Cole signs one-year deal

March 31, 2009

Eagles restricted free agent Nick Cole signed a one-year deal valued at $1.545 million. He started the last seven games of the season after Max Jean-Gilles went down. Cole is basically a big box with feet and has played well given the opportunity. Cole provides value to the team by being able to step in at either guard or center if needed. He has also lined up in the backfield to be a lead blocker on goal line and short yardage formations.

I believe signing Cole was a good decision. He has proven that he is a valuable player and can step up when called upon. It saves the risk of drafting someone similar who is yet to prove anything in the NFL.

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The Eagles have scheduled a visit with Tennessee defensive end Robert Ayers. In his senior year for the Vols, Ayers recorded 49 tackles and three sacks. Many teams that run a 3-4 defense see him being able to play an OLB position.

His possible versatility will have no effect on the Eagles evaluation of Ayers. Bringing him in would set him in stone as a defensive end. Although the Eagles have a lot of talent at the end position, having another one that can contribute keeps everyone fresh.

Philadelphia has shown interest in another small school prospect in Stony Brook offensive linemen Lawrence Lovell. Lovell stands at 6′ 3″ and weighs 295 pounds. Lovell is another guard/center prospect who shows versatility.

As mentioned before it is a great plus when a player can handle playing two different positions. It adds value to the team. Although a guard/center is not a priority for the team, players that can play both are a much stronger addition than those players who can play only guard or only center.

The Eagles have conducted a private workout with Louisville offensive line prospect Eric Wood. Wood has great size at 6′ 4″ and 309 pounds and is considered to be a first day prospect. He has received interest from many other organizations throughout the NFL as well.

The offensive tackle position is by far the most important need on the Eagles offensive line. Wood is not a true tackle although he posses the size to be one. With that in mind, I don’t see him as a great fit for the Birds unless he would fall into the second day and there was an opportunity to pick him up.

Richmond defensive end/outside linebacker has scheduled a visit with the Eagles. The 6′ 2″ 265 pounder recorded 7 1/2 sacks in his 2008 season and drew team representatives from 31 franchises on his Pro Day. Another small school prospect, Sidbury is regarded to have incredible potential.

Based upon the interest in Sidbury it is hard to tell what round he will be drafted in and whether or not he’ll have a higher demand by teams who use a 3-4 defense based on his versatility. With the Eagles being a 4-3 defense, it is more likely that he would spend all of his time at the DE position if he found himself in Philadelphia.

At his Pro Day workout, South Carolina tight end Jared Cook was worked out by the Eagles organization. The 6′ 5″ 240 pound prospect has great size and great speed. In three years at South Carolina, he racked up over 1,100 receiving yards and 7 touchdowns.

Cook is thought to be behind Brandon Pettigrew in the tight end rankings list for the draft. Although he may not be first round pick worthy, he is a talented individual who will need to strongly be considered if there isn’t an opportunity to pursue Pettigrew.

Not only do the Eagles have interest in Anquan Boldin, but they also have interest in his younger brother, D.J. Boldin. At 6′ 0″ 220 pounds, Boldin has a similar build as his brother and is known as a physical receiver just like big bro. In his senior year at Wake Forest, Boldin led the ACC in receptions ahead of such other ACC receivers as Hakeem Nicks and Darrius Heyward-Bey.

Boldin doesn’t have the hype that Anquan did coming out of college and may get a lot of looks simply because of his brother. However, he does have something that Eagles receivers tend to lack and that is great size. I am unsure where Boldin is projected to go but I’m sure with all the picks the Birds have that they’ll have multiple cracks at him if they choose. Drafting younger Boldin may make the older Boldin more likely to want to play for the Eagles but I don’t see Anquan coming to Philly past draft weekend.