The Philadelphia Eagles signed Purdue wide receiver Anthony Mahoungou in undrafted free agency. In order to learn more about the new Eagles pass catcher, I reached out to SB Nation’s Purdue blog: Hammers And Rails. Boilermakers writer Travis Miller (@JustTMill) was kind enough to answer my questions.
1) Can you sum up what his college career was like?
Anthony was a junior college guy that came to us with three years of eligibility. He had a strong debut against Marshall in 2015 with four catches for 59 yards. Then he got John Shooped. Shoop was our offensive coordinator that season and he seemed to have the motto of, “That guy is doing well? Well, we can’t use him now because they’ll expect that.” He finished the season with only four more receptions for a total of 8 catches for 93 yards. The next year he had 13 catches for 99 yards and it seemed like he was going to be mostly a reserve receiver that would get what little work he could get in blowouts. I guess for him it was a good thing Darrell Hazell was a terrible coach and we were always getting blown out.
Then came this season, especially the second half. Purdue had no proven answers at receiver so everyone was getting a shot. He blew up in the final four games of the year as a deep threat. He had 18 receptions for 366 yards and 6 touchdowns in the last four games. At Iowa he dominated the second half as we went to him on two straight possessions because Iowa couldn’t stop him. It resulted in back-to-back TDs for him and shifted our entire season. That week he had 7 catches for 135 yards and two scores and was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week in a 24-15 win. He was also great in out 38-35 bowl win over Arizona. He had 6 receptions for 118 yards and 2 scores, including the game-winning score with less than two minutes left. Oh, he also made said catch with a separated shoulder and a DB all over him.
2) What are his strengths?
Mahoungou has deceptive speed and if he gets a step on his man, he is gone. He has good size at 6’3” and his confidence late in the season was huge for us. We don’t make a bowl game at all without his game against Iowa and we don’t win said bowl game without him. He was a true deep threat for us and good on 50/50 balls.
3) What are his weaknesses?
Don’t watch the Rutgers game. Yes, he had a nice TD catch late, but he had a ton of drops there and it was an issue for much of his career. He is the type of guy that can make the difficult catch like the bowl game winner or he can drop an easy one.
[BLG Note: According to PFF’s draft guide, Mahoungou had one of the worst drop rates in college football last year. 39 catches, seven drops.]
4) Are you surprised he went undrafted?
Not really. He was pretty much a reserve receiver at best until Purdue’s final four games this season. He wasn’t even starting for a time, but pretty much came out of nowhere to be the team MVP in those last few games.
5) How do you see his NFL career playing out?
I would be kind of surprised if he made a roster, but I was surprised when he did so well at the end of the season. Maybe something finally clicked for him. I don’t know. He could be a decent practice quad guy.
6) Anything to know about him off the field?
He is actually from Paris, France, which is not a hotbed for American football talent. He had a dream of playing American football growing up and he has a rabid following over there that followed our games and our site because he was the rare French player.