The Florida Gators pro day featured several draftable players and representatives from all 32 NFL teams. The event was obviously built around standout pass rusher Dante Fowler, but the Eagles were likely there to look at talent that they could take after the promising defender is off the board.
Below are some tidbits from the event:
- I had an interesting conversation with NFL Network's Mike Mayock which led to a one-on-one interview. I asked him about fits for the Eagles and while he mentioned Fowler (who he said "would be a good fit for any team"), he immediately acknowledged that he won't be obtainable for the team picking at No. 20. I asked if he felt that Fowler was a complete linebacker, to which he replied "I would [say that]."
- Mayock also mentioned defensive lineman Leon Orr as a possible five technique fit for the Eagles. Orr has always displayed talent but also left the Gators midseason after dealing with some concerns about playing time. I spoke to Orr about his dismissal from the team and he seemed to have mended fences with the program. The Gators invited him to participate in the pro day and he was allowed to wear the team's helmet at the Senior Bowl. The 6-foot-5, 305 pound lineman seemed remorseful about his dismissal and claims to have really learned from his mistakes. I clocked him at a 4.99-second 40-yard dash and overheard a scout say "Whoa!" during the speed test.
- Eagles offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland was on hand to watch Trenton Brown and D.J. Humphries. I thought both showed the ability to play in a zone-blocking scheme. That said, Mayock specifically mentioned Humphries when discussing fits for the Eagles. "The tackle [Humphries] is a starting tackle," said Mayock. "He fits what Philadelphia does because he's so athletic. However, I'm not sure that's a priority this year. At that point in the draft, I don't think they are taking a tackle in the first round."
- Another Florida player that really stood out was receiver-returner Andre Debose. The speedster clocked an unofficial 4.35 40-yard dash time and was easily the fastest player at the workout. I asked Mayock for his take on Debose and he definitively stated that the league would be looking at him as a returner first. I told Debose that and he claimed that he really thought he could be a standout at receiver. When asked who he would compare his game to, he replied "Antonio Brown" with a smile. At 6-foot and 195 pounds, it's easy to see the comparison, especially with his trademark speed. Debose is the Gators all-time leading kick return scorer. He has four career kick return touchdowns.
- A player that I watched closely was Clay Burton. The younger brother of current Eagles tight end Trey Burton, Clay played and tested well on the field. It was also easy to notice the bond between the brothers as Trey showed up to support Clay. The Burtons have been working out together in Tampa and Trey has been guiding Clay throughout the process. You can hear more about their relationship on the next BGN Radio.
- Fowler is an awesome specimen. He is just so good. What makes him even more interesting is his personality. The guy is just a great conversation waiting to happen and he has an unrivaled sense of humor among his peers. The man was nearly naked standing on a field surrounded by adult men with microphones and he still kept his humor on 11. Reporters that cover the team he's getting drafted by will have good stories for days.