This college football season has been greatly depleted early on given the ongoing pandemic. With the college football season starting up full-time soon, I've decided to kick off a series where I’m going to give a list of players that the Eagles should target in the draft in order to best improve their team in order to compete in the NFC East.
So what I’m hoping to accomplish in this series is to ultimately record a list of prospects and break down their film, and find the players who will fit the scheme, and best be able to become a top tier player on this roster.
Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama
The son of former 2nd-round cornerback is now a star cornerback himself at Alabama. He is a very fun cornerback to watch on his film, and for how young he is, it’s truly impressive. To think of the talent that he is facing as a true freshman and sophomore, and how he is handling it with great poise, and mental toughness, it shows the mindset he has. Surtain is extremely athletic which is not uncommon to find in cornerbacks nowadays, but what he is able to do with his god-given athleticism is. His athleticism is extremely impressive to see on film. It’s one thing to show off your attributes and intangibles at the combine, it’s another to do it on film and as a freshman and sophomore. He offers a lot of attributes that connect directly to his athleticism such as his play speed, strength, and his coverage ability. His play speed was especially fun to watch on his film.
Watching his freshman year game tape against LSU, he was covering star receiver Ja’Mar Chase, and he played extremely tight coverage. He was able to hang with Chase, Justin Jefferson, and Terrace Marshall down the sideline with nothing but pure speed; he also showed toughness and strength at the line of scrimmage. His toughness was displayed from the very first play I watched when he pressed Chase at the line of scrimmage and made it difficult for Chase to release off the line. He showed excellent coverage ability in both man and zone coverage, however he definitely strives in man coverage over zone coverage. He shows extreme natural and fluid hips within man coverage which is what allows him to succeed and strive. He is quick on his feet and is able to keep his eyes on the quarterback while still keeping track of the receiver. Playing the cornerback position as well as he does is rare to find.
One aspect of his game I'd like to see improved upon is his tackling. He tackles with a weak hit and doesn’t wrap the opposition up in order to bring him down. He shows the ability to tackle in a few scenarios, but he does struggle a majority of the time. He reminds me of Greedy Williams out of college, lots of potential due to his athleticism, but he struggles with tackling ability and that’s going to be something to keep your eye on. Williams had the problem and it dropped his draft stock greatly due to that, however, C.J. Henderson had tackling issues and he didn’t waver and was a recent top pick in the draft.
Surtain has a lot of potential, but I’d like to see him improve upon his tackling ability to increase his production on stops.
Jevon Holland, S, Oregon
Holland is one remarkable player. As a defensive back, he offers a wide variety of things he can do for a defense. As a young player on the Oregon defense, he showed a lot of promise with what he can do. Much like Isaiah Simmons last year, Holland offers the ability to play all over the field. He is extremely athletic, and with an elite level of pure speed, he is able to line up in multiple defensive plays. His speed allows him to play in over the top coverage to protect against the deep ball, it also allows him to play in coverage against some of the faster receivers. As a defensive back like Holland, he is able to play a single high safety with the ability to work sideline to sideline in order to make the play in the second level of the secondary.
To go with excellent speed, and athleticism, he offers some strength but it is one of his weaknesses (no pun intended). Holland has made some powerful tackles, but due to his strength’s inconsistencies on film, I decided to level it out as an average grade because the moment he shows his strength, it is an eye-catcher even if you’re not necessarily watching Holland in particular.
As a free safety, and strong safety hybrid, he offers great run support. He is able to recognize the run and is able to disrupt plays. If you were to pick one word for Holland’s game it would be disruptive. He is one of the best ballhawks I’ve seen on film. I mentioned earlier in this summary that he is very versatile and is able to play in zone and man coverage with great excellence, but he has the ability to track the ball with ease. His disruptive play style when on-ball coverage is second nature to him. As a young player on the Ducks defense, he showed his leadership abilities and could eventually be a leader for an NFL secondary.
Ultimately, I think his transition to the pros is going to be extremely smooth.
Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
Micah Parsons is going to have some competition for the top linebacker this year, but as of the start of the season, he has the number one ranked linebacker spot locked up. Parsons is one of the best linebackers I’ve scouted, and he shows a great deal of potential. His athleticism is something that is clearly god-given.
He offers a high level of athleticism at the linebacker position with great play speed, and strength. His play speed allows him to continue moving around throughout the field, and be able to move sideline-to-sideline in order to continue making plays on the field. As a playmaker, he also shows strength with his ability to tackle. He is one of the most consistent finishers in college football and he shows a great deal of strength in order to face chest up takles against runningbacks. He has great strength and speed, but the combination of the two is what allows him to be such a talented standout at the linebacker position. Strength and speed both have their uses in different areas of the game. Parsons' speed translates to his ability to make plays on the field with coverage ability, and ability to move sideline to sideline. His strength is more translatable to his run-stopping and tackling ability.
When regarding linebackers, there are usually different types of linebackers, there are run-stopping linebackers, and coverage linebackers. The difference between a great linebacker and a good linebacker is their ability to do both, and Parsons can absolutely do both.
Parsons' weak points aren’t as apparent as most, but there are times on his film where his awareness was not great. For the most part though Parsons is able to recognize plays well and is able to make plays once the ball reaches the second level zone. It’s rare to find a guy as poised as Parsons is as a linebacker. He is a great tackler, and with that being said it's rare to find a guy as good of a tackler as Parsons' who doesn't overpursue on his tackles. Even with being a great coverage linebacker, he offers a blitzing upside as well. He shows promise on his awareness and ability to create pressure on teh quarterback. He finished the 2019 season with five sacks, and given the number of games played in, it's impressive to see that number from a linebacker.
He is a great linebacker with a well-rounded game that will surely translate into success in the NFL.