Over the course of May, both Kyle Crabbs and I will be assessing each team’s specific Draft class. The objective here is to identify value: where it was best and where it was worst. NDT Premium members will soon be able to access the comprehensive breakdowns of draft classes as well, which looks at the pick by pick breakdown of value across our respective 2017 NFL Draft boards. Today I look at the Philadelphia Eagles.
The full list of their 2017 NFL Draft class is below:
|99||CB||Rasul Douglas||West Virginia|
|118||WR||Mack Hollins||North Carolina|
|132||RB||Donnel Pumphrey||San Diego State|
|166||WR||Shelton Gibson||West Virginia|
Best Value: WR Shelton Gibson, West Virginia
Making a living with vertical separation and averaging 22.6 yards per reception, Shelton Gibson enters the NFL with an exciting skill set predicated on getting behind the secondary. Gibson knows how to win routes early with a variety of techniques in his route stem, easily blowing by defensive backs and into space. It’s important for Gibson to do this because he is easily knocked off course when corners are able to get their hands on him. Gibson has an outstanding ability to track the football’s path in the air and settle underneath. The routes he ran at West Virginia were limited, so there is a leap to be made in terms of route running.
Gibson doesn’t have the same success in the underneath portions of the field, where his ability to establish body positioning and consistently compete in contested situations is below average. If a team is in need of a deep threat to push the defense vertically, Gibson can answer that call.
Worst Value: CB Rasul Douglas, West Virginia
Rasul Douglas has exciting size and the ability to play the football in the air. With that said, Douglas lacks the foot quickness, long speed, and fluidity needed to survive in man coverage against quicker receivers. While he offers good ability in press coverage, Douglas lacks the recovery speed and transition skills needed for press, and must be careful to not be too aggressive.
For a corner of his size, I expected more physicality and assertion when tackling and getting involved in the boundary. Douglas profiles as a situational, matchup-oriented defensive player that will need to prove his skills on special teams.
Could Surprise: WR Mack Hollins, North Carolina
When opportunities were presented to Hollins to make plays, he consistently came through for the Tar Heels. Hollins offers an exciting blend of size and speed, which shows up consistently in his route running and when competing for the football at the catch point. Hollins plays with good physicality as a blocker and when working through physical cornerbacks.
Hollins must improve in how he addresses the football with his hands. His technique is funky and he allows the ball into his frame because his hands are not natural. Also, Hollins needs to be more explosive in his release to put pressure on the cornerback to open his hips sooner than he should. Hollins profiles as a high quality third or fourth receiver with upside to become a number two receiver who should dominate on special teams, as he already has in college.