New York, NY (UHND.com) – Defensive end Victor Abiamiri was the second Notre Dame player to hear his name be called on Saturday when the Philadelphia Eagles used their second pick in the second round on the Baltimore native. The Eagles, notorious for drafting defensive linemen early in the draft, made Abiamiri the eight defensive end selected in the 2007 NFL Draft.
Abiamiri was projected by many to be a second round pick and his destination of Philadelphia is not very surprising considering Andy Reid’s friendship with Charlie Weis as well as Reid’s propensity for selecting defensive linemen early in drafts. Reid has drafted defensive linemen in the first round of each of the two previous drafts in Broderick Bunkley and Mike Patterson.
Rumors in Philadelphia this off-season are that the Eagles could release last year’s big free agent acquisition, defensive end Darren Howard, before the June 1 cuts which could open a spot in the defensive end rotation immediately for Abiamiri.
If Howard sticks around, Abiamiri will start off as the fifth defensive end in Philly behind Jevon Kearse, Howard, Trent Cole, and Juqua Thomas. The Eagles defensive end corps, however, have been plagued with injuries in the past. Kearse was injured in the first game of 2006 and missed the entire season and Howard played his first full season in four seasons last year.
The defensive ends for the Eagles have not exactly been the models of consistency either. Despite playing a full slate of games in 2006, Howard registered just 5 sacks. Kearse as well hasn’t panned out as well as the Eagles had hoped when they signed him on 2004. In 31 career games as an Eagles, he has 18.5 sacks – not bad numbers, but also not the kind of numbers they expected when they gave him the huge contract three years ago.
Both of the Eagles starting ends are also 30 years old making this pick as much for the future as it was for the present.
The Eagles were rumored to be interested in Jarvis Moss and Anthony Spencer in the first round, but Moss was selected before the Eagles were on the clock and they then traded their first round pick to hated rival Dallas with Spencer on the board. With Abiamiri left on the board when their 57th pick rolled around, however, he was too good for Reid and the Eagles front office to pass up.
Abiamiri is the highest defensive lineman drafted out of Notre Dame since Anthony Weaver was selected 52nd over in the 2002 draft and is the first to be picked by the Eagles since they drafted Tyreo Harrison on the 6th round of that same 2002 draft.