And just like that, the NFL Draft closes its curtains for another year. It was a busy period for Howie Roseman and the Eagles, who went from heroes, to villains, to heroes once more. Along the way, they drafted ten players. Here’s everything you need to know about the Eagles draft class of 2020.
Round 1 Pick 21 – Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU
The Dallas Cowboys dealt a blow to the Eagles by taking CeeDee Lamb with their first-round pick, raising a lot of hesitation surrounding what Philadelphia would do at pick 21. Howie Roseman would respond by drafting a wide receiver of his own – Jalen Reagor.
The former TCU Hornfrog is a perplexing receiver. There are concerns about drops and a dip in production (despite only 30% of his targets being accurate in 2019), but the 5’11, 206 lbs, wideout ticks every box the Eagles need.
A 42-inch vertical and a terrifying release add some real explosiveness to Reagor’s game and while it may not be the wideout that many wanted, it could be the one they needed.
He ended his TCU career with2,248 yards across three years with 22 touchdowns to his name, averaging 14+ yards per catch in each season.
Four of Reagor’s five touchdowns came on 20 plus yards receptions. The receiver caught eight of those targets for 294 yards as well. Pair that with Carson Wentz, who finished ninth in the NFL in deep passing accuracy (51.92 completion percentage), despite not having a legitimate vertical threat majority of the 2019 season. Reagor and Wentz’s pairing bodes well for the Eagles downfield passing success.
Many viewed Reagor as a late-first round pick and this may be deemed a reach at 21. But the Eagles needed speed and Reagor provides that in buckets, despite what a poor combine performance would hint at.
TCU used Reagor on punt returns and even on sweeps and swings. He had 35 carries for 324 yards and two touchdowns during his time with TCU, along with 23 punt returns and 13 kick returns.
Reagor is the burner that Philadelphia fans have been crying out for, but it came moments after CeeDee Lamb was snatched from their clutches, getting a taste of their own medicine after snatching Dallas Goedert away from the Cowboys in 2017.
Round 2 pick 53: Jalen Hurts, QB, Oklahoma
Wide receivers disappeared off of the board, but there were still players worth selecting at that position. Instead, Philadelphia selected quarterback Jalen Hurts. In the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft, the Eagles selected a backup to Carson Wentz.
Projected to be a backup with potential to start, Jalen Hurts will battle Nate Sudfeld for the backup quarterback role. Carson Wentz was handed the keys to the Philadelphia Eagles, but Nick Foles and Josh McCown were called upon. The idea here is to have an insurance policy for Wentz. There is not an opportunity that Hurts battles Wentz for a starting role.
Interestingly, Doug Pederson mentioned him in the same breath as Lamar Jackson and Taysom Hill. This comes on the back of Press Taylor mentioning multiple QB formations early in 2019.
Jalen Hurts ran a 4.59 40-yard and carries a 35″ vertical and a 125″ broad jump. He is an athletic specimen. With 69% of his passes completed as a Senior, he threw 32 touchdowns and 8 picks while rushing for 1,298 yards as the runner up to Joe Burrow in the Heisman race.
A lot of us figured the Philadelphia Eagles would take a quarterback in the fifth or sixth round. This is abnormally early and has caught everyone off guard. The fit is that he is an insurance policy for Carson Wentz or maybe a trade asset. Howie Roseman likes taking a quarterback every draft, but this early is a big leap from settling on Clayton Thorson last season. This could be a receipt to make sure the Eagles get a quarterback as they wanted with Easton Stick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Round 3 pick 103: Davion Taylor, LB, Colorado
After the head-scratching decision to take Jalen Hurts with the 53rd overall pick, the Eagles followed it up with another contentious selection. Colorado’s Davion Taylor is the newest Philadelphia Eagle. The linebacker is a raw prospect with limited experience on field, but showed promise in his two years in college.
Taylor’s story is different than most. He grew up in a religious family. In high school, religious practices kept him off the field for Friday and Saturday games. It wasn’t until he walked on at junior college that Taylor began playing regularly. Leveraging his athletic potential, that shone among JUCO players, he was able to get an offer from Colorado.
His strengths and shortcomings follow suit. As a technical player as well as a processor, Taylor is raw. He hasn’t yet learned to diagnose the offense in a way to capitalize on his physical gifts. But boy, does he have some impressive physical traits.
Taylor is a fluid mover with bursty changes of direction and quick-twitch agility that has become a necessity for the modern weak side linebacker. He ran a 4.49 at the NFL Combine, which was among the top at his position. He’s bigger than a safety at 226 lbs, but moves like one. It’s no secret that the Eagles love their tweeners and versatile defensive pieces.
With more experienced options still left on the board, Howie Roseman decided to roll the dice and bet on upside. Hosting a linebacker room already lacking veteran mentor-ship, adding a developmental option with a long way to go is a bold decision. Speed and athleticism was placed at a premium early on in the draft and that continued into the third round.
Round 4 pick 127: K’Von Wallace, S, Clemson
After a rollercoaster day-2, the Eagles kicked off round 4 of the NFL Draft by returning to ‘safe’ picks. The secondary was bolstered with pick 127, with Howie Roseman selecting K’Von Wallace, a Safety out of Clemson.
The 5’11, 199 lbs defensive back has been a menace in the Clemson secondary for years and emerged as a very versatile product in his senior year, registering a career-high 47 solo tackles, 3 TFL, 10 passes defensed, and 2 interceptions.
Here’s what our man Chris Infante wrote about him in a recent mock draft:
Wallace has been talked about as Isaiah Simmons-lite. A do-it-all player who did-it-all well. He projects as a nickel package player who can also be a special teams ace. Schwartz will absolutely love his versatility in his coverage packages and Wallace will be able to make an instant impact for Dave Fipp and his special teams unit.
He ran a 4.53 40 at the combine and had the fourth-best vertical among safeties at 38.0 inches.
The Eagles lost Malcolm Jenkins this offseason and although the acquisition of Will parks along with Rodney McLeod and Jalen Mills returning offset some of the need at the position, losing that absolute hybrid weapon appears to be a need that they believe Wallace could be groomed to fill.
This pick also correlates perfectly with versatile, rapid LB prospect Davion Taylor who was drafted in the third-round, adding even more versatile looks to the defense with a speedy upside.
The Eagles only met with two Safeties prior to the NFL Draft, with K’Von being one of them which at least shows an intent to pick a player they’ve done more than just due diligence.
Round 4 pick 145: Jack Driscoll, OT, Auburn
At pick 145, the Eagles selected OT Jack Driscoll out of Auburn. This makes a lot of logical sense.
Although he’s a tackle, it became clear later on that Driscoll could well be being groomed as Kelce’s replacement. The former Tiger mentioned this in his opening press conference, stating that he’s been training at the position in preparation for the Draft. A wildly athletic tackle, Driscoll may have the fundamental base needed to slide inside and take over where Kelce one day leaves off.
Driscoll started 45 out of 46 games for the Auburn Tigers and is widely regarded as one of the most athletic tackles in the class. His wingspan leaves a little to be desired, but in terms of a raw profile that the Eagles will look to develop, he’s very reminiscent of a somewhat less stable version of Andre Dillard, who also came out of college with concerns about his wingspan and initial kickstep, which was technically refined at the NFL level.
The Eagles then traded pick 146…to the Dallas Cowboys…who took a center.
You can’t write it.
It’s not so much that the Eagles are letting Biadasz slide and taking another area, as much as it is knowing the Cowboys have a more pressing need for the position and the trade, that acquires another fifth-round pick, gifts them a player that makes the Cowboys stronger on a silver platter.
The Eagles then dropped back to pick 173 and racked up another late-rounder from the Miami Dolphins. Given that they only had one fifth-round and sixth-round pick coming into Day 3, this makes a lot of sense. The Eagles also traded with the Cowboys in order to pick up some more compensation.
Wait a minute…
The Eagles did something shocking just moments later. A trade with the San Francisco 49ers saw a swapping of sixth-round picks ans the acquisition of Marquise Goodwin.
The 29-year old has been hampered by injuries dating back to his drafting in 2013. Despite a breakout in 2017 where he recorded 962 yards and 2 touchdowns, Goodwin ended up on IR in December with a knee injury after rallying to 186 yards and a single touchdown in nine games.
Goodwin is a cheap and cheerful option that has cost the Eagles virtually nothing to acquire. His contract runs through 2021. He’ll cost the Birds $4.2M this year and $5.8M the season after. He may well be an insurance policy for DeSean Jackson who can stretch the field and create some wide open throwing lanes for his teammates. Goodwin averages 16.6 yards per reception.
It’s perceptively a great move.
Round 5 pick 168: John Hightower, WR, Boise State
In my article ranking wide receivers by traits the Eagles covet, John Hightower graded out VERY well for me. He was my ninth highest receiver, tying with Brandon Aiyuk.
John Hightower is this year’s Andy Isabella for me – a player I fell hopelessly in love with within one game of tape. He’s definitely a sleeper but he just does everything well – not exceptionally well, but well. And considering that he’s likely a day 2-3 pick, to be graded this high says a lot. He also ran the 8th fastest 40-yard dash time at the NFL Combine.
In two years with Bosie State, Hightower averaged 17.5 yards per carry and is coming off of a 943-yard season. At 6’2, 173 lbs, there’s a lot to love…
Round 6 pick 196: Shaun Bradley, LB, Temple
The former Temple owl played in four seasons in his college career, racking up 249 tackles, 22 TFL, 2 sacks, 3 picks, and 5 passes defensed. 86 of those tackles came in 2019, a career-year as a senior.
The 6’1, 235 lbs, linebacker impressively ran a 4.51 second 40-yard dash. It’s safe to say that the Eagles were really valuing the need for speed this Draft and that desperation has spread across the entire team.
Bradley also recorded a vertical of 32.5 inches and a broad of 121, while posting a 20-yard shuttle time of 4.24 seconds.
unlike Taylor, Bradley is an inside backer that may finally take over a MIKE spot the Eagles have struggled to fill. NFL.Com projects him to be a WILL in a 3-4, which may work with how the Eagles now seek to deploy their army of speedy backers, covering tight ends and relying on speed to get into open space and shut down pesky offenses.
He’ll likely compete with names like Alex Singleton and Duke Riley, along with providing some special teams value.
Round 6 pick 200: Quez Watkins, WR, SMU
Oh, you want SPEED?! How about 4.35 speed? That’s how quick Quez Watkins ran the 40-yard dash before becoming the Eagles’ third receiver in this class. The Birds’ actually met with Watkins at the NFL Combine, keeping the streak going.
At Southern Mississippi Watkins dominated the competition, finishing his final season with 1,178 yards and six touchdowns. He had a notable amount of off-field issues, specifically with academics, which forced him off the playing field on a few occasions. It was a bit of a surprise when Watkins declared for the draft, considering how raw he was, but his physical profile might cause teams to give him a look. Against lesser competition, he looks fast and made a lot of defenders look silly in jump ball situations.
Watkins is another speedster looking to add to an already rapid room.
Round 6 pick 210: Prince Tega Wanogho, OT, Auburn
At 6’5, 308 lbs, the Eagles take one of the most underrated Tackle prospects of the entire Draft.
Tega Wanogho was graded as a mid-rounder and earned that reputation in the rigors of the SEC, where he was named a second-team All-SEC pick for his 12 starts at left tackle as a Senior. This fits the mold of finding young franchise tackle, Andre Dillard, a backup to replace big V.
The OT has plenty of range and athleticism, but lacks some of the burst out of his stance to see him elevate into a top selection. Learning under Stoutland, who helped Dillard overcome similar setbacks, as well as a shorter wingspan, may give him the perfect developmental landing spot. He’s loose in his movement and is instinctive with hand-placement, but will need some development in terms of sustaining his base as time goes on.
His upside is clearly a future backup and beyond and injuries may have hampered his stock, but it’s a stock well worth the investment.
Round 7 pick 233: Casey Toohill, DE, Stanford
The Eagles ended their NFL Draft by taking DE Casey Toohill out of Stanford in the seventh round. Here’s everything you need to know:
At 6’4, 250 lbs, Toohill’s size may need bulking. Believe it or not, he also ran a rapid 40-yard dash at 4.69…shocking. A long and rangy edge-rusher, Toohill will be the first project of a new defensive line coach in Philadelphia. Toohill reminds me a lot of Genard Avery in terms of his skillset, which may be worth noting.
Projected as an OLB/DE, Toohill had his best year in 2019. He started all 12 games and led his team in TFL (11.5) and 8 sacks to go with 60 stops.
NFL.com’s Lance Zerlein said the following in his scout report:
“…tricky projection based upon his issues stopping the run, but he has great flashes as a pass rusher. His body type may not be fully finished and additional play strength would be crucial considering his inability to anchor and shed against run blocks. His rush is much less effective against stronger tackles, but he’s a decent athlete and hints at rush skill that has room for development. He’s currently caught between a 3-4 OLB and 4-3 DE. If he can become bigger, stronger and more polished as a rusher, he might make sense as a backup edge with sub-package talent as a wide-9 technique.”