A few quick thoughts on the Philadelphia Eagles’ final two picks of the 2014 NFL Draft, but first, let’s go the scouting reports.
Good size to contend with tight ends. Reads the quarterback and displays good instincts and anticipation. Has ballhawking skills -- 6 INTs and 3 TDs as a junior. Functional range off the hash. Wrap tackler. Has NFL bloodlines.
Very average speed, twitch and flexibility. Unsudden change of direction. Lacks burst to close suddenly or recover when beat. Occasionally loses field leverage and takes some inaccurate angles. Leaks yards after contact. Misses too many tackles in the open field and can be run over (see Utah). Eyes get stuck on the quarterback, leaving him vulnerable to manipulation. Limited experience in man coverage.
Reynolds is 6’1”, 207 pounds. He has average athleticism, maybe a bit above average for his size/position. The thing that really stands out is that junior year—six picks, three returned for touchdowns. I don’t care what league you play in, and even if he did follow it up with one interception his senior year, that’s impressive.
Although I have little doubt the Eagles will talk about an “open competition” at safety, and there is no reason to believe it will be anything but, I doubt Reynolds will beat out Nate Allen or Earl Wolff for a job as a rookie (Malcolm Jenkins is penned into the other spot). Allen improved gradually last season and was something between competent and solid. Wolff held his own. Both guys have a full year in defensive coordinator Bill Davis’ system now, which will be a huge advantage.
Still, gotta like a safety with Reynolds’ size. I could see him being in the mix to play in Year 2.
Stoutly built lower body (squats a small house). Good initial thrust off the snap. Sheer size, natural girth and functional strength to occupy blocks. Has a desirable mentality for the position. Brings energy, plays hard and gives terrific pursuit effort for a big man. Tough and durable. Very good 10-yard splits (1.68 seconds) at his pro day, indicating surprising short-area burst for a 330-pounder.
Marginal value as a pass rusher. Ordinary bull rush. Needs to play with better pad level -- plays too tall and is too easily engaged. Unrefined hand use and slow to disengage. Does not dominate single blocking. Is straightlinish and struggles to change direction. Slow of foot with limited range. Not an impactful playmaker.
I thought this was a great seventh-round pick. I don’t see the need to replace Bennie Logan at nose tackle right now. He performed well as a rookie, the team expects him to bulk up to 320-325 pounds, and the nose tackle was only on the field 50 percent of the time last season anyway.
They desperately needed somebody behind Logan though, and I think Allen is perfect. At 6’2”, 333 pounds, he’s going to be really difficult to move. Most offensive linemen will have trouble getting under Allen’s pad level at that height, and without the right leverage, he’s not going anywhere.
Plus, the Eagles can put a proper “heavy” or goal-line package on the field now, with Logan kicked to outside and Allen in the middle. Technically, the seventh-round pick isn’t even a lock to make the team, but I think he will and it’s a pick the Eagles will get some mileage out of.