One of my favorite post-draft activities involves looking at what actual NFL scouts think of the players selected by the Philadelphia Eagles.
This post features quotes from various football personnel people, mainly by way of The Athletic’s Bob McGinn’s annual must-read pre-draft series. There are a few quotes provided by NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein as well.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at what league insiders had to say about the Eagles’ picks in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Reagor was the fourth receiver selected in this year’s draft behind Henry Ruggs III, Jerry Jeudy, and CeeDee Lamb. McGinn’s polling had Reagor ranked as the eighth best receiver.
“Holy shit, he’s exciting,” said one scout. “His speed and run after … we’re looking for explosive playmakers. His punt returns were like holy hell. … His skill set is outstanding.” [..] “He’s faster and quicker than CeeDee or (Justin) Jefferson,” said a second scout. “He’s tough, he’ll catch in the middle and he takes the ball away from people. But, if the ball’s not coming to him, he doesn’t do much. He doesn’t block. He hardly gets off the line of scrimmage sometimes. He is a talented, talented kid, but his body language and attitude, from film only, is bad. Kind of a reluctant football player. When the ball’s coming to him he’s full-speed.” […] “He may be the most explosive guy coming out of this draft,” said a third scout. “Quick and aggressive, plays fast, quick hands. Can he be a slot receiver, too? I think he can.” […] Added a fourth scout: “If I want a jet sweep guy I want Reagor. That (guy) is fast.”
I think this scouting report sums up Reagor well. His upside is very intriguing but he’s not without his downside.
Reagor finished as the top ranked returner from this year’s class.
“Runs through some arm tackles,” one special teams coordinator said. “Big, strong. He’s a pro returner.”
(Is that you, Dave Fipp?)
Reagor returned 23 punts for 409 yards and two touchdowns in his final two season at TCU. His presence could give the Eagles’ special teams unit a nice boost.
Hurts was the fifth quarterback off the board in this year’s draft. McGinn’s polling had Hurts ranked sixth at his position.
“The thing he did in that SEC Championship Game, when he got benched and came in off the bench and won the game, might be one of the greatest moments in sports,” one scout said. “He can run, he’s a great kid and he’s tough. He’s a winner. I just think he’s a packaged quarterback. You’ve got to put certain plays in for him. He’s a third-teamer for me.” […] “You love the makeup and the intelligence,” said another scout. “On tape, he’s just not a natural quarterback. He’s mechanical, one read. Can make plays with his legs. Accuracy was the question mark. At the combine he was amazing with his accuracy, especially on those post-corners and deep routes. But I just don’t see a starting talent as far as the quick process and making plays with your arm in the pocket or on the move that you need to be a consistent, winning starter. But you want him on your team.”
One question about potentially using Hurts as a gadget player is ... will that interfere with his ability to develop as a passer? And regarding the lack of quick processing ...
Jalen Hurts held the ball longer than any other QB in college football, on average.— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) March 31, 2020
Average time to throw: 3.08 seconds. pic.twitter.com/hNdF7FmHCU
Taylor was the 12th ranked linebacker in McGinn’s polling.
“He’s raw but, man, athletically, he’s probably as good as anybody in this group,” one scout said. “At the end of the day, he might be as good of a player as anybody other than [Isaiah] Simmons. You’ve just got to be a little patient with him. He’s not going to start right away. Maybe you can put him on the field in sub [packages] the first year and he’ll be a really good [special] teams guy. Man, he is fast.” He’s not a quick study and just hasn’t played enough football. “You talk about a guy that’s gonna make it on special teams,” another scout said. “He can’t process. He’s never played stack [LB]. He’s a JC [junior college] guy. But I’ll guarantee you one thing: he’s not getting out of the fourth round.” […] “Better athlete than football player,” said a third scout. “He’s not very instinctive. It’s not his fault.”
I’m in on Taylor as a long-term play. His profile is intriguing and he seems to have his head on straight. But I question how much Taylor can contribute in the short-term, which is significant since the Eagles are currently thin at linebacker.
Wallace was the 10th safety drafted but he was ninth in McGinn’s polling. No scouting report was provided.
McGinn’s polling had Driscoll as the 12th ranked offensive tackle prospect. No scouting report was provided.
McGinn’s polling had Hightower as the 24th ranked receiver prospect. No scouting report was provided.
McGinn’s polling had Bradley as the No. 15 ranked linebacker.
“He is a really good athlete,” one scout said. “Instinctive, plays hard. Just that modern-day space linebacker. He can cover a lot of ground. Liked him a lot.” […] “I did not see a 4.5 guy on tape,” a second scout said. “At all. Ever. I thought he played real lackadaisical for a guy that had a single digit (jersey number 5) at Temple. Those guys are supposed to be bad asses. I didn’t see a guy that deserved to have a single digit.”
Bradley might be able to make more of an instant impact than Taylor but his upside might be limited.
McGinn’s polling had Watkins as the 15th ranked receiver prospect. Here’s what Zierlein shared about him:
“I might be a little higher on him than some others you talk to because I saw improvement and I see areas of his game that can keep getting better with time and work.” — Area scout for NFC team
Was that area scout an Eagles employee?
PRINCE TEGA WANOGHO
McGinn’s polling had PTW as the ninth ranked offensive tackle prospect. Good value for the Eagles to get him late in the sixth round.
Their calling card is the ability to negate the up-field rush, according to one scout, but struggles mightily against counter moves inside. “He’ll be a second-round pick,” another scout said. “He’s close to the first. He’s real quick. He’s got short arms (33 ½), which is concerning. Good agility, good movement, good effort.” […] “He doesn’t know that much about football,” said another scout. “He’s going to (need) some reps. He’s not ready to play right now. He’s not going to be an instant asset to you, but he will become a starter. I’d take a chance on him in the second round.” Teams expressed concern about an injury history that includes a tibia-fibula fracture in 2015 and arthroscopic knee surgery in January. “Doesn’t play with urgency,” said another scout. “Constantly late out of his stance. Has issues at the second level. He’s got a little work to do.”
If Jeff Stoutland can coach him up, PTW could turn out to be a really good pick. He could be Philly’s new swing tackle behind Andre Dillard and Lane Johnson. Also gives the Eagles insurance if Dillard doesn’t pan out.
McGinn’s polling had Toohill as the 17th ranked edge rusher. The Stanford product was named the “unsung hero” of his position group.
Toohill made himself some money with a big combine: a 4.62 clocking in the 40, a position-best 39-inch vertical jump and a position-best 30 on the Wonderlic. A late bloomer, he didn’t start until his third year (2018), and that season ended after seven games with an ankle injury. He had an eight-sack season in 2019 as an OLB in a 3-4. “Awesome kid,” said one scout. “He’s on that fringe of maybe being able to start.”
Zierlein shared the following:
“I put a projection grade on him because he’s athletic and long and should grow into his frame even more. I think he’s way better in two years.” — West Coast scout for NFC team
Another Eagles scout, perhaps?
Toohill is clearly a developmental guy, which makes sense given he was a late seventh-round pick.
UNDRAFTED FREE AGENTS
McGinn’s polling had Warren as the 16th ranked running back prospect. The Eagles could afford to keep a running back with his physical style so maybe he’ll be able to stick around.
McGinn’s polling had Williams as the 18th ranked defensive tackle. Williams was named the “scout’s nightmare” from his position group.
Played well at 315-plus as a junior but wasn’t as effective at 300 as a senior. He was down to 287 at the Senior Bowl, but a month later was 308 at the combine. Durable, conscientious big man (6-4, 308) who gives great effort. If Williams gets his weight squared away, he might earn a run-down rotational role.
McGinn’s polling had Olson as the No. 28 ranked linebacker.