Villanova forward Eric Paschall had a lot to live up to this season. After the Wildcats stormed their way to the 2018 National Championship, they lost Jalen Brunson, Mikal Bridges, Final Four MVP Donte DiVincenzo and Omari Spellman to the NBA.
Subsequently, the senior no longer could share the load as much. Alongside guard Phil Booth, he is the heart of a Wildcats team that won the Big East regular-season and tournament championships en route to a No. 6 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
The 6-foot-8, 255-pounder has averaged 16.5 points a game (second to Booth) with a 53.2 effective field goal percentage (including 36 percent from behind the arc). He adds 6.2 boards and 2.2 assists per contest.
His most recent effort was a 17-point, 8-rebound effort to propel the Wildcats to a 71-67 victory over Xavier in the Big East Tournament final.
It’s well-rounded efforts like these that have him sneaking up NBA Draft boards. Before Villanova takes on Saint Mary’s in the Round of 64 on Thursday (7:20 p.m. EST, TBS), let’s take a dive into his prognostications, as well as mock drafts.
Eric Paschall NBA Draft Projections & Mock Draft
Pundits place Paschall in a mix of first and second-round projections. Chris Stone of Sporting News sends him to Milwaukee with the No. 30 pick.
Paschall has become a consistent outside shooter over the past two seasons, which complements his defensive versatility well. He can fit in as a low-usage offensive option that provides plenty of value elsewhere on the floor.
That’s good enough in Milwaukee, where the offense funnels through Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Another first-round look comes from CBS Sports, which has Brooklyn taking him at No. 27.
Villanova’s Eric Paschall fits the bill as someone Brooklyn could utilize. He’s developed a trustworthy shot at Villanova, shooting 37.4 percent from 3-point range this season, and he’s a big body who wields it well to carve out space for rebounds. He and Jarrett Allen could make for a nice tandem in the Nets’ frontcourt.
On the less optimistic side, our own Jon Adams left him off his most recent NBA Mock Draft.
Eric Paschall NBA Draft Big Board Rankings
Jeremy Woo of SI.com lists him as the No. 46 overall prospect on his mock draft. There, he states Paschall will help five-out offenses spread out defenses.
Paschall projects as a potentially strong role player provided his three-point shooting holds up. His toughness, mobility and motor could play as a smaller stretch four within the right system, particularly if his effort on the glass becomes more consistent. Paschall struggles to create his own shot efficiently, particularly against length, but factoring past and present context, he primarily needs to catch-and-shoot and take care of the little things to provide value. He’ll be especially appealing to teams who favor going five-out and spreading the floor.
Aran Smith’s NBA Draft Net pegs Paschall as the No. 41 overall prospect per Smith’s Top-100. This would have him going as some lottery team’s second option.
ESPN’s Draft Board has him as the No. 10 power forward and No. 33 player overall. He’s called a “chiseled” and “explosive.”
– Has a chiseled 260-pound frame and explosive athleticism. Powerful but highly coordinated.
– Much improved outside shooter. Hit 35 of 76 3-point attempts (46 percent) over the final 25 games of last season for Villanova and 81 percent of his free throws overall.
– Key cog on a national championship team. Plays with impressive toughness and aggressiveness. Real mismatch with his ability to attack slower big men off the bounce, knock down open shots, switch onto guards on the perimeter and bring tremendous intensity and physicality on every possession.
– Not very tall or long for someone who sees significant time at the center position.
– Career 32 percent 3-point shooter at the college level. Shoots on the way down at times. Needs to prove he can stretch his jumper out to the NBA 3-point line and continue to be consistent in a bigger role.
– At his best playing a compact role alongside better players. Feel for the game is average. Underwhelming rebounder over the course of his career. Fifth-year senior — oldest player currently projected to be drafted.
Basically, Paschall is a winner with a well-maintained physique and 3-point range. That makes him an excellent frontcourt alternative to a franchise seeking positional flexibility.