Eagles Wake-Up Call: Three Notes On WR Prospects

NFL: Combine

Howie Roseman said last week that there will probably be a wide receiver the Eagles like every time they’re on the clock in May’s draft.

On Sunday, the deep class of pass-catchers took the field for workouts. Here are three items worth noting, with an Eagles slant.

1. Those hoping the Birds add a big wide receiver to the mix are going to like what they see out of this class. One guy whose stock seems to be rising a bit is Texas A&M’s Mike Evans. Evans measured in at 6-5, 231 and ran a 4.53 40. He’s also got 35 1/8-inch arms. As a point of reference, Lane Johnson has 35 1/4-inch arms. Add in a 37-inch vertical, and Evans figures to be a difficult matchup for NFL cornerbacks.

Here’s how NFL Network’s Mike Mayock sized up Evans:

Texas A&M wide receiver Mike Evans, who is 6-foot-5 and 231, had a 4.53 clocking, and “that’s fine” for a guy his size, Mayock said. Mayock is high on Evans, though he says Evans must become a better route runner. “He is going to have to learn how to create separation with his body,” Mayock said. Still, Mayock says he is “a top-15 pick in today’s NFL.”

Many fans would love for the Eagles to snag Evans at No. 22, but it seems unlikely that he lasts that long.

2. Of course, there will be other big-bodied options. We wrote about Vanderbilt’s  Jordan Matthews during the Senior Bowl. The 6-3, 212-pounder ran an impressive 4.46 40. Having caught 112 balls for 1,477 yards last season, he has the production too. Matthews did not make Mel Kiper Jr.’s top-10 list for wide receivers and could be a Day 2 option for the Birds.

Another name to keep an eye on is Penn State’s Allen Robinson. Robinson ran a disappointing 4.60 40, but there’s still a lot to like. Robinson has size (6-2, 220) and tested well in other drills like the vertical jump (39 inches, sixth-best among wide receivers).

Robinson averaged 119.3 yards per game last season, third-best in the nation. It’ll be interesting to see how the slow 40 time affects his stock.

3. If last year is any indication, it’s worth keeping an eye on Pac-12 guys whom Chip Kelly could be familiar with. Oregon State’s Brandin Cooks (5-10, 189) led all receivers with a 4.33 40. He had the production too, leading the nation averaging 133.1 receiving yards per game last season.

USC’s Marqise Lee (6-0, 192) was Mayock’s No. 2 overall wide receiver going into the combine and ran a 4.52.

And finally, don’t sleep on Josh Huff. We wrote about the Oregon wide receiver last month, and he seems like he could be a nice fit to play the slot if the Eagles let Jason Avant go. Huff (5-11, 206) is not going to blow anyone away with his measurables (4.51 40), but he was a productive player who could fit what Kelly’s looking for in the middle rounds.

WHAT YOU MISSED

The Eagles’ chances of landing Jairus Byrd could be slim.

T-Mac with some good buzz from Indy, including one agent saying “the Eagles won’t spend” in free agency.

McManus sorts through the wide receiver situation.

Is DeMeco Ryans in danger of being cut? Here’s what they’re saying.

Former Oregon tight end Colt Lyerla wouldn’t mind landing with the Eagles.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

Jimmy Kempski of Philly.com looks at the top-10 combine performances among current Eagles. One name that makes the cut surprisingly is backup offensive lineman Allen Barbre:

Backup offensive lineman Allen Barbre is just kind of a body, right? Nope. Barbre is a legitimate athlete and a nice fit for the Eagles offense. When Jason Peters went down during the season and Barbre had to fill in for spot duty, he played well, and looked natural running out in front of screens. And he should. Since 1999, only 6 OTs ran a faster 40 time than Barbre (4.84), although as you can see below, he is an undersized OT.

Speaking of O-Lineman, here’s one that caught the eye of Iggles Blitz’s Tommy Lawlor:

Xavier Su’a-Filo is a very interesting guy. He played LT and OG for UCLA. Mike Mayock relayed a really good story. Coach David Shaw of Stanford recruited Su’a-Filo a few years back. At some point Shaw watched a pickup football game where Su’a-Filo played Safety. Granted, Su’a-Filo probably wasn’t as big back then, but that’s still pretty crazy. Shaw said Su’a-Filo backpedaled and looked good in coverage. He even picked off a pass. Does that sound like the kind of OL that Chip Kelly would like or what?

COMING UP

Plenty more from the combine and a continuing look at free agent safeties.

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