WR Brandon Aiyuk, Arizona State
With 1,192 yards and 8 touchdowns to his name as a senior, Aiyuk did more than turn heads. The 6’1, 206 lbs receiver projects as a perfect ‘big-slot’ receiver for the Eagles to target. He’s extremely loose in his route-running and his cuts are icy cold when changing direction. Aiyuk possesses a lot of core strength which makes it difficult to disrupt the stem of his routes, and makes him lethal at the catch point in 50/50 spots.
He’s not perfect and his use of hands at the line could be improved. Aiyuk can often be swallowed by press coverage and struggle to get open on intermediate routes, relying on open space to make his paydirt.
But if the Eagles could use him in a similar vein to Agholor/Tate as a gadget/slot receiver, then the ceiling for this zippy wideout is really high.
WR Denzel Mims, Baylor
Mims is a man-mountain. Often, bigger receivers like the 6’3, 215 lbs, monster are a little sluggish and tend to only be dominant in the red zone. Do not paint Mims with that same brush. His release, route-running, and sheer speed are staggering for someone his size, meaning that corners don’t want to press him, instead allowing him free-reign to shield the ball with his body as he boxes them out of the equation. He’s got an incredible catch-radius and when you add in his instincts, the makings of a star are apparent.
Mims does need some work however and that bothers me from an Eagles perspective…for obvious reasons. Mims has a habit of staying too high when cutting, almost fighting against getting compact and sinking his hips into the cut to burst out. Everything’s a little premature. He’s tall, but not physically dominant, and his positioning could use some work at the top of routes. Most teams should be able to coach this into a very strong talent, but until the WR coach is hired, I’ll reserve judgment on that for Phialdelphia.
WR Devin Duvernay, Texas
If we’re talking slot receivers, Devin Duvernay has my heart. If you could imagine Greg Ward Jr. (similar size at 5’11, 210 lbs) but zippier, that’s Duvernay. The man is just electric as a route-runner, but projects to be a day-two pick due to some rawness in his game. His hips are a little tight and every cut seems to be like a jagged stab as opposed to a fluid motion.
However, his lightning speed, ability to pick up YAC, and nasty mentality to defeat tacklers more than make up for that. He’s not quite there yet as someone ready to start day one, but if you want a secret weapon, his 1,386 yard season speaks for itself.
CB Troy Pride, Notre Dame
Pride has picked up plenty of love this week, which is great news considering how confusing his tape is. Pride is absolutely rapid as a cornerback and can go toe-to-toe with some of the best in this class. His read-and-react ability is mesmerizing and is dazzling those down at Mobile, but it’s a two-sided coin.
It’s rare to see him in press coverage without already assuming he’s going to have to recover after losing the release. He doesn’t use his hands, relying on his hips and burst to keep him in contention, and lacking the ideal length means he can get a big snaggy at the catch point.
He’s got all the makings of a future CB1/2 and the show he’s putting on this week will give teams the confidence he can hit that ceiling.
S Ashtyn Davis, California
Davis would be a snug fit as a single-high safety in the Eagles defense. His positioning is excellent and he can manipulate his zone to keep the QB hesitant just long enough for the pass-rush to get home. There’s clearly a great schematic understanding and it’s backed up by a thunderous hitter (that can miss and take bad angles), and someone that can act on those instincts around the ball, making some eye-catching plays in 2019.
Davis isn’t going to be an ideal run-defender due to his tackling, but as a nickel corner or a single-high safety, there’s definitely room for this 6’1, 207 lbs, DB to grow.
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