' philosophy, they've shown they'll draft an injured player if the price is right.

Last year the Eagles drafted CB Jack Ickegwuonu in the 4th round, torn ACL and all, because he normally would have been a 1st round talent.

And on top of it, Ickegwunou was still hurt and missed the entire '08 season, while Ingram is healthy and ready to go now.

So while I don't believe the Eagles would take Ingram in the 2nd round, they could go for him if he falls to them in the 3rd or 4th round of the draft this April.

He's projected to go between the 3rd and 5th rounds, but I have a feeling that had he been able to play his senior year, he'd be a sure-fire 1st round prospect and regarded as the best tight end in the draft, even over Eagles' fans-favorite Brandon Pettigrew.

One more little tidbit that may be of interest: Ingram played basketball for the National Champion Florida Gators. Tight Ends such as Tony Gonzalez and Antonio Gates were also 2-sport athletes (both basketball) at one time during their college stays.

They're both pretty good.

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