In real estate, it’s location, location, location, When it comes to the Eagles 2020 draft, it’s receiver, receiver, receiver.
Unless your an analytics expert who uses 15 seasons of NFL-level performance data, plus in-depth conversations with coaches and front office execs to categorize every player into one of five buckets at each position: elite, above-average, average, below-average and well-below average.
Enter NFL.com’s Cynthia Frelund.
Frelund recently revealed her first analytics-based NFL Mock Draft (click here for background on her process) and it has the Philadelphia Eagles taking a cornerback from Alabama in the first round, at pick No. 21.
Diggs, the brother of Vikings’ wideout Stefon Diggs, boasts impressive size — standing at 6-foot-1 and weighing 205 pounds, with quick hips and good speed. While the 22-year-old didn’t run the 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine, he is widely considered to be the fourth-best corner in the draft.
A guy that can step in and start for a team right away. Diggs was actually a receiver during his first season at Alabama and returned punts and kickoffs on special teams. He recorded three interceptions and eight pass breakups for the Crimson Tide last season. In three seasons on defense, Diggs tallied four picks, two fumble recoveries and 17 pass breakups.
Here is what Frelund wrote about Diggs after pegging him at No. 21 to the Eagles:
I am sure I will hear from Eagles fans who desperately want a wide receiver here, but Diggs’ size and versatility at the corner position create more wins for 2020. His 42.3 completion percentage allowed in coverage in 2019 was the second-lowest in a pass-happy SEC (according to Pro Football Focus).
Stefon Diggs Drawing Interest from Eagles?
The Eagles have been heavily linked to Stefon Diggs in recent weeks, especially after the Vikings receiver started posting cryptic messages on Twitter. It makes sense for the fact that Carson Wentz is starved for a speedy and reliable receiver. Diggs fits the mold.
However, the Vikings aren’t likely to just give the 26-year-old speedster away for nothing and definitely not to a conference rival that could torch them in the playoffs. Diggs is under contract through 2023 in Minnesota and for a hefty sum. He’ll earn $10.9 million in base salary in 2020 and carries a $9 million dead cap hit. That number shifts to $11.5 million if a deal is completed after June 1. The new collective bargaining agreement could alter that.
If the Vikings were seriously considering trading Diggs, they would require sizeable compensation in return. They would want a first-round pick or at least a second-rounder and a young player. It’s easy to sit here and say give them Sidney Jones but that seems unrealistic.
On top of that, Vikings GM Rick Spielman has gone on record saying he has no intention of dealing Diggs. “There is no reason to anticipate that Stefon Diggs is not going to be a Minnesota Viking,” Spielman said.
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