In the NFL world, it is easy to fall in love with stats and recognition. The average reader will spend most of their time swallowing down all the information on a star player. The job of an NFL scout is to find the players who may not have the stats, but has the movement and overall skill set to carry that same potential.
Enter Marquell Beckwith, a running back from Alabama State University. This lesser known prospect is a star in the making. Gifted with shifty footwork, a thick base to shake off defenders, and the break away speed to score from anywhere on the field, Beckwith could be a perfect fit for the Eagles.
For this Small School Sleeper profile, we sat down with Marquell to pick his brain, and ask him how he would fit as a potential Philadelphia Eagle.
One thing that stood out about Beckwith, was the comparisons to another ex-Eagle, Lesean McCoy. The more I asked about him, the more I would get this comparison. I asked Beckwith, about the talk.
“Yeah, I have heard them, I have gotten these comparisons since I was in high school, and honestly, who better? I think the comparison is fair, I am about his size, we are both shifty backs, with strong legs, we are sneaky strong and both have the moves to get in and out of trouble..always looking to make the big play. Where I think I compare the best, is we are both good in the passing game as well.
I believe (like him), I could take a screen pass to the house, or I could go out in coverage and be a mismatch against any safety, or Linebacker. I think if a defense wants to put a defender like that on me, I am going to make a play, and that’s what he (McCoy) does, he finds the weakness, either through the run, or in the passing game, and makes a big play.”
When you watch the tape, you really do come away with McCoy in mind. Even the plays that may only be a short gain, or a quick five to ten yard pass, he reminds me of “Shady”.
The Mobile, AL, native has always been a leader, on and off the field, something Coach Pederson, applauds in his players. When speaking with some of his coaches, from Alabama State, Beckwith’s leadership in the locker room came up, a lot.
“In Marquell, you aren’t just getting a good player. One of his former coaches told me excitedly. Put all that aside, you are getting a leader, a guy who is everybody’s best friend, and a guy who is a positive light amongst the younger guys. Even when he was injured at his other school “Troy University” he didn’t complain, and when he got here, got a little banged up, he took his mental reps and kept moving until it was his turn. That’s what you’re getting in Marquell!”
It would have been easy for Marquell, or any person for that matter, to just say “Well I tried, but I’m hurt” and just accept it. That isn’t him at all. We asked him, for an NFL team looking to add you, what were they getting?
“You are getting a family man. I am a father first, I have two amazing little boys, I do everything for them. I play ball and went to school, just to make sure they have a better life, or a great life. So that is me first, but on the field, they are getting a leader.”
Again these qualities shined through.
“They are getting a guy who will play anywhere they needed and do whatever they need to help the team. There isn’t any arrogance here. I mean, I am very sure of my skills, but I am humbled in my life, and I will do what it takes, to be successful, by making my team successful. I would say they are getting a guy who is the first in the building, a good locker room guy, a guy who is going to treat everyone the same, and always come with love. I am coachable, the thing that I need to work on, can be fixed, by good coaching.”
The bottom line is this. Marquell Beckwith, may not have the stats, but when you watch him play, you see a guy whom, could be a star one day, if given the right opportunity. With all the question marks surrounding the Eagles running back spot, Beckwith could serve as a low-risk, high -reward, type of prospect, who is a true testament to the amount of depth available in this year’s draft..and a player who could fly as an Eagle.