In the ‘Fitting the Birds Bill’ series we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of players that we feel fit the team’s identity from a schematic and drafting philosophy standpoint.
In part 1, the Eagles options with the 12th overall pick were outlined. In this edition, 12 players who make sense for the team in rounds 2-3 are profiled.
S Jamar Johnson – Indiana
Weight: 197 pounds
Scouting Report: Jamar Johnson is a former track athlete who competed in the 110m hurdles and 400 x 100m relay while in high-school. Johnson was a 3-star recruit out of River View High School. Johnson committed to the University of Indiana after fielding offers from Iowa State, Wake Forest, Virginia Tech, Tennessee, and Purdue, among a boatload of smaller schools as well. He played 3 years at Indiana, amassing 69 total tackles, 8 tackles for a loss, 4 sacks, 7 interceptions, 2 forced fumbles and 5 pass breakups. In 406 coverage snaps at Indiana, Johnson was targeted 44 times, allowing 0 touchdowns and coming up with the aforementioned, 7 interceptions.
As a player, Johnson excels in split zone concepts when he’s allowed to patrol as a middle of the field safety. Johnson displays good short area quickness and superb physicality for his size. His instincts in the passing game are his best quality as a player. He displays great mental ability in reading the quarterbacks eyes and confusing and baiting opposing quarterbacks into bad decisions (see Indiana vs Ohio State in 2020). Johnson has also showcased versatility in his usage, as he’s played all over the defensive formation. Johnson has lined up as a deep safety, in the slot, and in the box with the ability to blitz or drop into coverage underneath. Johnson finished the 2019 season tied for third on the team with 3 sacks and ranked second in his final college football season in tackles, with 42 total tackles.
Johnson is truly an ideal fit for Johnathan Gannon’s defense which is expected to play a high amount of zone, which relies on safeties who can split the field on the back-end in two high looks. A player Johnson reminds me a bit of is former Colts safety, Malik Hooker.
LB Jabril Cox – LSU
Weight: 233 pounds
Scouting Report: Cox is an FCS transfer who attended North Dakota State for the first 3 years of his collegiate career. Cox then joined LSU as a graduate transfer. While at NDSU, Cox was the recipient of many awards. MVFC Freshman of the year (2017), MVFC Defensive Player of the Year (2018), 2x First Team All-MVFC (2018, 2019), and a 3x FCS champion (2017, 2018, 2019).
With transferring to LSU, the thing Cox wanted to show was that he could compete with the cream of the crop. Going from FCS college football to SEC college football isn’t an easy task, but Cox sure did make it seem that way. Cox displayed outstanding coverage ability, amassing 5 passes defended and 3 interceptions (returning one for a touchdown) in 10 games during the 2020 season. Cox is a true sideline to sideline rangy type of linebacker. He displays exciting athleticism and explosiveness in both coverage and run support. Cox’s range allows for him to be able to cover a lot of ground very quickly. He can explode downhill and get to ball carriers in the backfield, as well as cover tight ends and running backs in coverage. In 4 years at North Dakota State and LSU, Cox had 38.5 tackles for a loss and 14 sacks.
Cox is another ideal ‘hand in glove’ type fit for Jonathan Gannon’s zone heavy defense, which utilizes safeties at deep depths, requiring it’s linebackers to be able to 1) cover ground quickly and 2) be fluid in pass coverage, as well as having the ability to rush the passer.
CB Eric Stokes – Georgia
Weight: 185 pounds
Scouting Report: Stokes is a blazing fast cornerback prospect who is a former state champion in both the 100 and 200 meters from his high-school days. Stokes played 3 years at the University of Georgia and racked up 78 total tackles, 4 interceptions, and 22(!) passes defended. For his size, Stokes possesses a unique speed and physicality combination. Stokes is physical in coverage and often engages the receiver with hand contact, which can also work against him at times.
Stokes didn’t allow a 20+ yard reception in the 2020 season. He displayed incredible pass breakup numbers in his 3 years at Georgia and has shown the ability to stick with receivers, flip his hips and run in man coverage, and process well in zone. Stokes is a very high IQ player. He’s a high ceiling – low floor type of prospect.
Landing Stokes in the 2nd round would be a superb get for the Eagles. Stokes possesses two qualities Jonathan Gannon looks for in his cornerbacks: physical and fast. Stokes would slot in as the number two corner next to Darius Slay and would have the opportunity to learn from one of the top cornerbacks in the NFL. He’d give the Eagles stability at the cornerback position for years to come if selected.
WR Dyami Brown – North Carolina
Scouting Report: Dyami Brown is a playmaker in every sense of the word. Brown lit up the ACC in back to back years, eclipsing over 1,000 yards in 2019 and 2020. Brown was recruited by powerhouse schools like Alabama, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Michigan, and Oklahoma but elected to attend his hometown university: North Carolina. In three years (2 of legitimate action), Brown reeled in 21 touchdowns and averaged more than 20 yards per catch. In 2020, Brown was the only unanimous AP All-ACC selection.
Brown is dynamic athlete who excels at utilizing his speed and explosiveness. When Brown gets going, he’s gone. He’s an excellent deep route runner who possesses an innate understanding of space and how to use it to his advantage. He’s a quick twitch type of receiver who also has some physicality in his game. Brown’s route running is very fluid and smooth but it could use some refinement at the next level. Brown is aware of this, as he stated at North Carolina’s pro day, “The biggest goal for me was to show everybody that I can run routes. My film is basically all deep routes, and I am more than just a deep threat.” The pieces are there for Brown in terms of his route running (quick feet, decisiveness, and burst). But as stated, there needs to be a bit of refining at the next level for him to put it all together.
With the Eagles, Brown would give the team a bonafide number 2 receiver with number 1 upside. When I watch Brown, he reminds me a lot of Terry McLaurin. From the quickness in his movements to his athleticism. Given Nick Sirianni and Kevin Patullo’s affinity for improving wide receiver’s game, along with Sirianni’s mantra of maximizing strengths and hiding weaknesses, if Brown was to be selected by the Eagles it’d yield very fruitful results.
IOL Creed Humphrey – Oklahoma
Weight: 312 pounds
Scouting Report: If I had to describe Creed Humphrey in one word, it’d be vigorous. Humphrey is a dynamic blocker. He’s is a technician as both a pass blocker and run blocker. He has strong and violent hands, along with active and fluid feet. In 2 years (2019 and 2020) Humphrey didn’t allow a single sack. Humphrey has been regarded as the best center in this draft throughout the draft process and in my opinion, that’s 100% the truth.
Because he’s a center he may have flown under the radar to many, but the talent and IQ that Humphrey possesses is unique. He displays outstanding athleticism, moving like a Mack truck when getting vertical. Humphrey violently barrels through defenders at the second level. He earned a perfect RAS score following Oklahoma’s Pro Day. RAS measures athleticism in terms of size, explosiveness, speed, and agility. Humphrey’s perfect score (10) ranked first out of 484 centers measured since 1987.
Humphrey would sure up the Eagles center position for the next 10 years. He’d give the Eagles a bonafide starting center once the Jason Kelce era wraps up. Humphrey also has experience with Eagles QB Jalen Hurts.
DE Carlos Basham – Wake Forest
Weight: 281 pounds
Scouting Report: Carlos “Boogie” Basham played 4 years for Wake Forest, amassing 173 total tackles, 35.5 tackles for a loss, 19.5 sacks and 7 forced fumbles. Basham is one of the best pure pass rushing defensive ends in the draft. He’s strong and powerful at the point of attack and it’s shown by the fact that in the last 2.5 seasons at Wake Forest, Basham has recorded 9 sacks and 51(!) pressures on third down. The guy has all the tools: power, versatility (has lined up at almost every defensive line technique at least once except the 0 tech alignment at Wake Forest), and effort. The one area Basham lacks is athleticism. He wins with power and strength, rather than finesse and bend.
Basham is a perfect fit for a 4-3 defense because of his powerful style of play. The Eagles need bodies on the defensive line. At defensive end, besides Brandon Graham, Derek Barnett, and Josh Sweat, there isn’t much for the team to write home about. New defensive line coach, Tracy Rocker has coached defensive lineman who’ve are in the mold of Basham. Some names include: Trent Cole and DeMarcus Ware. Basham would give the Eagles an effective starter along the defensive line.
CB Ifeatu Melifonwu – Syracuse
Weight: 205 pounds
Scouting Report: Melinfonwu is a massive cornerback. He stands 6’3, has 321/4” arms, 78 1/2” arms, a 41.5″ vertical jump, and ran a 4.48 40-yard-dash. Melinfonwu is a physical specimen. He’s long, rangy, and has a ton of upside. Melifonwu finished his 3-year collegiate career with 88 total tackles, 3 interceptions, and 19 passes defended. He has the length to match up with and overwhelm receivers with his size and physical prowess. He’s extremely athletic for his size and is very fluid in his movements, especially in flipping his hips and running. He’ll likely be at his best in a zone heavy scheme, but does have the athleticism to stick with X receivers in man coverage. At the next level, his game will likely require some refinement in man coverage, as athleticism is only one piece of the puzzle when it comes to playing cornerback in the NFL.
I imagine, Jonathan Gannon is salivating over Melinfonwu. The size length, and speed for his size isn’t something that you see often. Melinfonwu would slot in as a future outside corner for the Eagles. He also offers some versatility in his usage due to his size and ranginess.
S Andre Cisco – Syracuse
Weight: 209 pounds
Scouting Report: Andre Cisco is a playmaker in every sense of the word. He’s a rangy safety who has tremendous ball skills. In 3 years at Syracuse, Cisco notched 136 total tackles, 13 interceptions, and 14 passes defended. He was extremely productive in his first two years at Syracuse. Cisco was a first team All-ACC selection in his freshman year and sophomore years. Unfortunately, in his junior year, he didn’t get to build off those two years of production and suffered a torn ACL in warm-ups. Nevertheless, what Cisco put on display in the two years he was healthy may be enough to help teams overlook his injury.
Cisco is a true middle of the field type of safety who excels in 2 high sets. He plays with great aggressiveness and processes very fast (sometimes too fast). Cisco is very attentive to the QBs eyes and is sneaky in coverage. He flies around around the field and is always looking to make a play on the ball. Cisco also isn’t afraid to get physical, evidenced by the 136 total tackles amassed over his collegiate career. As stated, Cisco is an aggressive player in every sense of the word, but that same mindset can lead to lapses as well. He sometimes runs himself out of position in run defense and pass defense. Overall, Cisco is a high ceiling player who has some risk to him. The thing with Cisco is the highs are visible and they’re notable, but the lows are just as evident.
I had the opportunity to speak with Syracuse’s defensive coordinator, Tony White and he had the following to say on Cisco:
“He’s gifted athletically. 4.4 kid, fluid hips, can accelerate. He’s truly able to play different spots in the secondary,” White said.
“(He’s) a guy that doesn’t come around often. Usually you get super athletic but not as mentally mature or as invested in his craft. Or they are invested but maybe not the athlete. He’s (Cisco) the combination of both.”
“One of the most mature players I been around. All business. Extra reps, extra drills, extra lifting. The first thing I noticed about him was his dedication to being a pro in every facet.”
“He’d be a no brainer first rounder if not for his injury,” White said.
With the Eagles, Cisco would be a nice fit. As stated, Jonathan Gannon’s defensive system is a more zone, two high safety based defense. He has the chance to be a very good safety at the next level. Being coached by a defensive coordinator who’s coached names like Harrison Smith and Lawyer Milloy would only benefit Cisco if he is drafted by the Eagles.
TE Brevin Jordan – Miami
Weight: 245 pounds
Scouting Report: Brevin Jordan is an athletic and versatile pass catching tight end. The Miami product is an exciting prospect who excels after the catch. Jordan was a Mackey Award Finalist and a First-Team All-ACC selection in his sophomore season. (2019) And in 2020 despite battling a shoulder injury, put up career high numbers of 7 touchdowns, 576 receiving yards, and proved his big-play ability with 15.2 yards per catch. Jordan is an incredibly athletic tight end, who is dynamic after the catch.
Jordan’s size allows him to seemingly absorb hits at times. He barrels through opposing defenders and accelerates for positive yardage. He offers some versatility in his usage as well, as he’s able to play the traditional in line tight end spot as well as slide into the slot and be effective. While he isn’t the route technician that Kyle Pitts is, Jordan can more than hold his own. He can create separation from linebackers and is able to out muscle defenders at times. Jordan thrives in the underneath and intermediate levels of the field. He’s at his best though, when he’s allowed to create in space.
With the Eagles, Jordan would be another instance of the ball carriers in space mantra that Nick Sirianni has emphasized. Jordan fits the mold of a tight end that Sirianni has worked with before, that being Eric Ebron. Ebron had his best year as a pro when Sirianni was the offensive coordinator with the Colts and even earned a Pro-Bowl nod. Sirianni comes from a Colts team that frequently utilized two tight end sets. Adding Jordan to a tight end room that already includes Dallas Goedert would enhance the Eagles offense tremendously.
DT Marlon Tuipulotu – USC
Weight: 304 pounds
Scouting Report: Marlon Tuipulotu is a powerful defensive tackles who played 4 years at USC. Tuipulotu is an explosive and twitchy defensive tackle. If I had to describe Tuipulotu’s play-style in one word, it’d be: disruptive. The Independence, Oregon native amassed 104 total tackles, 8.5 sacks, and 15 tackles for a loss in 3 playing years at USC.
Tuipulotu can play both zero and three technique alignments. He explodes off the line and possesses very subtle athleticism. Tuipulotu constantly attacks and churns forward. He possesses quick and violent hands. He’s strong enough to play the run and be effective, but agile enough to move laterally as a pass rusher.
As an Eagle, Tuipulotu would be a bit reminiscent of Tim Jernigan in that both play with a unique strength-athleticism combination. Tuipulotu bench pressed 30 reps of 225 pounds at USC’s pro day. Jonathan Gannon is a disciple of Mike Zimmer. Because of this, the deployment of the defensive line will feature a bit of a different look from years past. Javon Hargrave can be expected to shift back into the 0-tech alignment. As stated, Tuipulotu offers some versatility in his usage. He could be used a rotational piece early on whenever Fletcher Cox or Hargrave come off the field and be effective as either a 3-tech (outside shade of the offensive guard) or 0-tech (head up on center) defensive tackle.
Tuipulotu has met with the Eagles.
CB Kelvin Joseph – Kentucky
Weight: 197 pounds
Scouting Report: Kelvin Joseph is a long and fluid cornerback who excels when he’s allowed to be aggressive and physical. Joseph played 2 years of college football. His freshman year (and only year at LSU), Joseph played in 11 games and recorded 12 tackles along with a pass breakup. After sitting out the 2019 season due to NCAA transfer rules, Joseph would suit up for the Kentucky Wildcats in the 2020 season. Joseph amassed 25 tackles, 4 interceptions (one of which was returned for a touchdown) and a pass breakup.
Joseph possesses prototypical outside cornerback size and impressive speed. Joseph ran track in high school and his speed is truly no fluke, as he ran a 4.34 at Kentucky’s pro day. Joseph’s combination of length, athleticism, and physicality is going to be a plus for whichever team selects him.
With the Eagles Joseph would be a case of trial by fire, as he is entering the NFL with just 20 games of college experience. Having a veteran like Darius Slay would be immeasurable positive for Joseph. He fits Gannon’s profile for cornerbacks as a lengthy, physical, and aggressive defensive back. While there will likely be a steep learning curve, Joseph has showed that he has the potential to be a high level player at the NFL level and with the Eagles, the infrastructure in the defensive backs room would assist with that.
WR Terrace Marshall Jr.
Weight: 203 pounds
Scouting Report: Terrace Marshall has the ability to win at all 3 levels (underneath, intermediate, and downfield). Marshall was the number one ranked Louisiana recruit in the 2018 cycle and a five-star prospect coming out of high school. He possesses a lot of tools that premier NFL wide receivers also possess. Athleticism, speed, and route running. Most importantly, Marshall understands how to use his size and frame. He understands leverage and how to create it. He wins consistently at the line with technically sound releases. Marshall has a very long wingspan (78 1/8″) which allows for a very wide catch radius. There aren’t many holes in Marshall’s game. In 3 years at LSU, Marshall amassed, 106 catches, 1594 yards, and 23 touchdowns.
With the Eagles, Marshall would slot in as the day one starting X receiver. He can stretch the field which is not normal for a receiver his size and he has the catch radius to reel in almost any pass in his vicinity. Under Nick Sirianni, Marshall’s would development would be in great hands. Sirianni has helped develop route technicians like Keenan Allen and helped Tyrell Williams to a breakout year in 2016, when Williams led the Chargers with career highs in catches (69), receiving yards (1,059) and touchdowns receptions (seven).
Marshall has reportedly been in contact with the Eagles, “a lot“.
Marshall would likely be a trade up candidate, as he is projected to be selected late in the 1st round.
Mandatory Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images