December 26, 2019
As long as you're taking in some college football bowl action this holiday season, here are some players who could make sense for the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2020 NFL Draft.
I love this guy. To begin, in three season at Louisiana Tech, he has filled up the stat sheet across the board, particularly with a high number of interceptions and pass breakups:
|Amik Robertson||Tackle (TFL)||Sacks||INT-PBU||FF-FR|
It's not often you see a guy with the type of tackle, tackle for loss, and interception combination that Robertson has. At 5'9, 183, Robertson doesn't have ideal size, but he sure as hell doesn't play small.
Most teams will view Robertson as a slot corner at the next level, but I wonder if the Eagles might view him as a safety.
Quarterman is sort of a throwback, in that he's a physical badass, but there are questions whether he can be a "three-down" linebacker in the modern NFL. If this were 20 years ago, Quarterman would probably be a second-round pick. In the pass-happy version of the game today, teams would prefer their linebackers to be capable of covering running backs and tight ends, and there are questions about Quarterman's ability to do so.
That said, there's a lot to like about him. He's often playing harder than anyone on the field, which you like to see in a MIKE backer, and while he can't run sideline to sideline the same way the Cowboys' linebacker tandem does, Quarterman does seem to have at least decent athleticism. Here's a list of Miami's all-time career tackle leaders. If you're over 30 years of age, you'll recognize more than a few of these names:
|Player||Draft position (overall)||Tackles|
|Dan Morgan, 2001||12||532|
|George Mira Jr., 1988||331||490|
|Scott Nicolas, 1982||310||456|
|Micheal Barrow, 1993||47||423|
|Darrin Smith, 1993||54||401|
|Ray Lewis, 1996||26||388|
|Jonathan Vilma. 2004||12||377|
|Rod Carter, 1989||252||361|
|Denzel Perryman, 2015||48||351|
|Shaquille Quarterman, 2020||??||345|
A look at some of Quarterman's 2019 highlights:
The Eagles already have their share of linebackers who are more cover guys than they are enforcers, and Quarterman brings a "2017 version of Nigel Bradham" type of energy to the defense. And oh by the way, Bradham may not be back in 2020.
The bet here is that Jim Schwartz will like Quarterman, and I think the third round would be a reasonable place to take him.
I was made aware of Jackson by a friend of mine who covers the team, who thinks Jackson reminds him quite a bit of Jalen Mills, in that he's an overconfident corner who is excellent in run support (4 FF in 2018), but may have some speed limitations. I don't know what this says about me, but after watching him, I kinda like him.
Assuming Jim Schwartz is still the defensive coordinator this draft season, I'm pretty sure he'll like this guy.
Madubuike is a redshirt junior who has already said he will skip his senior season to declare for the 2020 NFL Draft. He'll also skip this bowl game, but whatever, I'm profiling him anyway.
Madubuike is a penetrating, 1-gap style defensive tackle with 5.5 sacks in each of his last two seasons. In 2018, he added 40 tackles (10.5 for loss), and 3 forced fumbles. In 2019, he had 45 tackles (11.5 for loss), and 1 forced fumble.
The Eagles badly need an infusion of youth in their defensive interior, and Madubuike would be good value in Round 3.
Pittman doesn't fit the burner profile that (I believe) the Eagles need. However, he's not a stiff athletically, and he is a vertical threat who made plenty of plays down the field at USC using his impressive size, hands, and physicality. In 2019, he's third in the nation in receptions (95), sixth in yards (1222), and 13th in TDs (11).
He reminds me a bit of lesser Mike Williams, when he was coming out of Clemson. Williams has developed into a deep threat in the Chargers' offense, despite a lack of great speed.
In addition to his ability as a receiver, (Chip Kelly days warning) Pittman is thought of as an outstanding blocker both in the run game, and down the field after his teammates make catches. His physical nature and willingness to do the dirty work makes him a potential special teams stud early in his career while he develops his game at receiver.
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