PHILADELPHIA - When it comes to examining players for the upcoming NFL Draft, the Eagles' scouting and coaching staffs are just as concerned with a players' with character as they are with his speed, strength and intelligence.
The Eagles not only have been conducting interviews with the top prospects over the last few weeks, they have also been paying attention to social media to get a sense of their personalties and attitudes.
"We have someone looking over their Facebook pages and Twitter accounts," Eagles general manager Howie Roseman said Monday during an interview at the NovaCare Complex. "It's important for us to get a sense of a players's mindset and what they're thinking about, especially here. (Philadelphia) is a big media market and we want to make sure the players we pick are the right fit for us both on and off the field."
The Eagles currently own nine selections in the draft, which will be held April 25-27, including the No. 4 overall pick. They will be choosing in the top five for the first time since 1999, when then-rookie coach Andy Reid drafted quarterback Donovan McNabb at No. 2.
At least a half-dozen players have been mentioned as possibilities for the Eagles in various mock drafts. Offensive linemen Eric Fisher (Central Michigan) and Luke Joeckel (Texas A&M) top the list of contenders, along with outside linebacker Dion Jordan (Oregon), defensive tackle Star Lotulelei (Utah), cornerback Dee Milliner (Alabama) and quarterback Geno Smith (West Virginia).
Fisher (Big_Fish79), Jordan (Dionj96), Milliner (Dmilli28) and Smith (GenoSmith_12) are among those with Twitter accounts. Their recent Tweets all revolved around their offseason workouts and excitement about the draft.
"Counting down from 10 like it's New Year's Eve!" Fisher Tweeted Monday morning. "It's all coming together."
Besides the visits to the Combine in Indianapolis and the various Pro Day workouts at colleges, the Eagles also brought in at least 15 draft-eligible players to the NovaCare Complex for interviews and conducted private workouts for others at other locales. That enabled them to get a better handle on players away from the craziness of the Combine and the staged settings of the Pro Days.
"When you go see them at their colleges, they're in their comfort zone," Roseman said. "Bringing players here gives us a chance to sit down and talk to them in a different atmosphere."
EXTRA POINTS: Jordan is considered one of the top possibilities for the Eagles because of his ties to new Eagles coach Chip Kelly at Oregon. ... Roseman also mentioned Florida defensive lineman Shariff Floyd, who is a Philadelphia native. ... Roseman said that the Eagles' medical staff has cleared Lotulelei, who drew some concerns at the Combine because of a heart-related issue. ... The Eagles begin a three-day minicamp for current players today at the NovaCare Complex.