Eagles Looking Offensive Line First, Punter Later?

Written By Bob Cunningham On Monday, March 22, 2010

Could Iupati be Reid's latest early-round lineman?

According to Chris Steuber of Scout.com, the Philadelphia Eagles are one of many teams that have scheduled a workout with Idaho guard Mike Iupati. The workout is set to take place at the end of this month.

The Eagles brass apparently wants to get a front-row seat to see what this guy can do, and given Andy Reid's affinity for linemen, it wouldn't be surprising if he left impressed enough to target Iupati in the draft.

Iupati is certainly a guy who will go in the first round, and will most likely go in the first 15 picks, so the Birds chances of drafting him are slim, but Reid faced those same odds in 2004 when he traded up to draft the recently-released Shawn Andrews. Andrews didn't work out the way they had hoped, but it's not going to scare off Reid.

If he truly feels Iupati is better, or can be better, than Todd Herremans, Nick Cole, or Stacy Andrews, he will pull the trigger in a heartbeat.

I'm in the majority when I say I believe Iupati will be a very good player, but I think I'm also in the majority when I say the Eagles need to be more focused on the other side of the ball. The line will be addressed in the later rounds, as always, but the early rounds need to focus on defensive end and linebacker.

Steuber is also reporting that the Eagles are one of three teams to have a workout scheduled with Michigan punter Zoltan Mesko. The Eagles added Durant Brooks, a former sixth-round pick of the Washington Redskins, to compete with Sav Rocca in training camp, but may not view him as a legitimate threat to Rocca's spot.

At the very earliest, Mesko (and any punter) should be considered in the sixth round. Ray Guy being the obvious exception, punters drafted in even the fifth round seem like, and often are, a reach. A good number of even the best punters were sixth or seventh round picks, if they were even drafted at all.

Mesko is currently the No. 2 punter on Scout.com's big board behind Matt Dodge of East Carolina.

Iupati and Mesko are only two of several players the Eagles will investigate in the coming month, and may not have any real intention of drafting either player, but it shows where the Eagles believe they must improve for the upcoming season.

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