The NFL Combine is just around the corner and it promises to be an important one for the Philadelphia Eagles. Armed with two first-round picks, Howie Roseman will have quite the big board by the time the Draft rolls around, and this will be a crucial time in gathering due diligence on potential future Eagles.
15 offensive players the Eagles should be keeping an eye on at the NFL combine
This is a stacked tackle class and although Lane Johnson remains one of the NFL’s most dominant tackles, it’s worth noting that the injuries have started to pick up in frequency over the last few years and the tread on the tire may be getting thin. It would be worthwhile for the Eagles to at least start eyeing up future heirs to his throne, or at the very least, a capable backup who can step into that role in a pinch.
It is worth noting that Jeff Stoutland has a profound ability to turn water into wine, which may deter fans from wanting to spend one of two first-round picks on an offensive tackle when there are bigger holes that need filling. However, we also know the Eagles have long built their identity from the ball outwards, placing a real emphasis on quality linemen who will be strutting their stuff at the NFL Combine.
You can bet your bottom dollar that names like Paris Johnson Jr. and Peter Skoronski will be on Howie Roseman’s radar. They’re two of the top names in this draft along with Broderick Jones out of Georgia. We know Howie is leaning towards SEC superiority and Jones has plenty of experience against top-tier pass-rushers.
One name who will draw plenty of attention at the NFL Combine is Dawand Jones. He raised eyebrows at the Senior Bowl due to his incredible frame and equally impressive athleticism. The Combine should be the perfect place to elevate his draft stock and if it’s size and athleticism Howie wants, you will struggle to find a more freakish lineman in this class.
The Eagles are set with their tandem of DeVonta Smith & A.J Brown, but Quez Watkins left a little too much meat on the bone for a team just a few drives short of a Super Bowl. If it’s a slot replacement that they crave, the NFL Combine has plenty of options.
The upper tier sees Tyler Scott and Tre Tucker and their blazing speed headline the show, while Zay Flowers offers a higher-risk, higher-reward upside. He’s a little shorter at 5’10 and as a result will be likely limited to slot, but this won’t matter to the Eagles. He too has some scary acceleration and is a player who will thrive on screens and deep routes due to his exceptional agility – something the combine is almost sure to highlight.
Jalin Hyatt is another name worth watching. The former Tennessee Vol had over 1,200 yards this season and led all FBS wideouts with 18.9 yards per catch. If the Eagles want someone who can stretch the defense horizontally while their marquee wideouts do the damage deeper down the field and draw the attention of safeties, there may be no better-suited wideout to that role.
The Eagles have their franchise TE in Dallas Goedert, but the depth situation behind him is murky at best.
If the Birds want to add a Tyree Jackson-type player, then 6’7 TE Darnell Washington could fit the bill. Not only is he an elite blocker, but he has tremendous ability as a receiver with some soft hands and a knack for finding the soft spots in coverage. He’d be a great compliment to Dallas Goedert in the same way Goedert once was for Zach Ertz.
Other options at the NFL Combine include Sam LaPorta, who would give Jalen Hurts an added weapon down in the red zone, and Zack Kuntz, who is another mammoth at 6’8, 251 lbs. Kuntz reportedly ran a 4.57 40-yard dash and if he can shine in Indy then his stock could soar.
If you’re after a small-school sleeper in the NFL Combine, look no further than Noah Gindorff. Sure, the Eagles haven’t had the best of luck with players from North Dakota State, and Gindorff is coming off of an ankle injury which may halt his draft stock. However, he’s a powerful blocker who could do deal some damage in the red-zone and would be well worth a late-round flyer.
The cream of the crop at the NFL Combine this year is obviously Bijan Robinson and for good reason. The Eagles could well be parting ways with Miles Sanders and Robinson would add a truly dominant runner who would thrive in this scheme. Is it worth Howie spending a first-round pick on him? That debate will rage right up until draft night, but he is going to be in the conversation, especially if he posts a strong combine.
If Howie Roseman wants to look a bit deeper, Zach Charbonnett is a workhorse who could carry the load while Kenny Gainwell maintains his change-of-pace/ dual-threat status. He has brilliant balance and is able to quickly read the holes ahead which leads him to commit to his decision early and rely on his impressive athleticism to generate dirty yards. He’s not the fastest back in the class and isn’t going to break off 40-yard runs for fun, but he should give the Eagles enough reliability up the middle to add some value to the offense.
Devon Achane is a more slippery option who could be the perfect back to run angle routes and handle more zone-based plays. He’s a lot smaller in size and struggles to run with power, but could well be a developmental option to work behind Gainwell if the Eagles view him as their workhorse of the future. He’s also got valuable experience on kick returns, which is another glaring need for this team.
Tyjae Spears is another back worth watching at the NFL Combine. He’s another undersized runner but he’s a gritty player who will keep his legs churning and brings the type of physicality that Philly fans will love. If he tests well at the combine, he could well become a safe mid-round pick who could compliment Gainwell as a downhill runner with some additional pass-catching and blocking upside.
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