One of my favorite things to do after the NFL Draft every year is to go back and watch what the anonymous scouts were saying about the players. before to them being selected by the Philadelphia Eagles.
This article features quotes from various football staff, mainly through Athletic’s Bob McGinn Annual Must-Have Series. There are some quotes provided by Lance Zierlein from NFL.com as well as.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at what league insiders had to say about the Eagles’ additions in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Smith was the third receiver selected in this year’s draft behind Ja’Marr Chase and his Alabama teammate Jaylen Waddle. McGinn’s poll ranked Smith as the second best player at his position.
First scout: “When (Henry) Ruggs and (Jerry) Jeudy came out last year, I said the best football player was Smith. These guys made it into the top 15, but now I don’t know if DeVonta will go in the top 15 when it comes to pushing because he weighs 170 pounds. He is as thin as a rail. Bama was 21 points better than everyone else they played. It was a perfect world, and I think life will be a little more difficult than it was last year.
Second scout: “I don’t care about its size. We have (little) guys here kicking everyone around. The guys have 190, 200 on the professional day and they will play at 185, 179. They get up here, their diet is changing. The way the rules have changed, especially at the catcher’s level, these guys don’t get into serious crashes anymore. It’s a 7v7 ball half the time. “
Third scout: “If you only chose people to play football in the backyard, he would be the first choice every year. He’s skinny, but he’s so good. He is strong. Every year he got better.
Fourth scout: “He’s really a flexible and fluid athlete. It’s almost effortless. He is small at 170 years old, but he doesn’t get pushed around. It is not redirected against media coverage. “
Here is Zierlein’s contribution:
NFC zone detector: “He might be a bean pole, but he won’t fail. He will not fail off the pitch or on the pitch. These coaches are thrilled with the way he’s wired and how important football is to him.
It’s part of the reason I’m so high on Smith. Extremely talented, productive, AND led. This is what I am talking about when I refer to BWE (Big Winner Energy). This guy is locked up and wants to win.
Here’s another quote on Smith via Albert Breer that we shared over the weekend:
Rival NFC Leader: “We asked all the guys in the SEC who was the best player they’ve played against in the past two months. Everyone, everyone, DeVonta said. And the guys from Bama all said, “He’s the best football player I know. “
It’s no surprise that the people of Alabama place a high value on a player on their own schedule… but it’s a bold and meaningful statement! There is no shortage of competition for the best Crimson Tide player.
Dickerson was the first center selected in this year’s draft. McGinn’s poll ranked Dickerson as the best player at his position.
First scout: “If you’re trying to reestablish a culture, he’s all you want as a person. It is real. He’s just mean. The only problem is the multiple surgeries he has undergone.
Second scout: “He’s an oversized man in the middle. He’s got a lot of intangibles and leadership, tenacity and all that. But he’s had three late-season injuries in four years. For teams running a large area program, it is definitely not suitable. “
Third scout: “Not a good athlete, a lot on the pitch. I don’t like its stiffness. I don’t like this and that. But he’s a guy I want on my team. He’s my kind of man even when I think of him as an athlete. Fortunately, you won’t be able to work with the guy. ”
Fourth scout: “It’s a wonderful story… but it’s not that good. He’s been injured his entire life and he’s athletically limited. Is the guy talented? No, just a guy.
The Eagles are certainly a team trying to restore culture, so Dickerson is a pretty logical fit in that regard.
Interesting to see that the scouts were not unanimously sold on his talent. Many have argued that Dickerson just needed to stay healthy. If he’s not as “special” as Howie Roseman suggested, that’s a big deal.
Here is a much more effusive quote provided by Zierlein:
NFL Executive: ” I love it. I know some people in the league think he’s still under the radar, but I doubt it. It reminds me of Mountain from “Game of Thrones”. Just big and strong and hard. “
The snakes in the Eagles locker room don’t stand a chance with Dickerson.
Williams was the fourth defensive tackle selected in this year’s draft. McGinn’s poll ranked Williams as the sixth best player in his place.
First scout: “It was absurd. Unbelievable. But… he plays like a training warrior, not like a soccer player. Limited instincts and block recognition. Is washed (eliminated) at the point of attack. Must be in motion. Limited plan and movements.
Second scout: “Carolina took Vernon Butler at the end of the first round (in 2016), and he never did anything. This kid is better than Butler. He’s got everything you’re looking for, but he doesn’t play hard. It blinks, then it takes three or four games. But (after) training (pro-day), someone has to catch it in a second.
Third scout: “We don’t know where to put it. It’s kind of an ending, a five-a-side technique. He’s a great kid, and if he’s willing to work on it, he has a lot of traits to develop. It could be the surprise of this course.
The fact that Williams was washed is something I noticed when I looked at him more. It has some benefits, but it’s not really a finished product we’re talking about.
La contribution de Zierlein:
Scout of the AFC zone: “He uses his hands very well, which makes his size less of a problem for me.”
McPhearson was the 18th cornerback selected in this year’s draft. McGinn’s poll ranked him 17th best player at his position.
McGinn had no Boy Scout citation to offer, but he listed McPhearson as the “unsung hero” of every corner.
I spent three years at Penn State without playing much, but got a degree in Labor and Employment Relations. Moved to Lubbock, TX as a graduate transfer and produced as a two year starter. He has adequate height / weight / speed (5’11, 193, 4.50), a 40½-inch vertical jump, strong leadership skills and a love for the game. He also completed his Masters in Texas. Tech in Interdisciplinary Studies.
“A Love for the Game” was definitely a theme for this year’s Eagles Draft. They wanted to acquire players they could rely on to work to improve.
Gainwell was the ninth running back selected in this year’s draft. McGinn’s poll ranked him as the sixth best player at his position:
First scout: “He’s like the kid Dallas won in the fourth round two years ago – (Tony Pollard). I thought he was better than Tony Pollard.
Second scout: “After [Travis] Etienne is probably the best receiver. He looks a lot like Alvin Kamara. Only this guy is faster. More than one straight line runner.
Third scout: “At worst, he could give you something as a substitute runner and third down. It is slippery. He’s one of those guys who could turn out to be a really good pro. He will go in the third or fourth and eventually become a starter.
Fourth scout: “I haven’t seen a guy who can really burst and run on contact, which you have to be able to do unless you can make space for him.” “
A faster Alvin Kamara ?! Sign me up.
Plus de Zierlein:
Director of NFC Screening: “They do a really good job of finding working full backs in this very wide field that they do, but I don’t know if he’s going to translate if he doesn’t find a shot that keeps him in space.
Tuipulotu was the 13th defensive tackle selected in this year’s draft. McGinn’s poll ranked him 10th best player at his position:
First scout: “Real ’50’ front nose plating. He’s a big, strong, tough guy who brings attitude to your (defensive) line. I just don’t see a guy who can generate bags.
Second scout: “In the Senior Bowl, he was on the ground a lot. He danced a lot on the line. Didn’t really show much pressure.
Third scout: “Play hard, have zero rush passes.” Straight nose tackle. “
Looks like MT could be more of a two down player.
Plus de Zierlein:
AFC West Coast Scout: “He’s going to do all the right things, be very responsible and he’s a good teammate.”
Another good dressing room addition.
Jackson was the 23rd defensive end drafted and was 28th in the McGinn poll. No screening report was provided.
Stevens was not ranked in the McGinn poll.
Johnson was not ranked in McGinn’s poll. Zierlein offered a glimpse of him:
AFC Personnel Director: ” I love it. He’s coming into battle every moment, but you just wish he was a little bit longer.
It will be interesting to see how Jonathan Gannon deploys Johnson. He was screened as a 3-4 edge defenseman, but the Eagles listed him as a 4-3 off-the-ball linebacker.
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McGinn’s poll had Newman as QB12. 10 quarterbacks were selected in this year’s draft.
First scout: “At Wake Forest, he reminded me of Jordan Love. He’s a great athlete and he has a strong arm, but he wasn’t precise.
Second scout: “He said he wouldn’t have been properly prepared to play and be successful. I have never been in the field with coaches (from Georgia) because of COVID. He has the ability. He can throw the ball. But I am not convinced by this child.
Newman has talent. It’s up to the Eagles’ coaching staff to help him get something out of him. It would be a big win if he could develop into a quality save.
McGinn’s poll had Awosika as OG11. 13 guards were selected in this year’s project.
McGinn’s poll had Grimes as WR21. 36 receivers were selected in this year’s project.
McGinn’s poll had Stoll as TE19. 11 tight ends were selected in this year’s draft.