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August 27, 2022

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

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081222SydneyBrown Stan Szeto/USA TODAY Sports

Eagles third-round pick and former Illinois safety Sydney Brown.

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 Philadelphia Eagles in the following year's draft. In case you were unaware, today begins "Week 0" of the college football season. It's not the most exciting slate of games, but it's football, so, whatever.

Ochaun Mathis, EDGE, Nebraska (6'5, 257): Nebraska vs. Northwestern (in Dublin, Ireland), 12:30 p.m.

Mathis played his first four seasons at TCU, but transferred this offseason to Nebraska. He had his best season in 2020, when he had 44 tackles and 8 sacks. In his first game in 2022, Mathis will have matchup against projected Day 2 OT Peter Skoronski. A quick highlight reel:

Mathis has some intriguing athleticism and change of direction skills, and his home in the NFL might be as a SAM linebacker.

Sydney Brown, S, Illinois (6'0, 205): Wyoming at Illinois, 4:00 p.m.

Brown had 81 tackles, a sack, and 2 forced fumbles last season. He made Bruce Feldman's "Freaks" list this offseason: 

Sydney Brown, a 6-0, 211-pound safety, made All-Big Ten honorable mention in 2021, led Illinois with 81 tackles and also forced two fumbles. He added almost 6 pounds of lean muscle mass this summer while losing 1 pound of fat. He has also hit 22.4 mph on the GPS in-game.

The Eagles love them some athletes in the draft, and uh, they need safety help, so, boom.

Robert Scott, OT, FSU (6'5, 334): Duquesne at Florida State, 5:00 p.m.

Scott started in 11 games at offensive tackle in 2021 — 7 at LT, and 5 at RT. He played RT in 2020, and will be the Seminoles' starting LT in 2022. With Andre Dillard highly likely to be in a different uniform in 2023, the Eagles could use a swing tackle who can play both sides of the line. Here he is against Notre Dame last season.

He has some quirky technique oddities that have to get corrected, so he'll be a developmental player, but there is some power and athleticism to work with. Give Jeff Stoutland a year or two to work his magic.

Isaiah Land, SAM, Florida A&M (6'4, 225): Florida A&M at North Carolina, 8:15 p.m.

Land was the 2021 Buck Buchanon Award winner, which is awarded to the most outstanding defensive player in the FCS. He had 19 sacks. A look: 

Land made Bruce Feldman's "Freaks" list this offseason: 

Coach Willie Simmons says he loves Land’s motor and his toughness. Land, now 6-4, 225, clocked a 4.6 40 this offseason and broad-jumped 10-9. His L-drill time was 6.7 seconds. He also bench pressed 375 and squatted 600.

He is a slender 225 pounds at 6'4, and is going to have to put on weight in the NFL. In the Eagles' defense, he could project nicely to the SAM linebacker spot.

Josh Downs, WR, North Carolina (5'10, 175): Florida A&M at North Carolina, 8:15 p.m.

With A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith, and Quez Watkins in place and under contract for a while, this year's prospects series will not have a focus on wide receivers for the first time ever. That said, receiver is a position where it's not crazy to keep adding talent when you're already stocked. Downs is a shifty, electric slot receiver, and a fun player to watch.

In 2021, Downs had 101 catches for 1335 yards and 8 TDs. He also has some experience as a punt returner, which remains a need for the Eagles.

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