Kiper likes Savages addition to Eagles
Count Mel Kiper among those who considers the Philadelphia Eagles hiring Phil Savage as a consultant for this year's NFL Draft to be a good move.
The radio color analyst for the Crimson Tide Sports Network and former general manager of the Cleveland Browns is focusing on regional prospects.
"Phil's always done a real good job of knowing where a guy should come off the board and value," the ESPN draft analyst said. "Not just the early-round picks, but the fourth- through seventh-rounders and the undrafted free agents, Phil does a great job. Think about Priest Holmes. Go back to the return men he's been able to bring in as undrafted free agents, key entities he brought in that went undrafted along the way at Baltimore and Cleveland. Think of some of the key players, not just role players, key guys he was able to bring in.
"Joshua Cribbs is a key entity in Cleveland, undrafted out of Kent State. That's Phil's strength, knowing where guys should off the board."
Cribbs was a quarterback in college, but plays wide receiver, special teams and occasionally takes snaps in wildcat formation for the offense. Last season he became the NFL's all-time record holder with eight career kickoff return touchdowns and was named to his second Pro Bowl.
"Phil is phenomenal at that," Kiper continued. "In my opinion he should have been at Cleveland. I know Cleveland was willing to wait to develop its personnel base to where it needed to be, and the personnel base dramatically increased from the time Phil took over to the time he left, or was forced out I should say. Andy Reid knows Phil very well and I think he'll be a huge asset in terms of the Eagles drafting this year."
During his four seasons in Cleveland the Brown acquired five Pro Bowl players, three through the college draft. Previously, he spent nine years with the Baltimore Ravens after being hired as the Director of College Scouting by Ozzie Newsome, where he was involved in the drafting of numerous future Pro Bowl players. He was promoted to Director of Player Personnel in 2003.
Savage's tie to Alabama is through Cleveland, when he was hired in 1991 to be a defensive assistant for head coach Bill Belichick and for three seasons worked under defensive coordinator Nick Saban prior to being named a team scout. The two have remained friends since.
The Eagles announced the move earlier this month.
"I've always admired the work Phil Savage has done, and after spending time with him this past year I realized how well we could work together," general manager Howie Roseman said in a release. "Phil is an excellent talent evaluator and having an extra set of eyes for us to utilize will definitely help our scouting staff as we prepare for the draft. He's spent time working on the 2010 draft class already so Ryan and I thought it is was a slam dunk when the opportunity was there for us to add him to our staff."
Said the 44-year-old Savage, who lives in Mobile: "This is a great opportunity for me to get back in the NFL. I'm really excited about the role the Eagles have afforded me and I'm ready to help Howie and the rest of their scouting staff in the best way I possibly can."