A Pleasant Surprise

Posted: April 20th, 2020 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | Comments Off on A Pleasant Surprise

The biggest question of draft season hasn’t been what position the Eagles would address, but rather which receiver they would get and if they would have to trade up to get their guy.

Most of the talk centered on Justin Jefferson, with the assumption that CeeDee Lamb, Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs would be long gone.

Are things changing?

Mel Kiper predicts Jeudy to go 9th, Lamb 13th and Jefferson 15th.

Peter King predicts Lamb to go 12th, Jeudy 15th and Jefferson 20th.

Both men have the Eagles getting Ruggs at 21. This would make 90 percent of Eagles Nation smile for at least a month. The Eagles had the slowest receivers in the league last year. Ruggs is the fastest receiver in the draft. The Eagles could use an explosive playmaker.

But wait…why would Ruggs fall to 21? What’s wrong with him?

Ruggs is the fastest receiver in the draft after running a 4.27 in the 40. And that speed shows up on tape. He is electric. He is explosive.

But if you ranked the top four receivers in all key categories, Ruggs would probably finish last outside of speed. This doesn’t mean he’s a bad player. We’re talking about where he ranks in the top four guys.

Some might see that speed as so important that he should go in the Top 20.

Others might prefer Lamb’s elusiveness, Jeudy’s route-running or Jefferson’s overall game. Ruggs is a terrific prospect, but it can be easy to fall for the siren song of his speed and overlook the others.

Ruggs caught 98 passes in his career. Jefferson caught 111 this season.

Ruggs averaged 17.5 yards per catch in his career. Lamb averaged 19 yards per catch for his career.

Ruggs had 24 career TD catches. Jeudy had 26.

This is one heck of a group of prospects. All of these guys have big time potential.

Ruggs would be a great fit for the Eagles if he were to last to 21. He’s got the kind of speed that affects defenses. They have to gameplan for how to deal with him on deep routes. Ruggs is really good after the catch so you can feed him quick screens and still get big plays. Ruggs will go up and get the ball. He will make tough catches. He’s not another Dietrich Jells/Shelton Gibson. There is more than just speed.

Howie and others in the Eagles front office have gone through a lot of scenarios. They have some idea of how things will go. If the Eagles think all of the top receivers are going to go off the board, Howie will work the phones to try to move up. If the team thinks there is a good chance someone will be there, they will stay put.


One receiver I think people may be sleeping on is Tee Higgins from Clemson.

I’m not talking about at 21. If the Eagles move back in the first or up in the second, Higgins makes some sense.

If the Eagles want more of a vertical passing attack, find guys that can catch the ball downfield. Deep balls require more than speed. Receivers must be able to track the ball, adjust to it on the move and then make the catch.

Higgins isn’t a speedster. He doesn’t get a lot of separation.

But his size, hands, ball skills and route tree would make him a good fit in Philly. I’m sure some of you would try to compare  him to JJAW. Higgins is the better prospect. He’s also taller and has longer arms, helping him to play the ball up high.

And Clemson has been a good place to find WRs in recent years. DeAndre Hopkins, Mike Williams and Sammy Watkins have all played well in the NFL. Hunter Renfrow is off to a good start. Higgins looks to be the next good Clemson WR to join the league.

Just a thought.


Another veteran player is available, this one via the Niners.

Goodwin is a declining player and will turn 30 in November. From that perspective, he doesn’t make much sense.

But he is experienced and fast. The Eagles could use speed and experience in the WR corps.

Don’t expect a move, but if the Eagles do, they’ll know what they are getting into.


Comments are closed.