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Eagles Draft Interview With ProFootballHotline

A few days ago, I was offered the chance to do a brief interview for another site regarding the Eagles draft strategy. The site is http://profootballhotline.blogspot.com/ and covers all news NFL related, and has an entire series of draft plans and interviews from other NFL writers. Here’s the interview:

Brandon Sweeney: Troy, thanks for spending some time with us.

Troy Ballard: No problem. Always happy to talk Eagles.

Brandon Sweeney: Okay, well we are here to talk about the 2011 Eagles Draft, but can you reflect a little on last season for a little bit?

Troy Ballard: Sure. Last season was the most turbulent I have ever seen. Who would have guessed that the Kolb-era would have turned into the Vickolution on opening day? All in all, a disappointment because of a second straight one and done game losses in the post season.

Brandon Sweeney: What was it like to watch someone like Vick have a remarkable comeback? Can he keep this going?

Troy Ballard: No doubt. There was a ton of positives! Also a large number of problems that will hold the Eagles back unless they are dealt with this offseason. It was amazing to be an Eagles fan when Vick bounced back like he did.

Brandon Sweeney: That leads us into our next topic. The Draft. First round, what do the Eagles need to do?

Troy Ballard: Draft an offensive linemen. The Eagles o-line was awful last season. They need to improve that if they have any plans on winning down the road.
Brandon Sweeney: Why would you address the offensive line right here?

Troy Ballard: This is a huge draft class for the offensive linemen. There are more offensive linemen in this draft this year that are first rounders than there are in the past three years.

Brandon Sweeney: What offensive linemen should the Eagles take?

Troy Ballard: If I was Andy Reid, Gabe Carimi from Wisconsin. He is the best choice in the upcoming draft. A Great anchor that can hold down an entire side of a line. Someone who can help keep Vick healthy and keep him protected so that he doesn’t have to use his feet every down. Carimi has shown great lateral quickness for an offensive linemen and can guard those quicker defenders in the clutch. Even if Anthony Castonzo is still available, I’m still leaning towards Carimi.

Brandon Sweeney: Do you think that Carimi will last until the 23rd overall pick, or should the Eagles trade up to snag him?

Troy Ballard: It’s tough. There are a lot of teams who need offensive linemen. I’m just not sure if the Eagles can trade to get a pick in the top ten. Kolb would be the trading bait, and if they were to get a top ten pick, Eagles are going defensive. In that case, I would also say take Tyron Smith OT, USC.

Brandon Sweeney: Take us through the rest of the draft. What other things do the Eagles need to do?

Troy Ballard: They need to look all defense in the later rounds. Primarily in the cornerback and outside linebacker positions. Defense is what ended up losing games for the Eagles last season. Whether the Eagles want to blame that on McDermott is irrelevant. It was a soft and weak defense last season.

Brandon Sweeney: Give us a prediction (assuming we have football in 2011), on how you see the Eagles doing in 2011.

Troy Ballard: Super Bowl. Kind of a homer response, but the Eagles have the talent. They just have to piece it together.

Brandon Sweeney: I agree. They do have some great talent on offense, and if they get help on defense, they can be very dangerous.

Troy Ballard: Totally, if you get a cornerback to play alongside Asante Samuel, lights out!

Brandon Sweeney: Well I want to thank you so much for a little bit to talk a little bit to talk some Eagles football with us.

Troy Ballard: The pleasure was all mine.

You can follow Brandon on Twitter @ProFballHotline, and myself @TroyBallards.


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