Defensive line isn’t much of a need for the Eagles. They arguably have the best positional group heading into the 2020 season. But trench-play defines this team’s identity so drafting a defensive lineman in the later rounds of the draft may make sense. Here are my 5 suggestions on late-round prospects the Eagles should keep a close eye on during day 3 of the NFL Draft.
Azur Kamara, EDGE, Kansas
I’m starting this off with a really intriguing prospect in Kamara. Athletically, Kamara is a real talent, he’s 6-foot-4, 235 pounds and is extremely quick and agile. His explosiveness off the snap is a real plus for a guy this far down the draft. Kamara’s stand-up ability is a real standout and if you give him the space to work with, Kamara could develop into a really nice piece for a team’s defensive line.
However, Kamara is a real development piece. His football IQ is severely raw and he’ll need a fair amount of time to develop a real understanding of the game and his position. He also needs to be taught how to properly use his hands when attacking his assignment, because if he can develop a good initial attack with his hands, he’s going to be a problem for a lot of tackles in the NFL. Other things like tackling consistently, play recognition and how to deconstruct a block need to be coached too, but this prospect from Kansas has a really high ceiling if you have a coach who is looking for a long-term project.
Tyler Clark, DT, Georgia
Tyler Clark is a physical monster who possesses insanely good athletic abilities for his size and weight. Clarks stands at 6-foot-4 and weighs 300 pounds yet moves like he’s half that size, he has an incredible swim move that leaves offensive linemen in the dirt. If you want to watch him in action, sit down and watch the Rose Bowl game where he destroyed Oklahoma’s highly rated offensive line. The Georgia prospect also has his eyes in the backfield, tracking the ball and reacting in a way where he has the best angle to attack the ball carrier, he splits double teams with ease and his tackling is brilliant thanks to him basically being a roadblock on the interior.
Unfortunately for Clark, he isn’t where he could be and that’s why he’s a late-round prospect. Clark struggles sometimes with his pad placement and can easily give them up to linemen because he shoots himself up too high. Another issue he has is an inconsistent motor, he seems to take a break here and there during plays so he can then attack with 110% the next play. Other than his swim move, Clark doesn’t really have anything else sitting in his arsenal, so if linemen have his technique down, he struggles to have an impact on the game.
Oluwole Betiku Jr., EDGE, Illinois
Betiku is another EDGE prospect near the end of the draft that really excites me as a long-term project. Oluwole was a 5-star prospect leaving high-school and he still possesses that potential, especially given his athletic profile. Standing at 6-foot-3, Betiku had the foundations of a good EDGE defender, he just needs to learn the game a lot more, just like Kamara.
The only negatives around Betiku are the same as Kamara, he needs to learn some of the basic stuff like hand placement, play recognition and how to beat a block when the tackle has you caught up. If he has the right coach and process behind him, Betiku has a really high ceiling.
McTelvin Agim, DT, Arkansas
Agim is a really interesting defensive tackle prospect as he was moved from outside to the interior, giving him a weird edge and surprise factor for guards and centers. From starting out on the outside of the line, Agim possesses elite speed and explosiveness for an interior lineman. He can blitz past guards with ease, especially if they aren’t ready for his special skillset for a defensive tackle. He offers a lot of promise as a defensive tackle who could mix both skillsets of an edge rusher and a defensive tackle to produce a scary hybrid skillset.
However, Agim struggles with a lot of defensive tackle basics. Playing on the outside and being a speedy edge rusher, Agim isn’t used to using his hands as a way of beating his man and he needs that skill more than ever playing on the inside. Anchoring ability is another thing Agim needs to develop alongside recognizing plays and reacting to them from a tackles point of view rather than an edge’s point of view. Once Agim has that under his thumb, he could make a really intriguing defensive tackle who could offer a team a secret weapon.
James Lynch, DT, Baylor
Lynch is one of the most confusing prospects I’ve ever studied, he’s such a weird case. Lynch ended up breaking the record at Baylor for college career sacks, totaling 22 sacks for the team during his time. Baylor staff constantly rave about him. They absolutely adore him and his motor that never seems to stop running. His effort levels are outstanding and that’s the main reason he was able to produce as much as he did.
However, when you watch Lynch’s tape and you see him in action, he lacks a lot of skills as a pass rusher, it just seems to me that he doesn’t have enough in a lot of areas to really make an impact in the NFL. There’s not much else I can say on Lynch without sounding like a broken record, so I’ll leave it there, he just confuses the hell out of me.
Mandatroy Photo Credit: AP Photo/Butch Dill