More Sports:

October 23, 2021

Five college prospects who could interest the Eagles in the 2022 NFL Draft

Eagles NFL
102321ANdrewBooth Griffin Zetterberg/USA TODAY Sports

Clemson CB Andrew Booth doesn't lack swagger or confidence.

During the college football season each year, as long as you're watching the games, we point out five players each week to keep an eye who make logical sense for the Eagles in the following year's draft.

Brandon Smith (12), LB, Penn State (6'3, 241): Illinois at (7) Penn State

Smith hasn't had much in the way of splash plays (one career INT, 0 FF), but he has decent tackle production (37 in six games this season, second on the team) and he's going to get plenty of attention during draft season because of his size and freakish speed/athleticism. You can pretty easily see his athletic traits and physical play in this highlight reel from the 2020 season:

Smith's traits should allow him to develop into a three-down linebacker who can play the run, blitz the quarterback, and cover running backs and tight ends. Day 2.

David Bell (3), WR, Purdue (6'2, 205): Wisconsin at (25) Purdue, 3:00 p.m.

In 23 career games at Purdue, Bell is averaging over 100 receiving yards per game.

David Bell Rec Yards YPC TD 
 2019 (12 games)86 1,035 12.0 
 2020 (6 games)53 625 11.8 
 2021 (5 games)38 679 17.9 
 TOTAL (23 games)177 2,339 13.2 19 

23 career games, 2,339 receiving yards at a school not exactly known as an offensive powerhouse. Last Saturday against then No. 2 ranked Iowa, Bell was the best player on the field, as he racked up 11 catches for 240 yards and a TD. 

Bell is a good route runner who can make plays on the ball with impressive body control. He is also a tough receiver who is not afraid to do the dirty work over the middle, he makes contested catches, and as you can see in the above video, he's a weapon running after the catch.

The Eagles have three smallish receivers in DeVonta Smith, Quez Watkins, and Jalen Reagor. Bell would give them a little more size, and certainly, despite using heavy draft resources on the position in recent years, the Eagles are not yet set at wide receiver.

Andrew Booth (23), CB, Clemson (6'0, 200): Clemson at Pittsburgh, 3:30 p.m.

Learn about Booth now, because he's going to be a commonly mocked player to the Eagles in the 2022 NFL Draft. The Eagles have a significant need at cornerback, they'll likely have three first-round picks, and Booth could land somewhere in the 10-20 range, barring any unknown character concerns.

Booth is physical and athletic, and he plays with swagger, confidence, and energy. You can see by this dude's body language that he knows he's good.

Booth has the speed to run with receivers down the field, and he competes on contested catches. If there's one knock on him, it's that's he's a little shorter than ideal, and his while he has shown ball skills and the flare for the incredible catch, he only has two career INTs mid-way through his third season at Clemson, which in fairness, was spent at times playing behind other future NFL corners.

Sam Williams (7), DE, Ole Miss (6'4, 265): LSU at (12) Ole Miss, 3:30 p.m.

Williams is a lesser known edge rusher prospect, but he has 6.5 sacks in six games so far this season for Ole Miss, and the Eagles believe that college sack production leads to NFL sack production. He also had four sacks in 10 games in 2020, and six sacks in 12 games in 2019 after transferring from a JUCO school.

Williams has aligned as a 3-4 OLB with experience dropping into coverage, a 4-3 DE, and he has rushed from the inside on obvious passing downs. A highlight reel from his 2019 season: 

Williams seems coachable, he has good numbers, and brings a little versatility to the table. Day 3 guy.

Drake Jackson (99), DE, USC (6'4, 250): USC at Notre Dame, 7:30 p.m.

Jackson is a potential first-round pick who has some positional versatility, having played 3-4 OLB and 4-3 DE at USC. Here's his game last season against Arizona, where you can see his speed, quickness, and change of direction ability. 

In USC's defense, you can see that he does not have the same kind of "pin your ears back and go get the quarterback" luxury that other pass rushers do, and yet he was still plenty disruptive while playing assignment-sound football: 

Jackson is a skilled pass rusher, but he also has the speed and agility to play as an off-ball linebacker. In the Eagles' defense, I think Jackson could play both at SAM and DE, which would allow Jonathan Gannon more flexibility to disguise personnel. 

Previously profiled players

August 28

  1. Jake Hansen, LB, Illinois
  2. Jeffrey Gunter, SAM, Coastal Carolina
  3. Zach Harrison, EDGE, OSU
  4. Daniel Faalele, OT, Minnesota
  5. Mohamed Ibrahim, RB, Minnesota

September 4

  1. Evan Neal, OT, Alabama
  2. Bubba Bolden, S, Miami
  3. Adam Anderson, SAM, Georgia
  4. Derion Kendrick, CB, Georgia
  5. Justyn Ross, WR, Clemson

September 11

  1. Kayvon Thibodeaux, DE, Oregon
  2. Sevyn Banks, CB, Ohio State
  3. Charlie Kolar, TE, Iowa State
  4. Aidan Hutchinson, DE, Michigan
  5. Drake London, WR, USC

September 18

  1. Myjai Sanders, DE, Cincinnati
  2. Marcelino McCrary-Ball, DB, Indiana
  3. Nik Bonitto, SAM, Oklahoma
  4. Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida
  5. Kingsley Enagbare, DE, South Carolina

September 25

  1. Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame
  2. Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas
  3. DeMarvin Leal, DT, Texas A&M
  4. Zonovan "Bam" Knight, RB, NC State
  5. Merlin Robertson, SAM, Arizona State

October 2

  1. Jalen Catalon, S, Arkansas
  2. Ahmad "Sauce" Gardner, CB, Cincinnati
  3. Isaiah Foskey, DE, Notre Dame
  4. Darian Kinnard, OT, Kentucky
  5. Ali Gaye, DE, LSU

October 9

  1. Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss
  2. Avery Young, CB/S, Rutgers
  3. Jaquan Brisker, S, Penn State
  4. Riley Moss, CB, Iowa
  5. Kenyon Green, OG/OT, Texas A&M

October 16

  1. Brandon Joseph, S, Northwestern
  2. George Karlaftis, DE, Purdue
  3. Martin Emerson, CB, Mississippi State
  4. Ikem Ekwonu, OG/OT, NC State
  5. Breece Hall, RB, Iowa State

Follow Jimmy & PhillyVoice on Twitter: @JimmyKempski | thePhillyVoice

Like us on Facebook: PhillyVoice Sports

Add Jimmy's RSS feed to your feed reader