April 27, 2021   7 MIN READ

“He’s The Best Pure Receiving Back In The Draft:” Inside the Draft With Greg Cosell


With the NFL Draft just two days away, Greg Cosell gives an inside look at who the Eagles could be targeting on Day 2 or 3 in another addition of “Inside The Draft With Greg Cosell”

Cosell, along with Geoff Mosher and Adam Caplan, discuss prospects such as Nico Collins, D’Wayne Eskridge, Pat Freiermuth, Trey Sermon and more players who could fill some important holes in Philly.

Nico Collins, WR, Michigan

Greg Cosell: “I think you’re dealing with a guy that because of his size and his and his overall athletic profile will get teams feeling pretty good about his transition to the league. At Michigan, he was predominantly featured as the “X” receiver. So the question is: Is he an X at the NFL level? Certainly his size, which is 6-foot-4 ⅛, 215 will lead you to believe he could be an X, because playing the X is more than just speed and vertical ability.

“You look at someone like Michael Thomas, he’s an X, he’s a great X. I’d say that you’re dealing with a guy that is a build-up speed guy. I don’t think he’s purely explosive or sudden, but he’s got build up speed. Can he win versus quality man coverage because he’s a big, long guy? I think he’s really intriguing because of that size, and because he can run.”

D’Wayne Eskridge, WR, Western Michigan

Cosell: “I think he fits that Tyreek Hill role. He’s not as explosive as Tyreek Hill, not as sudden, but I think that’s become kind of a new way to use smaller receivers, who years ago we just would have automatically said he’s a slot. By the way, Eskridge played outside in college, so he’s not really a slot receiver in a strict sense, he’d have to become one. But the point I’m trying to make is this what we see now with those kinds of receivers, the Tyreek Hill’s of the world? They line up all over the formation, they’re in motion a lot. They’re used on jet sweeps, orbit reverses, they don’t just line up in one place and I think Eskridge fits that kind of role. You’ve got to remember one thing about him, he played defensive back, he just became a wide receiver full time in 2020. So, to me he’s an ascending prospect, I really liked his tape.”

Josh Palmer, WR, Tennessee

Adam Caplan: “One thing I want to say about Josh Palmer, I was talking to someone in pro personnel with a team who was starting to dig into cornerbacks for the draft. And he was not familiar with Palmer and he saw Palmer running by [Patrick] Surtain. He called whoever had the area for that team and he goes, ‘Oh my god, why didn’t you tell me about this guy?’ So they all watched on Zoom together. might be four or five guys and they were just like, ‘Holy smokes.’ Unless you really study the draft, you probably don’t know about him as much despite the school he went to. But he’s a guy who everyone’s on now for the draft, but he will not get out of the third round.”

Tommy Tremble, TE, Notre Dame

Cosell: “Man, that guy is a blocking fool, that guy is looking to melt your face mask. After Pitts, I think he’s the most intriguing tight end prospect in this class. He was not targeted in the pass game very much in his two full seasons at Notre Dame, but he’s got traits to become a good receiver. They just need to be developed, but he can move. He’s an athlete. I think that he’ll begin his career probably more like a movement H-back and TE2. I think of teams like the Jets that are now in the Kyle Shanahan offensive mode. Is he a Kyle Juszczyk, who’s far more athletic and is a better receiver but starts off in that kind of role?”

Pat Freiermuth, TE, Penn State

Cosell: “I like Freiermuth. I think he’s just one of those really solid players. He didn’t play a ton this year due to injury, not due to COVID, due to injury. Obviously, the Big Ten didn’t play a lot of games, I think he only played four games. But I thought his blocking improved because I watched him last summer, from 2019. I think he’s got good size, I think he runs routes well, he’s very good on third down and in the red zone, and those are two really important elements of NFL games. Can he be a ‘boundary X’ at times? Yes, because so many tight ends are now, ‘boundary X’ tight ends. I think you’ll see him in that role as he gains experience. I think he’s got the look and feel of a complete tight end. He kind of reminded me of Heath Miller, who was a first-round pick and caught almost 600 balls. Just a really solid player.”

Kenneth Gainwell, RB, Memphis

Cosell: “I think he’s the best pure receiving back in the draft with the routes that he ran. He ran wide receiver routes, split outside the formation. I don’t know if he’s a true foundation back. Could he develop into a guy that carries 170, 180 times? He’s not [Alvin] Kamara in terms of athleticism and explosiveness – and we don’t know where Kamara is going as his career continues because he did carry over 20 times I believe in three or four games down the stretch, so I don’t know what Sean Payton has in mind – but prior to that, Kamara was a guy that was not going to carry a ton. So can Gainwell fit that mold, and be a guy that could carry 170 times, and be a great receiver? I believe he can be that guy.”

Trey Sermon, RB, Ohio State

“Trey Sermon is all about the value thing with running backs, because Trey Sermon to me looks like a professional back. Twenty years ago, Trey Sermon would be talked about as a first round pick, or 30 years, whenever backs were viewed like that. Kid is over 6-foot, 215 lbs. He’s just a professional runner, I mean this kid has a great feel for working in confined space, he’s got balance, he’s got finishing trades, he’s not explosive, so that automatically in people’s minds means that he’s just a guy. I’m trying to be sarcastic, but that’s the way it’s seen now by a lot of people. I think he’s a really, really good runner who could be a volume back, but how many teams if you start going down the list are going to do that? I don’t know, maybe it’s moving in that direction.”

Benjamin St. Juste, CB, Minnesota

Cosell: “I like Benjamin St.-Juste a lot. He’s over 6-foot-3, which is very rare for corners. You don’t see a lot of corners at 6-foot-3. He’s got a lean, linear body, he’s a smooth fluid athlete, got really comfortable moving traits. I liked his tape a lot, I think he can play on the outside in any coverage scheme. Long corners are in demand against bigger receivers.”

Richie Grant, S, UCF

Cosell: “Here’s my statement that comes purely from coaching tape. It will come across as a bold, controversial statement. I like Richie Grant more than I liked Trevon Moehrig. Moehrig is a better athlete, which is why he will get drafted higher, but I like Richie Grant the player more. He’s not twitchy and explosive, and that’s why he won’t be seen as that guy. But he played with competitive toughness, he’s played with incredible intensity. I think he’s terrific near the line of scrimmage. I don’t think he’s at his best as a post safety, but he can play it.”

– Justin Morganstein (@jmotweets_) is a staff contributor to InsideTheBirds.com

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