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September 10, 2022

Five college prospects who could interest the Eagles in the 2023 NFL Draft

Eagles NFL
091022BryceYoung Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports

Alabama QB Bryce Young

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 on who make logical sense for the Eagles in the following year's draft. 

Bryce Young, QB, Alabama (6'0, 194): Alabama at Texas, 12:00 p.m.

Let's just go ahead and post the same disclaimer as last week, when we reviewed Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud:

Jalen Hurts has every opportunity to succeed as the Eagles' quarterback in 2022, and I believe that he will. It feels more likely than not that Hurts will return as the team's starter in 2023. But let's be real. The Eagles are going to pay close attention to the 2023 quarterback class, and if they think they can upgrade on the most important position in the sport, and they have the ammo and opportunity to do that, they will.
There. Covered.

Young won the Heisman after throwing for 47 TDs vs. 7 INTs in 2021. He is small, listed (generously, maybe) at 6'0, though NFL teams have been less scared off by that in recent years, as Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray were both taken first overall, despite smaller statures. Young's size is probably his only obvious negative.

As a player, Young is smart, instinctive, and he is an extremely accurate passer who sets his receivers up to maximize yards after the catch. He can pick defenses apart from the pocket by just taking what's there on quick throws, or he make off-schedule plays when his protection breaks down or after he has exhausted his progressions. He can beat the blitz with quick decision making, and he can throw with anticipation. Not to oversimplify it, but he just knows what he's doing. He can also make plays with his legs, but he doesn't rely on them as a crutch. Fun highlight reel of elite college quarterback play here: 

Potential No. 1 overall pick. Just hope the Giants or Commanders don't have a shot at him.

DeMarvion Overshown, LB, Texas (6'4, 220): Alabama at Texas, 12:00 p.m.

In 2020, in his first year as a linebacker (converted from safety), Overshown had 60 tackles (8 for loss), 2 INTs, and 7 pass breakups. In 2021, he had 72 tackles (5.5 for loss), 2 sacks, and 2 pass breakups. He is a tall, fast linebacker prospect with some ball skills:

The Eagles haven't had much luck with safeties turned project linebackers (JaCoby Stevens, Nate Gerry, Kamu Grugier-Hill, Davion Taylor, etc.), but they may have they hit on a player in Kyzir White that another team successfully converted.

Will McDonald IV, SAM, Iowa State, (6'3, 236): Iowa State at Iowa, 4:00 p.m.

McDonald is a highly productive pass rusher prospect who racked up 22 sacks and 7 forced fumbles the last two seasons. He has speed, twitch, and impressive change of direction. A quick taste:

As you can see from the below (unofficial) stat, he was among the big boy 2022 draft pass rusher prospects in generating pressure in obvious pass rush situations.

The issue with McDonald is that he's a liability against the run, and as a down lineman, can only be a situational pass rusher at the next level, unless his run defense improves substantially. However, for the Eagles' purposes, McDonald has shown that he can drop into coverage.

He could perhaps be a candidate for the SAM position. In that role, he wouldn't often be asked to hold the point of attack at the line of scrimmage against the run and could use his athleticism to attack.

Chris Rodriguez Jr., RB, Kentucky (5'11, 224): Kentucky at Florida, 7:00 p.m.

Rodriguez is a bigger back at 224 pounds who has averaged over 6 yards per carry in every one of his seasons at Kentucky. 

Chris Rodriguez Rush Yards YPC TD 
 201843 21.5 
 201971 533 7.5 
 2020119 785 6.6 11 
 2021225 1378 6.1 10 
 TOTAL417 2739 6.6 27 

The downside is that he's not much of a threat as a receiver, as he only has 15 career catches.

Rodriguez is a one-cut, north-south runner who will move piles and gain yards through contact, but probably isn't going to put up an eye-popping 40 time. 

Day 3 guy who is a safe bet to at least be a solid backup.

Update: He's not playing because of NCAA weirdness.

Kyu Blu Kelly, CB, Stanford (6'1, 188): USC at Stanford, 7:30 p.m.

One of my early favorite corners in this draft is Kyu Blu Kelly, a long inside-outside versatile corner at 6'1 who is physical at the catch point and as a tackler. 58 tackles, 2 INT, 11 PBU, 1 FF in 2021.

He had a particularly good game last season against 6'4, 210-pound Drake London, who was selected by Atlanta with the 8th overall pick in the 2022 draft.

On that bloodlines point by Galko above, Kelly is the son of Brian Kelly, who played in 150 games in 11 NFL seasons, mostly with the Buccaneers. And yep, he was a track star in high school.

He is the type of long, physical corner who would make sense as a replacement for James Bradberry, should Bradberry's stay in Philly only last one season.

Previous profiled players

August 27

  1. Ochaun Mathis, EDGE, Nebraska
  2. Sydney Brown, S, Illinois
  3. Robert Scott, OT, FSU
  4. Isaiah Land, SAM, Florida A&M
  5. Josh Downs, WR, North Carolina

September 3

  1. Jalen Catalon, S, Arkansas
  2. Kelee Ringo, CB, Florida
  3. C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State
  4. Isaiah Foskey, Edge, Notre Dame
  5. Zach Harrison, DE, Ohio State

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