The big, speedy wide receiver left the Forty Acres early, but didn’t hear his name called during the draft.
— Madison Kerley (@madisondion) May 1, 2021
There were high hopes for Eagles going into his junior season. For some folks, it’s unclear whether he actually lived up to expectations.
Lofty expectations for the Longhorns as a whole aside, as a junior in a shortened 2020, Eagles led the team with 28 receptions for 469 yards and five touchdown catches.
Included in those statistics were also five explosive plays — as in a play for 20 yards or more — which tied him for third-most on the team for the season. His season-high was five catches for 142 yards against the Iowa State Cyclones, a team notably ranked No. 13 nationally at the time. He also secured seven starts across the nine-game regular season.
That’s not a spectacular stat line for an NFL Draft prospect. That’s why some were surprised to hear that Eagles was forgoing his two remaining seasons of college eligibility.
At 6’4 and about 230 pounds, Eagles has the build to play at the next level.
The only problem is it isn’t a guarantee he can develop at a rate that keeps him there.
“I feel like I’ve been the underdog in a lot of situations,” Eagles said after his Pro Day earlier this year, according to a report in Sports Illustrated. “I’m a person of controlling the controllable. I try to do the best possible in the situation God has put me in.”
While Eagles can show strong ball skills at times, his route running is still lacking in its precision, as is his ability to separate from defenders when downfield and his ability to consistently catch the football.
Eagles also has room to improve as a blocker.
The hope for Eagles is that his athleticism makes him appealing to a team willing to take a chance on developing him — at Texas Pro Day, he ran a 4.55 40-yard dash and a 6.93 three-cone drill.
Check some of the tape from Eagles in 2020 for yourself: