Tuesday we printed some rundowns on players the Eagles might be targeting with their lone pick in the first two days of the 2018 NFL Draft, the 32nd selection in round one. Today we’re previewing players they could take when they finally make their way back up to the podium on the third day. This time there’s four rounds to take into account, and a way larger number of players to consider, but give these names a second look.
Marcus Allen, S, Penn State
The reasoning behind the Eagles taking a safety in this draft was touched on when we looked at Justin Reid from Stanford as a first round pick, but to sum up: short of Jaylen Watkins and a possible conversion back to safety of Jalen Mills, there are few players developing behind the Eagles starters at the position. Having three safeties to rotate worked out incredibly well for Jim Schwartz in 2018, and if Corey Graham leaves, they’ll need a new player to replicate his work.
Allen is a hard-hitting safety ready to play in the box now in the NFL, as evidenced by 320 career tackles and five forced fumbles as a four-year starter. His center-field ability will have to be developed; he had just one career interception in college. While the Eagles could definitely scheme him into the defense now, he could also start out as a presence on special teams – he has a blocked field goal on his resume. At the moment, he’s probably on the cusp of being a day two or three pick, and might be slightly out of the Eagles reach, but they still felt it prudent enough to interview him at the combine.
Troy Fumagalli, TE, Wisconsin
Fumagalli didn’t participate in most workouts at the combine, completing just the bench press for 14 reps. The current Eagles regime has seem inclined to focus more on production than pro days, and Fumagalli had that in spades at Wisconsin. He led teams that made their way to the Big Ten Championship Game in receptions as a junior and a senior, and in receiving yards with 547 his senior season. The Badgers relied on him in the run game as well, where the current Eagles need a replacement for Brent Celek’s diligence.
At 6-foot-6, 248, Fumagalli has the size to be used across the middle as a receiver and trapping and pulling in the backfield on running plays. The Eagles, down their second and third string tight ends, are in desperate need of a complement to Zach Ertz at both spots. If Fumagalli makes it to the third day of the draft, he could be an answer.
Daurice Fountain, WR, Northern Iowa
Fountain is the first of the Eagles recently reported private visits that figures to be available once their selections beyond round one start up again. His scouting report and college career is somewhat similar to the first receiver the Eagles took in last year’s draft: Mack Hollins. NFL.com says Fountain has the “requisite height, weight, and speed numbers to interest teams” but “his route running and ball skills aren’t where they need to be.”
He has a bit more of a lengthy track record than Hollins did, with three seasons as his team’s leading receiver, but his production really increased as a senior, when he caught 66 passes for 943 yards and 12 touchdowns. It’s hard to compile that statline without being the same kind of vertical threat, and that’s true of his 23 career touchdowns as well. If the Eagles do spend a day three pick on Fountain, they certainly have a veteran in Alshon Jeffery who can teach him how to track a deep ball.
Brandon Parker, T, North Carolina A&T
The Eagles could replenish their offensive line at the top of the draft and it would still be no surprise to see them double dip in the later rounds, such is their emphasis on the lines. Whether they take a tackle in the first round or not, Parker is a big (6-foot-7, 314 pounds) tackle prospect who should catch their eye. Another player from a smaller school, he certainly dominated lesser competition: he was the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Offensive Lineman of the Year three times.
Parker didn’t set the world on fire with a 5.4 second 40-yard dash at the combine, and he didn’t participate in the bench press. But he didn’t show an inability to move around the field as a blocker in college or to reach the second level to take on linebackers and defensive backs. Projected as a day three pick, he should definitely be available if the Eagles target him.
Levi Wallace, CB, Alabama
It’s strange to enter an Eagles off-season and not consider cornerback the most vital need on the board. But in 2018 mocking a first round corner to the Eagles almost feels like an act of blocking the development of what the Eagles already have at the position. That doesn’t mean they should just ignore the position altogether, and Wallace is a late pick (projected rounds six to seven by NFL.com) who fits the Birds.
He went from walk-on to starter at Alabama next to Minkah Fitzpatrick and Ronnie Harrison, so entering the NFL as a late round rookie shouldn’t prove too intimidating. His presence next to such star teammates also brings up the Byron Maxwell in Seattle debate: does that mean he was tested often and is therefore good, or received the easier matchups in coverage? A 4.63 40-yard dash and 33” vertical didn’t turn heads at the combine, but they’re actually very reminiscent of Rasul Douglas’ marks there. While he might not match Douglas’ ballhawking, Wallace did have three 2017 interceptions of his own.