The Eagles have a bit of history of taking chances on injured prospects in the draft recently. This year, there are already a few top prospects who are likely to fall due to injury in this year’s NFL Draft that the Eagles could select.

In the 2017 NFL Draft, Howie Roseman selected Washington cornerback Sidney Jones in the second round. Jones was previously expected to be a top-15 selection, but his draft stock took a significant hit after he suffered a torn Achilles at his pro day.

In the 2018 NFL Draft, Roseman took a similar risk, as he drafted Florida State defensive end Josh Sweat in the fourth round. Sweat was originally ranked as a first-round talent, but a slew of knee injuries, including one that ended his season just months before the draft, caused him to fall into Day 3 of the draft.

It isn’t ideal to be selecting injured prospects, but sometimes a player is good enough to take a risk, and Roseman has shown little to no fear of doing so in the past few years.

More importantly, the Eagles have an abundance of picks this year, and they will surely be looking to add talent that can help them win now, which gives even more incentive to continue the risk-taking.

Unfortunately, it is still early in the scouting process, with both the NFL Combine and players’ pro days coming up, which means even more players may suffer injuries before their fate is decided.

With that being said, here’s an early look at three players who will slide in the draft due to injury that the Eagles could select:

WR Marquise Brown, Oklahoma

Marquise “Hollywood” Brown was set to be a top-15 pick according to a few teams, but he is set to undergo surgery for a Lisfranc injury that he suffered.

Due to the injury, Brown will not be able to participate in the combine or in his pro day, which means teams won’t be able to get a look at his blazing speed. Brown has a small frame for a wide receiver at just 5’10 and 168 pounds, making him dependent on his speed to be an effective receiver.

This season at Oklahoma, Brown was one of the most electrifying deep targets in all of collegiate football. Brown caught 75 passes for 1,318 yards and 10 touchdowns. Brown ranked 8th in all of College Football in receiving yards, and averaged 17.6 yards per catch, which is more than any receiver on the Eagles from the 2018 season.

The Eagles also reportedly had scouts at Brown’s monster game against West Virginia. Brown had a season-high 243 receiving yards that game on 11 catches that game, and also added two touchdowns.

The Eagles struggled to get the ball down field to their wide receivers consistently last season, and Brown is the perfect player to solve that issue not only next season, but for many years to come. Along with that, one of Nelson Agholor or Golden Tate is not expected to return next season for the Eagles, which would open up a starting spot at wide receiver on the team.

Brown likely won’t be ready to suit up until training camp, but he is not expected to miss any game action in the NFL due to this injury, which means he won’t fall too far from his previously high stock.

Here is Brown’s highlights from his 2018 season.

New projected draft stock: Late First-round to Second-round

IMG_6930
Photo: AP

DT Jeffery Simmons, Mississippi State

Jeffery Simmons was also expected to be a top-15 selection in this years draft, but he suffered a torn ACL that is likely to keep him out for more than half of the 2019 season.

Simmons’ situation is similar to Jones’ in the fact that he won’t be ready immediately for whichever team selects him. Jones was able to play week 17 of his rookie season, which means Simmons may be of more use in his first season than Jones was.

Fletcher Cox has been a force on the interior defensive line for the Eagles, but with an unsure situation coming up with Timmy Jernigan’s contract along with a lack of depth, the Eagles are expected to be in the market for a defensive lineman. Simmons won’t be able to help right away, but he would make a top-end Eagles defensive line that much more potent.

Last season, Simmons had 63 tackles, including 18 tackles for a loss and two sacks. Simmons also had four pass deflections and one forced fumble.

The Eagles have three top-60 draft picks this year, which could allow them to take a chance on Simmons early on. This years defensive line draft class is very deep, and Simmons being set to fall makes it that much more impressive. Waiting on a player like Simmons will force the defensive line to wait on getting more depth, but it will also give the Eagles the flexibility to select an offensive lineman or even a player like Hollywood Brown in the first round.

New projected draft stock: Second-round

IMG_6931.jpg
Photo: USA Today Sports

RB Bryce Love, Stanford

Bryce Love was previously regarded to as a top-five running back prospect coming into this years draft, but Love suffered a torn ACL during his last collegiate game and underwent surgery on December 18.

That timeline is tight in terms of Love being ready for week 1, and any time a running back suffers a major knee injury is a red flag.

The Eagles need a running back, but they may decide to fill that need through free agency. If that is the case, and the team feels confident in both Corey Clement’s recovery from his knee injury and in Darren Sproles’ return next season, they could afford to take a chance to fill their fourth running back spot.

In 2018, Love’s workload was slightly reduced compared to what he handled in 2017. Love had 166 carries in 2018, and in 2017 he had a collegiate career-high 263 carries. Love rushed for 739 yards last season, which averaged out to 4.5 yards per carry (Love averaged 8.1 YPC in 2017), and Love had just six touchdowns, more than a third of what he had in 2017 (19).

Love’s slight step-back along with his injury has caused his draft stock to take a fairly significant hit. Despite that, Love is still a capable running back and would be placed into a fitting role with the Eagles if they select him. Love would be able to gradually work his way into more touches, and he wouldn’t feel the pressure of being needed week 1.

With the Eagles set to have five picks between rounds four and six, they could certainly be willing to use one of them to select Love.

Here is Love’s best runs from his collegiate career.

New projected draft stock: Fourth-round to Sixth-round

IMG_6932.jpg
Photo: Sports Illustrated

Be sure to stay tuned for an updated look at injured draft prospects that the Eagles could select this year as we get closer to the 2019 NFL Draft.

Featured Image: 
Comments are closed.

Check Also

Winning Our Hearts – Losing Our Fantasy Leagues.

Is A Building Obsession With the Eagles Destroying Your Fantasy Strategy? It’s the m…