Posted: April 5th, 2020 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | Comments Off on X-Factors

Evaluating players for the draft is tricky, to say the least. There is game tape, all-star games, the Combine, workouts, interviews, injury history and more than a few intangibles. You have to know how to take that information and come up with an accurate evaluation.

Let’s talk about some of what make evaluations tricky.


Jerry Jeudy … 77-1163-10

CeeDee Lamb … 62-1327-14

Henry Ruggs … 40-746-7

Jeudy had the most catches. Lamb the most TDs. Ruggs wasn’t close to either player in either category. Does it make sense to rank him with them?

Ruggs is the most explosive receiver in the draft. The fact he didn’t catch a lot of passes in college doesn’t change that. This is a guy you want on your NFL team.

At the same time, it is fair to question why he wasn’t more productive. He played on an offense with 4 great receivers. The ball got spread around. That doesn’t explain the situation entirely, but it should make you more comfortable with the situation.

College production can be misleading. Miles Sanders ran for 1649 yards in his college career. Donnel Pumphrey ran for more than that in each of his final three seasons in college. Pumphrey was a great college player. There is no question who the better pro is.

The Eagles have put a lot of emphasis on college production in recent years. It hasn’t always worked well (Exhibit A: Donnel Pumphrey). The Eagles at times were more interested in production than athleticism. You can see that in Derek Barnett, who set the Tennessee record for career sacks, but didn’t have a great pre-draft workout.

Before you dismiss production, keep in mind that Barnett set the UT sack record by surpassing the mark previously set by…Reggie White.


The Eagles have had some tough luck with players from the Pac-12. Nelson Agholor was a disappointing first round pick. J.J. Arcega-Whiteside is off to a very slow start. The jury is still out on Sidney Jones. This makes some people think the Eagles should avoid those players.

That’s a lot of hyperbole, but the point is worth considering. Why have the Eagles missed on recent picks from that conference? Agholor has been a bit of a head case since coming out of college. He’s not soft. JJAW is too young to make definitive judgments on. As for Jones, injuries have been his biggest issue. Beyond that, confidence is a factor as well.

I would never rule out a conference. Study what issues you’ve seen with players and then avoid prospects who might fall into those categories.

There are plenty of Pac-12 players I would be comfortable with the Eagles taking this year.

Safeties Jeremy Chinn and Kyle Dugger both played small school football. Both are big, athletic players who impressed at the Senior Bowl and Combine. They showed they can perform at a high level against major competition.

Still, you haven’t seen them do that on the field for a full season. There is some risk because of that. I would still love for the Eagles to take either player. I think both have a legit shot to succeed at the next level.


WR Jalen Reagor saw a steep drop in his production in 2019. One of the big reasons is that he had a freshman QB this past season. Some freshman play lights out (like the USC kid), but most struggle as they adjust to college football.

Justin Jefferson posted phenomenal numbers at LSU. He had the benefit of the #1 overall pick at QB and NFL players at RB, WR, TE and on the OL. He also had an NFL guy running the offense. I’m not trying to take away from Jefferson’s amazing season, but he did have a lot going for him.

Marlon Davidson played DE in Auburn’s front, but he will mostly play 4-3 DT in the NFL, either in base or nickel/dime. You can’t judge Davidson’s game tape the same way you would another prospect who consistently was the 1-tech or 3-tech.


After the last two years, this is a sensitive subject for Eagles fans.

I love WR Laviska Shenault from Colorado. But he only played in 27 games in three years. This year  he had to deal with a core muscle injury and inflammation of the pubic bone. Yikes. That led to surgery just after the Combine. Shenault is a first round type of talent who might be on the board at 53. Do you take him?

Shenault is hardly the only prospect with issues. This is going to be a tough factor for all 32 teams. One of the reasons teams bring players in for visits is to make sure they are comfortable with the medical side of things. That won’t happen this year so we may see some guys slide in the draft.


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