The Philadelphia Eagles are a struggling team in the worst divisions in football this year. When times are tough, you have to take a step back and evaluate. Taking a step back and evaluating the Eagles, I found many problems layered one on top of the other. Some of these problems are fixable, some require massive change. Some problems you just gonna have to live with and hope for the best.
While watching the Eagles this year, it’s hard not to come away with one common theme. The Eagles simply lack talent. Yes there are some schematic issues and injuries have once again decimated the team, but when you break it all down guys just aren’t good enough. It’s my humble opinion that a massive influx of talent is desperately needed. So where do they need talent? Short answer, everywhere. This is where I come in. I’m going to take on the arduous task of scouring the college ranks to find players that make sense for the Eagles.
This week in college football there is a ton of talent on display. Mainly for this week I’m looking directly at Georgia vs Alabama. This game stands out to me because there are multiple players that play positions the Philadelphia Eagles really need help. Where do the Eagles need help at? I’m glad you asked! Let’s begin…
To put it simply, the Eagles have been down right irresponsible with the linebacker position. The team doesn’t value the position, ok I get it. That shouldn’t mean that they should be this negligent in their talent evaluations. The only hope for the position right now is that rookies Davion Taylor and Shaun Bradley develop down the road. The starters Duke Riley and Nathan Gerry are below average players and unrestricted free agents at the end of the season. So where is the help? Here.
The 6’3 240 Dylan Moses has played inside and outside LB for Alabama. In 2018 he led the team in tackles and is dong the same this season. Moses has the athletic ability to get from point A to point B in a hurry as well as the strength to shed blocks. What might be the most impressive are the natural LB instincts the Moses has. If the term “heat seeking missile” was a player it would be Dylan Moses. There is a bit of an injury concern with Moses missing the 2019 season because of a torn ACL. Talent wise Dylan Moses is everything the Philadelphia Eagles need in the middle of the defense. Below you can see Moses attacking the line of scrimmage and quickly reacting to the run at the mesh point.
Playing for the Georgia defense is ILB Monty Rice. Rice took over the starting position in 2018 and hasn’t looked back. In 2019 Rice led his team in tackles and is currently doing the same in 2020. On tape Rice looks to have good short area quickness and coverage ability. In the run game he reads his keys and quickly diagnoses the play. A stout build at 6’1 235 and strong hands allow Rice to have success stacking and shedding blocks. Rice isn’t a freak athlete like some of the other players in his class but a solid athlete in his own right. In the clip below we see something Eagles fans haven’t seen all year. A linebacker having success in man coverage…
It feels like the Philadelphia Eagles have been looking for competent cornerback play forever. They got it right with the trade for Darius Slay. The problem is Slay can’t cover 3 receivers at a time. The rest of the Eagles CB room has been a disappointment. Nickell Roby-Coleman and Avonte Maddox were supposed to be the other two top corners, but both have under achieved for different reasons. Currently Jalen Mills is back at CB opposite Slay, but we’ve all seen that movie before and we know how it ends. Once again the position needs a overhaul. So who to keep an eye on?
Patrick Surtain II
Standing at 6’2 203, the son of former Dolphins CB Patrick Surtain Sr. has the ideal length/speed combination to have success in the NFL. Surtain has a ton of experience lining up at the outside CB position. Currently has 27 consecutive starts and is showing no sign of slowing down. On tape Surtain looks like a strong physical boundary CB. He uses the sideline as an extra defender very well as he routinely smothers receivers out of bounds. When Surtain is targeted downfield, he shows a willingness to attack the all in the air, conceding nothing to the WR in jump ball situations. I think smaller, quicker receivers would give Surtain some trouble, but against the bigger contested catch receivers Surtain should make plays like this…
Tyson Campbell & Eric Stokes
Georgia boasts a dynamic duo at the CB position this season. Both Stokes and Campbell stand around the 6’1 range weighing in at 185. At the NFL level they may have to add a bit of muscle to help with contact balance and in the run game. Both are similar players in that they both offer an excellent blend of length, speed and athleticism. At Georgia, both players are used in a variety of coverage including press and bail technique as well as man and zone concepts.
Campbell is the more naturally gifted athlete, but I believe both players have starter upside at the next level. Both certainly could earn major snaps in Philly immediately. Two clips below show Tyson Campbell flipping hips and showing his speed taking away a go route that the QB was looking for. The QB is forced to tuck the ball and run because of the sticky coverage of Campbell. Next Eric Stokes is seen being physical throughout the stem of the route, never panics on the back shoulder throw and knocks the ball away at the last minute.