Updated: Apr 24, 2019
The preparation for Senior Bowl 2019 is officially underway. Yesterday was the first practice for all of the top senior NFL prospects, and the Eagles took some time after practice to interview six of the prospects. Here's a look at the six, and what they bring to the table.
South Team Meetings:
It's no secret that having players on offense and defense allows those sides of the ball to do more with their schemes. So far during the past two All-Star games practices/meetings, the Shrine Game and now the Senior bowl, the Eagles are looking to scheme more versatility in their defense. Gerri Green, an SEC all freshman in 2015, is a hybrid LB/end who can cover down field a lot like Barnett. Green consistently shows on film his strong hands and ability to keep lineman extended, to then hold his gap and shed blockers to make tackles. Green utilizes a strong bull rush in order to get to the QB. The fact that the Eagles are looking at defenders like Green so far in the draft process gives us a hint that Schwartz will want his defenders to be versatile and able to make plays in 2019.
Russell, a four-year starter at Auburn, isn't a flashy name. However, he is an unselfish player who understands his role in a defense. Good luck moving this guy off the ball. One word to describe Russell would be anchor. While he does not display an elite ability to rush the passer, Russell has shown the aptitude to eat up blocks and keep the second level linebackers clean against the run. This is the type of DT Schwartz looks for next to Cox or subbing in for Fletch, especially in run situations.
We wrote about Renfrow here before the college football playoffs, highlighting the fact that a player of Renfrow's caliber can fit well in the slot for this Eagles offense. Albeit a smaller framed wide-out, Renfrow has developed quite the resume during his four-year career at Clemson. Nicknamed "Mr. 3rd down" by teammates, Renfrow will bring another threat for Carson Wentz to continue to move the chains. Hunter is not overly athletic in terms of speed or jumping and his route running is not as polished as other receivers in the class. However, Renfrow has the ability to push defenders when they open up and create space for his QB to get him the ball. Expect Renfrow to be a day 3 guy.
North Team Meetings:
Gaines has a similar skill set to Dontavious Russell, in the fact that although neither really display an elite ability to get pressure, they both can set an anchor and reset the line against the run. There is a trend in DT's the Eagles have been meeting with so far, and it seems that they are trying to build the position around Cox. While Cox can both rush the passer and anchor down to keep the second level clean, having the second DT be able to anchor down eats up blocks for Cox and the ends.
Marshall "Biggie" has great size for a corner. Just like Schwartz likes his corners, Iman Marshall is aggressive against the run. played a ton of zone coverage, but has also shown a mix of man coverage as well. Plays very well in off coverage, and doesn't get beat much by double moves. This is due to his fluid hips and ability to close quickly. I would not be surprised to see Marshall in midnight green in the spring.
Nasir Adderley's name has been shooting up draft boards over the past few weeks, and he has been backing it up with a solid showing so far at Senior bowl practices. Adderley is a safety that can play all over the field, similar to Jenkins. He mainly lined up as a single high safety, but can come down into the slot and play man coverage. Adderley isn't afraid to come into the box to make a tackle, but can get over aggressive at times overrunning ball carriers. He also gets very physical with blockers, sometimes to the detriment of a tackle. The hometown kid has Philly hustle, and plays a full 60 minutes even if his team is getting blown out (see NDSU game). Even if Adderley doesn't start in 2019 at a safety position, he will easily become the best player on special teams. His speed, aggressiveness and tackling abilities translate well to kickoff/punt coverage and throughout his college career Adderley has flashed as a returner.