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April 23, 2017

Ron Jaworski discusses Eagles' draft options

Eagles NFL

Former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Ron Jaworski took the time to chat with PhillyVoice, speaking on a variety of subjects, most notably on Carson Wentz, and the 2017 NFL Draft.

On Thursday, we shared Jaworski's thoughts on Wentz. Here, we'll cover his thoughts on Eagles draft prospects.

Q: Who is the player you think could be available around the Eagles' pick at 14 that could most help the team?

Jaws: "When I match up the needs, there’s not a proven corner on the Eagles roster. In today’s NFL, if you are not deep at the corner position, you’re in trouble. I also think that the slot corner is a specific position. You have to develop and draft a guy that can play that slot position. In watching Gareon Conley at Ohio State, he has played that position very well, that slot position, and the corner position. He’s physical, he can play the run, he’s explosive, he can blitz off the corner and off of the slot. So as I spin it forward to the need and a player that fits the need, Conley is the guy that I really like.

"He can cover. If you watched (Jaguars corner) Jalen Ramsey last year, my comparison was him. He’s really good with his hands. By the way, if you talk to enough people, you know that the hardest position to evaluate is the corner position in college. You have 15 hours per week to prepare, you don’t get in a lot of sophisticated or complex coverages, everyone pretty much plays zone. It’s hard to evaluate when guys are playing eight or nine yards off the line. So I like those guys that will get in your face, play some bump and run, and Conley is one of those guys."

Q: How about the other corners?

"(Ohio State corner Marshon) Lattimore is good too, but I like Conley better because he can move down in the slot and he can be more physical. He’s my favorite corner in the draft, because of the versatility. You can plug and play, and he can pay inside or outside.

"Sidney Jones would have been the top guy. He was the best of the bunch if he didn’t get hurt. No doubt in my mind. He’s physical. If you look at that whole Washington secondary, that would be a Pro Bowl secondary out there. They were all very good, but clearly, he was the best of the bunch. He was a guy who could play zone, he could play man, and I don’t want to throw buzz words out there, but the transition ability that you have to have, the ability to tie your hands to your feet, your mobility, he had all those things. When you watch these guys play after play after play, you kind of develop a sense of if a guy can play or not. There are guys I look at for maybe a half, and I’m done. For six months a year, I look at all NFL football play, and I know what those attributes are to play those positions, and you can tell pretty quick on the eyeball test with Jones.

"I liked the tape on Teez Tabor until he ran that 4.7, but wow, you can’t run 4.7 and be a corner in this league. You can’t. He has the ability, the transition, the physical play, but man, when you run 4.7 they’re going to run go’s on you all day."

Q: Are there any pass rushers you like in this draft?

"This kid Charles Harris down in Missouri, he’s a very good pass rusher, plays the run very well. He’s a very active guy. Everyone is going to know about Myles Garrett, and those types of guys, Taco Charton, they’re going to go early. But you look at maybe a T.J. Watt. He’s probably not a fit for what Jim Schwartz likes to do, but I like the way he plays. He’s kind of that joker hybrid kind of guy that you can move around. He plays the run very well, very strong with his hands and upper body, so he’s a guy that may surprise some people and go probably quicker than most people think.

"Garrett is clearly the cream of the crop. I made the comparison to Reggie White, only because I played with Reggie White and was around Reggie White all day and I’ve been around Myles Garrett. Classy guy, and man, he’s got speed and quickness. If you watch play after play at Texas A&M, almost every snap he’s the first guy off the ball. He’s got great quickness and anticipation."

Q: While the Eagles don't need one, we should still ask you about the quarterbacks. Are there any that you think will be taken before the Eagles' pick at 14, thus causing players at positions of need to slide?

"I would not take a quarterback in the first round. I would not. And I've gone on ESPN and said that, and my Twitter world blows up. I just don't see it. I know there's value in the quarterback. I'm not naive enough to think that (North Carolina quarterback Mitchell) Trubisky is not going to get pushed up, and (Clemson quarterback Deshaun) Watson is not going to get pushed up. It's going to happen because teams are in dire need of a quarterback, and your fan base is clamoring, but every one of these guys has flaws, and warts, and whatever you want to call them, that I just don't see a team saying, 'Oh boy, let's target that guy with our No. 1 pick.

"I just don't see it. Now there may be some guys that go in the second round, and in the process of what the draft is, you may get some good value. You may get a Patrick Mahomes in the second round with some upside because of his arm strength. You may get a Nate Peterman because he played under center and he made NFL throws and he used play action in a pro-style offense. You may get DeShone Kizer, who is big, strong, can rip throws, but is really inaccurate.

"People are asking, ‘Who’s the next Tom Brady? Who’s the next Dak Prescott?’ If I knew that I wouldn’t be talking to you right now. I’d be getting paid a lot of money by some team to do some scouting for them, but the guy I like is Josh Dobbs down at Tennessee. Good solid player, athletic, can throw the football. So if you say, 'Hey look at this guy. Dak Prescott went in the fourth round, Jaws, who’s the guy you like that might surprise some people?' This is the guy who might surprise some people.

"And Dobbs has experience. When you go to Bill Parcells, and we worked together at ESPN. Bill, when he talked about quarterbacks, he wanted experienced guys. He wanted guys that played three or four years in college, went to their senior year and guys that not only matured in the system, but matured as a person. They could handle the pressure. They could handle the huddle. They could handle the locker room. They could deal with the media. He liked those guys that had been the team captain, had been there four years or even an extra redshirt year, so five years. He liked those kinds of guys, and if you look at the history of this league, it’s probably better if you go that route. There’s always the isolated outliers, but for the most part, if you take that guy that stayed in college, gained experience, you have a better chance of long-term success."

Jaworski is the CEO of Ron Jaworski Golf Managment, which owns and operates five courses in South Jersey and one in Downington. His reigning Arena Football League champion Philadelphia Soul play their home opener at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 29th, just after Day 3 of the 2017 NFL Draft wraps up.

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