At the start of free agency, there was a real fear the Eagles might be losing DT Bennie Logan. Those fears have been realized with Bennie now in Kansas City. The birds’ are blessed with the young talents of Flecther Cox, Beau Allen, and Destiny Vaeao, but despite these talents, the loss of Logan, add another hole to the Eagles, roster. Hence, our small school sleeper profile on a true talent. Denzel Whitfield, from Florida Atlantic University..who happens to be a 6’5, 280 lbs, beast along the front line.
We sat down with Whitfield, and asked him about his time at FAU and his take on the NFL Draft, along with an overall attempt to paint a clear picture of just what he brings to the table. one thing that is clearly present in the picture, is an unrelenting work ethic that was embedded in his persona from an early age.
“Growing up, in such a small town, wanting to play football, it wasn’t the easiest thing to do. We didn’t have the resources to really be successful in this game, I mean to really go out and play for bigger leagues growing up. Because of certain situations, we just couldn’t do it, so me and a couple other guys would get together and really learn the game.
We would have to put in that extra time, and effort to make it to the level we need to, or want to. Sometimes, I would be by myself, but it didn’t bother me, I just love the game, so I went out and learned it. Things I was taught at school, with my team, I would take it after practice, offseason, and all that, I would do what it took to make it.”
Blessed with great size and strength, Whitfield, can and has served as a real problem for offensive linemen. Although he has been a strong presence for his physicality, it is his speed off the edge, and in between running lanes, that really stands out. Running an impressive 4.8 and some change on his forty, he has a rare quickness that sets him apart from other Draft prospects this year.
Whitfield spent his High School career at Jefferson County, recording 101 tackles in total and an eyebrow raising 15 sacks as a senior. Although his college stats don’t jump off the page (with 32 tackles in 34 career games at FAU), his power does.
He is built with both a thick base, to take on blockers, and help in the run game but also has the pure strength to keep blockers off of him, and be a real problem in the pass game. We asked him, how he feels he fit in the City of Brotherly Love.
“Well, growing up, the Eagles, were my favorite team. I know that’s not what your looking for, but I had to put that out. I fit on the inside or outside, I can play End or Tackle, I think I could be a great rotational piece for the team.
The Eagles, have always had some great D-linemen, and I think I could be another player that gets it. That can be dominant in both the run and the pass, learning from Fletcher Cox, and them other guys. My fit, could be anywhere on the line, and I play all special teams, and I love doing it.”
Where he would fit, would ultimately be up to the coaching staff, but one thing is for sure. Denzel Whitfield, has the skill set, the drive and the mindset to really flourish in the Eagles, scheme. He could be a steal, that could end up being a fan favorite one day, (See Hollis Thomas).
Mandatory Photo credit: http://fauowlaccess.com/