The Eagles Finally Grab Texas Tech Corner in the 4th Round
After holding on a cornerback in the first two days, the Eagles pounced on one with their first pick of Day 3.
They drafted Texas Tech cornerback Zech McPhearson(it is pronounced Zach, by the way) with the 123rd pick in the 4th round. McPhearson is 5'11, 195 pounds and transferred from Texas Tech to Penn State for the 2019-2020 season.
Zech was 1st Team all-Big 12 Conference last season, recording 4 interceptions and 53 tackles in 10 games played. He will enter an Eagles team that has been needing a cornerback the whole offseason.
McPhearson should be able to see time in his rookie season, as he is able to play outside and in the slot. He can play both man and zone coverage as well, but had massive success in 2019 playing in zone, gaining a 86.2 grade from PFF among other corners(only behind Caleb Farley, Roger McCreary, Patrick Surtain).
At Texas Tech, he showed very good speed and skill at moving his hips the correct way at the line. Watching the tape, he is able to stick with most wide receivers inside or on the outside. McPhearson has great instincts, with many highlights of him jumping routes and getting interceptions or pass breakups.
Daniel Jeremiah said that he "should compete for special teams reps early on", which would probably come into play early in his career with the Eagles.
As any 4th round pick, he is not perfect. His lack of heigh/ups causes him to struggle with jump balls, which would come into play if he was playing on the outside. There are also certain routes that he struggles with more than others, like trailing routes specifically.
He is not the best tackler, a common trait among college corners. McPhearson also struggles with penalties, with many believing that he will be rung up a lot in the NFL for DPI. These again are very common knocks on the kind of guys you are gonna get at this point in the draft, and with good coaching can be prevented.
The talent is there for Zech. I am pretty confident that the new coaching staff can get it unleashed in time for a team that desperately needs secondary help.
Like I said earlier, the playing time will be there for the taking. Depending on where the Eagles want him to play, he will ether be competing with Avonte Maddox or other first/second year players. Avonte himself was a 4th round pick, and the Eagles don't seem to have a problem with throwing him in there as early as they did.
We will have to wait and see how the Eagles add to this cornerback room in the future, but Zech McPhearson is a good start.