Lots of visit info in the past couple of days.
FSU RB Dalvin Cook is in Philly for a pre-draft visit with the Eagles, source says. Possible addition after WR upgrades in free agency.
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 17, 2017
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 17, 2017
Western Michigan WR Corey Davis and LSU RB Leonard Fournette also visiting Eagles today. Skill position day at Novacare. https://t.co/Xw4vL186vf
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) March 17, 2017
The Eagles are taking a look at some really talented runners and receivers. But what do the visits mean?
Players cannot work out when they go to team facilities. That has to be done on the campus of the prospect. Teams bring prospects to them usually for a medical or character concern. Davis has an ankle injry. Fournette missed time this year with an ankle injury. Cook has medical and character concerns. Williams had a serious neck injury that cost him almost all of 2015.
No matter how much you love a player’s game tape, you have to check out these other factors before assigning that player a draft grade. Durability and character are critical to success for pro prospects.
Teams are not going to waste visits. They are allowed to bring in 30 prospects (plus all the local kids they want). Teams need those 30 visits to count. Now you have to understand that not all visits go well. The team can have genuine interest when they meet with a prospect and a couple of hours later they can be removing him from the draft board. That happened with one prospect last year.
Just because the Eagles brought in Cook doesn’t mean they will take him at pick 14. If anything, I would bet against that.
There are some smokescreen visits. Tom Heckert admitted to this a few years back. Since Howie Roseman learned from him, I assume the Eagles still do this. It isn’t something you would necessarily do every season and you certainly wouldn’t do it much because there are so few visits. Still, it is something to keep in mind.
The key thing to take away from all of this is that visits don’t mean the Eagles love those prospects. They had questions and wanted some answers.
Visits do matter.
All those prospects visited the NovaCare Complex. All were 1st round picks of the Eagles. Just because you come to Philly doesn’t mean you will be drafted, but if you are drafted early by the Eagles, you probably did visit. Does that make sense?
Chip Kelly really drafted guys that visited. That was true of 1st round picks, but also Jaylen Watkins, Ed Reynolds, Taylor Hart and even a UDFA like Travis Raciti. Chip loved to meet with players and lock in on them.
Last year late round guys like Blake Countess, Alex McAlister and Wendell Smallwood all visited the Eagles. Be sure to pay attention to who comes in for a visit, but be careful not to draw any definitive conclusions.
What we know so far this year.
WR John Ross
WR Corey Davis
WR Mike Williams
RB Dalvin Cook
RB Leonard Fournette
DE Ryan Anderson
LB Reuben Foster
CB Marlon Humphrey
A few of you have asked me to list my top 15 or 20 prospects. That way you can have an idea of who the Eagles might be looking at for pick 14. I am still working on my draft research, but will do that soon. I will tell you now that I won’t have any QBs in that group, but there could be one or two that go before the Eagles pick. Heck, it is possible three could go if teams are desperate enough.
The Eagles had assistant DL coach Phillip Daniels at Wisconsin’s Pro Day. I’m sure he was checking out T.J. Watt, J.J.’s little brother. Watt played OLB for the Badgers in their 3-4 scheme, but would be a DE in the 4-3. Watt is 6-4, 252 and a good athlete.
Nice long arm tech from TJ Watt. He let this play get away from him with some help from RT 59 (*mighty* close to a hold as passes Barrett) pic.twitter.com/P1ubj4VYmD
— Kyle Crabbs (@NDTScouting) February 15, 2017
— Chat Sports (@ChatSports) November 19, 2016
You can see where Jim Schwartz might have some interest in that guy.