The son of former NFL defensive end Alex Molden, Elijah Molden started his journey to the NFL at West Linn High School in Oregon. During his time there, he played both cornerback and running back and would later commit to the University of Washington. Molden went on to have a great 4-year career with the Huskies, winning the MVP award during the 2019 Las Vegas Bowl game and being named to the First Team All-PAC 12 in both 2019 and 2020 after featuring on the All-PAC 12 Second Team in 2018.
Here are his 4-year college career stats (via ESPN):
- Great athlete with a lot of speed and agility. Molden possesses fluid hips and great footwork making him a real problem for receivers to get away from.
- His mirroring ability is fantastic.
- When he’s told to play off-man, his trigger is great. Molden will react very quickly and his lightning footwork means his click-and-close is exceptional.
- His instincts and football IQ are impressive. His tape against USC in 2019 was the best example of this – he makes some fantastic plays on the ball which are a result of a deep understanding of the position.
- Very solid in run defense. He tackles well, will recognise the play quickly and will take the best route to the ball-carrier.
- His ball skills are very strong. Molden does extremely well to get up and make a play on the ball with his hands and has a tendency to come away with it.
- Elijah Molden is only 5’10, so he won’t be playing outside at the next level.
- He struggles to keep his speed going on longer routes, which may be an issue when facing some of the faster slot receivers in the league.
- He was left on an island a lot during his career and he handled it well, but he’s a corner who thrives when he can contest the catch and can struggle when defending in-breaking routes.
What he could bring to the Eagles:
It’s pretty clear that the Eagles need a huge injection of talent into the secondary. A true outside corner is needed to partner Darius Slay and, in my opinion, even with Avonte Maddox making the move back to the slot, the Eagles need other options and Elijah Molden is exactly what they should be targeting.
Molden is easily the best slot corner in this draft class and I’d go as far to say that he’s among the top overall corners too. His instincts are next level good and he’s just an exceptional talent to watch. Molden doesn’t need any major work and will be an instant contributor from day 1, something the Eagles are crying out for.
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