DiCecco’s Draft Notes: Catchy Day 2 Prospects For Birds
As the cap-strapped Eagles prepare to embark on a multi-year rebuild, an oft-scrutinized front office will be tasked with fortifying the roster through the draft. The team’s dismal track record of identifying talent doesn’t exactly inspire optimism, but the Eagles can’t afford to botch the No. 6 pick.
Some feel the best use of resources would be to invest in yet another quarterback, be it Justin Fields or Zach Wilson.
As I outlined in last Friday’s notebook, aside from Trevor Lawrence, there simply isn’t a “can’t miss” passer in this class. The Eagles, who sport a largely flawed roster from top to bottom, don’t have the luxury of tossing another dart at the dartboard with other needs increasingly evident.
Not Just Pitts
The quarterback angle has become a hot-button issue among fans, but the same can be said about Florida tight end Kyle Pitts.
While I believe it would be a bit rich to snag Pitts with the No. 6 pick, I doubt anyone would bat an eyelash if the Eagles moved down two spots and scooped him up.
At 6-foot-6, 246 pounds, Pitts is the ultimate mismatch. He offers the size, speed, and versatility to consistently win playing multiple spots. His route-running is also more refined than many of the wide receivers in this class. He shouldn’t be viewed as strictly a tight end.
Furthermore, adding another big-bodied option who can navigate the middle of the field along with Dallas Goedert would be an asset for any young signal-caller.
It’s no great secret that the Eagles could bolster the tight end position, so if the team opts to go in another direction at No. 6, they’ll have another opportunity to adequately address the position in the second round. Penn State’s Pat Freiermuth doesn’t possess the same explosive traits as Pitts, but offers versatility, toughness, spatial awareness, and the ability to win in contested-catch situations.
Miami’s Brevin Jordan, who doesn’t boast prototypical size for the position, is supremely athletic and dangerous after the catch. I’m also partial to Boston College’s Hunter Long.
The point being here is that missing out on Pitts wouldn’t deprive the Eagles of an opportunity to bring in another playmaking tight end.
Day 2 Pass Catchers
On the flip side, should the Eagles bypass a wide receiver talent such as Ja’Marr Chase or DeVonta Smith in favor of a multi-faceted weapon like Pitts, several Day 2 pass catchers have my attention.
Terrace Marshall – LSU’s other premier receiving option – is a prospect who deserves heavy consideration in the second round. While short-area quickness and detailed route-running aren’t his strongest suits, Marshall boasts the requisite size to play outside [6-3, 200] and the long speed and ball-tracking ability to win downfield.
Another aspect of Marshall’s game that stands out is his contested-catch acumen and body control. He instantly provides more size and athleticism than J.J. Arcega-Whiteside.
Also, USC product Amon-Ra St. Brown is another who routinely stands out on film. Sure, his lack of top-end speed diminishes his allure, but there’s much more to his game than meets the eye. St. Brown’s game reminds me of Golden Tate’s, though St. Brown offers a bit more size. The former Trojan excels on short-to-intermediate routes, and his compact build, physicality, and elusiveness enable him to churn out yards after the catch. He fights for the football in the air and plays with a mean streak.
For as crippling as safety play has been for the Eagles in recent years, the position for some reason has been overlooked amid myriad other needs.
There’s not a safety deserving of surefire first-round consideration in this particular class, but there are three Day 2 prospects I’m keen on.
We’ll start with TCU’s Trevon Moehrig, whom I currently have slotted right around where the Eagles are picking in the second round. Moehrig is far superior in pass coverage than he is around the line of scrimmage, but he adds plus ball skills and a shrewd football IQ to a secondary.
If the team prioritizes adding a fluid centerfielder armed with the range and coverage prowess to combat the recent influx of hybrid offensive talent, Moehrig should be available when the Eagles are on the clock on Day 2.
University of Central Florida defensive back Richie Grant, a Senior Bowl standout, is perhaps the most diverse safety in this class. Very impressed with his versatility – he’ll be a moveable chess piece at the pro level – and ball production. Grant not only covers like a cornerback, but he’s also a willing participant in run defense and swarms to the football. Grant’s a well-balanced, upside-laden prospect who could very well end up leap-frogging Moehrig within the next month.
Pitt’s Paris Ford would be the third prospect, though I have him pegged as a third-rounder. Ford is more in the mold of a back end tone-setter who craves contact. A bit more limited than the first two prospects mentioned, but, for comparison purposes, I prefer Ford’s upside to K’Von Wallace’s.
– Andrew DiCecco (@ADiCeccoNFL) is a Staff Reporter/Content Producer for InsideTheBirds.com.
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