Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

NFL Scout Breaks Down Eagles Draft

I talked to an NFL personnel man this week and asked him to break down the Eagles’ draft. Here are his thoughts on their 11 draft picks;

NFL Scout Breaks Down Eagles Draft

Jaiquawn Jarrett was the Eagles´ second-round pick. (Michael Conroy/AP Photo)
Jaiquawn Jarrett was the Eagles' second-round pick. (Michael Conroy/AP Photo)

I talked to an NFL personnel man this week and asked him to break down the Eagles’ draft. Here are his thoughts on their 11 draft picks;

1 – Danny Watkins, G, Baylor -- ``I really like Watkins. He was our top-rated guard. I didn’t know a lot about him before the Senior Bowl. Went back and watched him and he’s really a good player. For a guy who’s only been playing the game for 4 years, his techniques are excellent. I was amazed at how technically sound he was. With his hands, with his feet, position, all that stuff. He looks like a guy who’s been playing football a lot longer than he actually has been. He’s a good athlete. I don’t know if I’d want him outside (at tackle). But inside I really like him. It was a real solid pick. High character guy. We had him as the 30th (best) player on our board. I think it was a good safe pick. He’s going to be a good player. His age is a little bit of a negative, but he’ll play 10 years. Then he’ll go back and be a firefighter.’’

The scout had no problem with the Eagles taking Watkins ahead of Wisconsin tackle Gabe Carimi. ``We had Watkins rated 30th on our board. Carimi was right there with him at almost the same value. As long as you don’t expect this kid to play tackle anytime soon, you’re fine. But he can step in immediately and start for you at guard.’’

2 – Jaiquawn Jarrett, S, Temple -- ``I loved him. We would have definitely taken him in the third round with our pick. When you look at the whole package, he’s tough, he’s smart. The thing you didn’t see a lot of on tape is pass coverage. But as this whole process went on, the Senior Bowl and that stuff, he got better in that area. I think there’s an upside to the pass coverage. But you know what you’re getting. He’s a real football player. Some people might want to make a big deal of his 40 time (4.62). But the guy plays fast. He covers ground. He knows where to go. It wouldn’t surprise me if he competes for a starting job right away. He’s very mature. He’s played a lot of football. I don’t think anything’s too big for him. He’ll compete. There’s no doubt about that. And he’ll play on (special) teams.’’

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Asked whether Jarrett, who was regarded as a third- or fourth-round pick by many, was a reach with the 54th pick, the scout said, ``I don’t think so. Not the way it was happening. Not the way the safety board was coming off. Aaron Williams (34th pick, Buffalo) probably will play safety. But after that, in my mind, Jarrett was the next best guy. I mean I’d take him 7 days a week over Rahim Moore (45th pick, Denver).’’

3 – Curtis Marsh, CB, Utah State -- ``They obviously like him more than I do. He’s a good athlete with good size and speed. But he’s raw. I mean, the kid was a running back 2 years ago. He’s played something like 16 games at corner. That’s not much. His instincts and awareness aren’t great. Maybe they’ll get better as he becomes more familiar with the position. We had him in that range, but there are some other corners I would’ve taken over him. They traded down before they made this pick and might’ve outsmarted themselves. I think the Saints took (cornerback) Johnny Patrick (of Louisville) a couple of spots in front of them. We had Patrick with a higher grade than Marsh. (Patrick’s) speed is kind of on the edge. He’s a low 4.5 guy playing on the corner. But he’s a very good athlete. They obviously see something in Marsh. They’re betting on his upside. We’ll see.’’

4a – Casey Matthews, LB, Oregon -- ``We didn’t have him that high. He’s not his brother. Doesn’t have anywhere near his brother’s natural ability. He’s got a pretty good motor, but there’s not a lot of horses under the hood. They’re going with the bloodline thing here, I guess. Sometimes that counts for something, sometimes it doesn’t.’’

4b – Alex Henery, PK, Nebraska -- ``He was one of the better kickers in the draft. I’m sure Bobby liked him.’’ Asked if the fourth round was too high to take a kicker, the scout said, ``Not if you like him. If you like him, you’ve got to go get him. When you draft him in the fourth round, you’re basically believing this is your guy. So they have pretty good conviction about him. The other kicker, (Miami’s Matt) Bosher, went in the sixth round (to Atlanta). And this kid’s probably better. So I don’t have a big problem with where they took him. Like I said, if you like him, you’d better go get him.’’

5a – Dion Lewis, RB, Pittsburgh -- ``He’s a good football player. We really liked him. The only problem with him is his height (5-6 ½). But surprisingly, he was a good inside runner at Pitt. Catches it. He’s a very good back. Durability shouldn’t be an issue. He had like 2 games last year where he carried it 40 times. He’s just short. But he’s pretty strong. Has good legs. He’d be a good replacement for LeSean (McCoy) if LeSean were to get hurt. Lewis could fill that role. We had a really good grade on him. In the third round. But we didn’t consider him because we already have a guy like that. But that’s a great fifth-round pickup.’’

5b – Julian Vendervelde, G, Iowa -- ``He’s a solid player from a good program. It’s not going to be too big for him. Smart. Solid pick. He’ll compete. He’ll make the team and be a backup guard.’’

6a – Jasno Kelce, C, Cincinnati -- ``He’s a good player, he’s just undersized. He’s quick, has an excellent first step. He takes good angles. He played at 280 this year. If he can get himself up into the 290s, he’ll be OK. He’s a very functional center. The only thing he’s lacking right now is size. Has 32 ½-inch arms, which are plenty long enough.’’

6b – Brian Rolle, LB, Ohio State -- ``Another good player who just happens to be undersized. I don’t know if they’re going to play him at safety or linebacker. He could be a sub-linebacker. Every time you put the Ohio State tape on, he was making tackles. They might have a hybrid role for him. And he should be a demon on special teams. It’s just the size that might hold him back.’’

7a – Greg Lloyd, LB, Connecticut -- ``He’s a tough player, but he tore up his knee late in the ’09 season and wasn’t the same last year. He has limited range. He’s more of a tackle-to-tackle guy than sideline-to-sideline. Physical player. He was a hard guy to grade because you just weren’t sure about the injury.’’

7b – Stanley Havili, FB, USC, -- ``We had him on the board as a sixth- or seventh-round player. He and (UConn’s Anthony) Sherman (5th round, Arizona) and (Pitt’s) Henry Hinoski (undrafted) were our top fullbacks. Good West Coast type fullback. Had 100-plus catches in his career. Was a four-year starter at USC which counts for something. He’s not a great blocker, but those West Coast type fullbacks don’t have to be killer dogs. They just have to take the right angles and catch the ball out of the backfield. I think it’s a longshot that (Leonard) Weaver makes it back. So this kid will get a chance to make the team.’’

Paul Domowitch Daily News NFL Columnist
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Paul Domowitch Daily News NFL Columnist
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