Whenever Jack Driscoll steps onto the field for the first time as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles there will be a sense of familiarity with both of his position coaches.
The former Hand High star will be coached by former Southern Connecticut State players and assistant coaches Jeff Stoutland and Roy Istvan.
Stoutland, the offensive line coach and run game coordinator, was one of the captains of the 1983 Southern Connecticut State squad. He is heading into his eighth season on the Eagles staff. Istvan spent 11 seasons as an assistant coach with the Owls and is the assistant offensive line coach with Philadelphia.
“I talked to them at the combine, I had a great talk with Coach Stoutland and he is one of the best in the business,” Driscoll said on a conference call with the media on Saturday. “Leading up to it, I had a couple of FaceTime calls.
“I haven’t too much of the specifics, I am just preparing for any position they want me to play and want to help the team win ball games so whatever position that is, I’ll be more than happen to learn.”
Driscoll started 20 games in two seasons at UMass. After graduating in three years, he transferred to Auburn and started 26 games over the last two seasons. Fellow former Auburn offensive lineman Prince Tega Wanogho was picked in the sixth round by the Eagles.
The Eagles listed Driscoll as a tackle when making the pick but there has been speculation that he could play inside. At the urging of Auburn offensive line coach J.B. Grimes, who held the same position at UConn in 2017, Driscoll worked on playing center in the weeks and months leading into the draft.
“A lot of people will see you as an interior guy, the more you can do the more valuable you are,” Driscoll said. “If you can only play one position, you are not really that valuable but being able to snap and being able to set at center is huge and it is something I wanted to create the most value I could and show the teams that I am worthy one of their draft positions. I worked hard on the center position snapping and making sure I got it down.”
Driscoll headed to the NFL scouting combine and despite nursing a tender hamstring following his participation in the East-West Shrine Bowl, he ran the 40-yard dash in 5.02. His father John, a 12th round pick by the Buffalo Bills in the 1988 NFL draft, believes his son could have run in the 4.8 or 4.9 range if completely healthy.
This is just the second time since 2014 that the Eagles used a top 150 pick on an offensive lineman as former Washington State tackle Andre Dillard was selected with the 22nd overall pick in 2019.
Driscoll went from being a 205-pound offensive lineman as a junior at Hand High School to become the first player to play the majority of his high school career in the Southern Connecticut Conference to be drafted in nine years.
Driscoll started 20 games in two seasons at UMass and after graduating in three years, he headed to Auburn as a graduate transfer. Driscoll started all 26 games in the 2018 and 2019 season as he helped the Tigers score more than 40 points eight times including a 48-45 win over Alabama in November.
Former UConn quarterback turned receiver turned tight end Tyler Davis was selected by Jacksonville in the sixth round. Davis was third on Georgia Tech’s 2019 team with 17 receptions. The 6-foot-4, 252-pound Davis led UConn with six touchdown catches in 2018. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.65 seconds at Georgia Tech’s pro day to earn an invitation to the Atlanta Falcons local day.
Davis was in tears when Dave Caldwell, general manager of the Jaguars, called Davis to tell him he was being selected by Jacksonville.
“It’s a dream come true,” said Davis, who had 47 catches and seven touchdown receptions while at UConn.
The Jaguars saw Davis play against North Carolina State and Caldwell told Davis that one thought they had was why Davis wasn’t being thrown the ball more often.
This is the first time two former UConn offensive players were selected in the same NFL draft since Jordan Todman and Anthony Sherman were picked in 2011.
Yale’s All-Ivy League offensive guard Dieter Eiselen is signing with the Chicago Bears while former Hamden Hall lineman Christian Montano is set to join the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Eiselen, a member of two Ivy League championship teams at Yale, will be joined by fellow rookie guards and seventh-round picks Arlington Hambright of Colorado and Lachavious Simmons in quest to make the Bears roster.
Montano, the Walter Camp Connecticut Player of the Year, began his collegiate career at Brown and played in 2019 at Tulane as a graduate transfer.
Pittsburgh used a fourth-round selection on Louisiana-Lafayette guard Kevin Dotson but he was the only offensive lineman taken by the Steelers.
According to a report by The Athletic’s Ben Standig, Waterbury’s Isaiah Wright is signing with the Washington Redskins.
Wright caught 47 passes for 442 yards and five touchdowns as a senior at Temple. He also returned three punts and two kickoffs for touchdowns for the Owls.