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Eagles interview several speedy wide receiver prospects at the 2020 NFL Combine

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NCAA Football: Michigan at Penn State Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The 2020 NFL Combine is underway with the first wave of draft prospects speaking at the podium on Tuesday morning.

Eagles fans should be interested to know that Philadelphia’s scouting staff is showing interest in a number of wide receiver prospects, including some who are actually very fast! Various media reports indicate the Eagles have used a number of their 45 allotted Combine interview sessions on pass catchers.

Let’s take a look at what we know thus far.

HENRY RUGGS III

The Eagles already met with Ruggs, according to Eliot Shorr-Parks.

Ruggs is a perfect fit for what the Eagles need on offense. The only problem is that the Alabama speedster is not expected to fall to No. 21. Howie Roseman just might have to find a way to trade up if the cost isn’t too prohibitive.

Former Eagles scout and current NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah said Ruggs would be a “home run pick” for Philly. Jeremiah also talked about how Ruggs belongs in the conversation — along with Jerry Jeudy and CeeDee Lamb — as the best receiver in the draft. DJ has Ruggs at No. 11 on his top 50 prospects list.

Acquiring a speedy receiver isn’t merely a luxury; it’s a necessity. We saw how much of a difference having a legit burner in DeSean Jackson made for Carson Wentz and the Eagles’ offense last season. The Eagles should be thinking hard about doing what it takes to get Ruggs.

Scouting report via NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein:

Ruggs’ speed alone helps both the running and passing games because it forces safeties into more passive positioning. He can work all three levels and his ability to turn slants and crossing routes into big gainers could make him the favorite gift under the tree for a quarterback and offense in need of an explosive weapon. He has quick, sure hands to handle off-target throws, but learning to release, separate and catch against physical NFL cornerbacks could require an adjustment period. He won’t rack up the targets, but has explosive speed and talent to imprint on games with regularity.

JALEN REAGOR

The Eagles have already met with Reagor, per Ed Kracz.

Reagor is another speedy receiver who’s been linked to the Eagles at No. 21. Here’s what Jeremiah recently said about him:

With Reagor, he’s somebody, I think one of the things people are trying to find in this draft is your version of Tyreek Hill. He’s not as fast as Tyreek Hill, but he’s going to run in the 4.3s, and he can take the top off coverage. You can use him on the jet sweeps, get the ball to him in the flat and just let him go. He can play over the top. The knock on him, he’s got a good number of drops. So he’s got to clean that up.

Not everyone is enthralled by Reagor, though. DJ doesn’t even have the TCU product in his top 50. There’s thought he’s more of a Day 2 pick, though his biggest proponents think the first round is possible. The Eagles could find themselves taking a shot on Reagor if Ruggs is off the board.

Scouting report via NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein:

Spotty quarterback play helped cause a production drop, but his focus and competitiveness also seemed spotty at times. Reagor is a smooth athlete with blazing speed who has more playmaking talent than receiver skill and play-callers need to account for that when determining how to utilize him. He’s electric with the ball in his hands so getting it to him quickly rather than asking him to consistently make plays for himself as a ball-winner could be crucial. When 2019 is balanced against his 2018, the grade and projection begin to climb with a versatile receiver who’s able to spice the offensive gumbo.

KJ HAMLER

The Eagles are meeting with Hamler on Wednesday, according to ESP.

Not unlike Ruggs and Reagor, Hamler has a reputation for being a vertical threat. Hamler logged 16.9 yards per reception and 13 total touchdowns in his final two seasons at Penn State.

The Eagles showed a strong affinity for Nittany Lions last year when they drafted Miles Sanders with a second-round pick before selecting Shareef Miller in the fourth round. The Eagles then also signed Ryan Bates and DeAndre Thompkins as undrafted rookie free agents.

Will the PSU to Philly pipeline continue? Concerns about Hamler’s size (5-8, 178) could drop him to the Eagles’ second-round selection.

Scouting report via NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein:

Explosive slot target who hits the scales as a lightweight but could have heavyweight impact on games. Hamler’s blazing speed is used solo and in route combinations to stress secondaries and create big plays. He had an alarming number of drops in 2019 and the routes are ragged, but his athleticism and separation burst on all three levels helps mitigate those concerns. He’s a smallish slot who isn’t built for the tough yardage and could have durability concerns if he’s run into too many collisions. However, speed kills and his game-breaking potential on all three levels will be enticing as a high-risk, high-reward draft pick.

JUSTIN JEFFERSON

The Eagles have already met with Jefferson, per ESP.

Jefferson isn’t known for being a flat out burner but it’s not like he’s a non-factor in that regard. Jeremiah really likes Jefferson (No. 16 on DJ’s top 50) and thinks he could be in play for the Eagles at No. 21.

But I think Justin Jefferson has got a chance to be a high, high volume slot receiver a lot like Keenan Allen, can fill that role, can work in traffic. He’s really good down in the red zone. He led the — he led this entire draft class with touchdowns down in the red zone this year at 12. So, he’s a point producer and he would be a great fit for them.

The most recent mock drafts from both SB Nation and The Athletic have the Eagles landing Jefferson in the first round. That possibility seems to be gaining some momentum with Ruggs looking more unlikely to fall to Philly.

Scouting report via NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein:

A quarterback’s best friend, with the contested-catch focus and extreme ball skills to boost completion percentages. Jefferson failed to stand out as an outside target but saw his stock soar with a monster season from the slot. He has decent speed and separation talent, but he needs to improve as a route-runner, as he’s less likely to see the same freedom in space that LSU’s offense helped create for him. He’s slippery in space and able to stab and save throws with quick hands and fluid body adjustments. Teams looking for an inside/outside possession receiver with the size and savvy to make chain-moving catches could push Jefferson up the board.

Drafting Jefferson gets more interesting if the Eagles are able to add a legitimate deep threat by some other means.

KJ HILL

The Eagles have already met with Hill, per ESP.

The Eagles have probably placed too much value on college production in past years but Hill has plenty of that. The redshirt senior finished his time at Ohio State as their all-time leader in receptions with 201 for 2,332 yards and 20 touchdowns. Hill’s 11.6 yards per reception mark shows he’s not a vertical threat. He profiles as a slot receiver in the NFL.

Scouting report via NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein:

Words like “dependable,” “reliable,” and “consistent” work well to describe Ohio State’s all-time catch leader. He’s a slot worker who is most effective in space, where his route savvy and sticky hands can make their mark. He’s not sudden or special with the ball in his hands underneath and won’t stretch defenses vertically, so the routes may need to go from good to great for him to become more than a solid backup.


Wide receiver prospects will take part in on-field drills at the Combine on Thursday (Feb. 27) from 4:00 PM through 11:00 PM. Just like us, the Eagles will be watching closely.