Eagles Day Two Prospects: Five players to track in the 2nd and 3rd rounds
After a wild first day of the NFL Draft that was full of trades, day one is officially in the books. The Eagles traded up from the #15 overall pick to #13 and drafted the Goliath from Georgia, Jordan Davis. Now, we can take a step back from the constant mock drafts, and realize that Howie Roseman would never pass on a dominant defensive tackle.
Howie was far from finished. He then finessed the entire league by trading the Eagles’ 18th and third-round compensatory pick (#101) to the Tennessee Titans for wide receiver AJ Brown. Rather than gamble on a potential risk with a first-round pick, Howie wisely traded for a proven playmaker only entering his fourth season.
The Eagles have now two impact players after day one of the NFL Draft. Let’s take a look at what lies ahead with day two in the second and third round and the Eagles two draft picks today. (#51 and #83).
1. S Jaquan Brisker, Penn State | 6-1, 200 pounds
Kyle Hamilton was on the board when the Eagles traded up for Jordan Davis, which makes me believe Tyrann Mathieu is very much in play to sign in May or that the Eagles have their eye on a particular safety out of Happy Valley.
Due to the extra COVID year, Jaquan Brisker made substantial strides to his game in 2021. His run defense remained solid, tied for fifth amongst all defensive backs in the Big Ten with 18 defensive run stops, four hurries in pass rush (tied 8th), and a 27.3% win rate.
But the six-foot-one, 200-pound do-it-all safety greatly improved his overall awareness of offensive schemes, displaying superb instincts for a defensive back. His timely playmaking ability and limited yet minuscule errors made him a leader on the Penn State defense and an elite selection as an Eagles Day Two prospect.
2. CB Cam Taylor-Britt, Nebraska | 5-11, 196 pounds
Without addressing a second cornerback on Day One, several defensive backs remain on the board with NFL-starting caliber talent. Nebraska’s Cam Taylor-Britt was one of the more under-looked defensive backs during the draft process, making for an attractive Eagles Day Two prospect.
Despite being slightly undersized at five-foot-eleven, he plays with an attitude and physicality against opposing wide receivers that pops on tape. The Nebraska product also has the vertical speed to hang with receivers downfield, posting a 4.38 forty-yard dash at the combine.
During the 2021 season, Taylor-Britt played 660 snaps as an outside corner compared to only five in the slot. Against Ohio State’s Chris Olave and Jaxson Smith-Njigba, he held the tandem to three catches on four targets for 35 yards, a PBU, but did allow Olave to score a three-yard touchdown against him.
3. LB Troy Andersen, Montana State | 6-4, 243 pounds
With all the hype that the Montana State product’s athleticism brings, he may rise up draft boards on Day Two. His combine and measurables were compared to Isaiah Simmons out of Clemson back in 2020, but Troy Andersen has more “traditional” linebacker qualities to his game.
At Montana State, Andersen played both running back and linebacker and became the quickest freshman to rush for 100 yards in a game. He later went on to quarterback the team in 2018 in 11 of 13 games and scored 21 rushing touchdowns that season which is a Montana State single-season record.
In his lone season at full-time linebacker, Troy Andersen tallied an astonishing 67 defensive stops during his senior year. He earned the FCS ADA Defensive Player of the Year, becoming the 4th player in school history to earn those honors. If there is one Eagles Day Two prospect to keep your eye on, it’s the former Montana State Bobcat product.
4. CB Marcus Jones, Houston | 5-8, 174 pounds
If the Eagles decide to draft Brisker over a cornerback with the 51st overall pick, they could bring in a diamond in the rough in Round Three. It’s been multiple drafts since the Eagles have yet to address the cornerback playing across from Darius Slay or attempt to revamp the return game. Marcus Jones out of Houston could help fix both of those problems.
The Toledo transfer proved at Houston that he is the best return specialist in this year’s draft class. Averaging 14.2 yards per punt return with two returned touchdowns and 34.2 yards per kick return and two more returned touchdowns, Jones would bring a much-needed spark to the Eagles’ return game.
However, Marcus Jones is not just limited to a return specialist. Because he is so undersized for a defensive back, Jones fits best in the slot despite picking off five passes and breaking up 12 others last season on the outside. Jones can be a plug-and-play return specialist for the Eagles, something they’ve needed for years, and has the potential to be a tremendous rotational blitzing nickel back.
5. OL Jamaree Salyer, Georgia | 6-3, 321 pounds
It’s not a Philly mock draft or even Eagles Day Two prospects blog without Howie looking for bullies in the trenches. He already got one Georgia bully on the defensive line and could have his eyes on another Bulldog on the opposite side. Jamaree Taylor’s best attribute is his versatility, as he played every single position on the offensive line at Georgia.
Salyer played at least 39 snaps at every position on the offensive line during his collegiate career. A testament to his versatility came in last year’s National Championship game against Alabama, where he allowed only one pressure playing both left tackle and right guard.
Although he mainly played tackle for the Bulldogs last season, the 320-pounder looks more comfortable and a better fit as an interior offensive lineman. Salyer has one of the most vicious first strikes of any offensive linemen in the draft, and his technique significantly improved year after year. Like Jordan Davis, a versatile offensive lineman under Jeff Stoutland’s tutelage may be too much for Howie to pass on.
Photo Credit: Marca.com, AP