Sports. Honestly. Since 2011

Four Philadelphia Eagles Fits to Watch at the NFL Combine

NFL Combine: One Week away from the NFL Combine, these are some names Eagles fans need to watch in preparation for the draft's first round.
Eagles Combine

The NFL Combine is only about a week away and will showcase over 300 prospects to the NFL world. It’s the best time for any fan to introduce themselves to the potential prospects that might land with their team. However, it’s also a good time for fans to start forming their own opinions on the draft, as the offseason heats up. For the Philadelphia Eagles, there are seemingly a lot of directions the team can go in the first round. They will be watching numerous position groups to really solidify who they believe is their best fit. For Eagles fans, here are four prospects who you might want to pay close attention to during the NFL Combine.

4 Players to Watch at NFL Combine

Xavier “Kool-Aid” McKinstry, Cornerback, Alabama

Kool-Aid McKinstry has been one of the most mocked corners for the Eagles to date. However, even with an all-pro type of name, McKinstry has been falling in mock drafts in recent weeks. The combine will be the place for him to show whether the slide has been justified or not. McKinstry is listed at 6’1” 195 pounds and was heralded as a potential top-10 pick last summer and fall. He’s a tall corner with long arms, that played tons of press coverage under Nick Saban at Alabama. However, there are two questions for McKinstry to answer at the NFL Combine. Some analysts and pundits question his speed and others question his ability to change directions. Yet, that might not matter in Vic Fangio’s scheme which deploys mostly off-zone coverage.

Ennis Rakestraw Jr., Cornerback, Missouri

In Daniel Jeremiah’s latest mock draft 2.0, he paired the Eagles with Ennis Rakestraw Jr out of Missouri. Rakestraw is an interesting player who is a physical corner who is a great contributor in the run game. The thing to watch him at the NFL Combine will be how easily he is able to change directions and the overall fluidity he plays with. He may be a better fit in the slot, but his quickness helps him to react quickly in zone coverage.  With the Eagles biggest issue being their tackling last year, Rakestraw can be a big difference on day one. He’s a player that may lack true long speed, but in Fangio’s defense that may just be mitigated. He is a player to keep an eye on for the Eagles.

Brian Thomas Jr., Wide Receiver, LSU

Another junior on this list, yet there’s nothing junior about this wide receiver. Brian Thomas Jr. would be a luxury pick for the Philadelphia Eagles but could be an unbelievable addition. There’s no reason for the Eagles to move off A.J. Brown, but there is some reason to create the receiver trio with Brown, Thomas Jr., and Devonta Smith. This would immediately make the receiving core one of the most dynamic in the league, in an offense with Kellen Moore who loves to throw the ball. Thomas Jr. is listed at 6’4” and 205 pounds and regularly dusts corners down the field. He is the paramount size-speed receiver in this draft and has the capacity to be another contested catch threat. This isn’t a need for the Eagles, but it could be an intriguing option to level up the Eagles offense and ease the transition to Kellen Moore’s offense.

Jared Verse, Edge Rusher, Florida State

One more interesting position group to look out for would be edge-rushers.  In the mock draft by Ben Solak of The Ringer, he mocked Jared Verse to the Eagles. The edge rusher out of Florida State is an interesting option because of a possible Haason Reddick trade, and with Josh Sweat being in the last year of his contract. Verse is a heavy-handed rusher with power and explosiveness on the edge. Listed at 6’4” and 260 pounds, he may not be the most fluid or bendy athlete at the combine, but he’ll showcase his overall explosiveness as a pass-rusher. His power profile and ability to rush with his hand in the dirt could make him a great fit opposite Nolan Smith for the Eagles future.

Other Names to Watch at the NFL Combine

Nate Wiggins and Cooper Dejean are probably the best fits at the cornerback position for the Eagles. However, they likely won’t be there for the Eagles at pick 22, but if the Eagles decide to trade up, they might be the reason after the combine. The offensive line is still in play for the Philadelphia Eagles as well, though they might not be the most entertaining to watch during the event. Nonetheless, some names to look out for would be Tyler Guyton, Jackson Powers-Johnson, and Graham Barton. A few pass-rushers to watch outside of Verse would be Dallas Turner and Laiatu Latu. However, it’s not a guarantee any of the three will be there for the Eagles. There’s a ton of routes for the Eagles at pick 22 and the combine will be paramount for the Eagles to clear up the picture a bit.

Main Photo Credit: Matthew Hinton-USA TODAY Sports


More Posts

Send Us A Message