April 30, 2022
In the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, the Philadelphia Eagles traded up for Georgia DT Jordan Davis, and traded for former Titans WR A.J. Brown. In Round 2, they took Nebraska C Cam Jurgens, and in Round 3, they may have found a steal in Georgia LB Nakobe Dean.
The Eagles' next pick is at 154th overall, which is the 11th pick in the fifth round. Here are a bunch of players who make sense for them in Round 5.
• Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina: Back in November, Howie Roseman made a rare visit to a college game when he saw Pittsburgh take on North Carolina. Most assumed that Roseman was there to see Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett, which is probably true, but he no doubt was also watching Howell. Some had Howell as the No. 1 quarterback prospect in the 2022 NFL Draft before the start of the 2021 college season, but his production dropped off after the Tar Heels lost four skill players — running backs Javonte Williams and Michael Carter, as well as wide receivers Dyami Brown and Dazz Newsome — to the NFL. Still, Howell's body of work at UNC is impressive, especially for a player who started as a true freshman. Without his 2020 weapons around him, it should be noted that Howell became more of a runner in 2021, rushing 170 times for 825 yards and 11 TDs, when he only had 181 rushing yards in his previous two seasons combined.
• Tariq Woolen, CB, UTSA: Size-athleticism freak of nature who measured in at 6'4, with a 4.26(!) 40.
• Zyon McCollum, CB, Sam Houston State: Like Tariq Woolen above, McCollum is a size-athleticism freak at 6'2 with a 4.33 40.
• Kingsley Enagbare, EDGE, South Carolina: Enagbare played the "Buck" linebacker spot in South Carolina's defense. The short explanation of the "Buck" position is an edge rusher who will sometimes line up inside on obvious passing downs, but who also sees time as an off-ball linebacker, tasked with coverage duties. He had 14 sacks over the last three seasons in that role. His role will be a little more simplified in the NFL as a 4-3 DE.
• Kyren Williams, RB, Notre Dame: Williams is pound for pound one of the best tackle-breaking running backs in the nation. Whether he's breaking defenders' ankles with combination jukes, or simply staying on his feet through contact because of his outstanding balance, Williams is almost cat-like in his running style, and very fun to watch. He is also thought of a tough, willing participant in pass protection, and he has receiving chops, with 77 receptions over the last two seasons.
• Jeffrey Gunter, SAM, Coastal Carolina: Gunter had 17 sacks the last three seasons, and he had decent testing numbers at the Combine. If you watched Coastal's game against BYU in 2020 "Mullets vs. Mormons," you saw that Gunter (cough) plays with an edge.
• Amare Barno, EDGE, Virginia Tech: Workout warrior who ran a ridiculous 4.36 40 at 6'5, 246. 10 sacks in two seasons at VT.
• Verone McKinley, S, Oregon: McKinley doesn't have great size (5'10, 198), and he didn't have a great workout at the Combine, but he is a highly instinctual, productive, playmaking safety who had 77 tackles and 6 INTs for Oregon in 2021.
• Jesse Luketa, EDGE, Penn State: We'll call Luketa a SAM backer, because that's likely what his role would be with the Eagles if they were to draft him. He played both at linebacker and defensive end for Penn State, and while he was very well regarded by coaches there, his overall college production (0.5 career sacks) left plenty to be desired.
• Jerome Ford, RB, Cincinnati: Ford is a transfer from Alabama who broke out in 2021 for Cincinatti, carrying 200 times for 1238 yards (6.2 YPC) and 19 TDs. He is a prospect with a nice combination of balance, vision, and speed, but it was somewhat disappointing that he only weighed in at 210 when Cincy had him listed all season at 220.
• Dominique Robinson, EDGE, Miami (OH): In 2018, Robinson had 13 catches for 156 yards and 4 TDs as a wide receiver. In 2019, he had 14 catches for 296 yards. In 2020, he moved to the defensive side of the ball, not to be a defensive back, but, um, an edge rusher? You don't see that very often. Robinson wasn't even a starter (4.5 sacks in 12 games), but as a situational pass rusher he brings unique athleticism to the table, and he tested well at the Combine.
• Justyn Ross, WR, Clemson: Ross was a star for Clemson as a true freshman in 2018, when he had 46 catches for 1,000 yards (21.7 YPC) and 9 TDs in route to a National Championship. In the National Championship Game against Alabama, he had 6 catches for 153 yards and a TD. He has good size, and he uses it well, boxing out defenders on in-breaking routes, and winning 50-50 balls down the field and in the red zone. He also shows good hands at times, though he will have occasional concentration drops. Normally, Ross would be thought of as a first-round pick. However, he comes with significant injury risks. In his sophomore season in 2019, his production fell off some (66-865-8), and in 2020, he missed the entire season with "congenital fusion in his spine," a condition he has had since birth, but only found about after getting x-rays on what was thought to be a stinger. Ross was cleared to play in 2021, but he only had 46 catches for 514 yards (11.2 YPC) and 3 TDs. Very difficult player to project.
• Bo Melton, WR, Rutgers: Melton didn't put up great numbers playing in a crappy Rutgers offense, but he had a productive week at the Senior Bowl, and he ran a 4.34 at the Combine. In addition to possessing good speed, Melton breaks a lot of tackles for a player his size. Reminds me a little of a poor man's Brandin Cooks.
• Tyler Algeier, RB, BYU: Over the last two seasons, Algeier has racked up 2731 rushing yards and 36 TDs on 426 carries (6.4 YPC). He's a big back at 224 pounds who has good vision, contact balance, a nose for the end zone in goal line situations, and juuust enough speed to make the occasional explosive play.
• Abram Smith, RB, Baylor: Smith is a fun prospect in that he played LB as a junior (48 tackles, five for loss, and a sack), but had a huge senior season as a running back, finishing fifth in the nation with 1,601 rushing yards on 6.2 yards per carry. He has good size, good enough speed, and he's a physical "get it and go" runner.
• Matt Araiza, P, San Diego State: I mean, he hits 80-yard punts.
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