May 2, 2013, 2:28 PM EDT
In the event you’re a degenerate gambler who sits there and sweats out Pac-12 games at 1 a.m. — or, you know, if you’re just a college football fan — there’s a good chance you were already familiar with Jordan Poyer.
The Oregon State corner was a consensus All-American in 2012 and finished second in the nation with seven interceptions. He was the leader of an Oregon State secondary that helped hold opponents to the third-fewest passing yards per game in an offense-happy conference.
He’s even a potential return threat in the NFL.
He was widely projected as a Day 2 or very early Day 3 pick. So how did he manage to fall to the Eagles in the seventh round?
We’re now four days after the NFL Draft and that’s still a fascinating question.
Poyer had some character concerns — he was apparently banned from a bar and then later charged with trespassing when he was detained following a fight at that same bar last May — but guys with his on-field resume have done worse and not slid all the way down the board.
Then there’s the fact that his combine was apparently pretty unimpressive – which Poyer cites as the reason for his fall — and that his weaknesses from a variety of scouting reports indicated that he lacks strength and speed in coverage. Those traits potentially paint him as a nickel corner, which also likely made him less of a target higher up on the board.
Per Paul Domowitch, here’s Poyer’s post-draft evaluation from an anonymous scout:
Some teams I talked to had him higher than that. Speed was the obvious
concern. Ran a 4.65. But he plays faster than that. Tight in the hips
and doesn’t have great recovery speed. But he’s got really good hand-eye
coordination. Had seven interceptions as a nickel last year, which is
where he’s going to play at this level. Eventually, I could see him
being moved to safety. He’s going to help them right away on special
teams. He was a gunner on their punt coverage unit and also can return
kicks. He needs to get a little stronger. He only did the 225-bench
eight times. I know he’s a corner, but that’s still pretty bad.’’
It was apparently enough for the Eagles, according to the aforelinked story from Reuben Frank, to pace like mad men as Poyer remained on the board and the team was without a pick:
“We didn’t have a pick for a long time from round five
to round seven, and any of you guys that know me, that’s not my most
comfortable thing,” [GM Howie] Roseman said. “I had to take a little walk to keep
myself in line a little bit. … And when I came back I said maybe I
should take another walk.”
“I don’t know. I think that you’re
very surprised about some of the guys that go undrafted, and you go, ‘Oh
my god, how did that guy not get drafted?’ But it’s the nature of the
draft process. It’s unique.”
So what’s the deal with airline peanuts/Jordan Poyer?
Somehow, a consensus All-American fell all the way to the seventh round. And, if not for Chip Kelly, who took kids from the Pac-12 with four of his eight picks, Poyer had the potential to go undrafted. Either he validates the Eagles or proves why 31 other teams passed on him.
The Eagles already have a guy with a similar skill set in Brandon Boykin, but in age when so many front-office types talk about draft “value,” is there anyone who had a greater seventh-round value than Jordan Poyer?
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