The Eagles hosted Florida pass rusher Alex McCalister on a pre-draft visit, according to a tweet from McCalister himself (hat tip to Eliot Shorr-Parks). McCalister is one of 30 prospects scheduled to visit the team's facility in Philadelphia leading up to the 2016 NFL Draft.
Loved my visit with Philly ! Great people & a dope city ! pic.twitter.com/uBYs64FYZO— A. McCalister (@ChampagneCali) April 12, 2016
McCalister is big and long. He measures in at 6-6, 239 pounds with 36" arms. In 22 games played for the Gators, McCalister racked up 49 tackles (17.5 for loss), 12.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles.
There are some red flags with McCalister. He was suspended for Florida's season opener in 2015 before later being dismissed entirely from the football program late last year. McCalister also missed a few games in his final season with the Gators due to a foot injury.
Leading up to this year's draft, the Eagles have already hosted a few draft prospects who are thought to have character concerns. In this case they likely wanted to get more information on McCalister and check up on his medical status.
CBS Sports currently projects McCalister as a late round pick. At only 239 pounds he'd need to add some weight in order to play as a defensive end in Philadelphia's 4-3 scheme. Here's a scouting report via NFL.com.
"Strengths - Looks like a bigger version of Leonard Floyd. Has rare length and range to defend both the quarterback and running back against zone read. Ridiculous ground coverage over first three steps. Able to drop, dip and accelerate around the edge like it's an embankment. Features upfield burst and springy hips that are waiting to be unlocked and unleashed. Will flash a "whoa!" spin move that he's still learning to harness. Shows ability to long-arm tackles back into the pocket.
Weaknesses - Was dismissed from the team late in the year. Rushes with no discernible plan or workable counter moves. Can't hold his water versus the run. Instincts are lacking. Doesn't use long levers as effectively as he could. Frame nowhere near thick enough. Has to work overtime to try and keep weight on. Suffered a foot injury in November of this season.
Bottom Line - Despite playing in less than 40 percent of the defensive snaps for the Gators over the past two seasons, managed to notch 12.5 sacks. His character must be questioned and he doesn't possess an NFL-ready frame or instincts. McCalister is a project in need of muscle and coaching, but his traits as a rusher are exciting if he can build upon them. "
Complete list of knowndraft visits
DE Alex McCalister, Florida