The Eagles' defense saw a significant dropoff in performance when inside linebacker DeMeco Ryans got injured last season. Athough Ryans is still under contract with the team, the Eagles can release him without incurring any dead salary-cap space. If Ryans does return to the team, it's no guarantee that he will resume playing at the same level based on his age and recovery from a major injury. Eric Kendricks, Mychal's brother, entered the Combine with concerns about his speed for the position. He answered that question by running a blazing 4.61 official 40-yard dash. This time ranked the second best among all of the top inside linebacker prospects. If the Eagles do want to pair up the Kendricks brothers in the middle, they might have to move up a few picks in the second round of the draft.
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY SportsMatthew Emmons
ILB Benardrick McKinney
McKinney was one college football's very best inside thumpers during the 2014 season. Although no one ever questioned his size, he measured up to expectations at the Combine. McKinney stands just over 6-foot-4 and weighs in at 246 pounds. Some had questions about whether or not he was fast enough to compete at the NFL level, but he answered those ... and then some. McKinney ran a 4.66 40-yard dash. This combination of impressive game tape, speed and weight could make him an excellent fit inside next to the more rangy Mychal Kendricks. The Eagles would likely have to use their first-round pick on McKinney.
Derick E.Hingle-USA TODAY SportsDerick E.Hingle
ILB Stephone Anthony
Anthony was one of the draft's best-kept secrets at inside linebacker prior to the Combine. The secret is now out. Anthony, who weighed in at 243 pounds, burned up the track with a 4.56 40-yard dash time that was the best among the inside linebacker group. These measurables had scouts running back to the tape room to see what they might have missed. When the draft does finally roll around, expect the Eagles would have to use their second-round selection in order to secure Anthony.
Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY SportsJoshua S. Kelly
Edge rusher Vic Beasley
Before the Combine, many analysts believed that this class had a "big three" grouping at edge rusher. Beasley was not a part of that grouping, and he found himself as the first man out. Those analysts were probably shaking their heads when Beasley took the combine by storm. At 246 pounds, Beasley ran a 4.53 40-yard dash. Speed wasn't the only elite phsyical attribute that Beasley showed off. He proved elite explosion with a 41-inch vertical jump and a 10-foot, 10-inch broad jump. He also showed strength by leading the entire defensive line group with 35 bench-press reps. And yes, that means he beat out the big guys in the middle as well. If Brandon Graham doesn't re-sign with the team and they choose to make Trent Cole a salary-cap casualty, then the Eagles are in the market for another edge rusher.
Getty ImagesJoe Robbins
CB Jalen Collins
Billy Davis' defensive scheme calls for a very specific cornerback type. Many questioned why he hasn't promoted Brandon Boykin into the starting lineup, but the answer is in the scheme. Davis relies on big and lengthy cornerbacks to play on the outside. Collins measured in at just under 6-foot-2, and he weighed in at 203 pounds. Although he was one of the Combine's biggest cornerbacks, he surprised some by clocking in at 4.48 in the 40-yard dash. This size and speed combination is extremely impressive. Don't be surprised if Collins goes off the board to the Eagles in the first round.
Getty ImagesChris Graythen
CB Trae Waynes
Waynes earned himself a lot of money this past Monday. Already billed as a lengthy cornerback with strong press coverage skills, Waynes proved that he has the speed to stick with some of the NFL's fastest wide receivers. Most expected a good time for Waynes to be somewhere in the mid 4.4s, but he instead blazed a 4.31 40-yard dash. Waynes finished among the fastest players in the entire combine. At just over 6 feet tall, he has the length to fit in Billy Davis' defensive scheme on the outside. After that kind of Combine performance, however, it might take a trade to move up and select him in the first round.
Mike Carter-USA TODAY SportsMike Carter
WR Chris Conley
Some would argue that even with Jeremy Maclin last season, the Eagles still lacked the deep threat they once had with DeSean Jackson. Conley is a prospect who graded out as an undrafted player on several draft boards before the Combine. Now, everyone wants to go back and watch his game tape at Georgia to see what they were missing. Conley shredded the Combine. He measured in at just under 6-foot-2 and weighed in at 213 pounds. He also measured in with the longest arms out of the entire wide-receiver group, and that pairs nicely with his ridiculous 45-inch vertical jump, which also ranked among the best of his group. Conley ran a blazing 4.35 40-yard dash and showed off even more explosion with a 11-foot, 7-inch broad jump that easily bested any prospect at the Combine.