Draft season is here! Full disclaimer: as some of you may know, I am from England which means I do not watch any college football during the season and I therefore go into this process with absolutely no preconceptions about who I’m about to watch. I think this has impact on my rankings because I really do know nothing about them until I watch them myself. I don’t read or listen to anything. I watch at least three games of each player that I rank, but I cannot share any film with you because sharing college All22 online is dangerous and I do not want to be blocked!
These rankings are based on how I think these prospects would fit the Eagles scheme or who I want the most based upon who the Eagles already have at a certain position. Therefore, sometimes I may have one player above another, even if I think the other player is a better overall prospect. For each prospect that I watch I always keep a note of strengths, weaknesses and an overall summary/transition paragraph. For the purpose of these articles, I will share my summary and what I think the Eagles should do with this player. If a player isn’t on this list, I haven’t watched them yet!
I know the Eagles probably won’t draft a quarterback but we have to start with the quarterback position. I’ll be honest, I only ever watch the top quarterbacks because it takes such a long time to watch them and I have other positions to get to!
1. Malik Willis, Liberty
Summary: An elite athlete with a cannon of an arm. Sign me up. He is raw and will need a bit of time to learn some of the nuances of the position but the upside is huge. If he is coached well and develops well, he could be a very high-level QB due to his elite athletic traits and his arm talent. I think there is a clear risk and you are banking on a lot of improvement over the next couple of years, such as remaining calm in the pocket and knowing, improved accuracy, and the willingness to check it down, but I think he is worthy of an early first round pick if you believe in the traits. He will create huge plays outside of structure and has a few incredibly plays each week. If he reaches his upside, he will be the best QB in this class and potentially one of the best in the league.
Eagles Thoughts: If he was there when the Eagles pick in the 1st round, I would take him. I would feel confident in Nick Sirianni’s ability to create a good environment for Willis due to his adaption to the offense this year to suit Jalen Hurts. It might cost Siranni and Howie their jobs if it all goes wrong but, if you want a top QB sometimes you have to swing for the fences.
2. Kenny Pickett, Pitt
Summary: I don’t care about his hand size! Kenny Pickett can play. I admit, I am biased to quarterbacks who run NFL concepts and show an understanding of how to get through his progressions and Pickett does just that. From my point of view, it makes it an easier projection to the next level. He looks the part, has the tools, can throw with anticipation and create outside of structure. He throws intermediate routes with anticipation really well in particular and shows some precise ball location. I understand he showed an improvement this past year and this scares some people off due to his age. He does need to clean up his pocket presence and he will be overaggressive at times when he should check it down, but I believe in the talent overall.
Eagles Thoughts: I think Pickett has the upside to be a very good QB and I think the Eagles should absolutely consider him with their first round picks. I personally would be happy if the Eagles drafted him in the 1st, but I know this is not going to be a popular take! To be clear, I am not ‘all in’ on Pickett but believes he does have the upside to be a very good QB.
3. Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati
Summary: Ridder wins from the pocket and shows impressive ability to get through his progressions while remaining calm in the pocket. He doesn’t have an elite arm but it is good enough and he throws with good velocity and touch outside the numbers. He makes quick decisions and can get the ball out on time in the progression. He is probably the most pro-ready quarterback of all the rookies. However, if he wants to be a top 10-15 QB at the next level he will need to clear up some of his flaws and his upside is limited to due a slight build and lack of elite arm talent. If you do not have an elite arm you must be consistently accurate and Ridder is not there yet due to footwork and a questionable release at time. He has the potential to be a good starting quarterback.
Eagles Thoughts: I think Ridder would be an excellent fit for the Eagles who showed a willingness to run a lot of RPOs last year. However, I don’t see top 5-10 potential with Ridder due to a lack of an elite arm, size or mobility. I think he can be a very consistent quarterback who is more a complimentary piece on an offense, rather than the main threat. I don’t think this pick makes sense in the 1st round for the Eagles considering they already have Jalen Hurts who is already in the 12-20 range at RB.
4. Matt Corral, Mississippi
Summary: Corral is a tough and interesting evaluation. He ran a highly schemed, 1 read pass game with a heavy emphasis on RPOs and play action. He will have to develop a lot in terms of reading progressions at the next level. If he doesn’t improve in this area he will need to play in a highly schemed offense where he is a distributor and nothing else. Despite these concerns, he does throw the ball extremely well and has a quick release and the ball consistently comes out with a very tight spiral. I think he has a chance to be a good QB due to his arm talent but he will probably need to play in a very specific style of offense that features a lot of easy reads for him with a heavy emphasis on RPOs.
Eagles Thoughts: From an Eagles point of view, he would fit well with the RPOs that we saw them run last year but I do not think the upside is worth a 1st round pick, considering where Hurts is at with his development. I think he can obviously learn to run more NFL concepts but the accuracy scares me off just a little bit. He does have arm talent but I would rather take a risk on him in the 2nd and I doubt he will be available then.
5. Sam Howell, North Carolina
Summary: Howell fits the bill of a modern NFL quarterback coming out of college who excels on RPOs, can create outside of structure and has the mobility to cause a defense problems in the QB run game. However, he isn’t an elite athlete like a Malik Willis and he needs a lot of work before he can run an NFL offense, such as getting throw his reads and staying in the pocket. An NFL team can try and create a similar offense for him but it will have severe limitations early on. He does have talent and some NFL teams may believe he can develop parts of his game and become a solid NFL starter.
Eagles Thoughts: From an Eagles perspective, Howell reminds me quite a lot of Jalen Hurts coming out of college in terms of the lack of reading progressions but having a ‘playmaker’ ability. I wouldn’t see him as a great fit but if the Eagles decided to go the ‘QB factory’ route all over again, he might make sense as a 2nd round pick who can develop behind Hurts. This would not be my preference however.
6. Carson Strong, Nevada
Summary: I have no idea what to do with Carson Strong. He makes some insane throws, is tall and strong, can throw with anticipation and has very good arm talent. He shows good pocket movement and will fit seamlessly into many NFL offenses due to his understand of NFL concepts. But he is a statue in the pocket, holds the ball far too long and can’t create outside of structure. I just don’t think a QB without any second reaction ability is someone you want as your starter in the modern NFL.
Eagles Thoughts: I don’t think the Eagles should really have any interest but in a vacuum I would see him as a 3rd round pick due to the upside. You would have to create a totally different offense for him so it doesn’t make sense for this coaching staff to have interest.