The next stop on our rookie carousel sees us take a closer look at the Eagles’ last selection of their 2020 Draft Class – Casey Toohill. Here are five things you need to know about the young defender.
The story so far
At 6’4, 250 lbs, Toohill was regarded as a ‘tweener by many. However, as we’ll discover later, the man is a freak athlete who the Eagles will be able to utilize in several different spots. Unlike some in this year’s draft, he was able to pair his athleticism with some eyebrow-raiding production.
In 46 games for the Cardinal, he racked up 132 tackles (23 TFL), 14.5 sacks, 4 pass breakups, and an interception. He was named an All-Pac-12 second-team honoree in 2019 after starting all 12 games and rallying to 60 of his 132 tackles, 11.5 TFL, and 8 sacks. He led the team in both of those last two categories.
Toohill was also named to All-Academic teams on three occasions in his career.
If you’ve read our deep dive into the thread that connects every Eagles draft pick from the 2020 class, this won’t come as a surprise. Toohill was selected out of Stanford – the breeding ground for names like Zach Ertz, J.J Arcega-Whiteside, and Nate Herbig, who will all be his teammates in 2020.
Yes. I had a decent amount of contact with the Eagles. Obviously, there is a strong Stanford connection with [TE] Zach Ertz, [WR] J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, and [G] Nate Herbig.
So, yeah, I met with them at the East-West Shrine [Bowl] game and at the Combine, and I had a good feel for the system, where they saw me, and that they were interested.
Besides that, the pre-draft process is pretty — there is a lot of the mystery surrounding it. So, I wasn’t exactly sure who was going to take me, if I was going to get taken.
But I’m excited for the opportunity now.
Absolutely. 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.
Knowing that there’s a sense of comfort even in such an uncertain time will be of great relief to the team’s seventh-round pick, but it obviously helps build that sense of togetherness that seemed to be lacking in the locker room one year ago.
He’s a what now?
Toohill is a very intriguing case. He spent his time at Stanford as an outside linebacker in their 3-4 defense, but does have the ability to play on the line of scrimmage too.
His skillset is very reminiscent of Genard Avery, whom the Eagles traded for at the deadline last season. He was used sporadically after getting a sack in his debut, but drafting Toohill at least tells us there’s perhaps more to come from this ‘versatile’ rushing role.
Sure. So I guess the one thing to clarify with that is that at Stanford I put my hand in the ground a decent amount as well, so I’m not completely uncomfortable with that at all.
But I think playing outside linebacker is a little bit different from D-end. Different focus. New schemes. There is all adjustments with that and the speed of the NFL.
The ability level is different than college, so that’s why when I come in, it’s just first and foremost just to learn and just to soak up all the information from the older guys and from the coaches, and then just every day work hard. I think that will put my best foot forward.
I mentioned that Toohill was athletic, as was every Eagles Draft selection this year. But according to the SPARQ formula, that takes a prospect’s frame into consideration, he was actually the top-ranked edge rusher this year.
Another thread connecting the Eagles rookies this year is the fact that they all seem to be highly involved in extra-curricular community-related activities, or highly academic. Toohill has both in bunches.
A three-time All-Academic Pac-12 selection, the Stanford product was a finalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy in 2019, which is among the highest academic accolades one can receive.
Football is a mental game. People may not think that stereotypically, but there are so many aspects of film study, just attention to detail, that I think really carry over to my studies. The preparation, how I prepare for a football game is similar to how I prepare for tests at Stanford. There is not a whole lot of difference there.
In terms of community service, I think homelessness is an area that’s pretty interesting to me. For the Combine, I was able to pair with an organization where I had people pledge a certain amount of money to every inch that I vertically leapt for a homeless shelter called Hospitality House in the Tenderloin area in San Francisco.
I haven’t really specified in my own mind what exactly I want to do to serve the communities in Philadelphia or whatever else. I think that’s just something I look forward to coming to fruition in the years to come.
Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports