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December 03, 2022

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

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120222JayWard Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports

Jay Ward is a really good safety prospect who is flying under the radar (but not for long).

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.

Cooper Beebe, OG, Kansas State (6'4, 322): (10) Kansas State at (3) TCU, 12:00 p.m.

Beebe has played LT, RT, and LG at KSU, but his home will be at guard in the NFL, with maybe some cross-training at center. He has a squatty body type at 6'4, 322, and he is able to effectively anchor against bull rushes, but his lack of length is always going to be prohibitive on the edge at the NFL level.

Beebe can move defenders with his pure strength and the line of scrimmage, but I was surprised by his ability to get on the move. He doesn't give off "athlete" vibes just to look at him, but this dude is fun to watch getting to the second level and burying linebackers and defensive backs.

The Eagles love them some versatile offensive linemen, and and they may have an immediate need at guard if they lose Isaac Seumalo in free agency.

Beebe is an under the radar guy at the moment, but I expect his value to rise. He could end up being a late Day 2 guy.

Jay Ward, CB, LSU (6'2, 188): (14) LSU at (1) Georgia, 4:00 p.m.

Ward is a converted cornerback to safety, who hasn't yet seemed to have gotten the attention of the draft community, but who is a really good player. 

Below is Ward's game against Texas A&M earlier this season, and he is all over the field. You'll see him attack WR screens on the other side of the line of scrimmage, he can knife through the line and make negative plays in the run game, and he's a good cover guy both from the slot and on the back end. 

Ward has 150 tackles, 6 INTs, 14 PBUs 2 FFs in 30 games the last three seasons. He reminds me a bit of Chauncey Gardner-Johnson.

B.J. Ojulari, Edge, LSU (6'3, 250): (14) LSU at (1) Georgia, 4:00 p.m.

B.J. Ojulari is the brother of Azeez Ojulari, who was taken 50th overall by the Giants in the 2021 NFL Draft. He has 124 tackles, 16.5 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles in 30 career games. As you can see in the highlight reel below, he has a good first step, he has an assortment of effective pass rush moves, and he can win with quickness.

What the highlight reel doesn't show is his struggles against the run, which makes his projection as a defensive end at the next level a difficult one.

Ojulari would make sense for the Eagles in a pass rushing role, but can he also drop into coverage on occasion perhaps as a SAM linebacker? That's probably his best bet in the NFL.

Dorian Williams, LB, Tulane (6'2, 230): (22) UCF at (18) Tulane, 4:00 p.m.

Williams is a speedy linebacker who has racked up 105 tackles, 4 sacks, 2 FFs, 2 INTs, and 6 pass breakups in 2022. He is athletic but undersized, and can make plays in the passing game. He also plays with great energy.

Williams is listed at 6'2, 230, but he's probably not that big. He's also a bit of a drag-down tackler, but he should be an immediate contributor on special teams, and potentially as a passing down linebacker. Day 3 guy.

Payne Durham, TE, Purdue (6'5, 255): Purdue at (2) Michigan, 8:00 p.m.

Durham's biggest appeal is as a blocker, where he is effective both inline against defensive ends in the run game, as well as on the perimeter out in front of receivers on screens. Lots of pancakes in this game against Syracuse: 

As a receiver, Payne won't remind anyone of Tony Gonzalez or Antonio Gates, but he has good receiving numbers and is a legitimate threat in the red zone because of his size. He has 21 career TD receptions in 35 games. He also doesn't go down very willingly after the catch:

He is a Day 3 guy with limited upside, but could last in the league for a long time as a steady blocking tight end who will make the plays as a receiver that come to him.

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

September 10

  1. Bryce Young, QB, Alabama
  2. DeMarvion Overshown, LB, Texas
  3. Will McDonald IV, SAM, Iowa State
  4. Chris Rodriguez, RB, Kentucky
  5. Kyu Blu Kelly, CB, Stanford

September 17

  1. Sean Tucker, RB, Syracuse
  2. Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State
  3. Tyler Van Dyke, QB, Miami
  4. Antonio Johnson, S, Texas A&M
  5. Lou Hedley, P, Miami

September 24

  1. Trenton Simpson, SAM, Clemson
  2. A.T. Perry, WR, Wake Forest
  3. Hendon Hooker, QB, Tennessee
  4. Devon Achane, RB, Texas A&M
  5. Felix Anudike-Uzomah, DE, Kansas State

October 1

  1. Jordan Battle, S, Alabama
  2. Nolan Smith, SAM, Georgia
  3. Myles Murphy, DE, Clemson
  4. Zach Evans, RB, Ole Miss
  5. Bryce Baringer, P, Michigan State

October 8

  1. Ali Gaye, DE, LSU
  2. Will Anderson Jr., DE, Alabama
  3. Demani Richardson, S, Texas A&M
  4. Zach Charbonnet, RB, UCLA
  5. Brant Kuithe, TE, Utah

October 15

  1. Ji'Ayir Brown, S, Penn State
  2. Mohamed Ibrahim, RB, Minnesota
  3. Matthew Bergeron, OT, Syracuse
  4. Jacoby Windmon, EDGE, Michigan State
  5. Tuli Tuipulotu, DE, USC

October 22

  1. Riley Moss, CB, Iowa
  2. Dawand Jones, OT, Ohio State
  3. Tyree Wilson, DE, Texas Tech
  4. Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Alabama
  5. JL Skinner, S, Boise State

October 29

  1. Jared Verse, Edge, Florida State
  2. Brenton Strange, TE, Penn State
  3. Brandon Joseph, S, Notre Dame
  4. Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia
  5. Darnell Wright, OT, Tennessee

November 4

  1. Paris Johnson, OL, Ohio State
  2. Max Duggan, QB, TCU
  3. Kendre Miller, RB, TCU
  4. Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois
  5. Darnell Washington, TE, Georgia

November 12

  1. Mike Morris, DE, Michigan
  2. Christopher Smith, S, Georgia
  3. DJ Johnson, DE/TE, Oregon
  4. Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas
  5. Steve Avila, OL, TCU

November 19

  1. Gervon Dexter, DT, Florida
  2. Drew Sanders, LB, Arkansas
  3. Laiatu Latu, DE, UCLA
  4. Clark Phillips, CB, Utah
  5. Bo Nix, QB, Oregon

November 26

  1. Bryan Bresee, DT, Clemson
  2. Cam Smith, CB, South Carolina
  3. Blake Corum, RB, Michigan
  4. Dalton Kincaid, TE, Utah
  5. Andrew Vorhees, OG, USC

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