Mock Draft Monday
A new tradition that I’ve started with Eagles Twitter is called Mock Draft Monday. Every Monday, we take the current draft position that the Eagles hold and run a fan decided Mock Draft with polls for each pick and then put the final results on the timeline for everyone to view. This is going to be a review of the picks that were made in the mock draft and some scouting overviews of each player picked!
Round 1, Pick 7: Penei Sewell, Left Tackle, Oregon University
Wow. That’s all I can really say. I watched the draft simulator (The Draft Network, link below) continue to run and saw Penei’s name continue to stay on the available page. Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields, Ja’Marr Chase, Patrick Surtain II, Micah Parsons and Gregory Rousseau were the picks ahead of Sewell. These are all great prospects in their own rights but Penei Sewell is probably the best tackle prospect to come out since Lane Johnson, who coincidentally would be starting on the opposite side of him. This is a slam dunk pick and if I were Howie Roseman, I would be SPRINTING to the podium with this card in hand. Let’s get into some scouting on Sewell though.
Pros: Exceptionally young and will only get better as he grows and matures more into his body and frame. In the run game, Sewell is tenacious and comes off the ball hard as a drive blocker — showing great success in creating lanes for his back. Showcases as an excellent run lane anchor and is heavy at the point of attack to create immediate movement. In the passing game, he is competitive and showcases good length for the perimeter — will check the box comfortably for teams with his wingspan. He has a strong upper body and excellent latch strength in his hands. He is tough, strong and competitive and it is reasonable to consider that he has only scratched the surface of his potential.
Cons: Room to improve his technique — making his appeal all that more exciting when considering his successes. His upper body strength is ahead of his lower body strength at the moment — getting stronger in his lower half will only improve his anchor even more. He’s had some wasteful movements at times and can stand to improve there to boost his lateral redirect agility. Even still, he makes up for it with strength and competitiveness. I wish he was more of a consistent, nasty finisher.
Players Passed On: Caleb Farley, Kwity Paye, DeVonta Smith
Round 2, Pick 39, Asante Samuel Jr., Cornerback, Florida State University
This isn’t all that surprising of a pick to me because Eagles fans live for the nostalgia of the past and given his fathers’ success in Philadelphia, this would be an easy choice for most Eagles fans but not me. We’re in a state of disarray at the cornerback position currently. Darius Slay is the only proven, top commodity and he’s going to be going into his age 30 season in 2021. Pair that with Avonte Maddox being to short to play outside coverage and Nickell Robey-Coleman being an impending free agent, things do not look great in the secondary. As much as I like Samuel Jr., I have a third round grade on him because of his size specifically. I’m scarred from Avonte being absolutely Mossed by average sized receivers. His technique and ability are both sound but the height is a concern for me. Here’s some other scouting done on Pick Six 2.0.
Pros: Great man corner. Thrives in off-man coverage. Patient in his pedal and he naturally feels route stems and stays connected. Does well to stay leveraged over routes and he doesn’t easily concede leverage. Maintains a firm base with leveraged hips that enable him to easily transition. Fluid ability to flip his hips, turn and run. Florida State trusted him on an island against top wide receivers and asked him to carry them vertically with no help. Plays under control, doesn’t guess and mental errors are limited. Super aggressive planting and driving downhill on the football. Lightning quick click and close ability but does so with good control and balance. Aims low and grabs when tackling – not many whiffs in the games I saw. Has some experience playing in the slot in addition to wide. Son of four-time Pro Bowl cornerback Asante Samuel.
Cons: Has room to grow in terms of his ball skills. Is often slow and late to locate the football with delayed adjustments to it. There are challenges coming off his man to play the football and plenty of meat left on the bone when it comes to taking chances to create turnovers. He isn’t passive when it comes to chances to be physical but he lacks bulk and it shows up when he’s tasked with bigger receivers. Is easily bumped at the catch point and he struggles to play off contact. Did not play much press coverage in the games I watched with no real examples of him being able to get his hands on guys at the line of scrimmage and disrupt route timing. There were also very few zone coverage reps, although his value as a man corner is apparent.
Players Passed on: Nick Bolton, Najee Harris, Terrace Marshall Jr.
Eagles Trade: 3:71 & 6:218 for Saints: 2:61
Round 2, Pick 61, Jabril Cox, Linebacker, Louisiana State University
Unsurprising of a pick after the fans decided to skip over Nick Bolton and Zaven Collins in previous selections. We’re all aware of the need at linebacker and Jabril Cox is a linebacker that could help solve some of the issues the Eagles are currently having. Currently my sixth ranked linebacker in the class, Cox was a grad-transfer from North Dakota State where he was a two time FCS All-American. Cox is a long, quick, athletic outside linebacker who can easily close gaps in the run game and move fluidly in the coverage game. Here’s some more on the LSU linebacker.
Pros: Toolsy linebacker that grad-transferred from North Dakota State to LSU for the 2020 season. Long, athletic, fluid, quick and explosive. Can run, chase and close distances rapidly. Frequently used by NDSU in an overhang role and he should develop more as an outside backer for LSU in 2020. Missouri Valley Conference Freshman of the Year in 2017. Missouri Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Year in 2018. Two-time FCS All-American. Has plenty of experience playing in man coverage and NDSU regularly had him 1v1 against slot receivers. Flashes the ability to stack and shed blocks but growth is needed taking on and playing through contact.
Cons: Far more of a “see and chase” defender than “read and react”. Commits hard to false keys and often runs himself out of plays and space he is accountable for. Tackling is inconsistent – has some challenges coming to balance and tackling outside his frame despite good length. Some reps are played through a straw. Will need to develop more consistency navigating through traffic and congested areas of the field.
Players Passed On: Deonte Brown, Jevon Holland, Quincy Roche
Round 4, Pick 125, Andre Cisco, Safety, Syracuse
To be honest, I don’t expect Cisco to last this long in the draft as the draft season unfolds and he inevitably tears up the combine. Andre is a rangy, playmaking safety who has a nose for the football. Easily the best coverage safety in the class, Cisco led Syracuse in interceptions every season that he played. In addition to the interceptions, Andre managed to force two fumbles as well but he could still work on his tackling form and wrapping up ball carriers. Here’s more on Cisco.
Pros: Elite ball production and the ball finds him. Led ACC in interceptions in 2018 and 2019 – enters 2020 as the FBS current leader in interceptions (12) and second in passes defended per game (1.27). He attacks the football in the air when he’s challenged and has secure mitts to take away the football. Does well to rake and attack the football as a tackler. Terrific size and build for the position. Best moments come when he is playing robber technique and buzzes down. Hips are fluid and his feet are springy.
Cons: Inconsistent tackler. Prefers to drag down and ankle nip while passing on opportunities to square, wrap and bring his feet through the ball carrier. Pursuit effort and urgency can disappoint. Can be tall in his pedal, leading to elongated transitions and allowing separation. Struggles to find balance between reading the backfield and staying connected in coverage. Bites hard on keys and is easily manipulated. Angles are often poorly calculated when playing forward in run support. Route anticipation skills are lacking when playing over top of bunch sets, mirroring in man coverage or anticipating receivers to his zone. Struggles to play off contact and beat blocks in pursuit. Does not play a consistently physical brand of football.
Players Passed On: Hamsah Nasirildeen, Kenneth Gainwell, Elerson Smith
Round 4, Pick 148, Kylin Hill, Running Back, Mississippi State University
Kylin Hill is the perfect compliment to Miles Sanders and I couldn’t have been more excited to be able to get him at 148. A stout figure with tree trunks for legs allows for a lot of trucks, a lot of yards after contact and a lot of broken tackles that would help alleviate Miles Sanders of having to shoulder ALL of the load. The one knock on Hill is that he lacks top end speed which could ultimately drop him down draft boards. However, operating as a RB2/goal-line power running back would be perfect in the Eagles offense. Here’s some more notes on Hill.
Pros: Rocked up upper body and has the arm size of rushers bigger than his listed body size. Muscular and round legs plus a stout trunk that help him break tackles when defenders attempt to take out his legs. Strong shoulders and core help him run through arm tackles and shake off reaching or lunging last resort players. As a result of his mature figure, he often tries to lower his shoulder to finish runs. Not a running back that will be able to cut on a dime and quickly change directions in an instant. Notices his deficiencies by stuttering his feet repeatedly to speed up the mind and tempo of defenders before choosing his plan of attack. Has employed quick jump overs, one-hand swipes, aggressive dead legs in both directions and shown aggression with trying to run through contact in order to gain extra yardage. Wastes little time with making decisions and is quick with making his decisions on some plays that may require some patience. Always goes with his first instinct and hardly ever second guesses his initial decision. Some instances of where he presses the front-side and feels cutback lanes, but it is not a primary objective for him. Keeps most of his runs on the designed side.
Cons: Hill will have very few long runs that end in scoring points because he doesn’t have the top-end speed necessary to outrun the angles that defenders have on him. Positive chunk plays are considered 10-15 yards at a time for him due to his lack of speed. A physical runner that turns into a contact magnet instead of seeking ways to stay clean and free of the opposition. Many times where there were open lanes to run, but he’d rather look to punish the would be tackler by running over him instead of the lanes that were available to him. Learning to take less punishment and cash in on the open avenues that presented to him is needed. While his decisiveness and ability to make quick decisions are a welcomed sight to see, he has a bad habit of running into the back-side of his blockers frequently. Some of his runs are similar to a collision course of where he turns into a pinball that just so happens to find room to operate.
Players Passed On: Alie Gaye, Dengelo Malone, Anthony Schwartz
Round 5, Pick 185, Ar’Darius Washington, Safety, Texas Christian University
I didn’t really understand this pick after the Cisco pick, but it makes sense if you’re going to utilize him as a third safety option. Wallace and Cisco would likely be your starting combo, given McLeod’s injury at the end of the season, so Washington could come in for pass coverage when K’Von Wallace drops down to the sub-linebacker spot but that’s the most I can say for this pick. I don’t dislike Washington as a player, he possesses above average coverage skills in both man and zone, although little man coverage on tape, and has the ability to make very physical plays. His small stature will more than likely push him down a lot of draft boards.
Pros: Although a smaller safety prospect, Washington is a very physical player in all departments of his game. Possessing a fluid back pedal in zone coverage, he has a great eye for passing concepts and the exact plan of attack from offenses. His change of direction/hips are clean when transitioning in and out of his breaks. Washington can turn and run when asked to even though the Horned Frogs incorporate lots of two high and three safety looks on the back end. Physicality as a run supporter shows up often and he’s often been able to save the day as the last line of defense. While not afforded opportunities to play it often except in the red zone, he’s shown to be adequate in man coverage as he has the smoothness and athleticism to cover slot options. Ball skills galore and he attacks the ball out of the air. Highly competitive at the catch point and many of his turnover opportunities have come from coverage awareness or following the eyes of throwers to take him to intended throwing locations.
Cons: Washington’s eyes can get caught in the backfield often and he remains glued to play-action fakes too long. Waits too long to see and diagnose plays, particularly deeper passes. This has resulted in routes getting by him as a result and left him playing catching up on recovery attempts. His lack of length shows up when attempting to get off blocks and fighting through the trash in order to get to the ball. His lack of height may make some teams hesitant as his measurements are below many previous thresholds for players at the position.
Round 7, Pick 253, Chris Rumph II, Defensive End, Duke University
This was a steal to me. Chris Rumph played all seven positions on the defensive front seven for Duke and was an absolute matchup nightmare wherever he lined up. Although undersized for an NFL edge rusher, the Duke product could look to add more weight while showing that his explosiveness and suddenness can remain. If Rumph can do these things, he may be the steal of the draft, even being picked as Mr. Irrelevant.
Pros: Lines up all over the front seven for Duke, filling a variety of roles. Dynamic first step quickness, burst and flexibility that he combines with terrific hand usage to play off contact and make plays. Shows a wide range of pass rush moves, swipes and counters to keep his pads clean all while playing with terrific extension. Knows how to string together moves and beat blocks. Consistently brings elite effort and competitive toughness on every rep. Plays bigger than his listed weight. Blend of leverage, technique and functional strength helps him compete with offensive lineman that have nearly a 100 pound advantage on him. Dynamic blitzer and gap shooter – Duke often lined him up over the b-gap and asked him to attack. Extremely smart football player that understands his role, where to be and how the offense is attacking. Sharp, quick and accurate processor. Has terrific range and lateral movement skills to flow to the sidelines. Father played linebacker at South Carolina and is currently the outside linebackers coach for the Houston Texans after coaching at the college level from 2002-2019.
Cons: Lacks ideal size to be an edge defender at the next level, although using him in a versatile role like Duke has could lead to exciting possibilities for an NFL defensive coordinator. That said, can he add weight and maintain his explosiveness and flexibility? It’s understandable because of how dynamic he is in an attack-style role but I did not see many reps of him dropping into coverage which will likely be on his plate at the next level.
Players Passed On: Tamorrion Terry, D.J. Daniel, Robert Rochell
So there it is, Eagles fans. I hope you guys enjoyed the content and I look forward to pushing this out to you guys every Monday until the 2021 NFL Draft! As always, follow me on Twitter @SokoFFB for your Fantasy Football and offseason needs!