Jordan Poyer took a pretty big fall on draft day. Going in he figured he would at worst be a second day pick after a stellar career at Oregon State, but instead he was taken on the draft’s final day by the Philadelphia Eagles. New head coach Chip Kelly is familiar with Poyer in their in state battles in the Pac-12 best known as the Civil War Rivalry. Familiarity is key, and when Kelly saw a playmaker of Poyer’s stature on the board in the seventh round it was a no brainer for him.
Part of the reason some teams shied away from Poyer was his sub par showing at the NFL scouting combine. He didn’t run the 40 particularly well and only put up eight reps on the bench press leaving speed, athleticism, and strength concerns at a position in which those attributes are key. Poyer, however, makes up for some of these deficiencies in the mental part of game. He has a very high football IQ and great route recognition which led to him having seven picks last season good for third in all of college football.
Poyer studies and reads his opponents which is why he was a terror in the slot for the Beavers. This may be where he could thrive with the Eagles if Brandon Boykin is eventually moved outside. Poyer also brings added value on special teams as a gunner and returner if the Eagles choose to use him there.
I look for Poyer to make an impact on defense if given the opportunity even in his rookie year. He reminds me a bit of Green Bay Packer cornerback Casey Hayward as a guy that just made plays in college despite not wowing anyone with athleticism and blazing speed. Heyward of course went on to finish third in the Defensive Rookie of the Year award voting.
Poyer should get his shot at a cornerback position that is unsettled right now for the Eagles. Kelly hated playing against him in college as he always seemed to make plays against his Oregon Ducks, but the coach is happy to have the feisty playmaker on his side now.