April 28, 2017
When personnel chief Joe Douglas is finished putting together the Philadelphia Eagles' draft board, it will include almost 200 players for he and Howie Roseman to choose from on draft weekend.
Here, we'll put together our own draft board of 101 players, based on scheme fit, team needs, personal preference and things we've heard, listed by round.
| |• Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford: Thomas doesn't have eye-popping numbers (8 sacks in 2016, 3.5 sacks in 2015), but he was a disruptive force along the defensive line for Stanford. The question that NFL teams will have to answer is, where do you put him? Is he too light at 273 pounds to play inside? Is he too short (6'3) with arms not ideal enough (33") to take with a top five pick as an edge rusher? There's a reasonable chance that Thomas could fall a bit further than he should because he isn't a perfect positional fit. From the Eagles' perspective, he could be a guy who can play DE on early downs, and then kick inside to beat guards on obvious passing downs. • Jonathan Allen, DE, Alabama: There may be some concern that there were so many good players around Allen in Alabama's defense that it was difficult for opposing offenses to key on him. Star defenders at other schools don't get that same benefit. Still, Allen is a beast. In 2016, he had 69 tackles, 10.5 sacks, and 16 tackles for loss. Like Thomas, he is a guy who can play DE or DT in the Eagles' defensive front, and an arthritic shoulder may cause him to drop some.A front four of Graham, Fletcher Cox, Curry and Thomas/Allen on obvious passing downs could be a scary unit. • Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State: Lattimore was only a redshirt sophomore last season who has participated in under 20 games in his career at OSU, partly due to hamstring issues. 2016 was Lattimore's only season as a starter, when he had 41 tackles, four interceptions, and nine pass breakups. Lattimore is a phenomenal athlete, doing a great job of staying in phase with opposing receivers out of tight press coverage. According to cfbfilmroom.com, Lattimore was targeted 36 times in 2016, and gave up just 13 receptions, or approximately one per game. He allowed one TD while collecting four INTs. He was also credited with 36 tackles, and just one missed tackle. That's outstanding. • Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State: Conley has had a meteoric rise up draft boards, as the media has caught up to the NFL's thinking on him. Conley needs work as a tackler, but his coverage skills are very good. Over the last two seasons, he has allowed 35 completions on 101 targets. The thinking is that Conley will not be available when the Eagles pick at 14, so if they really like him, they may have to move up. ***Update: Conley was accused of rape two days before the draft, which is certain to hurt his draft stock. He will of course no longer be a trade-up target, but there is a thinking that he could still get drafted somewhere in the first round.
|Options at pick No. 14|
|Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee (DRAFTED BY EAGLES)|
• Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee (DRAFTED BY EAGLES): Barnett is a thick, strong defensive end who reminds me a little of Brandon Graham. Barnett is great against the run, and a menace as a pass rusher. He has been an impact player since his freshman year, racking up 33 sacks and 52 tackles for loss in three collegiate seasons. Barnett broke the all-time career school sack record that was previously held by some guy named Reggie White. No big deal.
• John Ross, WR, Washington: The guy ran a freaking 4.22. But can he play football? Yes. In 2016, Ross had 81 catches for 1150 yards and 17 TDs. While his calling card is deep speed, Ross also has good hands, he can work the short-to-intermediate routes, and get yards after the catch. He was also a dangerous kick returner, taking four kicks to the house in his career at Washington. He's hardly a one-trick pony. Unfortunately, any team drafting Ross will have to be deeply concerned about his significant injury history. • Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama: Foster is an intimidating thumper, but he also has speed, ability in coverage, and was a special teams standout while he waited his turn to be "the guy" in the middle of the Crimson Tide defense. Foster could play the WILL in the Eagles' scheme, with Jordan Hicks staying right where he is at MLB. • Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan: Davis has size, speed to be a downfield threat, YAC ability, and he runs great routes. If there's one knock, it's that he'll have occasional drops, however, those become forgivable because he makes so many improbable acrobatic catches. As a fit in the Eagles' offense, you can play him inside or outside, and just watch him produce. Ideally, teams would have been able to see Davis run the 40, which he did not do during the pre-draft process. • Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU: While Fournette doesn't have elite lateral agility and he only has 41 career receptions, just watch any highlight reel of him and tell me you wouldn't be intrigued to watch this guy run over and then away from defenders. Even though he's not a perfect fit, if Fournette were to fall (which is not expected) he would be the one running back I could see the Eagles taking, as he is special. • O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama: Should they draft a player like Howard, it would signal that the Eagles are committed to putting two tight ends on the field as their base offense. If that's the plan, fine. Go ahead and take Howard. Any novice football observer could see how good Howard looked in the week of practices at the Senior Bowl. In fact, he was voted the week's best player in practice by NFL scouts. I wouldn't disagree. He has good hands and speed to go along with his ideal size for the position and has drawn comparisons to Jimmy Graham. I don't like that comparison, personally, as Howard is also a good blocker.
|Trade-back from 14 (or trade up from the second round) options|
To note, we don't believe the Eagles will trade back from their pick at 14 unless they are blown away by a "can't refuse" offer. This is a grouping of players I believe are not worthy of the 14th overall pick, but likely won't be available when the Eagles pick in the second round.
• Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford: McCaffrey can run, he can catch, you can move him all over the formation in the passing game, and he can return kicks and punts, so you don't have to squint too hard to make a comparison to Brian Westbrook. McCaffrey would be a great fit in the Eagles' offense, but if you take him at 14, he better be a huge part of your plans offensively. We'll list him here. • Charles Harris, DE, Missouri: Missouri has produced a lot of defensive linemen and/or edge rushers over the last six years, including three first round picks and two second round picks. They're likely to have another very high pick in the 2017 NFL Draft in Harris. Harris' stats over his three-year career at Missouri aren't great, but his skills are. Harris has an outstanding burst off the snap, a great spin move (both ways), he hustles, he isn't fooled by misdirection, and he has counter moves if his initial pass rush move doesn't work. I can see Harris doing a lot of damage in a wide-nine alignment. On the downside, Harris' Combine performance was dreadful, which is a red flag. • Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama: Humphrey has great athleticism, and at 6'1, 196, he has ideal size. He is also as physical a corner as you'll find in this draft, and is a legitimate big hitter who looks to intimidate opposing receivers. He's big, fast, and ill-tempered. The biggest concern with Humphrey is the deep ball, as he gave up a number of them in 2016. Still, he's only 20 years old. Those issues might not be correctable with a player who is not as gifted as Humphrey, but a guy with Humphrey's natural ability should be able to get that fixed. • Tre'Davious White, CB, LSU: White is a good cover corner, but not as physical as guys like Marshon Lattimore and Marlon Humphrey. He was clearly the best corner at the Senior Bowl this year, after spending four years covering elite wide receiver prospects in the SEC. White also served as LSU's primary punt returner. He has taken a return to the house in each of the last three years. That skill should be attractive to a team that is probably going to lose Darren Sproles after the 2017 season. • Mike Williams, WR, Clemson: Williams' skill set very closely resembles that of Alshon Jeffery's, so I would be more inclined to see Davis or Ross, both of whom are extremely close in talent level to Williams as better fits. Yes, Jeffery is only on a one-year deal, however, the Eagles will have the opportunity to franchise him (or get a long-term deal done with him) at the end of the season if he plays well, as I expect he will. Would it be the worst thing to have two guys like Jeffery in the Eagles' offense? No, but if I'm the Eagles, I'd prefer a receiver who can complement Jeffery's skill set, not mirror it. • Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State: Way back in February, we explained why Cook will not be an option for the Eagles in the first round. While he is an outstanding player on tape, he comes with a wide assortment of red flags (character, fumbles, should injuries, etc.). Should he fall to an area near the Eagles in the second round, however, he could be of interest there. • Kevin King, CB, Washington: King has "Seahawks corner" measurements, at 6'3, 200. His college career path followed a similar pattern to that of former Eagles second-round pick Eric Rowe, in that King moved from safety to corner while at Washington. He has also played quite a bit in the slot. In 2016, King had 44 tackles, two interceptions, and an impressive 13 pass breakups. While Jim Schwartz was not a big Rowe fan, it was not because of his measurements. • Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan: Charlton a big body DE at 6'6, 277. In the past, Jim Schwartz has shown an affinity for big DEs. While he didn't have eye-popping numbers on the season (9.5 sacks), Charlton had a monster performance in one of the biggest regular-season games in college football this season, when he had nine tackles and 2.5 sacks against Ohio State. But those performances were too few and far between in his college career. Still, Charlton is an athletic specimen and a height-weight-speed dream for NFL scouts. • Chidobe Awuzie, CB, Colorado: Awuzie has good size and is a physical tackler who also contributed on special teams for the Buffaloes. He has an abnormal number of tackles from his corner spot over the last four seasons. • Zach Cunningham, LB, Vanderbilt: Cunningham is a highly athletic LB who arrived at Vanderbilt looking more like a wide receiver. He put on weight, and has become the clear-cut best player on the team. In 2015, Cunningham filled up the stat sheet, leading the Commodores with 103 tackles, 16.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, and 4 forced fumbles. In 2016, he had 125 tackles, 16.5 tackles for loss, and 2 forced fumbles. Like Foster above, Cunningham is very good in coverage, and possesses the ability to run sideline to sideline and make plays, however, he lacks some of the pop that Foster possesses. • Malik McDowell, DE, Michigan State: Because of his blend of size and athleticism, McDowell was previously thought to be a likely top five pick in 2017 before the 2016 season began. However, after nine games this past season, McDowell had just 1.5 sacks and seven tackles for loss, with no forced fumbles. Then he injured his ankle, and his season was over. Still, McDowell is height-weight-speed specimen that NFL scouts will salivate over, but if you draft him in the first round, you're doing so purely on potential as opposed to actual production. The Eagles could view McDowell as a defensive end.
|Carl Lawson, DE, Auburn|• Joe Mixon, RB, Oklahoma: We've covered Mixon at length, and the belief here is that there is no better fit at running back in this draft than him. However, obviously, the video of Mixon punching a female is horrific, and any team drafting him will have to be comfortable with the idea that Mixon wants to be a better person. They'll also have to be ready for the public relations fallout. • Jordan Willis, DE, Kansas State: Over the last two seasons, Willis has 21 sacks, 32.5 tackles for loss, and 7 forced fumbles. Obviously, that is great production. He also destroyed the Combine. Willis will have to develop a wider repertoire of pass rush moves at the next level, but the hustle is there, and that is something I believe Jim Schwartz values highly. • Adoree' Jackson, CB, USC: Jackson's position could just be listed as "playmaker" at USC, but his primary position in the NFL will be at corner. In 2015, in addition to being a regular starter at CB, Jackson caught 27 passes for 414 yards and 2 TDs, he had two punt return TDs, a pick six, and a blocked field goal. In 2016, he had five interceptions, two punt return TDs, two kick return TDs, one receiving TD, 55 tackles, and 11 pass breakups. Jackson is a big-time playmaker, with elite return skills. • Alvin Kamara, RB, Tennessee: Over his career at Tennessee, Kamara was a complementary back with receiving ability (74-683-7 the last two seasons) out of the backfield, and also the team's main punt returner. Though small, he is a hard runner with good speed (although not elite breakaway speed), with good hands, and tackle-breaking ability. Oddly, Tennessee didn't use Kamara as much as they should have, as he only had 210 carries over the last two seasons. • Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida: Wilson is a big corner at 6'1, 211, and is highly competitive, a trait that Jim Schwartz will love. Wilson is great in press at the line of scrimmage, and does a surprisingly effective job sticking with shiftier receivers. • Cordrea Tankersley, CB, Clemson: The 2015 season was Tankersley's first as a starter at corner, and he was smart to stay at Clemson for his senior season to build on his impressive starting debut. In 2015, Tankersley led the Tigers with five interceptions and nine pass breakups. In 2016, he had four interceptions and 11 pass breakups. At 6'1, 199, Tankersley has good size and production. • Jarrad Davis, LB, Florida: Davis is a linebacker who has good speed and plays with great intensity. He's a good blitzer, and can run sideline to sideline in the run game, like Foster and Cunningham above. Davis' stats aren't eye-popping, and are perhaps a little misleading, as he often makes big plays that don't show up in the stat sheet. When former Alabama Heisman-winning running back Derrick Henry was asked who the toughest player he ever faced was (and he saw his share at Bama), he named Davis. • Obi Melifonwu, S, UConn: Melifonwu is a size-athleticism freak of nature, much like former UConn CB/S safety Byron Jones was in 2015, when the Eagles passed on him to draft Nelson Agholor. In 2016, Melifonwu had 118 tackles, 4 INT, and 3 pass breakups. • Curtis Samuel, RB/WR, Ohio State: Samuel led NCAA running backs with 865 receiving yards on 74 receptions in 2016. He also had 7 touchdown receptions. Samuel was such a weapon as a pass catcher at OSU that some project him as a receiver at the pro level. As a runner, Samuel rushed 97 times for 771 yards (a lofty 7.9 YPC) and 8 TDs last season. Samuel is a very skilled route runner, which would enable the Eagles to move him around the formation, creating mismatches against opposing linebackers, similarly to the way the Eagles use Darren Sproles. • Budda Baker, S, Washington: Extremely competitive player, but small, at 5'10, 195. Baker could double as a slot corner in addition to playing centerfield.
• Carl Lawson, DE, Auburn: Lawson is an oft-injured pass rusher who missed the 2014 season with a torn ACL, and a big chunk of the 2015 season with a hip injury. In 2016, he stayed healthy and produced 9.5 sacks for Tigers. When he's healthy, Lawson is a relentless speed rusher, but shorter than ideal at 6'2. In a wide-nine alignment, Lawson is the kind of player who would make it very difficult for opposing offensive tackles to stay in front of him when asked to block him one-on-one on an island.
|Somewhere in between the big gap between Round 2 (pick #43) and Round 3 (pick #99)|
|Rasul Douglas, CB, West Virginia (DRAFTED BY EAGLES)|
|Daeshon Hall, DE, Texas A&M|• Chris Godwin, WR, Penn State: Godwin's yards per catch numbers are good, he makes plays down the field, and he dispelled any idea that he doesn't have good speed when he ran a 4.42 at the Combine. Godwin does a very good job winning contested catches by high-pointing the football and being physical in his route-running with opposing corners. He also has very good hands. I see him as a quality possession receiver in the NFL, who will make the occasional big play down the field. • JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, USC: Prior to the season, Smith-Schuster was thought of as a pretty safe bet to be a first-round pick, but after just an OK season, it's more likely he'll go in rounds two or three. Smith-Schuster has good size at 6'2, 220, and he seems to enjoy contact once he has the ball in his hands. He has good YAC ability, breaking tackles with his thick build. He can also beat defenses over the top (although he's not a burner by any stretch), and make difficult catches in traffic. • Cooper Kupp, WR, Eastern Washington: In his four years at EWU, Kupp had 428 receptions for 6464 yards and 73 TDs. By comparison, former FCS player Jerry Rice had 301 catches for 4,693 yards and 50 TDs during his four-year career at Mississippi Valley State. Kupp isn't a burner, but he makes catches that should otherwise be incompletions, and he's difficult to tackle once he has the ball in his hands. Like Carson Wentz did last year, Kupp had a good showing at the Senior Bowl as a small school prospect. • Jourdan Lewis, CB, Michigan: Lewis is small, at 5'10, 188, and therefore he's likely to be drafted later than he should, but he is a great football player who could be a steal for someone. It's extremely difficult to get separation on Lewis, who is as sticky a cover corner as there is in college football. In 2015, Lewis had a ridiculous 20 pass breakups. In 2016, despite opposing quarterbacks largely avoiding him, Lewis had 11 pass breakups. Schwartz doesn't seem to care as much about size in his corners than other defensive coordinators. The most important attribute to Schwartz is competitiveness, and if you watch Lewis play, it's pretty easy to see that when the ball is in the air, he thinks it's his. Lewis does have an accusation of domestic abuse that will need to be investigated by any interested team.
• Rasul Douglas, CB, West Virginia (DRAFTED BY EAGLES): At 6'1, 208, Douglas has ideal size at the corner spot in the NFL, and he led the country in interceptions in 2016, with eight. Those two things alone will make Douglas an attractive prospect in the 2017 NFL Draft. Douglas isn't always the most willing tackler in the run game, and he can tend to be a gambler in coverage. The latter will be viewed by some coaches as a negative but is likely to appeal to Schwartz.
• Fabian Moreau, CB, UCLA: Moreau was among the biggest standouts at the East-West Shrine Game week of practices. During the game, NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said that "worst case," Moreau will go in the second round. That's no longer the case as Moreau tore his pectoral message. Moreau's college stats aren't very impressive, as he had just three interceptions and two forced fumbles over his career at UCLA. As a redshirt senior, he'll also be 23 years old when he's drafted, which is less than ideal. At 6'0, 205, he has very good size, and although his INT numbers are low, Moreau does a good job breaking on the football and batting down passes. He is also thought of as a physical defender in the run game. • Ryan Anderson, Edge, Alabama: Some project Anderson as a 4-3 SAM linebacker, however, I don't see 4-3 SAM as Anderson's best fit with the Eagles. Anderson is a pass rusher, who had 9 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries, and 19 tackles for loss a year ago. In 2016, the Eagles blitzed Mychal Kendricks a grand total of 9 times all season, despite that being arguably his best skill. If the Eagles were to have interest in Anderson, it would likely be as a DE, although he certainly doesn't have ideal size (6'2, 253) for the position. • Montravious Adams, DT, Auburn: In watching a lot of SEC offensive linemen and running backs over the last three years during our "Grocery Shopping" series, one player who always seemed to flash on the other side of the ball was Adams. The reason he is so noticeable when you're not necessarily watching him is because his get-off at the snap is extremely impressive. His explosive first step allows him to penetrate through gaps and force double teams. However, he ends up on the ground far, faaaaaar too often. In Jim Schwartz's attack-style scheme, that quick first step is a major asset. While Adams has a ways to go in becoming a more polished player, Adams' impressive agility for such a big man is a good start, and he has a high ceiling. • Adam Shaheen, TE, Ashland: Ashland is a Division II school in Ohio, so obviously, Sheheen faced a much lower level of competition in college. In 2015, Shaheen caught 70 passes for 803 yards and 10 TDs. In 2016, he had 57 receptions for 867 yards and 16 TDs. This is a big boy who can run. • Daeshon Hall, DE, Texas A&M: Hall played opposite college mega-star Myles Garrett, who is likely to be the No. 1 overall pick. Over his four-year career at Texas A&M, Hall had just 15 career sacks, but that was due in part to a switch from linebacker to defensive end. At 6'5, 266, Hall has size that Jim Schwartz will love. • Antonio Garcia, OT, Troy: Garcia has great length at 6'6 with long arms, and he's both agile and coordinated in pass protection, which is clearly his strength. Against National Champion Clemson last season, Garcia didn't allow a single pressure. • Zay Jones, WR, East Carolina: In 2016, Jones had ridiculous numbers, catching 158 passes for 1746 yards and 8 TDs. Those numbers always felt massively inflated due to East Carolina's pass-happy spread offense, as ECU attempted 554 passes this season, seventh-most in the country. After watching Jones all week at the Senior Bowl in January, I am no longer concerned with whether or not he can play (he most certainly can). I was surprised by how good of a route runner he was, which is not always the case with receivers coming from spread offenses in college, and he displayed very good hands.
|Sidney Jones, CB, Washington (DRAFTED BY EAGLES)|
|Chad Hansen, WR, California|
|Desmond King, S, Iowa|
|Anthony Walker, LB, Northwestern|
|Jake Butt, TE, Michigan|
|Wayne Gallman, RB, Clemson|
|Samaje Perine, RB, Oklahoma|
|Carlos Watkins, DT, Clemson|
|Adam Bisnowaty, OT, Pittsburgh|
• Sidney Jones, CB, Washington (DRAFTED BY EAGLES): Jones ruptured his Achilles at his pro day, killing his draft stock. Had that not occurred, he would be listed among the options at pick No. 14. Some players come back from a ruptured Achilles and play at a high level. Some lose their effectiveness to some degree. Clearly, it's a risk. When he's healthy, Jones has outstanding ball skills and confidence. While he may be ready to play by the end of October, Jones will have missed the entire offseason program of whatever team drafts him, so this would be a pick for 2018 and beyond.
• Cameron Sutton, CB, Tennessee: Sutton is a highly athletic corner who does a good job of getting his hands on the football. Unfortunately, he's 5'11 with 30" arms (that's really short), and he only ran a 4.52 at the Combine. Add all that together and Sutton is probably a slot corner in the NFL, but he can be a really good one. Sutton doubles as an outstanding punt returner. In 2015, he led the NCAA with a whopping 18.7 yards per punt return on 25 attempts, including two scores. • Ahkello Witherspoon, CB, Colorado: Witherspoon is a "Seattle Seahawks" type corner at 6'3, 198, with a size-speed combo that will appeal to scouts. However, the knock on Witherspoon is that he is often not the most willing tackler.
• Chad Hansen, WR, California: Hansen was a bit of a one-year wonder at Cal. When you watch his games, you see his obvious play speed, leaping ability, body control, and YAC. While the skill set is certainly there, I'd be very wary of taking a 22-year old developmental one-year wonder earlier than the third round.
• Desmond King, S, Iowa: After watching King get roasted all week at the Senior Bowl, I don't think he is long for corner in the NFL, at least on the outside. I think he'll be a safety who can also play slot corner, and he may even slip to Day 3 of the draft. King has good ball skills, as he racked up 13 pass breakups and tied for second in the NCAA with 8 INTs in 2015. He had three picks (one for a pick-six) and seven pass breakups in 2016. He was also Iowa's primary kick and punt returner, putting up decent numbers, but never taking one back for a touchdown. I don't think you'd view King as an answer at returner, but he'd be another guy who can do it.
• Demarcus Walker, DE, Florida State: Over the last two seasons, Walker has 26.5 sacks, 37 tackles for loss, 7 forced fumbles, and a pair of blocked kicks, one of which won a game against Miami last season.
• Anthony Walker, LB, Northwestern: As a sophomore in 2015, Walker filled up the stat sheet, compiling 120 tackles, 20.5 of which were tackles for loss, 4 sacks, 4 pass breakups, 1 INT, 1 forced fumble, and 2 fumble recoveries, one of which was returned for a touchdown. In 2016, he had 105 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 5 pass breakups, 1 INT, 4 forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery. Very underrated player who has flown way under the radar.
• Jake Butt, TE, Michigan: Butt reminds me quite a bit of Brent Celek, actually. He's far from an elite athlete, but he's a good blocker, he has reliable hands, he makes the most of his limited athleticism with subtly good route running, and he's not going to shy away from contact once he gets the ball in his hands. The downside? Butt tore his ACL in Michigan's bowl game against Florida State, and there's a decent chance he'll be a complete non-factor in his rookie season. However, if a team like the Eagles has the foresight to view Butt as a replacement for Celek in 2018, would it make sense to draft a second round level prospect in, say, the third round, for long-term gains? Also, his name is Butt.
• Wayne Gallman, RB, Clemson: Gallman was the running complement to Deshaun Watson and Clemson's passing attack. He's a little leaner than preferred, and thus he's not much of a pile-pusher, but I love the way he runs. He is a physical, determined runner who breaks a lot of tackles in space, and looks to dish out punishment to would-be tacklers. With 65 career receptions, Gallman also has some receiving ability. He does a nice job catching the ball with his hands and then immediately transitioning as a runner. That has to be a skill set that will intrigue the Eagles in the screen game.
• Samaje Perine, RB, Oklahoma: Perine is probably most known for owning the FBS single-game rushing record, when he had 427 rushing yards in a 2014 game as a freshman against Kansas. He is also known for his incredible strength. Go read what Perine's teammates say about him in the weight room. Though he doesn't have the requisite receiving ability, at 5'10, 235, and with his strength noted above, tackling Perine is like tackling a runaway bowling ball.
• Tanoh Kpassagnon, DE, Villanova: Kpassagnon is a physical freak of nature at 6'7, 280, with 10 7/8" hands and 34 7/8" arms. He basically won the weigh-in at the Senior Bowl. At Nova last season, he had 33 tackles, 11 sacks, and 16 tackles for loss. On his first practice at the Senior Bowl, Kpassagnon drew a few oohs and ahhs from the crowd when he tossed highly rated guard prospect Forrest Lamp to the ground. Kpassagnon is thought of as a raw prospect with a high ceiling with size at DE that Schwartz seems to prefer. He would give the Eagles a huge presence with athleticism on the edge, although it might take a year or two for him to develop. • Dalvin Tomlinson, DT, Alabama: In high school, Tomlinson was the Georgia state wrestling champion three times, pinning some poor bastard in nine seconds in the finals his senior year. He anchors very well against the run, as you might expect from his wrestling background. He also does a good job of pushing the pocket, although he doesn't have much in the way of a pass rush arsenal. You'll also see his motor when you watch him, as he chases plays downfield from his defensive line spot. Tomlinson was offered a scholarship to Harvard for his academics, and to Alabama for his athleticism. How many people can say that? Ironically, the former may actually hurt Tomlinson's draft stock, as teams may worry that he's "too smart." Also of concern will be that Tomlinson has torn an ACL in both knees, although it's been a while since his latest tear, which was in 2013.
• Carlos Watkins, DT, Clemson: Watkins is sort of the opposite of Tomlinson above. While I don't love his motor and he's nowhere near as good against the run, Watkins did put up glamour stats in 2016, when he collected 10.5 sacks, best in the nation among defensive tackles. The majority of those sacks came from Watkins simply pushing the pocket and engulfing the quarterback. Last season, Brandon Graham was fifth in the NFL in hurries, but he only had 5.5 sacks. Adding a player like Watkins to the middle of the defense who can split double teams and push the pocket would help make everyone else along the defensive line better.
• Adam Bisnowaty, OT, Pittsburgh: Bisnowaty started in 43 games in his college career, all at left tackle, however, he'll likely move to right tackle in the pros. The words you'll often see to describe Bisnowaty are physical, scrappy, tough, etc. That's often a kind way of saying a guy isn't athletic, but he tries hard. In Bisnowaty's case, he has decent athleticism and he excels in the run game. Doug Pederson likes the scrappy types. When asked what he looks for in offensive linemen, Pederson once said, "Guys that are athletic who can get out on the perimeter and run, aggressive up front, have a little, as they say, 'piss and vinegar' in their neck are guys that you look for." That's Bisnowaty.
• Carlos Henderson, WR, Louisiana Tech: Henderson is a less-heralded receiver in this class, but he put up great numbers (82-1535-19) in 2016. Louisiana Tech runs a spread offense conducive to big numbers, however, Henderson averaged 19.6 yards per catch, which is an uncommonly high number for a receiver coming from a spread offense.
|Damontae Kazee, CB, San Diego State|
|Corn Elder, CB, Miami|
|Ryan Switzer, WR, North Carolina|
|Ryan Glasgow, DT, Michigan|
|Eric Magnuson, OG/OT, Michigan|
• Damontae Kazee, CB, San Diego State: Kazee is a lesser known player on a very good San Diego State team who does a great job attacking the football in the air. Over the last two seasons, he has 15 interceptions. He also added three forced fumbles and is aggressive in run support. At 5'10, 184, Kazee is projected to be a slot corner at the NFL level. Ron Brooks took a pay cut to stay with the team in 2017. Kazee could be a long-term solution at slot corner.
• Teez Tabor, CB, Florida: Tabor was a highly touted corner early in the draft process, but scored horribly in athletic testing. At the Combine, he ran a 4.62, and followed that up with a gross 4.75 at his pro day. Yeesh.
• Corn Elder, CB, Miami: Despite his small size, Elder is a physical tackler who also contributes on special teams for the Hurricanes. In 2016, Elder had 76 tackles (4.5 for loss), 3 sacks, 1 INT, and 12 pass breakups. In 2015, he had 41 tackles (4 for loss), 2 sacks, 2 INTs, and 11 pass breakups.
• James Conner, RB, Pittsburgh: With the Eagles certain to release Ryan Mathews whenever he is able to pass a physical, Doug Pederson's offense could use a bigger back to add to a small group that includes Wendell Smallwood and Darren Sproles. After a 2014 season in which he rushed for 1765 yards and 26 TDs, in Pitt's first game in 2015 Conner tore his MCL and was lost for the season. In December of 2015 he was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma. In May of 2016, Conner announced that he beat cancer. In a class full of bigger backs, Conner is among the biggest at 6'1, 233. In 2016, Conner also had his most productive season as a receiver, catching 21 passes for 302 yards and 1 TD. While he's not a player you're going to move around the formation to try to exploit mismatches against linebackers, he's competent enough as a receiver to catch screens and checkdowns. • Taywan Taylor, WR, Western Kentucky: Taylor has blazing speed, as FOX's Bruce Feldman named him the No. 5 freak athlete in the country, citing Taylor's 11'5 broad jump, a 39.5" vertical and a 4.33 40. Taylor has also been highly productive the last two years. In 2015, he was third in the nation with 1467 receiving yards and second in the nation with 17 receiving TDs. Those numbers dwarfed those of 2015 teammate TE Tyler Higbee (38-563-8), who was a fourth-round selection of the Rams in the 2015 NFL Draft. In 2016, Taylor was once again third in the nation with 1,730 receiving yards and tied for third in the nation with 17 TDs.
• Ryan Switzer, WR, North Carolina: Over his college career Switzer has seven punt return touchdowns. That's tied for second all-time in NCAA history. Switzer also had two punt return touchdowns called back over his career. As a receiver, Switzer has always been a contributor in the regular offense, but did not put up big numbers by any stretch until the 2016 season, when he had 96 catches for 1112 yards and 6 TDs. Darren Sproles said this offseason that he believes 2017 will be his last year in the NFL. Switzer could be a guy who takes over for Sproles as the team's primary punt returner, while potentially taking over in the slot for Jordan Matthews, who is heading into the final year of his deal.
• Ryan Glasgow, DT, Michigan: Glasgow isn't flashy, but he was a solid run defender on a Michigan defense that allowed just 3.1 yards per carry in 2016. On the season, Glasgow had 43 tackles, 4 sacks, and 1 forced fumble. Glasgow is probably a guy that'll come off the field on obvious pass rush situations, which is fine for the Eagles' needs.
• Eric Magnuson, OG/OT, Michigan: At Michigan, Magnuson was slated to be the Wolverine's left tackle, but that never happened. Instead, he started at guard and right tackle during his college career (RT in 2016), while getting reps at left tackle in practice. He is also thought to have the requisite intelligence to play center. Magnuson even played a little tight end, changing his jersey number for a short time to No. 81. He was used mainly as an extra blocker at TE, similarly to the way the Eagles used Matt Tobin and Seumalo in jumbo sets this past season. Magnuson could be a player of interest in the middle rounds who provides good depth at multiple positions, with his ceiling being a starter at RT.
• Raekwon McMillan, LB, Ohio State: McMillan reminds me a little of a poor man's DeMeco Ryans, in that he's very good at taking on blockers and stuffing ball carriers in their tracks, although there may be times when he'll struggle in space at the next level, as he does not possess high-end athleticism. That comparison isn't to be confused with "late career DeMeco Ryans," who was a liability in the passing game. McMillan should be adept enough in coverage in the NFL to be a three-down starting linebacker. • Tarell Basham, DE, Ohio: At a lower level of competition, Basham had 27 sacks over a four year career at Ohio. He has good size at 6'4, 269, and plays with a mean and nasty streak. • Derek Rivers, DE, Youngstown State: In 2016, Rivers had 58 tackles, 15 sacks, and 19.5 tackles for loss against a lower level of competition, and has been productive over his entire collegiate career.
|Shelton Gibson, WR, West Virginia|
|Jeremy McNichols, RB, Boise State|
|Marlon Mack, RB, UCF|
|George Kittle, TE, Iowa|
|Zach Banner, OT, USC|
|Marquez White, CB, Florida State|
|Josh Dobbs, QB, Tennessee|
|Josh Reynolds, WR, Texas A&M|
|Carroll Phillips, DE/LB, Illinois|
• Shelton Gibson, WR, West Virginia: Over the last two seasons, Gibson has 80 catches for 1838 yards (for a ridiculous 23.0 yards per catch) and 17 TDs. He ran a disappointing 4.50 at the Combine, but he clearly has deep ball skills and excellent tracking ability. Gibson is a one-trick pony, but it's a pretty neat trick.
• Kareem Hunt, RB, Toledo: Over his four-year career at Toledo, Hunt racked up almost 5,000 rushing yards. Over that span, on 782 career carries, Hunt has a grand total of one fumble, which was in 2013. That's amazing. Through his first three seasons at Toledo, Hunt wasn't much of a threat as a receiver, but as a senior, he caught 41 passes for 403 yards and a TD. At 5'10, 208, Hunt is a shorter back with OK speed and ability to break tackles. However, what really stands out when watching him is his balance.
• Jeremy McNichols, RB, Boise State: McNichols' numbers the last two years are better than Doug Martin's last two years at Boise when he was a first-round pick coming out of college. McNichols is also a very effective receiver out of the backfield, catching 88 passes for 934 yards and 10 TDs the last two years, and would be a good fit in Doug Pederson's offense.
• Marlon Mack, RB, UCF: In each of Mack's three seasons at USF, he has had at least 1,000 yards rushing. In 2016, Mack rushed for an impressive 6.8 yards per carry. Over his three-year career, Mack has 65 receptions, which is enough to show that he can contribute in the passing game.
• George Kittle, TE, Iowa: Kittle has good hands, and he ran a 4.52 at the Combine. In watching him, he also shows a lot of tenacity as a blocker. Kittle is only eight pounds lighter than Brent Celek. With Celek likely to be a cap casualty next offseason, Kittle is a guy the Eagles can try to bulk up a bit to be an inline blocker in 2018 and beyond.
• Dawuane Smoot, DE, Illinois: Smoot is a less heralded player in this year's draft class because his college team stunk, but he is an explosive, penetrating defensive end whose skill set would fit in well in Jim Schwartz's defense. Smoot's numbers in 2016 weren't impressive. He had 56 tackles (15 for loss), 5 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles. A season ago, he had 40 tackles (15 for loss), 8 sacks, and 3 forced fumbles. Schwartz likes defensive linemen who can consistently find their way into opposing backfield and make tackles for loss, putting the offense far behind the sticks. Because Illinois was often getting blown out, Smoot didn't get as many opportunities to pin his ears back and get after the quarterback, but he has the ability to do it.
• Zach Banner, OT, USC: Banner is one of the biggest human beings on the planet, and he is athletic for his size (emphasis on "for his size"). As you might expect of a 361-pound tackle, Banner moves defenders off the ball against their will in the run game but can struggle with speedier edge rushers, although he's a wide man to try to run around. In the pros, Banner's best fit is probably at RT. The Eagles could also find ways to get Banner on the field as road-grading presence in the run game in jumbo packages, which they used quite a bit when they had leads in the fourth quarter of games in 2016. On the downside (and this is a significant red flag), Banner allowed three sacks in 2016 and was flagged for a whopping 12 penalties.
• Shaquill Griffin, CB, UCF: Griffin has good size at 6'0, 194, and he ran a 4.38 in addition to other impressive numbers at the Combine. Griffin has a cool backstory. He and his brother Shaquem (who only has one hand) both enrolled at UCF, when Shaquill had offers from schools like Alabama, but the brothers were adamant that they were a package deal. Griffin is an aggressive tackler that Schwartz will like, and has the size-speed combo that will allow him to play on the outside in the pros.
• Marquez White, CB, Florida State: White was very good in 2015 at his corner spot in the Seminoles' defense. That season, he allowed a grand total of just nine completions, 131 yards and no touchdowns on 28 total targets. In 2016, while he was still good, he didn't have quite as much success, as was overshadowed by sophomore Tarvarus McFadden, who led the nation with eight interceptions. White's tackling will have to improve, as CFBfilmroom.com has him down for 27 tackles and 7 missed tackles in 2016. That won't be acceptable in the pros. Still, in a Florida State secondary that has been absolutely loaded with great defensive backs, White is flying under the radar a bit, but he could be a good coverage corner at the next level.
• Josh Dobbs, QB, Tennessee: Dobbs has 2160 rushing yards and 32 rushing TDs over his career in addition to decent passing numbers. As a passer, Dobbs has a good arm and can be accurate when he's able to step into his throws, but he tends to lose that accuracy and can make bad decisions when he's forced to move. Also, he can be over-reliant on his running ability, as he'll often bail from the pocket at the first sign of pressure. There is also a thinking that Dobbs' mechanics need refinement. Still, his physical traits and quality character could make for an intriguing project in the later rounds for an Eagles coaching staff that is absolutely loaded up with quarterback gurus.
• Josh Reynolds, WR, Texas A&M: Reynolds has a vertical element to his game (17.0 career YPC) in addition to ability to use his size to make acrobatic, contested catches. At 6'3, he was also a red zone threat for the Aggies, hauling in 30 TD receptions the last three seasons. However, at 194 pounds, he's skinny, and will have to put on more muscle to beat jamming physical NFL corners at the line of scrimmage.
• Carroll Phillips, DE/LB, Illinois: In 2016, Phillips had 56 tackles, 9 sacks, 20 tackles for loss, and 1 forced fumble. Where he would fit with the Eagles is unclear. He could potentially be a situational pass rusher early in his career, with the idea of trying to add bulk to his thin frame, or the Eagles could view him as a SAM linebacker in their 4-3.
|Jalen Reeves-Maybin, LB, Tennessee|
|Elijah McGuire, RB, Louisiana Lafayette|
|Matthew Dayes, RB, North Carolina State|
|Michael Roberts, TE, Toledo|
|Keionta Davis, DE, Tennessee-Chattanooga|
|Tanzel Smart, DT, Tulane|
|Sean Harlow, OG, Oregon State|
|Dan Skipper, OT, Arkansas|
|Jadar Johnson, S, Clemson|
|Jeremy Cutrer, CB, Middle Tennessee State|
|Hunter Dimick, DE, Utah|
• Jalen Reeves-Maybin, LB, Tennessee: In high school, Reeves-Maybin was a stud running back, and in his recruiting profile, his position was categorized as "athlete." Tennessee initially played him at safety, before moving him to linebacker. In 2015, Reeves-Maybin led the Volunteers with 105 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, and was second on the team with 6 sacks. He's a fun player to watch. He is a terrific blitzer, he does an outstanding job of recognizing and blowing up screens, and his play speed on the field is obvious. In 2016, Reeves-Maybin suffered an assortment of injuries, including a serious shoulder injury that made him miss nearly the entirety of the season. As a result, he may be available later in the draft than he would otherwise.
• Elijah McGuire, RB, Louisiana Lafayette: Like Hunt above, McGuire produced all four years of his college career, although it's somewhat interesting that his yards per carry declined every year. Where McGuire stands out, at least in terms of his appeal to the Eagles, is his ability as a receiver out of the backfield. In four years, McGuire had 127 receptions for 1376 yards and 10 TDs. McGuire wasn't just catching screen passes. He caught passes deep down the field like a receiver, meaning that the Eagles could move him around the formation and try to force mismatches. He has a little Shady in his game with his athletic cutting ability, and occasional penchant for losing yardage while dancing behind the line of scrimmage trying to make too much happen.
• Matthews Dayes, RB, North Carolina State: Dayes' 5.2 yards per rush average in college isn't exactly awe-inspiring, but he is a do-everything guy that NC State moved all over the formation.Over the last three seasons, Dayes has 88 receptions for 760 yards and 5 TDs, and is also thought of as a quality blocker in pass protection, thus making him a good fit for Doug Pederson's offense.
• Michael Roberts, TE, Toledo: Roberts was a touchdown machine for Toledo last season, catching 16 TD passes for the Rockets. That was sixth in the nation among all players and first among tight ends. In fact, the next-closest tight end to Roberts for TD receptions had eight. Roberts isn't the fastest guy, so you're not going to get many big plays down the field from him, but obviously, has been very good in the red zone for Toledo. The Rockets also often used Roberts on occasion in something of a fullback-type role out of the shotgun, in which he'll line up two yards behind the offensive line and lead block for Kareem Hunt. There's some good, some bad with Roberts' blocking, but there's something to work with there.
• Keionta Davis, DE, Tennessee-Chattanooga: In 2015, Davis had 13.5 sacks and 17 tackles for loss. In 2016, his production dipped a bit, but was still good, when he had 10.5 sacks. Davis is a bulkier DE who may interest the Eagles as a rotational defensive end.
• Tanzel Smart, DT, Tulane: At 6'1, 296, Smart doesn't have the size to be a three-down player in the NFL, but he is a disruptive, penetrating player who can fit in an attack-style defensive front like the one employed by Schwartz. In 2016, Smart had 5.5 sacks and 18.5 tackles for loss. He can be a rotational player to add to the mix.
• Sean Harlow, OG, Oregon State: In the 2016 NFL Draft, the Eagles selected Seumalo out of Oregon State in the third round. In the 2017 draft, they could have interest in another versatile Oregon State offensive lineman in Harlow. In his freshman season in 2013, Harlow started nine games at RT. In 2014, he started the first five games at RT and the final seven at LT. In 2015, he started all seven games he played at LT before being lost for the season with a very serious ankle injury. Prior to the start of the 2016 season, Harlow considered redshirting this past season, but he eventually opted to play his senior season instead at less than 100 percent. Throughout his career at Oregon State, Harlow has practiced at all five positions along the offensive line, and probably projects to guard or center at the next level.
• Dan Skipper, OT, Arkansas: At Arkansas, Skipper played both at LT and RT, which could make him useful as a swing tackle. Also, at 6'10, he would have some usefulness on the field goal block team. Over his college career, Skipper had 7 blocked kicks.
• Jadar Johnson, S, Clemson: Johnson has a nose for the football, collecting five interceptions this past season for Clemson. He also says dumb stuff. For example, before the Tigers' playoff game against Ohio State, Johnson said that OSU quarterback J.T. Barrett has a weak arm. Prior to Clemson's game against Louisville, Johnson would only refer to star quarterback Lamar Jackson as "No. 8." Dumb? Confident? Potato, potahto. However you see it, defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz loves him some finger-wagging defensive backs, and Johnson could be an option in the late rounds.
• Jeremy Cutrer, CB, Middle Tenneessee State: Cutrer has great length at, 6'1, with long arms. Over the last two seasons, he has six interceptions and 23 pass breakups. He has good ball skills, and does a nice job anticipating routes. However, he is extraordinarily skinny, which is understandable considering he was once homeless and has a crazy (but inspiring) backstory. He has tried to add weight at MTSU, and will likely continue to in the pros. Cutrer gets his hands on a lot of passes, but is a bit of an ankle diver as a tackler.
• Hunter Dimick, DE, Utah: On the season, Dimick was third in the nation with 14.5 sacks, including a five-sack performance against Arizona State. He also has 21 total tackles for loss and six batted passes. While his sack total is impressive, Dimick is more of a hustle type than a guy projected to put up big numbers in the pros. Still, Dimick is a good run defender from his DE spot, with a good motor.
|Corey Clement, RB, Wisconsin|
|Elijah Hood, RB, North Carolina|
|Chad Kelly, QB, Ole Miss|
|Conor McDermott, OT, UCLA|
|Billy Brown, TE, Shepherd|
|Ethan Cooper, OG, Indiana University of Pennsylvania|
|Malik Golden, S, Penn State|
|Steven Taylor, LB, Houston|
|Damore'ea Stringfellow, WR, Ole Miss|
• Corey Clement, RB, Wisconsin: In 2016, he had a heavy workload, carrying the ball 314 times for 1375 yards and 15 TDs. When you watch him run, the obvious thing you'll notice is that he will break a lot of tackles. That is a something the Eagles won't have much of at the running back position when they release Ryan Mathews. However, he was a non-factor in the passing game, his Combine performance was bad, and he comes with character issues. He doesn't quite fit what the Eagles are looking for in a runner, but as an added back to throw on the pile, he would make sense in the late rounds.
• Elijah Hood, RB, North Carolina: Hood is a big 5'11, 232 pound back who probably only projects to the next level as a short yardage guy because of his lack of speed. Hood is also a good blocker, so perhaps he can double as an occasional fullback.
• Chad Kelly, QB, Ole Miss: Kelly has plenty of appealing tools. He has a strong arm, competitiveness, toughness, and a gunslinger mentality that Doug Pederson seems to like. He also has a litany of drawbacks. To begin, he has torn the ACL in his right knee twice, most recently in November of 2016. And then there's a whole host of off-the-field incidents. He was kicked off the team at Clemson in 2014, he was arrested in a bar fight later that year, and in 2016 he ran onto the field of his brother's high school game after his brother took a late hit. Kelly was initially invited to the Combine, and then had his invite curiously rescinded. It's worth noting that Kelly is the nephew and godson of Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly, who is very close with Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich, so there's a loose connection there.
• Conor McDermott, OT, UCLA: At 6'8, 307, with good athleticism, McDermott would be much higher if there wasn't the belief that he's not strong enough to play in the NFL. If the Eagles believe they can IR McDermott with a hangnail they way they did with seventh-round pick Alex McCalister last year, he could make sense as a player they stick in the weight room for a year before they have any expectation of him making the 53-man roster as an OT reserve, which they don't need at the moment, but will in a year.
• Billy Brown, TE, Shepherd: Shepherd? Where the hell is that, you might be asking? It's in West Virginia. At such a small school, as you might imagine, there isn't a whole lot of game tape of Brown. However, he's very intriguing because he played wide receiver there, and put up huge numbers. In 2016, Brown had 99 catches (led D2) for 1580 yards (second in D2) and 22 TDs (tied for second in D2). He has since bulked up a bit in preparation of playing tight end at the next level. Brown would be a player teams will take a flier on, hoping to develop him into a dynamic threat in their offense.
• Ethan Cooper, OG, Indiana University of Pennsylvania: I'd be a liar if I said I watched one second of Cooper's games, but the Eagles brought him in for a visit, so they have some level of interest.
• Malik Golden, S, Penn State: Like Cooper above, the Eagles brought in Golden for a pre-draft visit. In 2016, Golden had 75 tackle, 1 INT, 1 FF, and 1 FR.
• Steven Taylor, LB, Houston: Over the last three seasons, Taylor has 242 tackles, 22.5 sacks, 39.5 tackles for loss, 7 FFs, and 3 INT. However, he's only 6'1, 225, and limited athletically.
• Damore'ea Stringfellow, WR, Ole Miss: Stringfellow has some character concerns, but he makes plays down the field. As a player, while he's not a burner, Stringfellow had good size, leaping ability, and strength. He also breaks tackles after the catch. I like his fit in Pederson's offense.
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