The Philadelphia Eagles wouldn’t roll the dice on another Stanford product, would they?
It’s been almost seven years since the Philadelphia Eagles took Zach Ertz 35th-overall in the 2013 NFL Draft. For all of his flaws (and he had plenty of them as a coach at the professional level), ’86’ is one of those things that Chip Kelly actually got right. Ertz is without question one of the good guys in pro football, and if he stays healthy, he’ll go down as the best tight end in team history.
So far, he’s hauled in 558 receptions for 6,103 yards and 37 touchdowns, including the playoffs. He and Dallas Goedert are without question the best one-two punch at the tight end position in the NFL, and they still have room to grow, but as of late, ‘Birds’ fans have noticed something.
One of the factors that led to an Eagles championship run was depth, including elite depth at tight end. Trey Burton, after being signed as an undrafted free agent by the Eagles in 2017, played for Philly from 2014 until 2017. He gave the Eagles a third-option at tight end (he probably would have started for other teams). Oh, and by the way, he tossed the touchdown pass to Nick Foles in the ‘Philly Special’, but since his departure, the Eagles haven’t had that same punch at the third tight end slot.
They’ve tried Richard Rodgers twice and rotated everyone from Alex Ellis to Joshua Perkins onto and off of the practice squad and in and out of the lineup. Nothing’s worked long-term. The Eagles will look to improve every position in April’s upcoming selection meeting, but would they even consider taking a tight end for depth? If they did decide that was an option, might they consider Colby Parkinson, formerly of the Stanford Cardinal?
Currently, Philly has three Stanford guys on the roster in guard Nate Herbig, wide receiver JJ Arcega-Whiteside (his former teammate), and the aforementioned Zach Ertz. Philly wouldn’t think of adding another Stanford guy to the nest, would they?
In Parkinson, they get a sure-handed, six-foot-seven and 240-pound target that would definitely be hard for Carson Wentz to miss, especially in the red zone. He isn’t quite the burner that fans will find sexy, but he isn’t slow for a guy that’s his size either.
He’s expected to run the 40-yard dash in about 4.7 seconds, and in 2019, despite playing a lot without Stanford’s starting quarterback, K.J. Costello, Parkinson racked up 48 catches for 589 yards and a touchdown in 2019, giving him 87 receptions for 1,171 yards and 12 touchdowns over the course of 31 games at the collegiate level.
To some, this may seem to be out of the question, and maybe it is. Still, if the Eagles are looking to create elite depth at the tight end position and Parkinson is available late (scouts have him as being anywhere from a second-round to a fifth-round selection), he may be a slam dunk.
He’s already familiar with some of the Eagles playbook, having been part of the ‘Stanford Special’ that was run just this past season.
The Eagles will need to address other needs first, but here’s someone that needs to be on the draft board. We’ll see if the Eagles are interested in another Stanford product soon enough.