The first-round of the NFL Draft is in the books and the Eagles now turn their attention to the heart of the second round. Picking at number 53, there are some really enticing names still on the board that could cause a few intriguing prospects to fall into Howie Roseman’s lap. Here are five that may interest him.
S, Ashtyn Davis
If the Eagles really plan on adapting to a 2020 schedule of opponents that include the likes of the Baltimore Ravens, Los Angeles Rams, and Seattle Seahawks, it may involve bringing in a shiny new safety that allows 7 DB sets (Hi Will Parks and Jalen Mills) to stop the threat in open space.
Cal’s Ashtyn Davis could well be that guy. Here’s what I wrote on him ahead of the Senior Bowl.
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.
Davis would be a great center-fielder for the Eagles due to his strengths in zone looks and range correlating with weaknesses that can be negated by a heavier presence inside.
He ended last year with 32 solo tackles, 2 picks, and 2 forced fumbles.
WR K.J Hamler
This is probably the dream for most Eagles fans right now. Hamler has game-breaking speed and probably the best release of any receiver in this entire draft. His 904 yard season isn’t that representative of what the slot wideout can bring to the table.
He isn’t without weakness, however. Hamler has virtually no physicality in his game and shies away from contact at the catch-point. But in a year where training camp will be cut short and there’s no time to develop specific traits, focusing on what a player can do as opposed to what he can’t, makes sense. Hamler makes people miss in the open field and is a blaze of speed when he gets going. Scheme him into open space and watch him work.
S Xavier McKinney
The fact this man is even still on draft boards is terrifying. Chauncey Gardner-Johnson all over again? Potentially. There are a lot of comparisons to Grant Delpit and rightly so, but McKinney is much more Malcolm Jenkins than Rodney McLeod in that he’s a physical Safety who loves to drive people into the dirt. This is echoed by his 4 forced fumbles, 3 picks, and 5 passes defended last year.
Both would be great fits in this system, but trading up to snatch McKinney from the Cowboys, who tried to deal the Eagles a blow last night, would be a very smart move by Roseman, strengthening a weak area and stopping the Cowboys’ ability to do the same.
C Matt Hennessy
Matt Hennessy may have grown up as a Giants fan but without a center being taken yet, he may end up landing further down the I-95. Hennessy fits what the Eagles want in an heir to Kelce. He’s not the biggest center at 6’4, 295 lbs, but he makes up for with this consistent effort and ability to use his natural traits to win against defenders. If anyone can get the best out of him, it’s Jeff Stoutland.
DE Julian Okwara
His senior year may have been cut short by injury, but racking up 6 tfl and 2 FF in 9 starts left a good taste in the mouths of many. Okwara isn’t your typical Eagles DE, with a taller frame that can lead to him playing a little too upright at times, but his get-off and pursuit are scintillating to watch. The Eagles need depth behind Brandon Graham and Derek Barnett, who has questions of his own to answer. Investing in a pick higher than Shareef Miller’s fourth-rounder (2 special teams snaps in 2019) makes sense here.
Mandatory Credit: Gabe Mayberry-USA TODAY Sports
Liam is a 25-year old sports journalist from the UK and founder of the Philly Sports Network. In just five years he turned a hobby into one of the fastest-growing Philadelphia sports sites in the world, amassing 7,000,000 views and writing over 3,000 articles. Drawing attention from the likes of CSN, NJ.Com and Bleacher Report in the process, Liam is set on changing the way Philadelphia sports teams are reported on forever.
You can contact him here: Phillysportsnetwork@gmail.com