The Senior Bowl has been and gone and all eyes now turn towards Pro Days (however they’ll be formatted) and the NFL Draft. The Eagles have spent the last few weeks rebuilding their coaching staff and the first draft class of the Nick Sirianni era will be a vital one. Which players stood out enough to draw the gaze of the Philadelphia brass? Here are seven players who should be on their boards
RB Michael Carter
One half of an electric North Carolina RB tandem, Carter is currently a projected to be a second-round pick. Would the Eagles spend a second rounder on a running back? It’s not entirely out of the question, especially if they let Boston Scott test free agency waters. We know they don’t like to pay running backs (CC Jordan Howard) and this is a way to keep bellowing cap costs down.
Carter averaged 8 yards per carry in 2020 and a whopping 7.5 at the Senior Bowl in a game where running backs really had a tough day at the office. He scored a huge touchdown that secured his teams’ win, broke out for a 27-yard-rush, and had 60 yards on the day after a strong week of practice.
The ACC’s leading rusher stands at 5’8, 199 lbs, and is as explosive as they come. Don’t push him out of the picture just yet.
WR Demetric Felton
The big question over Demetric Felton this week was whether or not the 5’10, 200 lbs running back could make the transition outside. A ridiculous week of practice built hype and a strong Saturday turned question marks into periods.
Felton balled out, catching 2 passes for 28 yards and a touchdown, but more importantly showing how his agility and low center of gravity as a runner can help him explode out of breaks and create separation.
If you liked Antonio Gibson, you’ll love Demetric Felton and he could be a great gadget piece for a changing Eagles offense.
CB Keith Taylor
I know, I know. A Washington cornerback and the Eagles? Oh no.
Keith Taylor isn’t Sidney Jones. At 6’3, 195 lbs, he’s a much taller wideout who still moves like a shorter DB. He showed a lot of patience on Saturday when lined up on Clemson’s Cornell Powell, who recorded 882 yards and 7 touchdowns last year, mirroring well and moving fluidly.
He did give up a pair of touchdowns, but outside of that, he played comfortably in man-coverage and showed a lot of mettle to keep some very dangerous receivers on lock. He tipped a big pass into the hands of Damar Hamlin for a vital interception.
Taylor ended his Washington tenure with 91 tackles and 10 pass breakups. He could be the longer corner needed to balance Slay’s quicker skillset.
WR Dez Fitzpatrick
This one’s easy. 11 targets, 90 yards? Standout.
We know the Eagles have a tendency to bring in bigger-bodied wideouts. Alshon is on the way out, the JJAW experiment failed, and Travis Fulgham has some question marks. Fitzpatrick stands at 6’2, 202 lbs, and had a great day making contested catches and adjusting for poorly thrown balls.
Fitzpatrick led the Cardinals in receiving yards (883) last year, adding 3 touchdowns to his resume.
OL Quinn Meinerz
How can you not root for a D-3 lineman who practices with a broken hand and still plays on Saturday?! Meinerz was one of the biggest risers of the week and embodies everything the Senior Bowl is about.
At 6’3, 320 lbs, Meinerz showed versatility throughout the week playing at both guard and center and working hard to prove doubters wrong. His level of competition doesn’t matter, football is football. He held up strong against some top interior talent. Could you imagine a better fit than Meinerz and Eagles OL Coach Jeff Stoutland, who has groomed Jordan Mailata into a starting caliber left tackle?
The Eagles need Safety help and Hamlin could be a value play in a class lacking a marquee player who sits head and shoulders above the rest.
Hamlin had a quiet game, but picked off a bobbled Jamie Newman pass in an athletic effort. He’s a strong run-defender and has great short-area quickness which is great when breaking on routes or shooting down into the box. He’s not the most polished safety in terms of tackling angles and he can get caught stuck in the mud at times, but Hamlin could be a fun option to develop while the Eagles fill the void with more veteran help.
S Richie Grant
A slightly more NFL-ready safety, Richie Grant comes out of UCF, who have a habit of developing salivating DB prospects. Grant is no exception.
A ball-hawking safety who is at his best when allowed to roam free over the top, Grant had a stunning week of practices that saw him pick off pass after pass and prove himself a menace in the defensive backfield.
Grant was also given the honor of being named best Safety on the American team this week.
At 6’0, 195 lbs, Grant ended his final UCF season with a pair of fumbles, 3 picks, and 5 passes defensed. Inject that ball production into this Eagles defense and things are about to get fun.
Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire