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Eagles reportedly host TCU pass rusher on pre-draft visit

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More defensive end depth?

NCAA Football: Iowa State at Texas Christian Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

TCU edge rusher L.J. Collier is one of the 30 prospects from the 2019 NFL Draft who will be hosted by the Eagles for a visit in Philadelphia, according to Jared Tokarz from NFL Draft Insider.

Collier measures in at 6-2, 283 pounds. The redshirt senior finished his college carer with 82 total tackles, 20.5 tackles for loss, 14.5 sacks, five pass deflections, one interception, and zero forced fumbles.

Collier drew some attention at this year’s Senior Bowl but not everyone is a fan. BGN’s Benjamin Solak wrote about Collier in his “Pre-Combine Risers I Just Don’t Get” post for The Draft Network:

So Collier quickly got the “head back to the film, see what’s what” designation after his Mobile week. And there is, again, some exciting stuff there! Collier has decent movement skills for his size, and even though he’s a tweener who will need to redefine his role in the NFL, you want to work with that blend of length, power, and lateral quickness.

Quick off the ball and active with his hands as a run defender, Collier’s upright build hurts him when he tries to anchor in a gap; but as a one-gap penetrating type in a different style of defense, he has the potential to cause better disruption.

However, as a pass-rusher, Collier floundered against top competition. The Oklahoma offensive line bullied Collier in the running and passing game for four quarters, and Collier’s lack of a pass-rush plan and desirable EDGE rush traits was exposed. (No. 91 on the right side)

Collier regularly gets washed in whatever direction the offensive lineman wants to take him; his vulnerability to double teams will be targeted at the NFL level. There’s some promising flashes on his film, but Collier likely needs to build up his lower half and move to the inside if he’s going to generate any splash plays at the NFL level.

Here’s a scouting report from NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein:

A 4-3 base end who won’t wow teams with his frame or athleticism but who will pique their interest with his rugged play demeanor and surprising rush acumen. Collier is stout at the point of attack and will offer some value as a power rusher who is more likely to press the pocket than become an acclaimed finisher. If his attitude is right, he could develop into an average rotational defensive end.

That last line doesn’t exactly leave you feeling very excited about Collier’s potential but not everyone is so down on him. Former NFL scout Daniel Jeremiah mentioned Collier as a late first-round possibility back in February. The following answer was in response to a question about the Raiders:

“There are so many defensive linemen, I think, that would fit and make sense for them, and we’ve talked about kind ofthe top-end guys at the beginning of the first round. The Raiders have those picks. And the bottom of the first round. So if they don’t take one early, I still think there are some real intriguing players for them to keep an eye on there late in the 20s. One name I’ll throw out to you is L.J. Collier from TCU, who I think you’re going to continue to see get more notoriety and attention as we go through the process. In terms of what Mike [Mayock] would be looking for, I know how much he values kind of strength, toughness, power, effort. Those are the things that Mike has always talked about for a long time as long as I’ve known him, and you see L.J. Collier, he’s got a nasty little shake bowl move, he’s got quick hands, he can convert speed to power. He can play a little bit inside, he can play outside. He’s got some versatility that way. So he would be one I think kind of in the bottom of one.”

The Eagles don’t need to force a pick at defensive end in this year’s draft. They already have a strong defensive end rotation with Brandon Graham, Derek Barnett, Chris Long, Vinny Curry, Josh Sweat, Daeshon Hall, and Joe Ostman all currently under contract.

But Curry and Long are aging and not under contract for 2020. Thus, the Eagles would be wise to consider the future of a position they value so highly. If Collier is a guy that Philly truly believes in, they could take him with the hopes he can be an impactful pass rusher for them in the future.

At the very least, we now know the Eagles are doing their homework on him.

Film below (click here to view the entire thread):

Spider graph via Mockdraftable:

Complete list of known Philadelphia Eagles draft visits

TCU DE L.J. Collier

Old Dominion DE Oshane Ximines - [Click here]

Michigan RB Karan Higdon - [Click here]

Florida S Chauncey Gardner-Johnson - [Click here]

Alabama State OT Tytus Howard - [Click here]