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April 28, 2018

15 players who make sense for the Eagles in the seventh round of the 2018 NFL Draft

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042818MarcellAteman Rob Ferguson/USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma State WR Marcell Ateman

The Philadelphia Eagles have made four picks so far in the 2018 NFL Draft. They have one to go. Here are 15 players who would make sense for the Birds in the seventh round. And yes, we're just throwing darts at this point, like we've been doing all day.

• Bo Scarbrough, RB, Alabama: Alabama is a running back factory, and Scarbrough is the latest Crimson Tide back likely to be drafted into the NFL. He also has low mileage, as he sat behind Derrick Henry in 2015 and has shared the load with Damien Harris in 2016 and 2017. In 2016, Scarbrough did the bulk of his damage in the playoffs, carrying 46 times for 364 yards and 6 TDs in his three games against Florida (SEC Championship), Washington (Peach Bowl playoff game), and Clemson (National Championship Game). He is a physical runner in the same mold as Eagles running backs LeGarrette Blount and Jay Ajayi, but has some injury history.

• Akrum Wadley, RB, Iowa: In each of the last two seasons Wadley topped 100 yards, but his 4.4 yards per carry in 2017 are concerning. He did catch over 60 passes during that span. While Wadley does not possess great size, he gets up to top speed quickly and is able to make jump cuts without slowing down. His lateral agility in reminiscent in some ways of LeSean McCoy, but with less explosion. Wadley also has ability as a receiver (over 60 catches the last two seasons combined), which adds to his appeal in a west coast offense.

• Josh Adams, RB, Notre Dame: After a pair of productive seasons as a freshman and sophomore, Adams was having a monster junior season this year, as he worked himself into the Heisman discussion, before falling off. Adams offers very little in the passing game, both as a receiver and as a blocker, and he explosion as a runner isn't on par with many of the other backs in this draft.

• Marcell Ateman, WR, Oklahoma State: Ateman doesn't have great speed, but he's big (6'5), 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.

• Richie James, WR Middle Tennessee State: James is one of my favorite prospects in this draft. In his freshman and sophomore seasons, James was incredibly productive, tallying just under 3,000 receiving yards those two seasons. In his junior season, a broken collarbone derailed his season. James lined up all over the field for MTSU, including the backfield, and was occasionally even used as a running back. In his college career, James has 60 carries for 542 yards (9.0 YPC) and 5 TDs. In the pros, he's likely going to be a slot receiver. Though he's only 5'10, 183, he plays much bigger and reminds me a little of Steve Smith (the good one). 

• Ryan Izzo, TE, Florida State: Izzo isn't ever going to be thought of as a workout warrior, as he ran a 4.94 at the NFL Combine, in addition to some other ugly numbers. He's also not exactly the best receiving prospect coming out of this class at the tight end position, as his best season was in 2017, when he had 20 catches for 317 yards and 3 TDs. BUT, again, like Schultz and Smythe above, he can block, and has some nasty to his game.

• Desmond Harrison, OT, West Georgia: Harrison destroyed inferior competition in the D-II Gulf Sun Conference, and is a highly athletic developmental prospect that Jeff Stoutland could try to work his magic with over the next couple years while riding the inactive list. Harrison is old (I don't have his age, but he's been in college since 2011), he has off-field concerns, and he has to put on more "good weight" if he's going to make it in the NFL.

• Levi Wallace, CB, Alabama: Wallace had excellent production when he was targeted this season, statistically, according to CFBFilmRoom.com, as he allowed just 25 receptions on 63 targets. Wallace has a slight build at 179 pounds, but he a willing and capable tackler, with good ball skills. He is a former walk-on who had to earn everything he got, and he could be a bargain in the late rounds.

• Jake Wieneke, WR, South Dakota State: In his college career at a lower level, Wieneke put up big numbers, going over 5000 receiving yards for his career. Wieneke is slow (4.67), but with a 6'4, 221 pound frame, he could be an added red zone target.

• Quadree Henderson, WR/KR/PR, Pittsburgh: The Eagles need a returner, and Henderson was one of the best in the country for Pittsburgh during his career, as he had seven returns for scores (4 KR, 3 PR). Offensively, Henderson is little more than a gadget player, as Pitt loved using him on jet sweeps. In the first half of the 2016 season, Doug Pederson seemed intrigued by Josh Huff's ability as a ball carrier, as he tried to find creative-yet-simple ways to get the ball in his hands. He could potentially do the same with Henderson. 

• Tyrone Crowder, OG, Clemson: As you might imagine with a 6'2, 334-pound guard, Crowder is a mauler in the run game. Also as you might imagine for a man of his dimensions, Crowder isn't exactly pretty to look at in the screen game or when he's asked to pull, although there some moments when he does a good job coming off double teams and picking up an extra block at the second level. He could be a late-round developmental guy to challenge Chance Warmack in camp.

• Justin Lawler, DE, SMU: In 2017, Lawler had 74 tackles (a ton for a DE), 15.5 tackles for loss, and 9.5 sacks. Lawler hustles and he plays good run defense. I can see the Eagles having interest in the seventh round, or as a UDFA.

• Jermaine Carter, LB, Maryland: Carter was a good player for Maryland, but he is short (5'11), and doesn't make up for his lack of size with stellar athleticism (4.69 40 at his pro day). That said, Carter has been a productive player in Maryland's defense, as he had 294 tackles, 9.5 sacks, and 6 forced fumbles over the last three years.

UPDATE: Oops, the Panthers drafted this guy in the fifth round. My bad.

• Joseph Davidson, P, Bowling Green: 6'7, 232-pound left-footed punter who can give Cameron Johnston legitimate competition in camp, while also allowing the Eagles' punt returners (many of whom could be rookies) opportunities for plenty of reps against right- and left-footed punters in camp.

Jimmy Kempski: The 15th guy on my list just came off the board at the end of the sixth round, and I don't have time to think of another player, so someone should just draft me.


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