This Draft class was always going to be different – it had to be. But upon closer inspection, the eight players selected by the Eagles in 2020 all seem to have one thing in common.
It started with a coincidence, turned into a trend, and ended in a clear plan. This Philadelphia Eagles draft class all either have a connection to each other, or a connection to the team who picked them.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen this before (at least on such a grand scale) so wanted to try and put all the information in one place for us to dissect.
Reagor may have been the team’s first-round pick, but he isn’t the first of his name to don a Midnight Green jersey.
Montae Reagor, his father, played for the Eagles as a defensive tackle back in 2007. He also won the ‘Ed Block Courage Award’ that year. If that wasn’t enough, Montae also won a Super Bowl with the Indianapolis Colts. You won’t believe who was on that very same team…
Aaron Moorhead – the man now tasked with getting the most out of his former teammates son as the Eagles WR coach.
This is interesting. Hurts revealed in his first presser with the team that he actually formally met with the Eagles at the combine. This was kept very quiet, but his link with the team goes beyond that.
In 2019, Hurts attended Steve Clarkson’s “QB retreat” – a two-day camp designed to help elevate young quarterbacks. Trevor Lawrence and Jacob Eason were two names that also attended a camp that sees many young signal-callers refine their craft every year.
Among them was Eagles UDFA signing Khalil Tate, who struck up a bond with the Sooners QB throughout the camp and was actually his temporary roommate.
If THAT wasn’t enough, Hurts worked out with Quez Watkins after the NFL Combine…but we’ll touch on that in greater detail when we get to the SMU receiver later in this article.
Taylor is the only pick without a direct link to the Philadelphia Eagles, but he’s not without an intriguing dot to correlate.
During his opening presser as an Eagle, Taylor mentioned that it wasn’t a scout or personnel employee doing the digging – rather Jim Schwartz himself.
I kept getting phone calls from Coach Schwartz [Eagles Defensive Coordinator Jim Schwartz], the linebacker coach [Ken Flajole], and to be honest, I didn’t expect to come to the Eagles, but when I got that phone call I was overjoyed. I’m really excited to become an Eagle, and just looking forward to the future.
This may be the case routinely, but it’s one of the first times I’ve heard of a defensive coordinator calling third-round prospects on a consistent basis…
We know Schwartz has a hand in personnel decisions, but maybe it’s greater than we once thought.
After being announced as the Eagles’ fourth-round pick, team-legend Brian Dawkins took to Twitter to give his stamp of approval for the Clemson leader. Why would Weapon-X be so eager to show support?
Wallace alluded to the fact that he shared a room with Dawkins’ son, Brian Dawkins Jr. at Clemson.
I’m actually close friends with his son. Me and his son were roommates my first two and a half years together in Clemson. I met him throughout the whole process. They’re like family. My mom knows his mom very well. They communicate here and there.
But just we never really talked much football. We just talk about life and our spiritual selves, because he’s a man of God first, and he just always wanted his son and I to be happy in The Word and to be driven spiritually because that is where your passion comes from and football always takes care of itself when you have the right things in place.
Wallace also played against Jalen Hurts in the National Championship game.
Hightower, like Taylor, doesn’t have a direct link to others in this class…BUT
He’s a Dream Chaser…so that counts. Right?
Jack Driscoll/ Prince Tega-Wanogho
The two offensive linemen selected by the Eagles were teammates at Auburn. You won’t find much of a tighter bond than not only two teammates, but two who play in the same position group. Prince actually mentioned his teammate almost instantly in his first presser as an Eagle:
I’m going to talk about my teammate first. Jack’s a guy who came to Auburn three years ago and, yeah, he’s a special one, too. He’s a close friend of mine, and just coming in there with Jack, that’s a blessing for me, too. And also the Eagles, like everybody know they got one of the best offensive lines in the country, so I feel like I just got to come in there, and you know, have the right mindset and come to work. I’m excited.
Bradley’s first connection is obvious. As someone who is from the area and played his college ball at Temple, the linebacker spent his home games in front of the Philadelphia faithful at Lincoln Financial Field.
His second connection, however, is a little more subtle.
His agent, Barry Gardner, is a former NFL linebacker who spent four years in Philadelphia, overlapping with current Eagles Head Coach Doug Pederson. When asked about the link, Bradley had this to say:
Definitely, I think that played a part. Credit to my agent, Barry. He’s been there for me from the jump. Been thorough and honest with me. He told me he talked to Coach Pederson. And said the same things. Just keep talking to him about me.
He said Coach Pederson really liked me and things like that. They’ve always been there, man. And Barry has done a great job of keeping that connection open and staying on top of people. It was an honor. Barry playing for the Eagles knowing that he has some type of connection there definitely helped for sure.
We mentioned that Hurts worked out with Watkins post-combine earlier in this article, so here’s everything the SMU receiver had to say about the Eagles’ second-round pick.
After I got drafted, he texted me and he was like, ‘Let’s get to work.’ It’s really just what we have been about before the Combine, stuff like that. Really been just trying to get to work.
It’s really good that I’m with him, because we kind of started bonding a lot, started getting close as the Combine and such came, and then really we just got a connection. So, we’re already going to have the connection and timing down.
He’s a worker. He’s a competitor. He’s not going to stop until he proves to everybody that he’s the best. He’s determined. He’s always determined. I’ve never seen a guy that put up 300, 400 yards a game and then come back and work out after the game, after putting up 56 points.
Honestly, he’s just really different. He’s somebody that’s going to work to get to that starting spot, work to get better. He’s not going to settle for nothing.
Watkins also spoke about how he really looks up to DeSean Jackson, one of the veteran leaders on the team and a franchise-great.
The Eagles’ final pick of the Draft was DE Casey Toohill out of Stanford. The same college that has produced both J.J Arcega-Whiteside and Zach Ertz, as well as offensive guard Nate Herbig. All of whom will be Toohill’s teammates once more at the NFL level. Toohill was quick to mention that connection in his presser:
I think one of the things about Stanford that’s so unique is just that brotherhood that’s just like nowhere else.
So just to have those people that – J.J. and Nate, I played with – J.J. was in my class, one of my good friends. So, I’m excited to see him again and excited to learn from Zach.
So just kind of having that foundation built in for when I get there is definitely very comforting.
This is far too much of a coincidence to be just that. Howie Roseman stated back in January that he’s essentially hit the reset button on how he evaluates talent and won’t be held down by old flaws. In an offseason where resources were limited and following a year where the Eagles were plagued by character concerns within the locker room, bringing in a tightly-knit bunch may well have been the focus here. If not, it’s one beautiful bonus to an already exciting class that will do wonders for their comfort and growth in the early stages of their careers.