Davion Taylor’s Eagles departure is significant but not for the reason you think

PHILADELPHIA, PA – OCTOBER 14: Eagles General Manager Howie Roseman is pictured prior to the game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Philadelphia Eagles on October 14, 2021 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire)

The Eagles made a few surprising moves on Sunday evening. They decided to part ways with former draft pick, Davion Taylor, and replaced him with a highly experienced pairing of Zach Cunningham and Myles Jack. While Taylor was never a key player for the Eagles, his departure made me feel somewhat sad. When thinking about why that notification cast a shadow over my day, it all clicked into place.

Davion Taylor was part of a crucial Eagles draft class

Davion Taylor was part of the same draft class as Jalen Reagor, Jalen Hurts, Quez Watkins, John Hightower, K’Von Wallace, and Jack Driscoll. With the exception of Jalen Hurts, who has surpassed every expectation, the class has been disappointing at best. But it symbolized a change in scouting philosophy.

Jalen Reagor was not the best receiver on the board when the Eagles were on the clock, but he was a dream fit for their system, especially considering many scouts regarded Justin Jefferson as a slot receiver who would struggle outside. Reagor’s profile was athletically impressive and he ticked every box the Eagles needed.

Jalen reagor eagles
PHILADELPHIA, PA – NOVEMBER 01: Philadelphia Eagles Wide Receiver Jalen Reagor (18) walks to the locker room after the first half during the game between the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles on November 01, 2020 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

Jalen Hurts, as we know, is also a freak athlete. I’m pretty sure he could bench press a pickup truck, and he somehow happens to also have the ability to break open a 50-yard run at any point.

Davion Taylor missed out on playing high school ball due to his family’s religious beliefs but possessed a terrifyingly athletic skillset. In fact, the 230-lbs linebacker was actually named an All-Pac-12 selection in the 100m dash!

See what I’m getting at?

The evolution of Howie which lead to the revolution of the Eagles

One year after drafting J.J Arcega-Whiteside, a statistically prolific wideout who failed to live up to even mild expectations, the Eagles decided to flip the script and instead find Uber-athletes who can hopefully develop. Perhaps it was the rise of Jordan Mailata, who at the time was just beginning to come into his own as a starter having surged out of the depths of the 53-man roster to force his way into the role, that pricked Howie Roseman’s ears.

Looking back, it’s clear that this particular draft class was the beginning of a shift in mentality. It wasn’t perfect. The idea was there, but the execution wasn’t.

One year later, with Jalen Hurts now onboard and demonstrating the value of high-character and strong leadership traits which acted as a stark contrast to the implosion of the roster and attitudes of Carson Wentz, Howie Roseman built on his foundation. He now looked for the same profiles of players, but infused that mindset with guys who were former captains, had previous relationships with Hurts, and had received countless praise for work ethic-related actions.

Fast forward again and you get to the ‘Bulldog’ era, where the esteemed Eagles GM has actively targeted a nucleus of players who have shaped one of the SEC’s most-feared defenses, as well as ticking those freak-athlete boxes. The concept being that Georgia, like Alabama, is renowned for its intense atmosphere. If the Eagles can build a core of those players, they set the tone for the rest of the team.

Georgia defensive lineman Jalen Carter (88) waves to the crowd before the national championship NCAA College Football Playoff game between Georgia and TCU, Monday, Jan. 9, 2023, in Inglewood, Calif. Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter, projected as one of the top players in next month’s NFL draft, has been charged with reckless driving and racing in conjunction with the crash that killed offensive lineman Devin Willock and a recruiting staff member.(AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

Long story short, Davion Taylor walked so the likes of Nakobe Dean, Jalen Carter, and even DeVonta Smith, could run. His ridiculous speed is what pushed Howie Roseman into the rabbit hole. It would take a while for him to reach the bottom, but now that he has, it’s clear that it was one well worth exploring.

Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire