Philadelphia Eagles draft: An exclusive sitdown with Darren Dowdell

Darren Dowdell #45, Glacier Boyz (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Fan Controlled Football/Getty Images)
Darren Dowdell #45, Glacier Boyz (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Fan Controlled Football/Getty Images) /

Over the past few seasons, the Philadelphia Eagles have tried some of the most unorthodox ways to put people on this roster. They’ve participated in the NFL’s International Player Pathway Program, which is how they found Jordan Mailata. They’ve even had another rugby guy on the roster before in the form of one Adam Zaruba. You forgot about him, didn’t you?

We’ve seen undrafted guys make the Philadelphia Eagles’ roster and contribute (Corey Clement, TJ Edwards, and Josh Adams). The Birds have even plucked guys out of Canada (Alex Singleton) and reacquired their own former prospect who kept his football dreams alive by competing in the now-defunct Alliance of American Football (Greg Ward).

Make no mistake about it. This Eagles organization can be as nontraditional as anyone else when it comes to roster-building, so when we mention the FCF (Fan Controlled Football) and some of their more talented players like tight end Darren Dowdell of the Glacier Boyz, a squad that’s actually owned by Richard Sherman, don’t be surprised if the Birds already know who you’re talking about.

You also have to mention that, from a fan’s standpoint, this ‘fan-controlled football’ stuff is wildly entertaining. They even get to pick color schemes in the jerseys. Have you seen how cool these guys look? Nike might want to step their game up!

Philadelphia Eagles fans, meet Darren Dowdell if you don’t know him already.

Darren Dowdell is a tight end that also played a little linebacker while he cut his teeth in Atlanta’s Henry W. Grady High School, now known as Midtown High School. He wound up on quite a few college radars and signed his National Letter of Intent with East Carolina in Greenville, North Carolina. He’d later transfer to Winston Salem State University.

These days, Dowdell is enjoying all of the excitement that the FCF has to offer, but this proud father and man of faith hasn’t given up on his dream of playing in the NFL. The question is has he done enough to garner the attention of pro scouts that can make that dream a reality.

Recently, he sat with our staff at Inside The Iggles and when asked about what he could bring to the Philadelphia Eagles’ offense and what he provides as a tight end, this impressive young man had this to say.

You can’t label me (as someone who plays) one position. The game is more mental, so that would be my first strategy. With any offer that’s presented to me, I’m willing to get comfortable anywhere you need me on the field. 

I’ll bring the energy at a high level, one that’s unmatched. I’m tenacious and resilient. I’m going to get the job done, no matter what it looks like. It’s going to get done how you want it done. That’s that!

Ladies and gentlemen, you love to hear it.

As you might expect, the Inside The Iggles staff also contacted a scouting source to ask what they felt about the six-foot-four tight end. Don’t we always? While he didn’t want to be mentioned by name, he did have this to say.

It’s always tough to evaluate these pass-catchers that go to these schools that seem to be allergic to throwing the football, but I’m a fan of the HBCU gameday atmosphere. I’ve watched a lot of what Dowdell has done. Let’s put it this way. He’s unique and uniquely talented.

He wasn’t asked to do much in the Winston Salem State offense as a receiver, but when the ball was thrown his way, he did good things. When it wasn’t, he still did what was needed to help his team. He especially blocks extremely well.

When his number was called, there wasn’t much to complain about from a performance standpoint. Frankly, I don’t know why they didn’t get him involved more. He doesn’t try to pick up first downs. He tries to score.

He’d be someone I’d hope to see in someone’s camp with a chance to show what he can do. Still, I can’t help but wonder what he might have been able to produce while playing in an offense that’s geared to rely on his skill set.

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Heart, determination, and having someone else to focus on like a son are all it takes to get the right man fired up sometimes. Darren Dowdell can attest to all of those. The Philadelphia Eagles require an infusion. While he may not be on a ton of teams’ radars right now as someone they’re eyeing, if he can find his way onto a preseason roster, we might be talking about one of the feel-good stories in the NFL in a few months.