The NFL Supplemental Draft draws a large spectacle every year, but it is more because football fans are so thirsty for football and rarely has to do with the talent in the draft. The last two picks to make the Pro Bowl were Josh Gordon, who is suspended from the league and Ahmad Brooks, who was selected nine years ago. Another recent pick, Terrelle Pryor, is switching from quarterback to receiver after failed attempts to make it at QB in Oakland, Seattle and Cincinnati. And lastly, Cowboy's Josh Brent is the only other pick of note in the last 15 years and we all know what a mess he is. This year's crop of players is uninspiring on the whole, but carries a bit of intrigue. However, the most intriguing players usually carry the most baggage and I doubt Philadelphia takes a shot with how they deal with character.
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You might not think there's a lot of common ground between a bunch of elderly hippie rockers and the Iggles. You're right, too. But they share two key strategies.
The biggest name of this year's group is Clemson Tackle, Isaiah Battle. Battle is garnering a lot of interest and is being hyped as the player who could get selected in the draft. Battle has a tremendous frame at 6-9 with impressively long arms. He has light feet and does a good job of moving out in space.
He is a bit light for his frame, and it tends to show when he is trying to win with strength. His functional strength is middling at best and his height compromises his leverage more often than not. His instincts are incredibly raw, and his hand placement is all over the place. When he lands his hands, the results are not even that impressive, as his power lets him down. His ability to win as a blocker is predicated on sheer size and movement skills. He does a lot of "get there first and get in the way" type of blocking, which is less than preferable.
It is hard to truly say Battle is a very good athlete, because the size he may need to add to gain functional strength could compromise his movement skills, just making him a very large dude. As for his fit in Philadelphia, his passive blocking style goes against what the Eagles want and I doubt he is the type of athlete they are looking for. As for his character, he was failed several drug tests during his time at Clemson and was also ejected from a game for uppercutting a player. On the whole, he does not seem like the type of "Chip Kelly Player" the team wants.
Besides having a very cool name, Caldwell also has intriguing pedigree for a smaller school player. Before ending up rushing the passer at West Georgia, Calwell was a highly touted defensive end recruit on his way to Illinois. However, poor academics forced him out of Illinois and into JuCo where he was heavily recruited to play at Arizona State, but again missed out due to failing to reach academic requirements. After missing out on both of his FBS opportunities, Caldwell ended up at West Georgia for a year, where he collected 69 tackles (nice), 18.5 for a loss and led the conference in sacks.
At 6-5, 238, Caldwell has good size for a an outside linebacker, but his playing style best suits a down defensive end. He has strong, highly active hands with good awareness and a high motor. However, he plays with poor pad level and does not have ideal burst for the position. Most of his production came unblocked or on mop up duty. However, his strengths allow him to work as a competent run defender.
Overall, he is not the type of athlete that the Eagles want rushing the passer and I do not think where he wins is worthy of any kind of pick. Not to mention, his academic issues suggest dedication concerns and I doubt Kelly would want that in his locker room.
Caldwell's teammate at West Georgia, Stuckey was an impact player in the middle of the Wolves defense. He did a lot of one gapping at West Georgia, but he does not have the athletic ability to make it was a penetrating defensive lineman at the next level. His strength, motor and hand usage combined with good pad level makes me think his best shot is sitting in the middle of a defense at nose tackle. He would have to gain weight, as he is only 300 pounds right now, but it is not like he should worry about sacrificing movement skills for size.
Stuckey is a decent player in the right role, but he is not dynamic enough for Philadelphia to spend a pick on him. After all, why spend a pick on an average nose tackle prospect when Philly has a very good rotation of Bennie Logan and Beau Allen?
Eiland is another player that does not stand out in any way. Theoretically, he is a speed rusher off the edge, but his speed comes from the fact that, at 225 pounds, he is incredibly small for an edge defender. Therefor, his best bet would to play off the ball at linebacker, but he does not have the spacial awareness or recognition to make an impact at linebacker. Not to mention, on top of all of this, Eiland is already 27 years old because he spent his early years playing professional baseball.
I do not see a place in Philly where Eiland stands out unless somehow he sticks on special teams.
Much has been made about the need for tight end depth in Philadelphia and McQuillan could garner some preliminary interest because of that.
McQuillan is an alright athlete with average size (6-3/245), but has good hands and ball skills. He does not do much as a blocker, ad probably best functions as a big slot receiver. His athletic ability is not conducive to consistently separating out of the slot, so he will need to be very good at the catch point to compensate, which seems unlikely do to his relative size.
On top of being an all around average player, McQuillan also has some bad history which could have him completely off the board in Philadelphia anyway. I doubt we hear his name called when the supplemental draft roles around.
The Eagles added a billion defensive backs this offseason (rough estimate), but there is always room to be interested in more. Short's name is hilariously ironic (at least to me) because he is 6-2. So, obviously his size fits in with what Philadelphia wants at the cornerback position. Short has long arms, but lacks NFL bulk at only 185 pounds. His ball skills were a big asset during his JuCo years as he collected 10 interceptions in two years, a Fort Scott CC record. Short was highly recruited out of JuCo and signed with Kansas. However, he left the team due to poor academics before he could ever suit up.
It is a big leap from JuCo to the NFL and Short has not played football in a year, so that would steepen the learning curve. I would be shocked if he even ended up in a camp.
I saved my favorite player for last since the rest of this article is me basically yelling "nope!" really loudly. Wilkins is an undersized (5-8, 175) receiver out of NCCU but his electric ability makes me think he should garner some interest as a potential pick and a surefire camp invite.
Wilkins is electric with the ball in his hands, possessing great speed, agility, vision and the ability to play much bigger than his listed size. He has reliable hands in space and flashes ability to go up and get it in traffic, though I would not consistently put him in those situations. The Eagles (the NCCU ones, not the Philly ones) used him on screens very often and he was able to create a lot of yardage after the catch due to his home run threat. If he cannot carve out a spot as a receiver, I think he could find himself returning kicks in the NFL. People may harp on his size, but he is bigger than Andrew Hawkins, who is one of the better slot receivers in the NFL.
Philadelphia may not like Wilkins due to his size, but his special teams ability is dynamic enough where I would spend a late round pick on him. If it is not Philly, Wilkins will be making an NFL impact sooner than later.
Overall, I think this Supplemental Draft is bereft of any kind of Josh Gordon-like talent that a high pick should be used on. There is intrigue, but too many character concerns for a lot of these players to even be taken into consideration. Wilkins is the one player I would give any kind of look, but it is likely he ends up being a camp invite rather than a draft pick.