May 02, 2015
The first three rounds of the NFL Draft are in the books, and the Eagles have selected a wide receiver, a corner, and an inside linebacker.
Three Two needs are down, several to go. There are still plenty of appealing players who could be on the board when the Eagles pick at 113th overall, assuming they don't trade up or back.
Our original draft board can be found here.
Onto the analysis of each player, by round:
• Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon: I laid out the case for Mariota in depth on Tuesday. • Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State: Waynes is the consensus #1 CB in this draft. He's tall, blazing fast, and has outstanding coverage ability. If there were one player I could see the Eagles moving up for other than Mariota, it'd be Waynes, but he'll be long gone by the time the Eagles pick at 20. If he slips into the teens, however, which is unlikely, it wouldn't surprise me to see them try to move up. • Brandon Scherff, OT/OG, Iowa: Scherff is a potential high first-round pick. He is unlikely to fall near the Eagles at 20, but if he did, you’re possibly looking at a Day 1 starter at guard who could eventually kick out to right tackle if the Eagles chose to move up. Every year, FOX Sports' Bruce Feldman lists his "Top 20 freaks" in college football. Scherff came in at #2. • Byron Jones, CB, UConn: Jones checks the boxes in terms of what the Eagles are looking for in a defensive back. He's big (6'1, 199, 32" arms, 10" hands), he's versatile, he's physical, and he's a stellar character guy, via Lance Zierlein of NFL.com. He is the player I believe the Eagles are most likely to draft at 20 if they do not move up for Mariota. • Jake Fisher, OT/OG, Oregon: Fisher is an athletic offensive lineman with experience at LT and RT, but will likely play right tackle in the pros. It is also believed that he could play at RG for the Eagles in the short term to replace Todd Herremans, with the intention of eventually kicking him out to RT and moving Lane Johnson over to replace Jason Peters at LT.
• T.J. Clemmings, OT/OG, Pitt: The Eagles have a slew of athletic offensive linemen who do a great job of getting to the second level in the run game, and out in front of receivers and running backs in the screen game. What they lack, however, is a guy who can move defensive linemen off the line of scrimmage against their own will. That's Clemmings, who could play RG initially for the Eagles, then eventually kick out to right tackle.
*** Clemmings appears to be dropping because he has a foot injury.
• La'el Collins, OT/OG, LSU: See what I wrote for Clemmings above? Ditto. However, Collins has an issue to deal with, which could scare some teams off.
*** Collins has said that he will not sign with anyone and re-enter the 2016 draft if he is not selected in the second or third rounds.
• Kevin Johnson, CB, Wake Forest: Johnson's 40 time wasn't great , but he showed a lot of explosion in some of the other measurables at the Combine. Johnson is thought of as a smooth, technically sound corner who is NFL-ready. If the Eagles were to be tempted to draft a guy they think could produce immediately in favor of long-term upside, Johnson's the guy. • Randy Gregory, Edge rusher, Nebraska: Gregory is very thin, but an athletic freak. He was compared to Dion Jordan, in a bad way, but he could be an intriguing "top 10 type" talent as a 3-4 OLB in Bill Davis' scheme. The Eagles will have to get past the fact that he failed a drug test at the Combine, which is more of a "stupidity" issue than a drug addition one. If they're comfortable with his mental makeup, he could be a steal at 20. If he's a #culture hazard, they may decide to pass. • Breshad Perriman, WR, UCF: Perriman is a size-speed beast who ran a sub-4.3 at his pro day, but is thought of as a raw route runner with inconsistent hands. If the Eagles can mold him into a polished receiver at the NFL level, Perriman has star potential. • Phillip Dorsett, WR, Miami: Dorsett is an absolute blazer (4.33 40), but he's small (5'10, 185). Still, he's an outstanding fit in the Eagles offense. This isn't just a guy who just runs go routes. He'll also go across the middle, catch balls in traffic, and gobble up yards after the catch.
• Nelson Agholor, WR, USC (DRAFTED BY EAGLES): Like Dorsett, Agholor is undersized but fast. He is a little bigger than Dorsett and not quite as fast. He is a polished route runner with great hands and value on special teams as a punt returner.
• Cedric Ogbuehi, OT/OG, Texas A&M: Around this time last year, Ogbuehi was given a first round grade by the draft advisory committee, but he decided to stay in school. Texas A&M has been looooaded with offensive line talent over the last few years. In the 2013 draft, the Jaguars took Luke Joeckel 2nd overall. In 2014, the Falcons drafted Jake Matthews 6th overall. Ogbuehi played guard when Joeckel and Matthews served as the bookends for the Aggies, he moved to RT when Joeckel left for the NFL, and then over to LT when Matthews followed. Unfortunately, Ogbuehi's season at left tackle didn't go as planned. He struggled at left tackle, before moving back to the right side, and then in the Aggies' bowl game, he tore his ACL. Ogbuehi obviously did not compete at the Senior Bowl or work out at the Combine, and his 2015 season with whatever team drafts him will be in question while he recovers. Can the Eagles wait that long for a first or second round pick to play? • D.J. Humphries, OT, Florida: Humphries said he never played above 295 pounds at Florida, and had to learn how to put on healthy weight. He had previously gotten his weight up by drinking Slurpees. The draft advisory board recommended that Humphries "stay in school," but he is now being projected as a high pick. Humphries could benefit from Chip Kelly's nutrition mandates, and is a rare offensive lineman in this draft that projects to left tackle. • Cameron Erving, C/OG/RT: Erving was the Seminoles' left tackle who switched to center mid-season, and played well. He is a versatile, athletic offensive lineman for a team, which again, is desperate for youth and depth. Erving is potentially capable of playing all five positions along the offensive line, which is extraordinarily rare. • Shane Ray, Edge rusher, Missouri: Ray is a nasty pass rusher, and a top 15 talent in this draft, but he failed a drug test. Again, like Gregory, this is more of a stupidity issue than a drug issue. The Eagles brought Ray in for a visit to the NovaCare Complex, so if they are comfortable with his character, maybe he's an option for them. • Preston Smith, DE, Mississippi State: Smith is an extremely versatile player who can stand up and play the predator position in a 3-4 front, as well as at DE. At Mississippi State, the Bulldogs also lined him up at NT on obvious passing downs. Smith would give the Eagles some depth at multiple positions, and could eventually be a player that never comes off the field, while helping allow the Eagles to disguise what they're doing defensively. • Quinten Rollins, CB/S, Miami Ohio: Rollins is a playmaker. During the week of practices at the Senior Bowl, he showed a knack for locating the ball in the air and making plays on it, something Philly fans rarely saw from Eagles starting corners in 2014. In the Senior Bowl game itself, he made a very nice over the shoulder interception. Rollins was a star basketball player at Miami (OH) for four years, and didn't play football until his senior year, when he had seven interceptions. He didn't test well at the Combine, which could force a move to safety at the next level, where Rollins should adjust. He has absolutely no issue with blasting receivers and running backs in the mouth.
• Eric Rowe, CB/S, Utah (DRAFTED BY EAGLES): Rowe started at CB for Utah this season after playing his first three seasons at safety. If the Eagles see Rowe as a CB at the next level, he has the long frame at 6’1, 205 and physical nature against the run that they have prioritized. If they view him as a safety in the NFL, he has versatility to cover receivers, which enables them to stay in their base defense against three WR sets. Rowe did not stand out at the Senior Bowl, but he tested very well at the Combine.
• Shaq Thompson, ILB, Washington: At the pro level, because of his smaller size, there will be debate about whether Shaq Thompson is a 4-3 WILL, or if he's a safety, or if he can play ILB in a 3-4. What is not up for debate is that he's a ridiculous athlete who makes plays. He's fast, he's agile, he's a sure wrap-up tackler, and is thought of as a high character player with good instincts. He was even a very intriguing running back at Washington. Some teams value "tweeners" like Thompson. Other will struggle to figure out where he fits in their scheme. Could the Eagles find a way to use Thompson creatively if he were to be available at 20? On the one hand, this will be the Eagles' third year in Billy Davis' scheme, so they'll be much further along than they were two years ago. On the other hand, we're talking about a defense here that didn't even have a dime package until last offseason. Still, the way I see it, Thompson could be too athletic to pass on even if he may not have perfect measurables for any specific position in the Eagles' scheme. Just go get him and watch him make plays. • Ali Marpet, C/OG, Hobart: Marpet comes from a Division III school, and in Chip Kelly's first two years in Philly, the Eagles have exclusively drafted players from big Division I schools. However, Marpet showed at the Senior Bowl that he belonged, and then some, which Marpet attributed to refined technique not normally associated with smaller schools. He also seemed like a high character kid who will interview well. He is highly athletic, in the same mold as Jason Kelce and Evan Mathis. • Donovan Smith, OT/OG, Penn State: Smith is huge at 6'6, 338 with long arms and big hands, but he had extraordinary broad jump, vertical jump, and 40 yard dash performances at the Combine for a guy his size. Smith absolutely has some intriguing explosion. • Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona State: Strong is a Philly kid who was very productive in his two seasons at Arizona State, catching a combined 162 passes for 2287 yards and 17 TDs. He is big (6'2, 217), strong, a bigtime leaper, and he wins contested catches. He question on Strong is a wrist injury that teams will have to be comfortable with before they draft him. I think that hurts his value, and thus his placement as a second round target. • Stephone Anthony, ILB, Clemson: Big ILB (6'3, 243) with outstanding athleticism. • Danielle Hunter, Edge rusher, LSU: Hunter is drawing comparisons for his size, athleticism, and lack of college production (in terms of sacks) to the Giants' Jason Pierre-Paul. Hunter is 6'5, and he ran a freaking 4.57 40, but he only had 1.5 sacks in 2014. • Benardrick McKinney, ILB/OLB, Mississippi State: McKinney has outstanding size at 6'4, 246, and some versatility in that he could also potentially be used as an outside linebacker in a 3-4. He would probably be a sure-fire top 15-20 pick 15-20 years ago. However, there are questions of how well he can play in space, which is where linebackers can be exposed in today's pass-happy NFL. • Jordan Phillips, NT, Oklahoma: Phillips is a large man, at 6'5, 329. Last summer, Billy Davis talked about the rarity of finding impact nose tackles, via Tim McManus of Birds 24/7. The Eagles have a good young player at NT in Bennie Logan, but they do not have a behemoth run stuffer for those ever-important short yardage situations.
• Rashad Greene, WR, Florida State: Greene isn't a size-speed beast, but he is a smooth, refined wide receiver with very impressive production, good YAC ability, and special teams contributions. He reminds me a little bit of Agholor, but you can probably get him a round later.
• Chris Conley, WR, Georgia: Conley is a size-speed freak who wins contested catches. He was under-utilized at Georgia because of their dominant run game, but NFL teams will know what he can do. • T.J. Yeldon, RB, Alabama: The biggest negative for Yeldon is that he's a fumbler. He fumbled three times his freshman season, five times as a sophomore, and twice as a junior. For his career, he has lost seven fumbles, and that's at a level of football where opposing defenses aren't quite as good at ripping the football out as they are in the NFL. That has to be a concern for an Eagles team that turned the ball over 36 times in 2014. However, if Duce Staley can fix that issue, Yeldon has a rare combination of speed and power, and would be a great fit in Chip Kelly's offense. But can the Eagles afford to use a luxury pick this early on a running back? For the right guy, maybe.
• Bryce Petty, QB, Baylor: Petty has good size, good mobility, and a decent enough arm to be considered a legitimate early round quarterback prospect at the NFL level. One thing that will scare away some teams is that he operated mainly out of the shotgun in a spread offense for the entirety of his career at Baylor. But again, that may not be as much of a negative in the eyes of Chip Kelly, who uses many of the same spread concepts as Baylor. Over his college career, Petty has threw 61 TDs and just 10 INTs.
• Damarious Randall, S, Arizona State: Randall doesn't have good size, but he is a very good athlete with excellent coverage skills. However, some really ugly tape of Randall in run support exists, although I'm not sure the Eagles care as much about that from their safeties as other teams.
• Adrian Amos, S, Penn State: Amos has good size at 6'0, 218, and like Randall has very good coverage skills. He's better in run support than Randall, but doesn't make as many plays.
• Devin Smith, WR, Ohio State: Smith has good speed, but below average size. He is also somewhat of a one-trick pony, although his one trick (burning defenses for long TDs) is an awesome one, as he averaged a ridiculous 28.2 yards per catch on 33 catches in 2014. On the negative side, he's not thought of as a good or willing blocker, and doesn't have great hands. I'm personally not as high on Smith as others, hence his placement as a third round target, but he could potentially help fill the void left by DeSean Jackson as a guy who can stretch the field.
• Daryl Williams, OT/OG, Oklahoma: Williams has cinder blocks for feet but if he gets his hands on you, goodnight. Again, Williams falls into the "Eagles don't have anyone who can move defensive linemen against their will" category.
• Tyler Lockett, WR, Kansas State: For a guy who went 106-1515-11 in 2014 and 81-1262-11 in 2013, Lockett sure feels very underrated. He's a good route runner, and is thought of as a great character guy. He also turned some heads with a good Combine performance, but he's very small. Not only does he only go 5'10, 182, he has small hands and arms as well. • Ty Sambrailo, OT/OG, Colorado State: Sambrailo played OT in college, but many believe he'll transition to guard in the pros, which again, makes him the type of versatile offensive lineman the Eagles could use. Sambrailo isn't as athletic as some of the offensive linemen listed above, but he has a nasty mean streak.
• Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, CB/S, Oregon: Ekpre-Olomu is a very good corner who was at one time thought of as a first round pick, and many Eagles fans have mentioned him as a potential draft target because of his Oregon connection. However, this is an Oregon guy I don't think the Eagles will target because of his short stature, which as we all know (cough, Brandon Boykin), the Eagles don't like.
Ekpre-Olomu also tore his ACL in December, which would put his return to the football field somewhere around September. The only way I can see the Eagles drafting Ekpre-Olomu is if they view him as a slot corner only (or maybe even a safety?), and have determined that they are moving on from Boykin. If the Eagles are OK with sacrificing some height for talent in the slot or at safety, then they could view Ekpre-Olomu as a player who can be a factor in 2016.
• Derron Smith, S, Fresno State: In 2014, Smith had just one INT, but he filled up the stat sheet in 2013, finishing second in the nation with seven INTs, while adding eight tackles for loss and four sacks. He also had six INTs in 2012. However, he lacks good size at just 5'10, 200 pounds.
• Brett Hundley, QB, UCLA: Hundley has good size, he can move, and he has a strong arm. From a talent perspective, many analysts believe he is every bit as talented as Mariota and Florida State's Jameis Winston, the consensus #1 and #2 QB prospects in the upcoming draft. However, the three most commonly cited negatives on Hundley are that he operates almost entirely out of the shotgun, he doesn't read defenses all that well, and he takes too many sacks (73 the last two seasons).
• Garrett Grayson, QB, Colorado State: Grayson had the best week at the Senior Bowl among the QBs competing in Mobile, although it wasn't exactly a star-studded group. He was the Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year, and his numbers were excellent. He was fifth in the nation with a QB rating of 166.2, as well as second in yards per pass attempt, at 9.5. There are some who think Grayson is the #3 QB in this class, and could be gone long before the fourth round.
• Jesse James, TE, Penn State: Big TE (6'7, 261) who could be a Brent Celek replacement.
• Antwan Goodley, WR, Baylor: This is one of my favorite players in the draft. In terms of build, Goodley reminds me a lot of Josh Huff. They are both short, thick, explosive players who almost look more like running backs than wide receivers. Both Huff and Goodley can do damage after the catch, and have value as returners. Like Huff, Goodley thrived in a spread offense in college, and both could do the same in the pros under Chip Kelly.
• Dres Anderson, WR, Utah: Anderson had seven receptions of 50+ yards in 2013, but he was injured in 2014, missed the last half of the season, and could not compete at the Senior Bowl. Anderson is a big play guy who could potentially be had in the later rounds. He is the son of former Rams WR Flipper Anderson.
• Taiwan Jones, ILB, Michigan State: After drafting ILB Jordan Hicks, you can pretty much cross Jones off the list. Jones is a big ILB (6'3, 245) who can thump, but is probably only a two-down linebacker because of his lack of quality cover skills. He was the leader on Michigan State's excellent defense and could potentially fill DeMeco Ryans' role whenever he starts to sharply decline.
• Ladarius Gunter, CB/S, Miami: Gunter is a big, physical corner who will hit. He's 6'1 with 32 inch arms, has the demeanor the Eagles have looked for in their corners since Chip Kelly took over as head coach, and he moves better than expected for his size. At the Senior Bowl, there were several occasions in which wide receivers couldn't even get off the line of scrimmage, at all, with Gunter pressing them. And then... He ran a 4.69 at the Combine. Bleh. Gunter's future in the NFL is at safety covering tight ends and bigger receivers.
• Mark Glowinski, OG, West Virginia: GLOWINSKI!!!! Yes, that's my official analysis for him.
• Nick Boyle, TE, Delaware: Boyle was a versatile player for the Blue Hens, lining up out wide, as an in-line TE, and even occasionally in the backfield next to the QB. He also has the ability to long snap. At 6'5, 273, Boyle is big, versatile, and the type of player who could fit into Chip Kelly's offense.
• Ramik Wilson, ILB, Georgia: After drafting ILB Jordan Hicks, you can pretty much cross Wilson off the list. Wilson has decent size (6'2, 237) and was more highly regarded earlier in his college career, but has some ability.
• Obum Gwacham, Edge rusher, Oregon State: Gwachum played WR at Oregon State, but moved to DE his senior year. At 6'5, 246, with 34 1/2 arms, Gwachum has the size and athleticism that Chip Kelly loves. Gwachum is also thought of as a high character guy, via NFL.com. this is a player the Eagles would have to develop. When you're drafting in the later rounds, you can either go after players who can contribute quickly on special teams, or you can target guys who have a lot of upside, but need a lot of work. Since the Eagles already have more than their share of quality special teamers, why not take a long term chance on a size-athleticism freak?
• Alani Fua, ILB, BYU: After drafting ILB Jordan Hicks, you can pretty much cross Fua off the list.Fua has great length at 6'5, 238, who could be a versatile piece in the Eagles' defense.
• Deandre Smelter, WR, Georgia Tech: When healthy, Smelter is big-bodied WR at 226 pounds who comes from a run-heavy offense at Georgia Tech. He's a good blocker, and a tremendous athlete with an accomplished baseball background. He is also considered to be a great character guy, via NFL.com. Unfortunately, he tore his ACL last season. Smelter is a player the Eagles could "redshirt" and groom to be a contributor in 2016.
• Leterrius Walton, DE, Central Michigan: In Chip Kelly's and Billy Davis' first offseason in Philly, they had Ricky Jean-Francois in for a visit, but Jean-Francois would eventually sign a ridiculous 4-year, $22-million deal with the Colts. Why do I bring up Jean-Francois? Because that's the comp that Walton received by NFL.com. Walton is an interesting late round prospect who could be a two-gapping rotational player along their defensive line.
• Kurtis Drummond, S, Michigan State: Drummond was around the ball all week at the Senior Bowl practices. He was a good cover safety with great hands who could drop down and cover slot corners... in college. But after a poor showing at the Combine, Drummond's ability to stick with speedy receivers at the pro level has to come into question. The sixth round should be the appropriate spot to draft him.
• Matt Jones, RB, Florida: Jones is a bigger back (6'1, 231) who can be had in the later rounds, and while his numbers aren't impressive, he was a player who looked good whenever I happened to catch him on TV. He fits the mold of a one-cut, north-south runner in the mold of DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews. • Ty Montgomery, WR, Stanford: Like Antwan Goodley above, Montgomery reminds me a little of Josh Huff, in that he has a thicker build (6'0, 221) and special teams value.
• Darryl Roberts, CB, Marshall: At 6'0, Roberts has the prerequisite size the Eagles are looking for at CB, and impressive athleticism (4.36 40 at his pro day) to go with it. He could be a late round flier they look to develop over time.
• Travis Raciti, DE/OLB, San Jose State: In the past the Eagles have shown interest in bigger edge rushers like Mike Neal of the Packers (6'3, 284) and last year prior to the draft in former West Virginia edge rusher Will Clarke (6'6, 271). Raciti, who is 6'5, 285, could be a project the Eagles look to draft late and put on the edge.
• Jeremiah Poutasi, OG, Utah: Poutasi is big-bodied tackle who will likely move to guard at the next level. That's a theme in this draft with a lot of the offensive tackles, by the way, which is good for the Eagles, as it fits their needs. Poutasi's pass protection skills are a big concern.
• Shaquille Riddick, Edge rusher, West Virginia: Riddick has outstanding length at 6'6, 244, and as we all know by now, bigger people beat up little people. He was a transfer to West Virginia from Gardner-Webb (8.5 sacks there in 2013), who played for the first time in a big program at West Virginia for his senior season. Riddick could a be a player the Eagles target in the mid-late rounds as a developmental pass rush project.
• Darren Waller, WR, Georgia Tech: Huuuuuge WR at 6'6, 238, who ran a 4.46. Waller has upside galore, but he's a project.
• Cam Thomas, CB, Western Kentucky: Big CB (6'0, 200) who the Eagles worked out. They could view Thomas as a safety.
• Tony Washington, OLB, Oregon: Washington is a versatile linebacker who could serve as quality depth at OLB behind Connor Barwin at the "Jack" position, but also fill in at ILB in a pinch. In his last two seasons at Oregon, Washington had 13.5 sacks and a very impressive 7 forced fumbles. He reminds me a little of a far less athletic Marcus Smith but with a nastier demeanor.
• Randall Telfer, TE, USC: Telfer is thought of as an excellent blocker in the mold of Brent Celek. With Celek becoming less and less of a factor in the passing game, the Eagles could opt to groom Telfer for a year, eventually replacing Celek and his $5 million cap hit in 2016.
• Joe Cardona, LS, Navy: Spending a draft pick on a long snapper seems like a terrible use of resources for a team with holes galore and a good long snapper already in place. However, if the Eagles can bring Cardona in and he can at least come close to beating out Dorenbos for the job, he could be a younger, cheaper alternative. Dorenbos will turn 35 in July and count for $1,070,000 against the cap in 2015.
Follow Jimmy on Twitter: @JimmyKempski