No doubt about it, I am ready to get hurt again. Here is what the draft board could look like for the Eagles after three rounds heading into Saturday morning. But in a much more real sense, the Eagles will zig when we zag and leave us dumbfounded. In the meantime, enjoy:
Round 1, Pick 12: Jaycee Horn (Cornerback, South Carolina)
One quote from Howie Roseman following the 2019 season will always stick out to me. To paraphrase, he was frustrated and said, “I am tired of seeing the ball go over our cornerbacks heads”. That offseason, he traded for Darius Slay yet the secondary is still a mess. At 6’1, Horn has desirable height and wingspan for a CB1. He’s physical with receivers and loves to press them off the line. He also isn’t afraid to play around the line of scrimmage and make tackles.
Traditionally, the Eagles have felt like a finesse team and quite frankly, they’ve been bullied by some receivers over the past decade. Byron Maxwell on Julio Jones. Rasul Douglas on Amari Cooper. Then Michael Jaquet on Amari Cooper. And Darius Slay on DK Metcalf (let’s not screw this draft up too like the DK one). Horn doesn’t get bullied, he is the bully. He plays physical man to man coverage, which can be considered a weakness that will make him susceptible to penalties. But, the Eagles will have to take that risk because they are in desperate need of a type A, DAWG personality.
Not only is Horn physically ready for the NFL but mentally he is too. There were recent clips of him working with All-Pro Jalen Ramsey where they talked about how mindset is just as important as physical traits. Unfortunately, Philadelphia can sometimes be a toxic place whether it is on the radio airwaves or on social media. The Eagles two most recent first round picks seem to be struggling. It is hard to foresee Horn having issues like that as well.
Round 2, Pick 37: Dyami Brown (Wide Receiver, North Carolina)
If Terrace Marshall Jr is who your little heart desires with this pick, I will not disagree with you. A good draft day rule of thumb for front office executives would be just draft a receiver if they played during the 2019 Alabama vs LSU game. Chances are it’ll pan out. The Eagles getting Marshall would be like getting a young version of Alshon if the universe ever worked out in our favor. But two obstacles may hinder the Eagles from doing that with Marshall. Firstly, he may simply not be there by 37. Like we said with LSU, the crew he ran with is reputable and his resume is impressive. Secondly, Daniel Jeremiah reported that Marshall had some medical reports that “popped” at the combine.
Less Marshall, take a look at Dyami Brown. This kid has a glide to him that makes his speed look easy. He was a home run favorite for UNC quarterback Sam Howell and often blew by corners when given 1 on 1 opportunities. Ask the Virginia corners how no safety help went for them (narrator: it went poorly and Brown had 200+ yards with 3 touchdowns). Plus, there is a lot of film featuring Brown working in traffic too. He is a classic case of game speed versus 40 time. He ran a 4.46 40, but there are plenty of highlights of him breaking away from the secondary. Oh, let me backtrack here for Eagles fans. Yes, receivers in football are allowed to break a tackle, and run with the ball after they catch it. It is called “yards after the catch”, or “YAC”. I know we’ve never experienced it before.
Brown is 6’1 and 185lbs with command in his routes and dependable hands. UNC ran classic spread college offense so his route tree isn’t exactly experienced. But, he seems like a kid Nick Sirianni would LOVE to coach up given his traits on tape.
Also, he looks cool. Anybody who can pull off the shooting sleeve on a football field gets extra points. That alone makes up for the fact this could be a bit of a reach at 37!
Round 3, Pick 70: Quinn Meinerz (Center/Guard, Wisconsin-Whitewater)
Alas, the replacement for Jason Kelce has arrived. If we can start a 6’7 former Australian rugby player at tackle, I’m sure we can integrate this former D3 player, who does his training by lifting logs at his parents Canadian fishery, on the O-line as well. Meinerz is obviously one of the more intriguing stories in the draft. He showed up at the Senior Bowl and started dominating D1 talent. This was fresh off his 2020 season getting cancelled and him using that time to train by carrying propane tanks to cabins in the woods. He was one of the best interviews of the draft process with the mullet to match. While it will be tough to replace the talent of Jason Kelce, this kid can certainly replicate the personality.
Oh, he is also good at football. He can play both guard and center. He played guard at Wisconsin-Whitewater but the scouts had him playing center at the Senior Bowl. The Eagles have obviously been keen on lineman who have the flexibility to play multiple positions. Meinerz seems to be great at both and he saw no drop off in production when going against guys at a higher level. He was still able to keep his feet moving and finish off blocks. And I mean FINISH blocks.
I hope he is an Eagle but I know he will at the very least be the Pardon My Take Football Guy of the Week at some point.
From Division III to the NFL! The story of @QMeinerz from Wisconsin Whitewater, to the senior bowl, to the top of the NFL draft.
His story is a Disney movie waiting to happen! Check out our convo on the Big Boy Club Draft Academy!pic.twitter.com/1iKsDBSMnB
— Geoff Schwartz (@geoffschwartz) April 28, 2021
Round 3, Pick 84: Quincy Roche (Defensive End/Edge, Miami FL)
Am I manifesting a glorious return to Lincoln Financial Field for Quincy Roche? Yes, yes I am. But Derek Barnett is playing on his 5th year option, Josh Sweat will never be a full time player, and Brandon Graham is getting long in the tooth. Defensive edge rusher will always be an emphasis for this team.
Roche blew by every tackle in the AAC in 2019 on his way to 13 sacks in as many games. It included a two week stretch where he had 6.5 sacks total. He transferred to Miami, which probably causes him to get overlooked considering two of his D-end mates (G. Rousseau, J. Phillips) are going in the first round this year.
Roche is a bolt of lightning off the line and has a great “duck under” move. He’s the prototypical Temple defensive player who is probably undersized but plays with a certain level of tenacity. He can be a great rotational edge rusher and provide some much needed depth at the position for the Eagles.