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Before They Were Eagles


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Before They Were Eagles

Posted: May 31st, 2020 | Author: Tommy Lawlor | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 14 Comments

It is always interesting to look back to my old scouting reports and see where I was right and where I was wrong. With that in mind, let’s see what I had to say about some Eagles when they were random draft prospects.


Athletic LB with good size, but struggles with the physical side of things. Struggles to fight off blocks. Really struggles to shed blocks once he’s engaged. Plays well when he’s kept clean. Led FSU in tackles the last couple of years.  Had 21.5 career TFLs and 3 INTs.

Space LB. Keep him clean and let him run. Really looks the part. Great frame and body. More hitter than tackler. Does have some pop. Will engage blockers. Just has a hard time shedding. Makes some impressive, athletic tackles. Pursues pretty well. Does a good job of attacking targets when he’s on the run.  Better as backside player than POA guy.  Huge hit vs Miami WR drew a flag, but it was a clean hit. Great play by Bradham.  Made impressive diving INT vs Oklahoma.

Has the potential to be a good NFL player, but only if he embraces the physical side of the game.  Must learn to shed blocks.  Doesn’t lack ability.  Skilled LB.  Very good Combine workout.  Should go in the 3rd or 4th round.


4-year starter.  Has seen time at LG, RG, and even OT.  Huge player who looks dominant at times, but inconsistent at others. Based solely on numbers you would think he could be a 1st round type talent, but wasn’t even invited to the Combine so that tells you how mixed teams were on his game tape.

Limited as a run blocker, in terms of variety.  You rarely see him pull or trap.  Blocks to his right, left, or goes straight ahead.  At his best, can be a dominant run blocker.  Has the size and strength to move DL off the ball.  Has really good hand punch.  Does need to do a better job of using his hands to lock onto defenders.  When Brooks plays with good pad level, it is hard for DL to handle him.  Sometimes can be too upright, which negates his power.

Brooks can be a good pass blocker.  Sheer size makes it tough to get by him.  Anchors very well, as you might imagine.  Defender might move him a little, but not much.  As with run blocking, needs to be better with his hands.  Can overwhelm rushers when he gets control of them.

Brooks went to the Shrine Game and was excellent in both the practices and the game.  Many people were shocked when he didn’t go to the Combine.  Had a great performance at his Pro Day.  Did 36 reps.  Ran in the 5.00 range, which is amazing for his size.  Did well in just about every test.

Brooks has big time potential, but his game tape is a bit erratic.  Some team could fall in love with him and take him in the 2nd round.  I have him graded as a 3rd round prospect.  Will certainly appeal to teams that like massive OGs with athletic ability.


Junior. Huge WR. Can make some plays that will impress the heck out of you. Other times he’s awkward. Not a fluid athlete. Can eat up ground with his long stride, but lacks ideal agility and burst. Struggles to get separation in college and that will continue in the NFL. The good news is that he’s big enough to go over most DBs. Inconsistent hands. Can make spectacular grabs, but isn’t a natural pass catcher. Reminds me of Terrell Owens in that sense. TO had a great work ethic and made himself into a top receiver despite having so-so hands. Not sure about Jeffrey.

Tough player to evaluate.  Had a great year in 2010 (88-1517-9).  Was disappointing in 2011, only going 49-762-8.  Didn’t get ideal QB play either year.  Admitted that he played heavy in 2011.  There were reports he weighed in the 240-pound range in January, but showed up at the Combine at 216.  That should have been a great sign for him, but refused to run or workout and that once again made people nervous.

There is no question that Jeffrey can be a good NFL receiver.  He has the size, strength, and skill set to be a quality big receiver.  Is he willing to pay the price to be in top shape so that he can compete with NFL DBs and even LBs?  Huge question.  Some team will roll the dice on him in the 2nd or possibly 3rd round.  Big time potential, but somewhat of a project.  Not a player I believe in.


Some Quick Notes

Rasul Douglas – 6-2, 209 – RCB. Inconsistent tackler. Wraps up at times. On other plays he will grab and reach. Sloppy feet. Too handsy at times. Can press and play off. At his best pressing. Doesn’t always jam, but solid with turning and running with receiver. Has a knack of getting his hands on the ball or breaking up passes. Strip of RB after run. Great hustle play. Does a good job of reading routes when playing off. Does a great job of breaking on the ball when he plays off.

Sidney Jones – 6-0, 186 – LCB. Smooth, fluid CB. Can be very physical with receivers at the LOS. Can mirror receivers. Good burst to ball. Good hitter/tackler.


As for a few non-Eagles

Summary for QB Andrew Luck 

Luck is the #1 prospect. He has the size, skills, and athleticism to be an NFL star. Also has great intangibles. He can be happy feeding the ball to his RBs or throwing for 400 yards. Is loved by his teammates because he acts like one of them and not the BMOC. You get the feeling that mentally and emotionally he’s closer to being an OL than a typical star QB. I don’t the team taking Luck has to worry about him going Tim Couch or Cade McNown and trying to date Playboy playmates. Luck is much closer to a Peyton Manning type that will grind away, doing anything possible to help his team win. He will have laser-like focus when it comes to football.

I got this right, but failed to predict an early retirement.

Summary for RB Trent Richardson 

One of the Top 10 players in the draft, at the least. Might not get drafted that high simply because RB is devalued in the league right now. 1st round RBs can be overrated at times, but Trent looks like one of those special players who genuinely deserves to be taken early. Best RB to come out since Adrian Peterson back in 2007.  Didn’t work out at Combine due to medical procedure.  Could affect his value a bit, but there was no significant injury so it won’t be a major factor.

I had no idea how highly I thought of Richardson until looking back at this. And boy was I wrong. Ouch.

Notes on LB Zach Brown

Great athlete, good LB. Special player on the move.  Has the speed and movement skills to cover a lot of ground.  Natural cover guy.  Looks like a Safety at times.  Very gifted player.  His highlights will make you think Brown is a special player – sacks, INTs, great plays on the run.
Unfortunately that is only part of the equation.  Simply put, he’s a finesse LB.  And that is about the worst thing you can say about a LB.  Uncomfortable when playing in traffic.  Put on the Clemson tape and you’ll see Brown unable to get off blocks of TE Dwayne Allen, at TE who isn’t known for blocking.

Also a highly inconsistent tackler. Doesn’t always get his feet under him and then attack the target squarely. Reaches, grabs, and pulls instead of wrapping up and taking down his targets. Prefers to be a shoulder tackler when he’s on the move.  Did lead UNC in tackles in 2011.  Still, not nearly as productive as a player with his ability should have been.  Only had 143 solo tackles in 4 years.  Luke Kuechly had 102 in 2011 alone.  Lavonte David had 150 solo stops in just 2 years at Nebraska.

That bad tackling showed last year on the Vernon Davis TD in the season opener. Ugh.

Notes on CB Josh Norman

The one issue with Norman is…speed. He only ran 4.66 at the Combine. That number was better at his Pro Day, but not substantially. Normally, that means you must play in the slot or Safety. I think Norman is a guy who plays faster than he times. I didn’t see receivers getting by him. The x-factor is that he was facing Big South competition. Norman did shut down NFL type players at the Shrine Game. I also think he’s helped by the fact he’s smart. Norman is in the right position. He sees the field well and does a good job of reading plays.

Norman is a big, physical, press corner so he is the one guy who has a shot at still playing outside and being good despite the lack of ideal speed. Brandon Browner played well for Seattle last year and he’s slow. Browner is bigger than Norman, but is also a physical CB. I didn’t get a chance to see Norman play in the slot so I’m not sure how he would project in there. I think Josh should be picked in the late 3rd or 4th round. I’m normally not a fan of 4.6 CBs, but he is solid enough in the other areas that he is a guy I’m willing to take a chance on.

Norman’s lack of speed didn’t hurt him until the last couple of years. Solid pro career prior to that.

Notes on D’Andre Hopkins

Good hands. Catches the ball out away from his body. Does a good job working the middle of the field. Good blocker. Lots of effort. Shows a good feel for getting open. Excellent ball skills. Able to make tough catches. Excellent balance. Can take shots and stay upright. Solid RAC skills. Great concentration. Really focuses on the ball when it’s in the air. Locks in. Natural receiver. Doesn’t seem to make dynamic cuts. Adjusts well to the ball. Tough. Goes full speed. Shows suddenness. Burned David Amerson with double move and caught long TD. Talented player, but plays with an overachiever’s personality. Fights for every ball. Fights for every yard.

Still fights for every ball and every yard.


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