It’s officially draft season. Senior Bowl week is underway and excitement levels are rising. Here are 5 offensive prospects that the Eagles need to watch over this week.
Creed Humphrey – OL – Oklahoma
The 6 foot 5, 316-pound center out of Oklahoma should be a key watch for the Eagles during the Senior Bowl given the fact we never know what the future holds for current Eagles center Jason Kelce. After a pretty poor season, which saw Kelce lose almost everyone around him to injury, no one would blame him if he decided it was time to end his phenomenal career, and that’s where Humphrey steps in.
Humphrey has been a three-year starter in Oklahoma, with 37 career starts to his name, and has been one of the key parts in the Sooners’ constantly explosive offense. His frame is huge and he constantly uses that to his advantage and will bully defensive tackles who even think about getting past him and hitting his quarterback. He leverages against guys using his incredible strength and has a phenomenal football mind that allows him to be in the best position possible to stop oncoming rushers.
Humphrey is a left-handed center, which is pretty rare, and with his high football IQ, he constantly makes the right decisions in helping his guards out and getting involved with double teams.
However, he’s very limited as an athlete. Creed won’t be a center you want in an offensive line that likes to be mobile, which is conversely what the Eagles want. He hasn’t got the speed or necessary athleticism to really succeed there, but in a power scheme, where he stands in the middle and picks up the first rusher he sees, his football IQ will mask his limited athleticism and he’ll be a long-time starter in the NFL. Humphery is easily one of the top centers in the draft and should definitely be on the Eagles draft board if Kelce decides to call it a day.
Kylin Hill – RB – Mississippi State
The Eagles had a major issue with running the ball, mainly because Doug would refuse to do it. However, it’s also pretty clear that the Eagles need another option behind Miles Sanders and Kylin Hill could be that guy.
Hill is a bruiser back out of Mississippi State and would be the perfect addition to the room. Standing at 5 foot 11 and 215 pounds, Hill isn’t your normal bruising back given his height but he’s constantly shone for the Mississippi State offense over his college career and has shown unbelievable strength that leads to him just barrelling over defenders for fun.
Kylin has a strong motor and constantly keeps his feet active, allowing him to spring on any gaps instantly and it also helps him get every single yard possible before finally being brought down. His instincts are rapid and he’s also a very disciplined runner.
The obvious limitation for Hill is his speed, you won’t be getting 75 yard runs out of him like Miles Sanders produces just because defenders will be able to catch up with him in the open field.
The other thing that annoys me with Hill is while his instincts are quick, he’s an all-or-nothing back and will pick gaps where he has to power his way through multiple tacklers, which leads to unnecessary punishment. Regardless, Hill and Sanders would be a fantastic 1-2 punch for the Eagles.
Tre McKitty – TE – Georgia
TE isn’t the biggest of needs for the Eagles, but the unclear future of Zach Ertz should at least draw attention to the position.
The 6 foot 5, 241-pound Georgia transfer has aligned in almost every position a tight end could in a lot of different schemes and he’s surprisingly athletic for his size. McKitty is a very strong catcher of the ball, and that’s what the Eagles will need most at that position if/when Ertz leaves. Tre will be a matchup nightmare for defenders and his route running is at a very high level.
McKitty’s blocking is good enough for the NFL, but it’s still a big area for growth. Whilst McKitty’s catching is impressive, he does tend to body-catch quite a lot which means he loses the separation he gets initially and that leads to DB’s making plays on the ball.
Tylan Wallace – WR – Oklahoma State
It’s pretty obvious the Eagles are crying out for more talent at the wide receiver position. Tylan Wallace is an interesting prospect to keep an eye on this week for the Eagles.
Standing at 6 foot and 185 pounds, Wallace would line up the best as a Z receiver in the NFL but has definitely shown a lot of the skill set for the X position. Wallace is a phenomenal 50-50 situation catcher who exhibits a lot of determination in the air. 2018 was the best year Wallace had in his college career, going for 89 receptions for 1,491 yards and 12 touchdowns, with his last two seasons ending on just under 1,000 yards each.
Wallace is a versatile wideout who can receive the ball in multiple ways, which will make him a dream for an OC/HC designing plays.
Personally, I don’t think Oklahoma State’s offensive scheme was the best suited for Wallace and it definitely held him back t times, which is a scary thought given how prolific he’s been for the team.
Whilst he can be a vertical threat, he hasn’t got blazing speed and so it will mean on vertical routes, he’ll have to win those 50-50’s that he has done in college against NFL quality corners.
Austin Watkins – WR – UAB
I have a very strong feeling that people will be talking about Austin Watkins a lot more after this weekend because this guy could be scary good in the NFL. He has a rare blend of size and speed that was visible in 2019, where he went for over 1,000 yards and an average of 19.2 yards on each reception. In a shorter 2020 season, Watkins balled out again, going for close to 500 yards in 7 games, averaging 13.8 yards a reception.
Watkins stands at 6 foot 3 and 205 pounds but has good acceleration for a guy of his size, which allows him to be a fun vertical threat. To go with his size and speed, Watkins has impressive ball skills. He hardly ever drops a ball or loses in 50-50 situations, tracks the ball well, and can adjust his body to the ball perfectly.
He’s a very smooth route runner that sells his breaks really well for a 6-foot 3 receiver and I’ve seen a very limited number of receivers in college that are better than him when going up for a ball in the air.
Whilst he has good speed for his size and he makes consistent big plays vertically, I’m not sure if he’ll have enough long speed to get good separation against NFL cornerbacks. Like I said before, he has great acceleration and initial burst, but he doesn’t seem to hit another level after that. It Will be a great test for him to go up against some top cornerbacks in this Senior Bowl game and if he balls out, as he should, his draft stock will skyrocket.
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