Eagles finally draft a CB and add sleeper potential in Zech McPhearson

zech mcphearson
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA – APRIL 21: Penn State CB Zech McPhearson (14) knocks down a pass to WR Brandon Polk (10) during the Spring Football Game on April 21, 2018 at Beaver Stadium in University Park, PA. (Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

After a second day of the Draft that saw the Philadelphia Eagles leave fans in a state of uncertainty, the team finally addressed their biggest need on the roster. Texas Tech CB Zech McPhearson was drafted with the team’s lone fourth-round pick.

Likely a nickel corner, McPhearson stands at 5’11, 195 lbs, he plays a lot larger than his size and is coming off of a big-time season with the Red Raiders. The thing that Eagles fans should be most excited about here is that he has proven to be very successful in zone coverage, which bodes very well for Jonathan Gannon’s defense.

McPhearson transferred from Penn State after struggling to get on the field and burst onto the scene almost instantly. While ball-production lacked, he made up for it in year number two, showing clear signs of development when it comes to high-pointing the ball and targeting it when making a tackle.

Last season, he garnered an 85.7 coverage grade and ranked fourth among all corners. This was backed up by a 4 interception season that also saw him rack up 6 passes defensed.

This is a big pick for the Eagles. It may not be the shutdown corner of dreams, but McPhearson will at the very least provide a long-term backup plan behind Avonte Maddox, who is entering his contract year with a ton of question marks. He may well be able to play outside if he can work on his fluidity and awareness, but that’s where Jonathan Gannon’s prowess is going to come up big. The Eagles are putting a lot of trust in the former Colts DB coach to develop McPhearson over the next 12 months with the hopes he can earn a starting role if Maddox moves on.

Fans can’t be too mad at this pick. The team will next be on the clock with pick 150 in the fifth round.

Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire