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April 02, 2015

Eagles hosted (or will host) three more big name pre-draft visits

Eagles NFL
040215_Ray_AP L.G. Patterson/AP

South Dakota State quarterback Jacob Menage, left, is sacked by Missouri's Shane Ray during the third quarter of a game last August.

As we noted last month, if the Eagles bring in a prospect for a pre-draft visit, their chances of being drafted by Chip Kelly go up drastically. Six of the seven Eagles draft picks a year ago were among the Eagles' 30 allotted pre-draft visits, which means that it is absolutely worthwhile paying attention to who stops by the NovaCare Complex this time of year.

The reported visits so far (You can click on each name for detailed analysis and how they might fit with the Eagles):

• Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona State

• Nelson Agholor, WR, USC

• Chris Conley, WR, Georgia

• Rashad Greene, WR, Florida State

• Randall Telfer, TE, USC

• Terry Poole, OG, San Diego State

• Benardrick McKinney, ILB, Mississippi State

• Kevin Johnson, CB, Wake Forest

• Damarious Randall, S, Arizona State

• Joe Cardona, LS, Navy

Today we'll look at the latest three reported visitors, who are all projected to be first or second round picks:

• Breshad Perriman, WR, UCF

• Owamagbe Odighizuwa, Edge rusher, UCLA

• Shane Ray, OLB, Missouri

Breshad Perriman, WR, UCF, 6'2, 212 (via ProFootballTalk)

If the Eagles' pre-draft visits are any indication, they are going to be selecting a wide receiver very early. Of the 13 pre-draft visits so far, five of them have been wide receivers, four of whom are projected to be drafted in the first three rounds, and a fifth (Conley) who might sneak in there.

The latest is Perriman, who is reportedly going to be at the NovaCare Complex today. Perriman created a buzz when he ran a 4.2-something (nothing official) at his pro day. Scouts rarely react to a 40 time, but check out the Lions scouts at the beginning of this video:

As a result, almost 20 teams are having him in for one of their 30 allotted pre-draft visits. The Eagles have volume catchers in Jordan Matthews and Zach Ertz. They have a potential YAC receiver in Josh Huff. The have a stable of running backs who all catch the ball well out of the backfield. They one thing they don't have is a guy who take the top off a defense with elite speed. Perriman fits the bill. Check out his yards per catch the last two years:

Breshad Perriman Catches Yards YPC TD 
 201226 388 14.9 
 201339 811 20.8 
 201450 1044 20.9 

Perriman also has good size at 6'2, 212. Riley Cooper is going to be an Eagle for at least 2015, as it will cost more to cut him than keep him. Perriman can be a player they bring along slowly with the intention of him taking over Cooper's spot in 2016.

Projected round: 2

Owamagbe Odighizuwa, Edge rusher, UCLA, 6'3, 267 (via Tim McManus, Birds 24/7)

Odighizuwa was a heavily recruited player out of high school, as had him as the #8 overall high school recruit in the nation in 2009. He also of course played in the Pac-12 at UCLA, so Chip Kelly will undoubtedly have familiarity with him. However, Odighizuwa's production never lived up to the hype. In his five years at UCLA (he missed the 2013 season with a hip injury), he only had 12.5 sacks.

Still, check out who his measuarbles compare to, via

Owamagbe Odighizuwa

The Eagles have their starters in place at OLB in Connor Barwin and Brandon Graham. However, you never have enough good edge rushers, and Odighizuwa seemingly fits the athletic profile they've targeted there.

Projected round: 2

Shane Ray, OLB, Missouri, 6'3, 245 (via Terez Paylor, KC Star)

There are mixed reviews on Ray in this draft. For example, here's the extreme positive side, via Lance Zierlein of

STRENGTHS Explosive athlete in every sense. Has elite power for his size and explodes off the line like a coiled spring. Rushes passer with extreme passion and purpose. Has fast, violent hands with advanced understanding of how to use them. Tough and plays with bad intentions on each snap. Uses rip to get under linemen and out-leverage them. Played 4-3 defensive right end in base but rushed from three-technique in some sub-packages. Once he gets to blocker's edge, they struggle to recover and redirect. Rare ability to post inside leg and get his body turned sharply and quickly around it toward quarterback. Excellent change-of-direction talent. Has natural coordination of head fakes, footwork and hand usage in pass rush. Works hard to stand his ground against power. Has power in upper body and hips to punch and dispatch with tight ends against run. Rarely runs past the arc as a rusher and will fight to come back underneath if he gets on the high side. Was able to drop into space with no issues when asked.

Does that review get anyone fired up?

And then there are the negatives, via a round-up of scouts' opinions compiled by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Bob McGinn:

Shane Ray*, DE, Missouri: 6-3, 245. Declared a year early after being named Southeastern Conference defensive player of the year. "Tough, fast," one scout said. "He's better than the guy (Kony Ealy) from there last year. Little straight-line." Posted a school-record 14½ sacks in 2014 to go with 22½ tackles for loss. "I don't like him," said another scout. "People see who he is, they're going to fall off him quick. The body structure. No way in hell he can be an outside backer. Competitive, smart and reliable. Wins with effort, urgency and great first step. He has a degree of stiffness. He's got to win with quickness because of his lack of size and strength." Tiny hands (9).

"No way in hell he can be an outside backer?" Hmmm...

Personally, I lean more toward the positive side. For me, the question is... Can he get to the quarterback? The answer is a resounding "Hell yes he can."

Look at the 1:08 mark below against Florida. That's Ray going against potential first round pick D.J. Humphries, and Humphries has no chance against Ray's insanely fast first step. Also note the two consecutive sacks against Kentucky beginning at the 1:34 mark. Again, try stopping that first step when Ray times out the snap just right. No chance.

I don't know who the scout is that said there's "no chance in hell" Ray can play OLB, but he's wrong and I hate him. If Ray falls to 20, the Eagles should sprint the card to the podium. 

Projected round: Top 15 pick

Follow Jimmy on Twitter: @JimmyKempski