The Philadelphia Eagles signed undrafted rookie free agent tight end Jack Stoll following the 2021 NFL Draft. They also reportedly gave him the highest amount of guaranteed money from this year’s UDFA class. In order to learn more about Stoll, I reached out to SB Nation’s Nebraska blog: Corn Nation. Cornhuskers writers Jill Heemstra and Brian Johannes and Jon Johnston were kind enough to answer my questions.
1) Can you recap his college career?
Jill: Jack Stoll was a four-year contributor for the Huskers, playing in all 12 games as a freshman and starting every game of his sophomore and junior seasons. He started one game as a senior and was injured, limiting him to a role coming off the bench for the final six games. In his two seasons as a full-time starter, he was very consistent, reeling in 21 receptions and 245 yards as a sophomore and 25 receptions for 234 yards as a junior. However, his largest contributions to the offense probably came as a blocker. He was very effective in helping the Husker run game - whether that be opening the way for running backs or the quarterbacks.
A couple of tweets highlighting him
Jon Johnston: It’s important to know that Nebraska’s offense hasn’t been very good during Stoll’s time with the Huskers.
2) What are his strengths?
Brian: Stoll has solid hands and is also able to make some tough catches outside his frame. While he isn’t going to high point the ball but he has a knack for sticking a hand out to reel in an off target throw. While he isn’t overly quick Stoll does show some straight line speed being able to stretch the seam or run to open spots on drag or crossing routes. As a blocker, Stoll is much better on the move going across the formation or blocking in space where he can adjust to defenders and engage with them to occupy as the running back goes by.
3) What are his weaknesses?
Brian: Not overly sudden and more of a straight line athlete, Stoll lacks the agility needed to run good routes and often causes him to float upfield on comeback routes and have to roll in and out of his breaks preventing him from getting any separation. As an inline tight end Stoll struggles with power to engage with defensive ends and control them at the point of attack which often leads to defenders slipping off his blocks.
4) Are you surprised he went undrafted?
Brian: I’m not surprised at all that he went undrafted. Stoll had some memorable catches and was a solid tight end, but he lacked the physical traits and the college production that would warrant being drafted, even in a year that lacked the amount of small school prospects.
Jill: No, I’m not. As Brian said, he was a solid all-around tight end but he played for a Husker team that didn’t put many wins on the board these past few years. Being injured for a large chunk of this past season also hurts when you’re not a premier prospect. He might have benefitted from another year in college if he wanted to sneak into draft consideration, but some of the other Husker tight ends were really starting to emerge in 2020. Nebraska also hauled in the top tight end recruiting class in the country this year, so there is some young talent with a chance to get on the field. In short, Stoll was likely to see his snap count drop in 2021, so he decided to go pro now.
5) How do you see his NFL career playing out?
Brian: If Jack Stoll is going to stick with an NFL team I feel his best bet could be as an H-back used in a pseudo fullback type role who needs to have a strong presence on special teams. Stoll has shown the ability to block in space and when used as a lead blocker crossing the formation he has had success. Used as the second tight end in 12 personnel he could be motioned or moved to become the lead blocker. Add in his catching ability and he could work his way into a specific role.
Jill: Despite what I said above about other tight ends emerging at Nebraska, I do think Stoll is a solid player and could carve out a role on an NFL roster, especially as an on-the-move blocker and on special teams. He can catch the ball pretty well and earn some YAC so if you have an offensive coordinator that likes passes to the flat or swing passes, you could see Stoll there. [Husker 2020 season flashback...Opening play of the game is a swing pass that loses five yards. Dear God, please make the swing passes stop. Please! Or call them in critical moments of the game only to see the ball fumbled and WHY oh WHY won’t they stop?!?] Uh, maybe forget the part about swing passes (that tirade was not directed at Stoll’s ability to execute the swing pass - it was a Nebraska failing all around).
6) Anything to know about him off the field?
His mullet has already been invited to the Pro Bowl
Jack Stoll’s mullet now at the podium. pic.twitter.com/PZg3NVJePX— Parker Gabriel (@HuskerExtraPG) August 1, 2019
[BLG Note: Sadly, Stoll is no longer sporting a mullet.]
BLG’s take: Interesting to see the Eagles gave Stoll their highest UDFA guarantee. If history is any indication, that bodes well for his chances of sticking around in some capacity. Previous UDFA guarantee leaders include Luke Juriga (2020), T.J. Edwards/Nate Herbig (tied in 2019), and Josh Adams (2018). Three of those players are still on the roster and all have played snaps for the Eagles. Another factor working in Stoll’s favor is the lack of established players ahead of him at his position. With Zach Ertz expected to be a goner, Dallas Goedert is really the only lock to make the roster at tight end. The Eagles might still re-sign Richard Rodgers but, in the meantime, Stoll’s competition is Jason Croom, Caleb Wilson, Tyree Jackson, and Hakeem Butler. The latter two are only converting to tight end. I don’t know about Stoll being TE2 but he might be able to win a roster spot at TE3. At the very least, he’s a strong practice squad candidate.