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December 04, 2021

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

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.

Jameson Williams (1), WR, Alabama (6'2, 189): Georgia vs. Alabama, 4:00 p.m.

Oh hey another really good Bama receiver. This one is a deep threat who has 61 catches for 1261 yards (20.7 YPC) and 13 TDs this season. Behold the jets on this dude:

The Eagles have two "speed receivers," but are they really the deep threats that the Eagles hope they are? Jalen Reagor has been a complete zero in that department, and Quez Watkins is a player worth continued development, but is he a starter?

A deep threat like Williams could give DeVonta Smith extra room to operate in the intermediate parts of the field. 

Travon Walker (44), DL, Georgia (6'5, 275): Georgia vs. Alabama, 4:00 p.m.

Walker's stats won't wow anyone in a Georgia defense that is loaded with future NFL players. He has 4 sacks and a couple of batted passes in 9 games this season. However, he's going to be picked high because of his physical size and athletic traits.

If you search his videos on Twitter, you'll find a lot of fun stuff, but my favorites were this:

And this:

Good Lord. I think his fit would be in the Brandon Graham role in the Eagles' defense, but with versatility to do other things as well.

Marcus Jones (8), CB/PR, Houston (5'8, 185): Houston at Cincinnati, 4:00 p.m.

Jones has had a hell of a season in 2021. He has 46 tackles, 5 INTs, 12 pass breakups, and he has returned four kick/punts for touchdowns. He also even has 10 receptions on offense for 109 yards and a TD. A look at some highlights from 2020:

The Eagles have been stockpiling cornerbacks, and they currently have nine on the roster. They also signed Avonte Maddox to a three-year contract extension. For those reasons, a smaller corner may not make much sense. However, the Eagles have a pretty big need for a returner, and Jones is the premier return man in college football. There's maybe also an argument that you can never have too many corners, especially when they can make plays the way this guy can.

MORE: Final Eagles-Jets injury report, with analysis | Week 13 NFL picks: Rounding up the experts' predictions for Eagles vs. Jets | Mailbag: How much could Russell Wilson cost in an Eagles-Seahawks trade?

Desmond Ridder (9), QB, Cincinnati (6'4, 215): Houston at Cincinnati, 4:00 p.m.

Ridder is a dual-threat quarterback prospect with good size and a strong arm who has led Cincinnati to a (so far) undefeated 2021 season, after leading them to a 9-1 record in 2020. He has done a lot of winning in college, as he is a four-year starter with an impressive 41-5 overall record, and a career 84 passing TDs vs. 28 INTs. If there's a knock on him, it's inconsistent accuracy.

In 2021, Ridder is having his best season, as he is completing 66 percent of his passes for 8.9 yards per pass attempt, and 27 TDs vs. 8 INTs. He also has 342 yards on the ground and 6 rushing TDs (28 for his career). A look at his game against Notre Dame this season:

As you can see, the Bearcats like to run a healthy number of RPOs, just like the Eagles. In that sense, he's an easy fit into the Eagles' offense. Ridder is a better passer prospect than Hurts was when he came out, in my opinion, but Hurts is a better runner. 

I like Ridder's chances of going late in Round 1. If you're the Eagles, obviously you'd have to decide how much more Ridder gives you than Hurts as a passer, and whether that's worth one of your first-round picks.

Ridder is probably not a clear enough upgrade to spend that kind of resource on him, but at a minimum, he's a player worth monitoring during the college bowl season, and if he participates in the postseason events like the Senior Bowl.

Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa (6'3, 290): Michigan vs. Iowa, 8:00 p.m.

So this guy is undersized at 6'3, 290, he's super athletic, smart, and he finishes. 🤔

Does he also own a Mummers hat? Honestly, there might not be a better college-professional comp in this draft than Linderbaum to Jason Kelce.

The Eagles can go in a number of different directions along their offensive line. Both Landon Dickerson and Isaac Seumalo have center versatility in their profiles, but if the Eagles wanted to find an heir apparent to Jason Kelce and just leave Dickerson and Seumalo at the guard spots, Linderbaum could provide an easy transition, should Kelce retire.

MORE: Week 13 non-Eagles rooting guide | Week 13 NFL picks

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

October 23

  1. Brandon Smith, LB, Penn State
  2. David Bell, WR, Purdue
  3. Andrew Booth, CB, Clemson
  4. Sam Williams, DE, Ole Miss
  5. Drake Jackson, DE, USC

October 30

  1. Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh
  2. Daxton Hill, S, Michigan
  3. Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia
  4. Chris Rodriguez, Jr., RB, Kentucky
  5. Nicholas Petit-Frere, OT, Ohio State

November 6

  1. Malik Willis, QB, Liberty
  2. Kenneth Walker III, RB, Michigan State
  3. Roger McCreary, CB, Auburn
  4. Jaxson Kirkland, OT/OG, Washington
  5. Cameron Thomas, DE, San Diego State

November 13

  1. Perrion Winfrey, DT, Oklahoma
  2. Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah
  3. Carson Strong, QB, Nevada
  4. Cole Turner, TE, Nevada
  5. Matt Araiza, P, San Diego State

November 20

  1. Jermaine Johnson II, DE, Florida State
  2. Will McDonald IV, DE, Iowa State
  3. DeMarvion Overshown, LB, Texas
  4. Coby Bryant, CB, Cincinnati
  5. Abram Smith, RB, Baylor

November 27

  1. Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia
  2. Lewis Cine, S, Georgia
  3. David Ojabo, DE, Michigan
  4. Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State
  5. Christian Harris, LB, Alabama

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