Paul Domowitch

Thumbs sideways

Since there’s no way of telling right now whether Casey Toohill is going to turn out to be the next seventh-round Jalen Mills or the next Alex McAlister, a sideways thumbs is the best I can do.

This wasn’t a great draft for edge rushers, so I’m not going to kill the Eagles for not grabbing one sooner. Toohill impressed at the Indy scouting combine, running a 4.62 40-yard dash and a 4.21 short shuttle, which was faster than Jalen Reagor’s 4.46.

He weighs only 250 pounds, but he has the kind of big-boned frame that should allow him to put on another 15-20 pounds if he lives in the weight room, much like Josh Sweat did last year.

I don’t know that he’s ever going to be a three-down player, but he might be able to contribute on special teams as a rookie and maybe eventually be a situational pass-rusher. If that’s what he becomes, then my thumbs sideways will turn into a thumbs up.

Les Bowen

Thumbs up

The Eagles seem to love Stanford guys. Zach Ertz, Ed Reynolds, Aziz Shittu, Nate Herbig, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside. You might notice varying degrees of NFL success among that group.

For a seventh-round draft choice, there is nothing to dislike about Casey Toohill. He’s fast but undersized for a defensive end, at 6-foot-4, 250 pounds. His impressive senior season would have gotten him drafted higher had he not been a fifth-year senior who will turn 24 in August. He’s a taller, thinner version of Genard Avery, the Browns pass rusher the Eagles traded a fourth-round pick for last season. Toohill ought to be able to help on special teams and see action as a situational pass rusher, especially if he can get bigger and stronger.

The seventh round is about upside. Some observers think that despite being older than you’d like, Toohill projects as a bigger, better player in another year or two.

EJ Smith

Thumbs up

There’s no real reason to quibble with the Eagles’ selection of Casey Toohill in the seventh round. He’s a smaller, athletic defensive end out of Stanford and he fits the organizational emphasis on explosiveness and combine testing being the highest priority in evaluating prospects this season.

He put together one of the best combines of any edge rusher, placing in the top 12 among linebackers and defensive linemen in several categories, including the 40-yard dash, the broad and vertical jump, and the 20-yard shuttle. The Eagles really seem to be enamored with 10-yard splits in this class. Toohill’s 1.54-second time was in the 98th percentile among edge defenders.

Toohill should add to his 6-foot-4, 250-pound frame, which would let him combine his athleticism with strength all while improving his technique. The stars could align for him to become a serviceable rushing end, although it’s somewhat unlikely.

If Toohill makes it on the field this year, something likely went terribly wrong with the defensive line as a whole, but he has some upside as an athletic edge rusher with obvious areas for improvement.