The NFL Draft has come to an end and the Eagles had, in my opinion, a very good haul. Here are quick looks at each drafted player and a bit of (optimistic) projection for their rookie stat line.
Marcus Smith, OLB, Louisville
Smith is a very athletic, intelligent pass rusher. He has very good size, burst at the line of the scrimmage and can drop into coverage. He needs to improve his functional strength, but he can beat offensive linemen with quickness and polished pass rushing moves. In year one, I would not be shocked to see him get heavy snaps as the season goes on due to his ability to drop in coverage.
Stat Line: 35 tackles, 15 TFLs, 7 Sacks, 2 FF, 3 PDs
Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt
Matthews is my top receiver in this class. He may not have Sammy Watkins’ straight line speed or Mike Evans dominating size, but he is a very balanced player and an incredibly hard worker. He has huge hands and very good size, which he flashes the ability to dominate the catch point with. He is a savvy route runner who can eat up zones like few could in this class and he is very underrated under the catch. He was already anointed the starting slot receiver and I expect him to quickly become the focal point of this passing game.
Stat Line: 90 targets, 68 Receptions, 918 yards, 13.5 YPC, 7 TDs
Josh Huff, WR, Oregon
Another receiver who ranked in my top ten at the position, Huff is a tough athletic player. He has very good acceleration and plays the ball much bigger than his size. He has good hands and is an incredibly strong runner after the catch. He will likely be buried on the depth chart in year one due to the abundance of pass catchers, but he could see some time in the slot and on special teams.
Stat Line: 40 targets, 25 receptions, 400 yards, 16 YPC, 3 TDs. 20 Carries, 110 yards, 5.5 YPC, 1 TD
Jaylen Watkins, CB, Florida
Watkins is a guy I was not high on but it is obvious why the Eagles liked him. Despite his mediocre instincts, he is still a very athletic press corner who can play safety in a pinch. The Eagles stated that he is likely going to compete for corner and safety but I think he ends up as the teams fourth corner.
Stat Line: 20 tackles, 2 TFLs, 1 INT, 5 PDs
Taylor Hart, DE, Oregon
Hart is an absolute freak of an athlete with great size, strength and burs. However, he has some horrible technique issues and an inconsistent motor that really hurt his natural power. If the Eagles can coach his flaws out of him, Hart could be a steal. I think Hart will be heavily featured in the defensive line rotation and will see a lot of time on passing downs over Cedric Thorton due to his pass rush potential.
Stat Line: 25 Tackles, 6 TFLs, 3 Sacks, 1 PDs
Ed Reynolds, S, Stanford
Reynolds is a smart safety with very good size and ball skills. He is inconsistent playing the run and can sometimes outsmart himself in coverage. He will be part of the safety competition, but I doubt he sees the field much this year outside of special teams.
Stat Line: 15 Tackles, 1 TFL, 3 PDs
Beau Allen, NT, Wisconsin.
Allen is a tough, strong nose tackle who plays with good pad level and awareness. He is not a guy who will rush the passer, but he can eat up space and make plays in the run game. He will likely rotate in with Bennie Logan at nose tackle, giving the Eagles much needed beef up front.
Stat Line: 10 Tackles, 3 TFLs, 15 inches of beautiful hair.