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September 17, 2022

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

Eagles NFL
Joey Porter Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports

Penn State CB Joey Porter Jr.

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. 

Sean Tucker, RB, Syracuse (5'10, 210): Purdue at Syracuse, 12:00 p.m.

Tucker rushed for 1496 yards and 12 TDs in 2021, breaking Syracuse's single-season rushing record. He added 20 receptions for 255 yards and 2 TDs. In two games so far in 2022, he has 212 rushing yards, 101 receiving yards, and 3 total TDs. He has a track background and very good initial acceleration, as you'll see below.

For a speedy back, I like that he's also a "one cut and go" style of runner who can run through arm tackles and is usually going to get at least what is blocked up for him, and sometimes more.

The Eagles could be in the market for all different styles of running backs next offseason, so we'll probably profile a variety of them.

Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State (6'2, 198): (22) Penn State at Auburn, 3:30 p.m.

Porter has incredible length, as he reportedly has 35-inch arms to go along with his 6'2 frame. 35-inch arms are good for an offensive tackle. They're insane for a corner. In addition to his God-given size, Porter is also a good athlete.

He is also the son of Steelers great Joey Porter Sr., and he plays with a similar type of passion and edge as his dad. 

Porter only has 1 career interception (15 pass breakups), so ideally you'd like to see more production, but he is going to get first-round consideration because they just don't make many corners with his size. If he can show some ball-hawking ability in 2022 he'll be a first-round lock.

Tyler Van Dyke, QB, Miami (6'4, 224): (13) Miami at (24) Texas A&M, 9:00 p.m.

Let's go ahead and post our Jalen Hurts disclaimer whenever we profile a quarterback:

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.

I'll also add that the Eagles could be in the market for a backup quarterback, as Gardner Minshew will no doubt explore potential starting opportunities in free agency next offseason. Boom, OK, covered.

Van Dyke has ideal size and a big arm, with acceptable mobility. After Miami got out to a 2-4 start in 2021, Van Dyke led them to a 5-1 finish. He averaged 366 passing yards and threw for at least 300 yards in each of those games. On the season, he threw for 25 TDs vs. 6 INTs. A look:

Van Dyke is only a redshirt sophomore who only has 11 career starts. If he comes out after this season, he will have significantly less experience than other quarterbacks in the draft.

Antonio Johnson, S, Texas A&M (6'3, 195): (13) Miami at (24) Texas A&M, 9:00 p.m.

Johnson is a versatile defensive back who plays slot corner, safety, and some linebacker. He lines up all over the defense as sort of chess piece in Texas A&M's defense. He's a physical tackler who can match up against bigger slot receivers as well as tight ends on obvious passing downs. He also has some value as a blitzer from the slot.

Johnson is being comped to 2022 first-round pick Daxton Hill, which makes some sense. From an Eagles perspective, he does a lot of the same types of things as Chauncey Gardner-Johnson.

Lou Hedley, P, Miami (6'4, 220): (13) Miami at (24) Texas A&M, 9:00 p.m.

Hedley was a 2021 Ray Guy Award semi-finalist in a year that four punters got drafted. He's a big, 6'4, 220-pound Aussie who has averaged over 45 yards per punt over his career. You want to watch punter highlights? Of course you do!

Hedley (D.O.B. 6/27/93, according to this site) will be 30 years old before he ever punts in the NFL if he gets that opportunity, so teams might not be interested in using a draft pick on him. BUT... his son lives in Philadelphia, which would make the Eagles an appealing landing spot should he go undrafted, and the Eagles decide to give Arryn Siposs competition in 2023.

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

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