Eagles pre-draft visit tracker: Everything you need to know about prospects visiting the Birds

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So, it’s that time of year again. Every NFL team is permitted to meet with 30 prospects ahead of the Draft that takes place on the 28th of April. For the Eagles, this process has already started, with reports citing that the team have met with numerous prospects so far. This tracker will be updated with every prospect that the Eagles meet with, along with details of their careers so far and some background information, so keep it pinned..it could be very useful!

Obi Melifonwu, CB, Connecticut
Per a report from Aaron Wilson, the Eagles will be meeting with Connecticut CB Obi Melifonwu, registering as one of the 30 visits that the Eagles are able to make prior to the Draft.

The 22-year-old corner stands at 6’4, 207 pounds..and we know that the Eagles seek a long corner who also isn’t afraid to hit. Melifonwu recorded 349 tackles and forced 2 fumbles during his four year career, intercepting 8 passes and breaking up 16 more. The problem is that because of his frame, many believe Melifonwu would be more suited to a safety role..one which the Eagles currently have all boxes ticked.

Could Melifonwu become a Blake Countess type pick, and move position during Training Camp? Potentially. But the stakes are way higher, as Melifonwu is projected to go in the opening days of the event. He’s certainly an intriguing prospect though..and one worth keeping an eye on.

 

Chad Williams, WR, Grambling:
The Eagles are no stranger to small-school standouts now..and the latest to work out with the team is Chad Williams.  The 6’2, 195 lbs wideout played at the Division 1 FCS level for four years, amassing 3,062 yards and 28 scores. Averaging 14.6 yards per reception, Williams is a true deep-threat prospect who could spring more than a few surprises at the next level. He’s currently predicted to be a day-3 pick..but with the Eagles recent focus on low-risk, high reward players, that could be exactly what the team need.

 

 

Ryan Glasgow, DT, Michigan
According to Mike Rothstein of ESPN, the Eagles are scheduled to meet with Michigan DT, Ryan Glasgow. The Eagles met with the 6’4, 295 lbs lineman at the combine, where he put up 20 reps on the bench press.

Glasgow amassed 39 tackles last year, along with 9.5 for a loss and 4 sacks. Seen as a perennial run stopper, Glasgow is projected to go in the later rounds of the Draft. With the loss of Bennie Logan still stinging the Eagles, depth along the defensive side of the trenches is a key need for the team moving forward.

As a pass-rusher, Glasgow isn’t regarded as dominantly. Where he really shines is getting down and dirty in the trenches and diagnosing runs.

Beau Allen and Destiny Vaeao are the two who will rise up the depth chart, but a competition for the starting role will likely ensue. Glasgow may not have the presence of an every-down tackle, but his physical demeanor and flashes at the Senior Bowl could entice the Eagles into at least giving him a chance to shine.

 

 

Nathan Peterman, QB, Pittsburgh
Although this isn’t technically a pre-draft visit, it’s still something worth noting. According to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN, Nathan Peterman will be working out with the Eagles next week.

The Eagles have stated previous intention to add a third quarterback to their roster and after parting ways with Aaron Murray, there is once again a vacancy at the position. Even if he would simply sit on the sidelines, adding another young quarterback behind Carson Wentz is both logical and inexpensive.

Peterman transferred to Pitt after a lack of experience at Tennessee, going on to complete over 60% of his passes for 5,142 yards, 47 touchdowns and 15 picks. He also set a career high QBR in 2016 at 163.4 after 27 touchdowns and 7 picks in his final year. At 6’2, 226 lbs, Peterman definitely has the desired size of an NFL quarterback, and is also sneakily athletic. He rushed for 286 yards and 3 touchdowns during the 2016 season, bettering his 2015  total of 233.

Whether or not the Eagles would consider drafting a quarterback late in the draft is an interesting discussion, but one that is definitely plausible..and Peterman could be a very appealing prospect for such a cheap price.

 

Brandon Bell, LB, Penn State
Another local prospect, the Eagles are reportedly set to work out Brandon Bell in the coming days, but due to being such a local prospect, he won’t count as one of the 30 pre-draft visits that each team is allowed to hold prior to the Draft.

At 6’1, 227 lbs, Bell’s frame speaks for itself. He amassed 226 tackles, 11.5 sacks, 4 interceptions and 6 pass defenses during his four year career at Penn State and is projected to go in the later rounds of the Draft.

The Eagles could use some linebacker depth behind Jordan Hicks and Nigel Bradham, which would also allow them to be far less reliant on nickel formations. Bell is the third linebacker to work out for the Eagles, which at least would infer that the team are well aware that they could use some depth and starting talent.

 

Ethan Cooper, OL, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
According to a feature from NFL Draft Diamonds, the Eagles are one of four teams set to meet with Ethan Cooper (h/t to Bleeding Green Nation). The versatile offensive lineman played in 41 games during his collegiate career and went on to earn an invite to the NFL Combine, despite being from a small school.

At 6’2, 322 lbs, Cooper has played all along the offensive line, and if there’s one thing we know it’s that the Eagles love versatile linemen. His dominant frame not only makes that versatility even more impressive, but means that his skill set will be far more easily translated to the NFL.

According to scout reports it’s his technique that seems to have kept him under the radar, with some mechanical problems that will ensue a big learning curve at the next level. But with this in mind, Cooper is projected to go in the later rounds of the Draft, meaning that the Eagles could bolster their line even further in the latter days of the Draft.

 

Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
The argument up until now has been should the Eagles draft a CB or WR in round 1. Well, if the Eagles decide on the latter, Corey Davis should be at the top of their list. After meeting with the team at the combine, Davis had a pre draft visit with the Eagles shortly after, cementing their interest.

Arguably the best route runner in the entire Draft, Davis can play both inside and out effectively. He is a big body Receiver (6’3, 215 pounds) and has the pure speed to separate in coverage. In 49 games he has 325 receptions, 5,205 Yards and 51 Touchdowns, averaging 16 yards a catch. Davis has the potential to become a number one receiver and has the strong hands, catch radius, and high point ability to dominate on any level. With Franchise QB Carson Wentz going into his second year, the Eagles would be right by surrounding him with great talent and Davis does more than fit the bill.

 

Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
Ian Rapoport also went on to say that Clemson wide receiver, Mike Williams, will be meeting with the team today.

Probably one of the most talked about prospects amongst Eagles fans, Williams stands at 6’4,  225 pounds. Williams is a potential problem for any opposing defense in the future. With the size to be a true red-zone threat and the speed to takeover from anywhere on the field, Williams should be considered a top-5 pick. Although, the girth of talent in this years Draft makes it a real possibility for him to land within striking distance for Philadelphia. Williams had a career 177 receptions for 2,727 yards, 21 touchdowns and an average of 15.4 yards a catch, despite missing all of the 2015 season (Neck Injury). He has great hands, is a great route-runner and wins his contested passes more often than not.

In terms of a long-term solution, the Eagles still don’t have a secure option due to the short-term nature of their new wideout deals. The question is, do the team want to go all in on wide receivers this offseason? If they do, Williams would be a giant step forward.

 

 

Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Eagles are also scheduled to meet with LSU running back Leonard Fournette.

The New Orleans native stands at 6’1, 235 pounds and uses every bit of his thick frame correctly. He has the strength to dominate between the tackles, and give opposing front sevens headaches. He also has the natural speed to get to the outside, and pull away for long gains. He’s extremely dangerous at the second level, and great balance to defenders off of him. Although his physical style of play has lead to injury in the past, the prospect of Fournette standing next to Wentz is one of intrigue. In his career he has 616 attempts for 3,830 yards and 40 touchdowns on the ground, while amassing 41 receptions and 526 yards through the air..proving he could be a true 3-down back.

Widely regarded as one of the top prospects in this year’s incredible running back class, Fournette would give the Eagles a tough runner who could come in as an impact player straight away, leading a muddled backfield.

 

Dalvin Cook, RB, FSU

Florida State’s Dalvin Cook has met with the Eagles, according to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo.

The 5’11, 215 pound playmaker is electric and could easily be considered the best skill position player in this years draft. The 2-time All-American has the perfect combination of speed, vision and underrated strength that make him a real threat anytime he touches the ball. His thick base and strong core make it possible for him to run between the tackles, while his break away speed separates him from defenders in a blink, both on the ground and in the passing game. In his career, he has 4,454 rushing yards on 687 attempts and 46 touchdowns. Add his 79 receptions for 935 yards and 2 touchdowns and you can see why Cook makes for the perfect weapon, to add to the Eagles offense.

By now, you have all read about Cook and his amazing ability with the ball in his hands. This selection would not only add a true workhorse in the backfield, but would create a mismatch in the passing game, as Cook offers a some of the best hands in this years Draft. Imagining Cook lining up behind QB Carson Wentz, makes for a great dynamic. Darren Sproles has stated his intentions to call it a career at the end of next season and the future of Ryan Mathews is anything but certain. Having a rookie who can be just as effective in the passing game as Sproles and as powerful in the run as Mathews, would go a long way in strengthening the Offense.

 

Chris Godwin, WR, Penn State:
The Eagles are set to host their second wide receiver for a pre draft visit soon, with Penn State’s Chris Godwin being the man in question. Members of the organization were present at Godwin’s Pro Day today, before the wideout announced he would be working out with the team.

Godwin soared up draft boards after an impressive combine. A 4.42 40-yard dash time and a 36-inch vertical were impressive, but his strength on the bench press only enhanced his stock. In his junior season, Godwin amassed 59 receptions for 982 yards and 11 touchdowns. In the year beforehand, he broke the 1,000 yard mark as well as leading his team in receiving yards with 133 in the Taxslayer bowl loss to Georgia.

If there’s one thing we know about Godwin, it’s his ability to show up in big games and be unfazed by pressure. The 6’1, 205 lbs wideout shone in the Rose Bowl, in which the Nittany Lions fell just short of the mark against USC. Godwin caught nine passes for 187 yards and two scores in the heartbreaking loss.

Considered in the same realm as Zay Jones, Godwin has been mocked anywhere from the third round to the top of the second. Making him an incredibly exciting prospect for the Eagles.

 

 

 

 

Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama
The fourth reported player to meet with the Eagles, is set to be third member of the Alabama Crimson Tide..which is surely no coincidence. Many consider Foster to be the top ranked linebacker in this draft as well as one of the top talents. With 115 tackles, 13 for a loss and 5 sacks in 2016, the Alabama product showed everything you could want in a coverage middle linebacker. A finalist for the 2016 Nagurski Award, Foster may not be an all out pass-rusher..but luckily, that’s not what the Eagles need.

At 6’1, 228 lbs, Foster has impressive range and never veers to far away from the ball. He’s explosive in space and has great closing ability. It was the lack of such an ability that left Mychal Kendricks in the dark last season.

Foster is also incredibly quick when dissecting plays and identifying the run. The other aspect that screams schematic fit, is his aggression. Foster is ruthless and has no hesitation in letting opposing guards, running backs and receivers know that he means business. While some have criticized his tackling technique for being too reckless and debatably leading to his rotator cuff injury, it’s this nasty streak that saw him wreak havoc under Nick Saban last season.

The injury could infact benefit the Eagles, who could see Foster slide down the board and right into their laps. A trio of Bradham, Hicks and Foster would not only make the Eagles linebacker corps one of the most complete in the league, adding to their already ferocious pass rush..but it would give them some much needed depth at the position as well as star talent throughout. Opening up the Defense for some flexible looks and taking pressure off of a very young cornerback corps, Foster could be the ultimate 3-down linebacker that the Eagles crave.

 

 

 

Ryan Anderson, LB, Alabama
The second member of the Crimson Tide to meet with the Eagles thus far, Anderson ranks as the 5th highest outside linebacker in this year’s draft class. At 6’2, 252 lbs, Anderson has a powerful frame that he utilizes well. Although he played as an outside linebacker, Anderson could be a great fit as a 4-3 defensive end for the Eagles. There’s a phenomenal breakdown from the guys at Steelers Depot, detailing his strengths, weaknesses, and showing it on film. If you don’t have time to sink your teeth into this powerful pass rusher, here’s a short summary from the article:

Not only does Anderson do what you would like to see out of an edge defender, he also does it well. The Alabama edge prospect could be a great consolation prize for a team unable to grab an edge rusher in the first round. The Steelers are in the market for an edge rusher but I believe by the time their second-round selection rolls around, Anderson will be already taken.

As a redshirt senior, Anderson amassed 61 tackles and led the team in stops for a loss with 19. He also racked up 9 sacks, forcing 4 fumbles in the process of being names first-team All-SEC. But if you’re still not convinced, let his playmaking do the talking.

 

 

John Ross, WR, Washington
No player may have helped his stock and made himself more money than Ross at the combine. Showing off his incredible speed with his 4.22 forty time, combined with his strength in the bench and great hands, Ross may prove to be a top ten pick.

After the Eagles acquired both Torrey Smith and Alshon Jeffery in the last few days, it’s unlikely to see them eyeing up a receiver in the first round as well. Although the wideout corps would be stacked in such a scenario, the Eagles have made too much progress to roll the dice in the first round. Although, stranger things have happened..and if they truly have adopted a “best player available” mentality, then Ross could be a fit.

With 18 touchdowns last season alone, it’s clear Ross has star potential..but to make things even tastier for the Eagles, he modeled his game after DeSean Jackson. The former Eagles wideout actually mentored Ross and has helped him refine his craft before making the jump to the next level.

Whether or not the Eagles should consider taking the receiver who amassed 1,157 yards in 2016, with their first round pick or not is likely going to be debated for weeks to come. But opinions aside, it’s clear that Ross has all the traits to develop into one of the most lethal speed threats in the NFL.

 

 

Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama
After meeting with Humphrey at the Combine, the Eagles must have been impressed in order to schedule a visit this early. The first prospect that the Eagles have met with, Humphrey set an impressive 4.41 forty time at the combine, adding even more justification to his high draft stock. The 6’1, 196 lbs, corner ended last season with 36 tackles, two picks and five pass breakups for the Crimson tide..earning him a reputation as one of the most NFL ready defensive backs in a draft that’s littered with talent.

 

 

 

Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

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