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Report: Eagles will host Darnell Savage on pre-draft visit

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NFL: Combine Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Maryland safety Darnell Savage is set to meet with the Eagles on an official pre-draft visit in Philadelphia, according to Jeff Zriebec (hat tip to @IgglesNest). I’m guessing this local meeting doesn’t count against the 30 visit limit considering Savage is a Newark, Delaware native.

The 5-10, 198 pound Savage is on the smaller side but that didn’t prevent him from being a productive college player. In four years with the Terrapins, Savage logged 182 total tackles, 13 passes defensed, nine tackles for loss, eight interceptions, and one sack. Savage also returned one punt for a 36-yard touchdown

BGN’s Michael Kist has Savage ranked as the third best safety in this year’s draft. Here’s what he wrote earlier this year:

Savage has one of the most exciting physical/athletic profiles of this group. His high grade reflects a portion of that projection but may end up being too low if he develops as a single-high safety over time. He’s an aggressive, uber-competitive ball of energy. His mentality works both for him and against him, leading to excellent downhill plays and slip-ups when he gets caught peeking. This limits his ability to contribute as a center-fielder right away. Savage wants to get downhill and make the *now* play. Teams should let him do that from a nickel/robber role at the beginning of his career. In his game against Temple you’ll see the ceiling for Savage. There are several reps that had me literally jumping out of my seat. Those moments came from him sniffing around the box and firing his gun. Conversely, if you look close enough you’ll stumble through the floor. The Michigan game showcased mental issues concerning processing speed and route recognition. His career may start like a rollercoaster if pressed into deep zone coverages, but if the lightbulb clicks on it’s going to be special. He has the range to do it, but his mental processing needs to align better with the athletic profile. The question is, how much are you willing to invest on a gamble? Savage has a cathedral ceiling, but is he religious?

Summary: Immediate nickel/strong safety starter with eventual single-high safety potential. Special teams demon.

Grade: 69.8 (Late 2nd Round)

Additional scouting report via NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein:

Savage will offer an interesting litmus test for how teams value instincts, IQ and coverage quickness against size. He sports a compact frame with a muscular build, but lacks desired height for downfield challenges and size for volume tackling. However, his sticky cover skills and ability to close on throws from all areas of the field are valuable commodities that should not be undervalued. Savage could be targeted as a hybrid defender offering two-high zone or slot cover talent.

Unlike the Chip Kelly era, a lack of size doesn’t seem like a deal-breaker for this Eagles regime. Philly drafted a 5-9, 184 pound Avonte Maddox last year.

The Eagles could look to select Savage with one of their two second-round picks. Safety isn’t necessarily isn’t an immediate need for Philly but Malcolm Jenkins turns 32 this season and Rodney McLeod is a free agent in 2020. Savage could push veteran safety Andrew Sendejo for playing time as the Eagles’ third safety this year before eventually taking over as a starter in the future.

Highlights video:

Spider graph via Mockdraftable:

Complete list of known Philadelphia Eagles draft visits

Maryland S Darnell Savage (Local)

Boston College OL Chris Lindstrom - [Click here]

Oklahoma OT Cody Ford - [Click here]

Ole Miss WR A.J. Brown - [Click here]

Penn State CB Amani Oruwariye - [Click here]

Arkansas G/C Hjalte Froholdt - [Click here]

TCU DE L.J. Collier - [Click here]

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]