With about three weeks to go before the NFL draft, the Eagles are still doing diligence on this year’s deep crop of wide receivers.
Odell Beckham Jr., a former Louisiana State receiver expected to go in the first round, will visit the NovaCare Complex this week. Beckham on Saturday told Sirius XM that he’s visiting the Eagles on Wednesday and leaving Thursday.
The 5-foot-11, 198-pound wideout clocked a 4.43 in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine after being named first-team All Southeastern Conference as an all-purpose player. Scouts see Beckham’s ability to play outside and the slot, along with returning punts and kicks.
Beckham’s stock has risen since the combine. Several draft analysts believe he’ll be the third receiver off the board, after consensus top-five pick Sammy Watkins (Clemson) and Texas A&M’s Mike Evans.
The Eagles, who released three-time Pro Bowl wideout DeSean Jackson last month, have done their homework on college receivers. This year’s class is considered deepest at receiver, with about 10 to 12 that could go in the first three rounds.
Among the wideouts who have reportedly visited the Eagles are Evans, Florida State’s Kelvin Benjamin, USC’s Marqise Lee and Indiana’s Cody Latimer. Sources confirmed to CSNPhilly that Benjamin, Evans and Lee have visited.
Eagles coach Chip Kelly caught a bird’s-eye view of Beckham at LSU’s pro day.
The Eagles, who pick at 22, might have to trade up to land Evans, Lee or Beckham. All three are widely considered top 15 picks and several teams will try to capitalize on this year’s batch of elite pass catchers.
Beckham said he had already visited the Bills and Bengals, with the Jets, Eagles and Dolphins up next on his list this week.
This past season, Beckham broke LSU’s single-season all-purpose yardage record with 2,315 yards. The year before, he started 12 of 13 games and led the Tigers in receiving yards (713). One of his strengths is his leaping ability and snatching 50-50 balls out of midair.