PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Hall of Fame writer Ray Didinger was on SportsRadio 94WIP Friday morning and talked about the Eagles’ first round pick Lane Johnson and what to expect in the second round and beyond.
How do you feel about Lane Johnson, the Eagles first round selection, 4th overall?
“I feel like he’s an extremely talented athlete. I hate to keep using the term that everybody else has been using, but he does have a lot of upside, but he’s in work in progress. He is. He’s a guy who has only played that position for a couple of years and you can see it. You can see it when he plays. He’s still got a lot of technique issues to work through. I like the fact that he is versatile. I mean, I’ve seen him play the right side and he played it fine. I’ve seen him play the left side this year and he played it well. I think that’s probably where his real future is. I think ultimately he’ll become a left tackle in the league, because I think he does have the feet and the athleticism for it. But even this year, when he was a left tackle, when they went down to the goal-line, he switched over to the right side and played right side again. And Chip Kelly made the point he’s comfortable playing on the right side, and that’s obviously where he is going to play here.
You compare him to the guys that went ahead of him — Eric Fisher and Luke Joeckel, you put the three of them up side-by-side, you look at their tape together, those two guys look like they’re ready to play. Lane Johnson, I think, has some work to do.”
Should the Eagles draft Geno Smith with the third pick in the second round?
“I would not. I am still not convinced that he is that great a fit for what this offense, I think, is going to be. I’m just not. Does he have the ability to play in the league? I think so. If he were a quarterback that I think were better suited for this offense, I wouldn’t be opposed to it, but right now I’m at a point where, OK I think you got the right tackle position answered. I think you got an offensive line that’s pretty stabilized. I think you got to start looking now, in some other areas where you need some help, and there are some players of value. I think you absolutely need at least one more defensive lineman to play. I certainly think you need at least one more corner, I think you need a safety desperately.”
Who would you pick in the second round?
“I would probably be torn between a couple of defensive lineman and a cornerback. Jonathan Banks is a cornerback from Mississippi State, who I had as a first round talent and he’s still on the board. I think the Eagles need a corner right now. He would be a guy I would look at and there are a couple of defensive tackles — Jesse Williams from Alabama, Jonathan Hawkins from Ohio State, and Kawaan Short from Purdue are all defensive tackles that I think you need, because Ike Sopoaga he was a rotation player last year in San Francisco. He can’t play every snap. You need somebody to come in there and share the load with him, and any of those guys would do it. I would go with this pick, and I guess this is coming off on as a slam of Geno [Smith] and I don’t mean it to be, but right now I’m looking at the Eagles, what I think, are their most immediate needs right now and I would try to sure up the defensive line or the secondary.”
Would you rather have Geno Smith or Nick Foles?
“Given what this offense is going to be, I don’t think either one of them works. I think down the line here, how often do fourth round picks pan out at the quarterback position, not very often, but I’m still very intrigued by this kid Matt Scott from Arizona. Assuming that Chip [Kelly] does want to run this kind of offense, I think that he can play it. That’s what I would do right now. I would try to address what I think are obvious needs on the defense in rounds two and three and then when we go into Saturday and we move into the fourth, I think Matt Scott is still going to be there. That’s the point, if he’s still there, then I might go for the quarterback.”