Friday, January 25, 2013
Philly's search for an NT
By Tim Kavanagh
If the Philadelphia Eagles are moving to a 3-4 defense -- as has been rumored -- then they'll need to find a player suited to manning the nose tackle spot, and there are only a handful of human beings on the planet with the combination of size and athletic ability to do so. The two options are to hope to find someone in free agency or draft a player to fill this vacancy.
Veteran NTs don't generally hit the market unless their incumbent team believes that they're past their time of usefulness, so it's certainly buyer beware when they do hit the market. Nevertheless, there is a captivating player set to hit free agency this offseason in Steelers NT Casey Hampton. Hampton remains productive despite his advanced age (in NFL terms), and the buzz emanating from Pittsburgh is that the club isn't going to push extraordinarily hard to re-sign any of their impending free agents. So that's one option.
In the draft, there are some intriguing players that could be a match either at No. 4 overall or later. At that top spot, Utah's Star Lotulelei could be a match if he isn't taken by one of the three teams ahead of Philly. If Lotulelei is off the board, other possibilities include Ohio State's Johnathan Hankins and Georgia's Johnathan Jenkins. The chances of Jenkins being the pick could increase if the Eagles tab Georgia DC Todd Grantham for their vacancy at DC.