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November 05, 2022

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

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110522KendreMiller Ben Queen/USA TODAY Sports

It's time to get to know TCU RB Kendre Miller.

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.

Paris Johnson, OL, Ohio State (6'6, 310): Ohio State at Northwestern, 12:00 p.m.

Johnson is being projected by some a possible top 10 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. He is athletic with great length (35.5" arms), and is excelling at LT for Ohio State after playing RG in 2021. Here he is againstNotre Dame, winning in a variety of ways (reach blocks, second level blocks, pro pass vs. speed and power, etc.):

The Eagles are set for now at OT with Jordan Mailata and Lane Johnson, but their M.O. is to always continue loading up on the offensive line. Should Isaac Seumalo land with another team next offseason, Paris Johnson is a player who could play at RG in the short term, and eventually take over for Lane Johnson at RT (or for Mailata at LT, with Mailata flipping to the right side) whenever Lane retires. 

That would be something of an unsatisfying-but-prudent use of that Saints pick.

Max Duggan, QB, TCU (6'2, 210): Texas Tech at (7) TCU, 12:00 p.m.

One of the big concerns about Jalen Reagor as a prospect heading into the 2020 NFL Draft was a lack of production at TCU. In his final season there in 2019, he only had 43 catches for 611 yards (14.2 YPC) and 5 TDs in 12 games. Read any scouting report of Reagor when he was coming out and there's a good chance you'll see criticism of his true freshman quarterback at TCU, who was deemed responsible for Reagor's shortcomings.

Turns out that the quarterback blamed for Reagor's concern areas, Max Duggan, is actually good. In eight games for undefeated TCU, Duggan is completing 67.4 percent of his passes on 10.0 yards per attempt, with 22 TDs vs. 2 INTs. He can also make plays with his legs, as he has rushed 64 times for 276 yards and 4 TDs. Here's Duggan against then-undefeated Kansas earlier this season:

Duggan and Jalen Hurts share some similar traits, and he would make sense as a Day 3 prospect who could develop into Hurts' long-term backup.

Kendre Miller, RB, TCU (6'0, 220): Texas Tech at TCU, 12:00 p.m.

Miller is a thicky-built power runner who has averaged just under 7 yards per carry over his career at TCU:

 Kendre MillerRush Yards YPC TD 
 202054 388 7.2 
 202183 623 7.5 
 2022132 851 6.4 11 
 TOTAL269 1862 6.9 20 

With fewer than 300 career carries (so far) Miller has low mileage, much like Miles Sanders did when he entered the NFL. In addition to his tackle-breaking ability, Miller has shown speed and burst. For example, check out his touches against West Virginia this season, particularly at the 0:21 mark, when he splits WVU's safeties and leaves them in the dust: 

Miller could rise into Day 2 consideration if he continues to have a great season, and tests well at the Combine.

Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois (6'0, 180): Michigan State at Illinois, 3:30 p.m.

From Witherspoon's Illinois bio page

Witherspoon has a 29.8% reception percentage against, No. 1 in the country according to PFF (min. 200 coverage snaps); he is the No. 1 graded CB in the country and has the top coverage grade in the country (90.6).

Witherspoon has good ball skills, as he has 1 INT and an impressive 11 pass breakups on the season. He is relatively new to football, as he only began playing in his junior year in high school. Despite that, he has been a quick study, as he is a very instinctive corner who reads plays pre-snap. Against Indiana earlier this season, Witherspoon had a monster highlight reel hit on a running back catching the ball out of the backfield, but I was more impressed by the way he knew exactly what was coming, trusted his instincts, and bolted toward the intended receiver before the ball was snapped.

Sheldon Brown approves.

Darnell Washington, TE, Georgia (6'7, 270): (1) Tennessee at (3) Georgia, 3:30 p.m.

No. 1 ranked Tennessee at No. 3 Georgia is probably the best game of the college football season so far, so we have to include at least one player from this game, right? In case you missed other prospect articles here, we previously covered Tennessee QB Hendon Hooker and OT Darnell Wright, as well as Georgia DT Jalen Carter and LB Nolan Smith.

One fascinating player who could declare for the 2023 draft is the monstrous 6'7, 270-pound Washington, who is a physical specimen. A look: 

In addition to the obvious size mismatch opportunities he creates as a receiver, Washington is a also a good inline blocker, as you would expect for a player his size. He has not had great college production (partly because Georgia has three tight ends who will be playing on Sundays), with just 36 career catches and 1 TD, which could keep him out of the first round.

The Eagles have a top 5 tight end in Dallas Goedert, so Washington would be a luxury selection, but it is worth noting the Eagles have drafted tight ends high when they have already had good ones in place. For example, the Eagles selected Zach Ertz after Brent Celek's sixth season. They drafted Goedert after Ertz's fifth season, after (a) Ertz made the Pro Bowl, and (b) he made the lead-changing TD catch in the Super Bowl. I don't think the Eagles will take a tight end with a high pick in the 2023 draft, but I do think they would have to at least consider it with Washington's rare physical traits. 

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

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