Here we are, under a week away from the 2017 NFL Draft, set to be hosted in the beautiful city of Philadelphia. To this point, the rumors have swirled about who the Eagles love and who they aren’t so interested in. Every football fan in America has his or her own Mock completed and are more than sure that if Howie and company follow suit, the Draft will be successful.
Speaking of decisions, the Birds’ were correct by going after and signing both Torrey Smith and Alshon Jefferey, to help alleviate the issues so well documented over the last two seasons. Some would say that due to these signings, the Eagles, shouldn’t be looking at receivers until the later rounds. To that, I say this. If there is a talent they covet, like a Mike Williams (Clemson), John Ross (Washington), or Corey Davis (Western Michigan) is there at 14, they need to think long and hard about it.
Things brings me to my next point. The Eagles need to address the WR core in this Draft, no matter the round. Defense should get the first few toys early, but once we are looking at day 3 (Rounds 4-7) and we see the real meat and potatoes, the birds should be looking for wideout help. Below is a short list of players, who wouldn’t just fill a need, but really have the skill set to be difference makers, for years to come.
The North Carolina A&T product, is nothing short of impressive, on and off the field. He is a big body WR, at 6’4, 222 lbs, and has the speed to separate in his route. He is blessed with strong hands, and the intelligence to navigate threw traffic, possessing the strength to lock up on blocks, and run through defenders daring to get in his way. With a career 111 receptions for 1,333 yards and 25 touchdowns in 43 games, a player with Keyes, size, skill set, and personality, would not only bring a powerful presence, but one that Coaches, look to add to their roster.
When you think West Virginia football, you think speed and big plays. No one arguably embodies that sentiment more than WR Shelton Gibson. The 6’1, 180 lbs, wideout is in a simple word “Scary”. The talent he possess definitely keeps coaches up at night. With great hands and break away speed, literally from anywhere on the field, Gibson has been compared to Desean Jackson and for good reason. Speed! Speed kills, and this kid could be a serial killer, with all his speed, despite running a 4.5 (which is great itself), it is his area quickness that makes him so dangerous, yet intriguing for the right offense. In 32 games, he had 1,898 yards, averaging 22.6 yards a catch..and for good measures, 17 trips to the end zone. Needless to say, Gibson could help boost the passing game, and have QB Carson Wentz going long.
Coming from what so many call a small school in Towson University, Summers reigns from a school that seems to be stacked with talent at their program. Summers could be the guy who stands out amongst the giants. He is capable of using his entire 6’3, 225 lbs frame, with strength being the core of his game.. but that’s not to say speed isn’t a weakness. In 21 games he had 83 receptions for 1,336 yards, 7 td’s/ and averaged 16.1 YAC.
His obvious knowledge on field stands out against lesser opponents and his quicker than fast route running is almost perfect at times. Compared to WR’s like Jordan Matthews, Anquon Boldin, and Michael Floyd, his playing style, allows him to be physical at the point of attack. Just like Matthews and Boldin too, Summers is sneaky fast enough to separate to make a huge play.
Off the field, he is a natural leader and guys beam towards a player like Summers. Being from Philly, it is easy to see why his playing style on and off the field embodies what it means to be an Eagle. After his workout in Philadelphia on Thursday, Summers could be one step closer to living his boyhood dream,and giving the Eagles, a weapon for the franchise (Wentz) for years to come.
Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports