Dion Dawkins could be a draft target for the Philadelphia Eagles, so I went ahead and interviewed him.
The 2016 NFL season was a tough one for the Philadelphia Eagles. Aside from the development of Carson Wentz, the Eagles underperformed. From the defense failing to live up to expectations to receivers dropping the football left and right, the season was a disappointment.
One position group in particular that struggled in particular was the offensive line. A ten-game suspension was given to Lane Johnson. Brandon Brooks dealt with anxiety issues, something very difficult for anyone to live with. Jason Kelce‘s lack of size proved to be an issue at the goal line once again. Overall, it was a rollercoaster year for the group protecting Wentz. The Eagles added Chance Warmack in free agency, but only to a one-year deal, which provides no long-term security.
When it comes down to it, the offensive line doesn’t seem like a huge need now, but will become one very soon. It is never too soon to begin planning for the future, so the Eagles may look into adding a lineman early, one of which could be Temple’s Dion Dawkins, who I recently interviewed.
The first step in Dawkins’ professional career was playing in the Senior Bowl—a game for all the top senior prospects to showcase their talents. Dawkins said it was simple: “It allowed me to show how versatile I can be on the offensive line.”
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Versatility is huge for offensive lineman. The ability to place someone anywhere when a teammate goes down and not take a step back is a talent that is few and far between.
As mentioned above, Dawkins possesses versatility, that is valued greatly in the NFL. He’s played guard, tackle, and has even been considered at center. Though he as the ability to play all over, you would think he had a preferred decision, right? Well, when asked where he believes he’ll excel in the NFL, he responded: “That is a very hard question to answer. I can play both. I am blesses to play both.”
In addition to his versatility, the fact that he feels equally as good at both, is a great quality. He will not take a step back. Even if switching positions is necessary. If a guy has the confidence, the likelihood of him succeeding there is much higher. Dawkins has just that.
In addition to his versatility there are parts in his game that are stronger than others. I personally believe he is equally as strong in the run and the pass. However, his response to the strongest part of his game, has nothing to do with the pass or the run.
“The strongest part of my game is my physical strength,” Dawkins said. “The ability I have to adapt to sudden changes in game situations. I can [also] adjust to different schemes.”
The key is the fact that Dawkins notes that he can adjust to different schemes. This means if the Eagles select him, he believes adapting to the system won’t be an issue. Once again, confidence is huge, and Dawkins has a massive supply of it. In fact, he says he always plays with a chip on his shoulder, and “tries to go 1-0 everyday.”
It also doesn’t hurt that he says he models his game after Pouncey twins and Trent Williams. If he comes anywhere close to that level of play, the Eagles could end up with a perennial All-Pro.
Dawkins will likely be drafted in the second round. Depending on who you talk to, that is quite a steep price to pay. Sure, the Eagles could land a more flashy player in Round 2, but what’s not to love about a great lineman? The fact that Andy Reid loves lineman and Doug Pederson learned under him is also a great sign for those with Dawkins on their wish list.
Dawkins also confirmed that he has met with the Eagles in preparation for the draft.
The Eagles have eight selections. Eight opportunities to help turn the team around. Dawkins isn’t a flashy pick. But it does seem like he’d be a great pick.