November 11, 2017
As long as you're taking in some college football action this Saturday afternoon/evening, here are some players who could make some sense for the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Samuels is listed as a tight end, and sometimes he lines up as one, but that's not what I would call him. I also wouldn't necessarily call him a fullback or a running back or a wide receiver, either. He some sort of hybrid of the four, and a very talented, versatile player with good receiving ability.
Since 2015, Samuels has 179 receptions (and counting), although many of them come on shovel passes and screens, thus leading to a low yards per catch average:
He also gets carries as a runner, and has been productive when given opportunities:
Since 2015, Samuels has 23 touchdowns on 140 carries, which is obviously kind of ridiculous.
A highlight reel from Samuels' sophomore year in 2015:
Samuels would make sense for an Eagles team that does not have much in the way of glaring holes. He could simply come in as a versatile football player who the Eagles' staff could find creative ways to use.
Shaquem Griffin is the twin brother of Seahawks CB Shaquill Griffin, who is playing well as a rookie in the NFL. The Griffins have a cool backstory. Shaquill and Shaquem (who only has one hand) both enrolled at UCF, when Shaquill had offers from schools like Alabama, but the brothers were adamant that they were a package deal.
Despite playing with one hand, Shaquem Griffin finished the 2016 season with 92 tackles, 11.5 sacks, 7 pass breakups, 2 FFs, 2 FRs, and an INT. That is incredible. He has great speed, and simply makes plays. A highlight reel (as always, feel free to use the mute button liberally):
Some team is going to take a chance on this guy in the draft and be rewarded with a good player.
Earlier this year, we profiled speed demon OK State receiver James Washington, who is likely going to be a first round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. The Cowboys have a bigger complementary receiver to Washington in Marcell Ateman, who has good size at 6'4, 220. Through nine games, Ateman has 40 catches for 732 yards (18.3 YPC) and 6 TDs.
Here's his game this season against TCU:
Ateman doesn't have great speed, but he's big, he can win contested catches, and he has good hands. In that sense, he can be a player the Eagles could groom in the Alshon Jeffery role.
Evans is a pass rusher who converted to linebacker at Bama. Over his first three years, he had a lack of playing time, sitting and watching behind guys like Reuben Foster at linebacker and a slew of edge rushers who have been drafted into the NFL. However, he's getting his chance this year, and with great athleticism and size at 6'3, 234, Evans will be among the next high-round picks to come out of the Crimson Tide defense.
Evans suffered a groin injury early in the season this year, so he got off to a slow start statistically, but over his last three games, he has 22 tackles, 4 sacks, and a forced fumble. His skill set is reminiscent of Haason Reddick, the former Temple versatile edge rusher turned linebacker who was drafted 13th overall by the Cardinals in the 2017 NFL Draft. A highlight reel:
Expect Evans' stock to rise as the season progresses and he continues to gain more comfort at linebacker.
After a pair of productive seasons as a freshman and sophomore, Adams is having a monster season this year, as he has worked himself into the Heisman discussion. His numbers:
Adams is a bigger back, obviously, at 6'2, 225. Personally, watching him run, he gives me sort of a DeMarco Murray vibe. (Murray isn't remembered fondly in Philly, but I mean that comparison as a compliment.)
A highlight reel (again, my apologies for the mumble rap):
It's hard to get a beat on what the Eagles want at running back. Ideally, the Eagles would like to have a back who can run inside, run outside, be a weapon as a receiver, and pass protect well. Unfortunately, there just aren't many of those guys around. As such, they're brought in an assortment of backs. In one offseason, they drafted a 5'9, 170-pound pipsqueak in Donnel Pumphrey. Less than a month later, they signed 6'0, 250-pound bruiser in LeGarrette Blount. So... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. I guess we'll just profile good running backs.
Adams can clearly run. As a pass catcher, he's just OK. You're not going to do much with him in terms of moving him around the formation and having him run routes like a receiver, but he can make easy catches. This is a very deep and talented running back class.