On Thursday night, the Philadelphia faithful envisioned their weekend going much differently. Let’s just say the organization took us on a roller coaster none of us were prepared to ride. Some hoped the Eagles kicked off the draft by trading up for Henry Ruggs, Jerry Jeudy or Ceedee Lamb. Others prayed for Justin Jefferson to fall into the Eagles laps at 21 (which he did), and the other half wanted to replenish the linebacker position with the studs that are Kenneth Murray and Patrick Queen.
As we found out, Howie Roseman and the Philadelphia Eagles went an entirely different route by selecting Jalen Reagor with the 21st overall selection in the 2020 NFL Draft. Which wasn’t really a surprise because of the speed he brings to the offense, but some considered it to be quite the reach despite posting a 4.22 forty on his virtual pro day. With that being said former NFL Pro Bowl Wide Receiver, Chad Johnson praised the newest Philadelphia Eagles speedy wide receiver’s skillset.
That fucker is nasty with it, I’m no Mel Kiper but he’s elite with a peculiar skill set https://t.co/v41ZVO9SAd
— Chad Johnson (@ochocinco) April 27, 2020
On Saturday night following day three of the draft, Roseman told reporters he had a specific “checklist” for NFL prospects going into the offseason and heading into this year’s draft. The questions on that list were as followed: Can he run? Is he healthy? Does he love to play? Roseman went onto say that he wrote those three points down following the loss to the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Wild Card playoff matchup, and Doug Pederson was “thinking the same thing.”
After seeing those points on paper as Howie held it up and presented it to Philadelphia media members, you almost have to respect that they followed their guidelines throughout this draft. Their draft board was not prioritized like the rest of league, because as we know all to well Roseman has his own way of doing things. Overall, I believe they witnessed Andy Reid and the Chiefs win Super Bowl 54 and altered the entire demeanor of the organization. The Chiefs ultimately won with speed, so the Eagles got faster on both sides of the football throughout the offseason and most notably the draft.
The elephant that sits in the Philadelphia Eagles locker room is now former Alabama and Oklahoma Quarterback, Jalen Hurts. It wasn’t questionable to draft a player of Hurts caliber, but it will always be a head scratcher as to why he was selected at Pick 53 considering the amount of talent that was on the board at the time of the pick.
I was under the assumption that the Philadelphia Eagles are trying to win a Super Bowl right now, but picking a quarterback at pick 53 tells me otherwise. They’re scared. It’s almost like they’re getting prepared for that window to close. It was agreed around the league that the talent available in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft was historic to say the least. The Eagles picked Jalen Hurts over LSU CB, Kristian Fulton, who could’ve came in and started on the opposite side of Darius Slay. Baylor WR, Denzel Mims, who is that long and versatile receiver they could’ve positioned on the opposite side of Reagor. Iowa edge rusher, AJ Espensa, who could’ve been the long-term replacement for Brandon Graham and eventually put into a rotation to keep the edge rushers fresh on the defensive line. That’s just three of the twenty other players they could’ve drafted instead of Hurts at 53.
As fans, we now have to have expectations for QB2 on the depth chart even though we have our solidified QB1, Carson Wentz, who they paid 100 million dollars just last offseason. I understand that Wentz hasn’t completed a full season, but Jalen Hurts went from SEC to the BIG 12 for a reason. I don’t think he’ll be ready to face NFL competition at the quarterback position especially without a rookie minicamp, and just being thrown into OTAs. His talent is raw and his accuracy issues he had in college did not just disappear.
I refuse to buy into the Hurts sub-package on the offense, along with the Taysom Hill comparison due to the fact that a sub-package translates to five to ten snaps a game. The only other players that are on the field for such little time are kickers and punters, and I would like to believe that no one is drafting a kicker and/or a punter with the 53rd pick of the NFL draft.
The second round is where teams hope to find future starters and pro bowlers, not the guy who’s going to be holding the clipboard on the sidelines with his hat on backwards. Not to mention the next quarterback taken was 62 picks after Hurts was selected. Eagles could’ve picked him at 103 and possibly a future pro bowler at 53. The kid now has to enter Philadelphia as a burden, and it really is not his fault that he checked off all the boxes that Pederson and Roseman were searching for all offseason.
I don’t believe the front office will ever be able to make up selecting Jalen Hurts at pick 53, but day three of the draft was a difference making day for the birds. They wrapped up day two by selecting Colorado LB, Davion Taylor who posted a 4.39 forty on his pro day. The kid is still a work in progress, but he fits the need at linebacker and of course he’s flies so he fits the bill.
Davion Taylor hawking down CJ Verdell. It’ll be good to see some hustle in one of our linebackers. pic.twitter.com/A4tZa8OdMW
— Victor Williams (@ThePhillyPod) April 26, 2020
Day three was all about speed with the exception of Clemson Safety, K’von Wallace, Auburn Guard, Jack Driscoll and Auburn Tackle, Prince Tega Wanogho. However, the other four that were selected on Saturday are burners. They addressed the depth on the offensive line and may have drafted Malcolm Jenkins actual replacement. Years down the road Wallace and Wanogho may even be viewed as steals of this 2020 draft class, but that is to be determined.
Roseman may be trying to erase the mistake he committed last year by selecting JJ Arcega-Whiteside over D.K. Metcalf, and after the selections on day three I have a hard time seeing last year’s second round pick even making the roster. He flat out may just be too slow. Boise State WR, John Hightower is an elite playmaker, smooth route runner, return specialist and not to mention a huge reason Boise State was ranked the past two seasons. And yes, he runs a 4.43.
Southern Mississippi WR, Quez Watkins posted the third fastest forty time at the 2020 NFL Combine, 4.35. There is no need to look down on him because he did not attend a power 5 school because Kansas City Chiefs WR, Tyreek Hill went to West Alabama. The two have one thing in common, and that’s when they catch the ball in open field no one is catching them.
The other two selections on day three filled up the linebacker room. Temple LB, Shaun Bradley really did it all at Temple. Posting 87 tackles and 8 TFL as a senior, look for him to come in and make an immediate impact on special teams on the same field he played his college ball. Stanford LB, Casey Toohill had 11.5 TFL his last year as a Cardinal, and is another guy that will most likely come in fly around and make an impact on special teams.
Some may be unhappy with how the draft played out for the Philadelphia Eagles and some may be content. All ten of these draft prospects fit the criteria of that checklist: Can He Run? Is He Healthy? Does He Love to Play? Philadelphia will ultimately find out what these picks are made of in the 2020 season, but if the healthy and quick prospects that love the game of football do not pan out. Howie Roseman will most likely find himself back on the hot seat.
University of Tampa 2020 Graduate