Meet the Prospect: Arkansas DL Deatrich Wise Jr.

It’s a near certainty that the Philadelphia Eagles will select an edge rusher in the upcoming draft. Deatrich Wise Jr. is someone they could look into, so I interviewed him.

The Eagles’ group of edge rushers disappointed last year. Defensive ends Vinny Curry and Connor Barwin were supposed to reek havoc on opposing quarterbacks, but the result was the exact opposite. Aside from Brandon Graham, the defensive ends struck no fear in offenses, only managing to sack the quarterback 16.5 times.

In order to save cap space, Barwin will likely be released this offseason. A group that was once poised to dominate now appears lackluster. Graham, and a group of younger players is less than ideal.

With that said, the Eagles will likely draft an edge rusher in the upcoming draft. One guy that seems to be flying under the radar is Deatrich Wise Jr. out of Arkansas. At 6’6″, 270 pounds, Wise possesses the size and power to be an effective force on defense. Could he be an Eagles target? Absolutely. But he isn’t quite a household name. So I interviewed him to find out more about him.

How much did playing in the East-West Shrine game help you?

Deatrich Wise: I believe it helped me showcase my talent again. During the season I wasn’t able to fully show what I can do and the Shrine game allowed me to do that.

What position do you see yourself playing in the NFL? 4-3 DE? 3-4 OLB? Is there one you feel more effective at?

Wise: It really doesn’t matter what I play. I believe I can play both of those, however I think I would be most effective at defensive end.

Aside from rushing the passer, what do you believe is the strongest part of your game?

Wise: Football IQ, knowing the big picture of the defense.

Who do you model your game off of?

Wise: Julius Peppers is the defensive player that I model my game after.

What do you want NFL fans to know about you?

Wise: I’m a very hard worker, but love to have fun and very passionate about football.

Did the Eagles speak to you at the East-West Shrine game? If so, is that a team you would enjoy playing for?

Wise: Yeah they did, and I would enjoy playing for who ever gets me.

Assuming Barwin is released, the Eagles would lack size on the edge. Vinny Curry would be their largest defensive end at 6′ 3″. Although size doesn’t necessarily determine an edge rusher’s production, lack of size can be a concern on the defensive line. The Eagles need someone to bat passes down, and Wise possesses that ability.

Wise also provides similar measurables to players that played under Jim Schwartz. Most noticeably, Ezekiel Ansah, who Jim Schwartz selected in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft. With nearly the exact same measurables,  Schwartz could be able to maximize Wise’s potential.

“Yeah they did” – Deatrich Wise’s response when asked if the Eagles spoke with him

The 2017 NFL Draft is two months away. It remains to be seen if Wise will be selected by the Eagles. However, given the fact Schwartz spent a first-round pick on Ansah, the Eagles could do the same with Wise. It also doesn’t hurt that Wise confirmed he spoke with the Eagles, so the intrigue is certainly there.

The selection of Wise would give the Eagles a physical specimen with a high ceiling. There is no telling what Wise would be able to accomplish, but the Eagles could certainly be interested in a player with his skill set.

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