NFL Draft Diamonds Interview and Report: Caleb Eagans, WR, East Central University
Walk me through your favorite type of releases off the line & how they can help you win at the jump
With a cover 2 look with the DB over me I like a stick release. Really attack the DB outside hand and try to make him overplay his technique if I’m running an inside route like a dig. Triple moves off the line are also a go to when having a DB pressed on me. Having played a lot of DB in HS and being around DB’s who are now in the NFL most of the time they are taught to react to the second move.
Who was the toughest DB you faced & why? What did they do to make your job harder? Any particular NFL CB/DB that sticks out when you watch them? What makes them so good?
The toughest DB that I’ve seen and faced would have to be Minkah Fitzpatrick and Devante Harris. Both of those guys are in the league now. Devante played the best defense on me because he knew I had speed so he would respect it. He would be in his back pedal before the ball snaps and make sure I never got to his toes or broke cushion. He was a smart DB and was good in both zone/man coverage. In games I’ve seen Minkah roll down on the D-Line and come of the edge, take a block and make tackles. He’s physical and can run, kind of reminds me of Jalen Ramsey who’s also nice.
Talk me through your favorite short, intermediate & deep route? Nuances, how you make them your own?
I honestly don’t have any favorite routes. I like to run multiple routes on multiple levels. Favorite short routes would have to be slant and whip routes. Intermediate would be comeback or digs. Deep route honestly anything. I like to use my feet and speed and play mind games with the DB.
What is the toughest part about disguising a double move? Biggest thing you are focusing on?
Toughest part about disguising a double move is always what you do on the first move. Any legit DB knows that first move isn’t your intentions which is why I believe receivers like Marquise Goodwin will sometimes run a straight route with no double moves. So that first move has to be so convincing, which is why sometimes you have to give a little more than double moves on deep routes to really move the safeties and corners, Antonio Brown does that a lot.
Can you talk about the different types of stems & what you’re trying to accomplish when you nail it?
Inside stem or outside stem depending on the route and what his leverage is will allow me to get to where I need to be on my route and create separation. The stem allows you to accomplish leverage on the defender to create separation on the route on the back end. The proper steam release is needed for each route, it’s almost like playing chess sometimes with the DB.
What are some training techniques you use to improve route running? Making everything look the same, keeping it tight etc Anything unconventional you do/use?
I honestly watch a lot of film. I believe the best WR to ever play was Jerry Rice, Jerry was very fundamentally sound on every route, every cut. He focused on the little things like proper foot alignment, getting his head around quick, he ran very crisp routes, something I want to improve on. I want to focus on the little things. One thing I focus on is something AB does very well in intermediate and deep routes is giving moves within the routes to move defenders around. I also watch Steve Smith a lot, he played with that chip on his shoulder and was physical, I try to mimic my game after guys like that.
Most under-rated WR in the league right now?
I would have to say it’s a mix between T.Y Hilton and Julian Edelman. Tom Brady is a great QB but Edelman also knows how to make big plays and playing at the next level it’s all about creating big plays or finding grass to get open after you’ve already ran your route with the QB scrambling.
Biggest misconception about being a good WR? What do people focus too much on?
I personally believe the biggest misconception is what a guy looks like on paper. Either he’s really big or he’s really fast and you got to be one of those two. That’s a big part of it, having one of those two traits but being able to make plays, route running, and how well you know the offense plays a big part. Knowing what routes your guy has and what coverage the defense is in and how they may react to what the guy beside you is doing allows you to play faster or bigger if you don’t have those traits.
Best advice you could give a young WR? Do’s/Don’ts etc.?
My best advice I would give a young WR is to always remain humble and keep God a part of your life. At the end of the day it’s all about Him. Work on getting better each and everyday, you don’t become great overnight. It’s a long process, it’s a journey. Not just physically, but mentally, emotionally and spiritually. That’s one thing our Head Coach (Coach Al Johnson) has preached is working on getting a little bit better each day. Most importantly, be ready to overcome any obstacles. Don’t get down, or quit just because something doesn’t go your way or you get told no. I’m a LeBron over Jordan guy but my favorite quote is from MJ. “Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.” In my personal life there have been many obstacles out of my control that came up that I had to learn how to overcome them, my Faith is why I’m here today.
Whats the toughest route(s) to run & why? What type of things do you see from refined veterans that most might miss? Could be anything. Hand work, footwork, things you pick up most wouldn’t.
I believe it all depends on the coverage and the arm of the QB. As far as for me with my speed there are some routes that are a little difficult due to the fact I have to shut down my drive phase then come back to the ball once I’ve pushed up the field. This is why I’ve been working on a lot of comeback routes and working on controlling my speed at the top of my routes. There are some techniques that I’ve picked up on from AB and Odell that they use the defender to push off with a single hand or press up against the defender then peel off to help them come back to the ball.
Scouting Report: By Jeff Fidler Follow him on Twitter!
Caleb Eagans Scouting Report