We’ve talked about Texas WR Marquise Goodwin a few times in recent days. He isn’t an easy prospect to understand so a few people wanted more info on him.
Let’s start with the positives. Goodwin is fast. He ran 4.27 at the Combine. That makes DeSean Jackson’s 4.35 look like Max Jean-Gilles running uphill. Keep in mind that Goodwin did that at 183 pounds, almost 10 pounds heavier than DeSean’s Combine weight. That deserves a “wow”. Goodwin is a track star as well as a football player. He is an Olympic long jumper and was in London last summer. His jumping shows lower body explosion. Goodwin had an 11-foot broad jump. He didn’t do the vertical jump in Indy, but did 42 inches at his Pro Day. He has the best combination of speed and explosion in the entire draft. DeSean Jackson had a BJ of 10’2 and a VJ of 34.5 inches. That should help you to see that Goodwin is much more than just fast. And he’s different than DeSean.
Goodwin considers himself a football player first and track guy second. You can see this when you watch him play. Goodwin has some toughness to his game. He returned 44 KOs at Texas. DeSean had 2 KORs in college. KOs are much more dangerous than punts. You have 10 guys running at full speed to attack you. On punts, there are blockers right at the LOS and impeding the cover units. Not as many guys get going full speed. Anyone who can handle being a KOR and is good at it, is tough. On KOs where the ball went away from him, Goodwin would act as the lead blocker. While he’s not overly physical, he would do his duty.
Watch Goodwin on catches and runs. He runs to daylight, not the sideline. If there is a hole in the middle of the field, he attacks it. If there is space out wide, he goes there. Goodwin played slot receiver some of the time and looked comfortable in that role. He’s not afraid to play in traffic. Neither DeSean nor Jeremy Maclin is comfortable in the slot or playing in traffic. They want space. They want to be outside. Goodwin ran the ball 44 times in college. He gained 405 yards and scored 3 TDs. DeSean ran a bit in college, 24-199-1. This is another sign of Goodwin’s toughness and ability to make something happen on his own.
Okay, so we’ve got this guy with world-class speed, explosive leaping ability, and who actually has some toughness. There is no doubt that he lit up the college football world, right? No. For his career, Goodwin went 120-1364-7 as a receiver. How does a guy with his potential average less than 12 yards a reception and catch just 7 TD passes?
There are a couple of reasons. Part is on him, part is on Texas. Think back to last summer. Texas football players were practicing in serious heat and getting ready for the upcoming season. Goodwin was in London, competing in the Olympics. He didn’t miss all of summer practices, but missing time does put you behind schedule. And 2012 wasn’t the only missed time. Goodwin had Olympic trials and training to deal with during his time at Texas. It drives coaches crazy when their stars spend time in other sports. The reason Russell Wilson finished his career at Wisconsin is that the NC State coach wanted him to give up baseball and commit to football. Wilson didn’t so the coach had him leave the program. Mack Brown didn’t do anything like that with Goodwin, but you can bet that the time spent away from football affected the way the coaches thought of Goodwin. Are you going to focus on using a guy that is in and out?
The Texas coaches have not exactly set the world on fire when it comes to offense. The offensive coordinator in 2009 and 2010 was Greg Davis. He is a guy that believes in the I-formation and running the ball. Colt McCoy was the QB in 2009 and was able to make the offense successful despite the lack of creativity. The offense fell sharply in 2010. Mack Brown brought in a new OC in 2011 and he ran the show through late in 2012. That didn’t work well and he was replaced with Major Applewhite. The passing offense after McCoy’s graduation finished 50th, 86th, and 41st in the country. That should give you an idea that things weren’t going well.
Applewhite was the OC for the Alamo Bowl last December. In that game, Goodwin scored 2 TDs (64-yd run and a 36-yd catch). Texas made it a point to get the ball to him. You saw the kind of potential Goodwin had if he’d been used differently.
I have Goodwin rated as a 3rd round prospect. Part of that comes from watching him at the Senior Bowl. Goodwin was terrific. We knew he was fast, but what he showed in Mobile was the ability to get open with sharp cuts and quick moves on short and underneath routes. Goodwin had everybody talking. His raw ability was incredibly impressive.
Goodwin is raw and that’s the reason he’s not rated higher. He wasn’t an All American in college. He didn’t set any records. He’s not a polished player than can challenge for a starting role from Day 1. Goodwin can be an impact role player, but he needs coaching. I know some people are turned off by his size and see him as a 4th round player and someone the Eagles should avoid. I think Goodwin will go in the 3rd round and see him as a player that Chip Kelly could covet.
Goodwin is not DeSean Jackson, pt 2. He is a different prospect. Goodwin could challenge for the KOR job right away. He could challenge for the slot role right away. He would be used on end arounds and fly sweeps. This is a player you can get the ball to at the LOS and he can create. Andy Reid saw DeSean as a player to get the ball to 30 yards downfield. That was great when it worked, but highly inconsistent. Goodwin could become a starting receiver in the future. If it turns out that he’s only a slot receiver and role player, the 3rd round is still good value.
* * * * *
The Geno Smith discussions keep getting strange responses.
Please understand this one point…if the Eagles do take him at #4 it will be because they have him rated that highly and Chip Kelly thinks he can build an offense around Geno.
I don’t have Geno rated that high, but the Eagles might. This wouldn’t be a case of the Eagles reaching for him or making a desperate move. They will take him if they want him and have him rated highly. Really, it is as simple as that.
* * * * *
Great point made by a reader. The Eagles have 75 guys on the roster. They have 9 picks. That would only leave room for 6 UDFAs. Makes you wonder if we’ll see some cuts. The pre-draft camp will be this week. Won’t surprise me at all to see some players cut late in the week after Chip Kelly and the staff have seen them up close and in limited action.
We’re not talking about a big purge, but there are some guys who are odd fits for what Kelly wants. How do they fit in? Everette Brown and Phillip Hunt are small DEs. Will Kelly want to keep them as OLBs? Will all the OTs like Ed Wang, Matt Kopa, and Matt Reynolds stick around? Something to keep an eye on.