Less than a week away from the 2020 NFL Draft, former Eagles scout and current NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah spoke to the media about this year’s draft class. He also answered questions specifically related to the Eagles and, with his experience, what the organization might do with their first-round pick.
Jeremiah also gave his opinion about what the other teams in the NFC East should do on Thursday and Friday next week.
Here’s what the NFL Scout had to say:
On the Eagles going LB in the first round
In Jeremiah’s most recent mock draft, he had Philadelphia taking a linebacker with their No. 21 pick, rather than a wide receiver. He explained why he wouldn’t be surprised to see the team go defense first.
“I’m a huge fan of Kenneth Murray, and I understand — I know — obviously I worked there, I know the history and what they traditionally do. I just know when I look inside that division and I’ve got to play Ezekiel Elliott twice a year and I’ve got to play Saquon Barkley twice a year, I’d like to have a guy like Kenneth Murray to match up against those players, and they do not have that player on their roster right now.
I also know that from Joe Douglas being there with Howie and now with Andy Weidl being there with Howie, those guys came from the same place I came from in Baltimore, and we saw what a linebacker can do with Ray Lewis and the impact he can have on a football team. That’s another side of it. I would also say if you’re looking at high batting average picks, when you look at some of the linebackers that we’ve seen go in the first round over the last several years, they’ve all been impact players. We saw it with Devin Bush last year with the Steelers. We saw it with Devin White last year with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, we’ve seen it with Vander Esch what he’s done with the Cowboys while he’s been out there, these guys have all played at a high level and been very impactful, and Jim Schwartz with what he wants to do and asking some of those guys to be able to run and cover, I think he’s a great pick, and I also think with Murray, you’re talking about off-the-charts intangibles with intelligence and just a high, high character individual who’s a phenomenal leader. He started at Oklahoma as a freshman. This kid is made of the right stuff, and I think in a year where you don’t have all the information on all these players and there can be more risk involved, I don’t know that it gets much safer than him.”
On Carson Wentz’s involvement
“I think he does have influence. I don’t necessarily think it’s over this particular player versus that particular player. But I’d be shocked if they have not had conversations with Carson and sat down and said, “Hey, what do we need? Do we need more speed, do you need guys to be more reliable, do you need more size, do you want somebody that can play inside, can play outside? What will make you comfortable?” And let him kind of build a menu for the type of player you want to bring in.”
On the Eagles’ pick at WR
“Well, for me if you had the pick of the litter it would be CeeDee Lamb if you can get him. I think he’s the best. He can do everything. He can give you the big play ability down the field but he can also do a lot of dirty work on 3rd down and in the red zone and he would give Carson a lot of free yards after the catch. That would be my choice. But when I look at the top four guys between CeeDee Lamb, Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs, Justin Jefferson, I think Carson Wentz would make a star out of any of those four players.”
On Justin Jefferson moving to the outside in Philly
“I think he can. He was almost primarily in the slot this year, but when I look at his size and his skill set, I think he can, and especially down in the red zone. I think he had like, what, 12 red-zone touchdowns this year? So that to me speaks to his ability to hang on the outside and compete out there. He ran 4.43. That’s just not somebody you would say is quicker than fast. This guy is legitimately fast. I think his best spot is in the slot, but I think he’s fully capable of playing outside, and I don’t believe we’ll see Henry Ruggs be there [at No. 21] at that point in time, but it’s the draft; prepare to be surprised.”
Around the NFC East
On what the Giants should do
“I absolutely think they should go offense there in the first round. I think they should go tackle. They’ve got to get better up front. I know all the holes on the defense. I can spout out all the numbers about where they rank, and it’s not good. But they need to protect Daniel Jones, and they can get a two-fer, and that you can get a player that’s going to help him continue to develop, and it’s also going to be a big benefit to the best player on your team in Saquon Barkley. I think tackle is the place they go there in the first round.”
On what the Cowboys should do
“So at 17 and 51, if I had to go D-end and corner, I would probably lean towards going with the corner first at that point in time, and I would take CJ Henderson if he was there. I do not think he’ll be there. So I would go, for me personally, I would go with Jaylon Johnson. But that could be a trade-back scenario. At 17 you’re not going to feel great about the corner or the edge rusher that you get. I think you could trade back and get who you want at that point in time.”
On the cost for Washington to move down from No. 2
“If I’m the Redskins and [Miami] wanted to give me 5 and 18, that’s what it says it should be, so if you want to make them play — if you want to make them pay a premium because you’re sitting on such a big-time player, the best player in the draft in Chase Young, I would guess you could say give me 5 and 18 and maybe you try and squeeze the Dolphins for one of their twos, 39 or 56. But man, the Dolphins, that would be an expensive move for them.”