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September 02, 2023

Five college prospects who could interest the Eagles in the 2024 NFL Draft

Eagles NFL
081823MaasonSmith Melina Myers/USA TODAY Sports

LSU DT Maason Smith

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. This week the vast majority of the good teams are playing cupcakes. There is one good game on Sunday night between (5) LSU and (9) Florida State.

Blake Corum, RB, Michigan (5'8, 213): East Carolina at (2) Michigan, 12:00 p.m.

Corum was a fringe Heisman candidate for a while in 2022 with 247 carries for 1,463 yards (5.9 YPC), and 18 TDs, before an injury ended his season in November. He is a smaller back at 5'8, 213, but you can lose him among the big bodies in between the tackles and he has a strong lower half to break arm tackles. While he may not have great long speed, you can pretty easily see his short area acceleration, and he has good vision to find holes and pick his way through traffic. 

The Eagles may need to add more playmakers at running back next offseason, in whatever shapes/sizes, as Kenny Gainwell is the only back on the Eagles' roster under contract beyond 2023.

Rome Odunze, WR, Washington (6'3, 215): Boise State at (10) Washington, 3:30 p.m.

In 2022, Odunze caught 75 passes for 1,145 yards and 7 TDs. He is a big, speedy downfield receiver with great body control, some contested catch ability, and run after catch skills. Some highlights showcasing those traits:

The Eagles have one of the best 1-2 duos in the league at wide receiver, but question marks and soon-to-be free agents thereafter. They need more receivers.

Olu Fashanu, OT, Penn State (6'6, 319): West Virginia at (7) Penn State, 7:30 p.m.

Fashanu was given a first-round grade by the NFL draft advisory board at some point before the 2023 draft, but he decided to stay at PSU for the 2023 season. The draft community largely considered him a potential top 10 pick, had he declared. 

Looking forward to 2024, Fashanu is atop a bunch of the major draft analysts' boards at offensive tackle in what looks like a potentially very good offensive line draft. In a consensus draft board from The Athletic that comprised of "a wide range of draft experts," Fashanu is the No. 4 overall prospect in the country, behind USC WB Caleb Williams, Ohio State WR Marvin Harrison Jr., and North Carolina QB Drake Maye.

Fashanu has prototype size, athleticism, and strength. If you want to nerd out on some OL talk, here you go:

The Eagles are likely to be shopping for an eventual replacement for Lane Johnson, and as you may have noticed, they like to have succession plans in place along the offensive line well in advance. Of course, the Eagles are likely to be very good this season, so the likelihood that Fashanu will be anywhere near consideration for the Eagles in the 2024 draft is slim to none. Still, we're going to review all of the best offensive tackles in this draft. 

Maason Smith, DT, LSU (6'6, 315): (5) LSU at (9) Florida State, Sunday, 7:30 p.m.

Smith was a five-star recruit coming out of high school (No. 2 in the country at, 57th at ESPN recruiting, 31st at 247Sports). As a freshman, he had 19 tackles and 4 sacks in 7 games, but his sophomore year was over before it ever really got underway, as he suffered a knee injury (while celebrating) in LSU's opener.

He came in at No. 17 on Bruce Feldman's "freaks" list.

Smith hit a high score in momentum as LSU gauges speed in relation to a player’s body weight of 1,124 kg.m/s. At 6-6, 315, Smith clocked 19.2 MPH, almost what he registered last year (19.5 MPH) even though he’s now 15 pounds bigger.

Here he is against Florida his freshman season. The LSU scheme probably didn't allow him to attack upfield much, but you can still pretty obviously see that this is a big athletic dude, and he had just celebrated his 19th birthday before this game:

If you hadn't noticed, the Eagles collect interior defensive linemen in the early rounds of the draft, and 2023 could be Fletcher Cox's last year in Philly.

Johnny Wilson, WR, Florida State (6'7, 237): (5) LSU at (9) Florida State, Sunday, 7:30 p.m.

The Seminoles list Wilson on their website at 6'7. He's probably not quite that tall, but he is obviously a huge freak of nature playing receiver. Wilson's career began at Arizona State, but he transferred to FSU for the 2022 season. In 2022, he had 43 catches for 897 yards and (20.9 YPC) and 5 TDs. Here are most of those receptions:

Wilson can play outside, but FSU also used him at times as a big slot. He an make plays down the field with his size (again, 20.9 YPC), but he's also a red zone target. He is a low-volume, big play receiver who would allow A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith, and Dallas Goedert to dominate targets, but would also be a unique player opposing defenses cannot ignore and would have to account for. I love this fit.

Previously profiled players

August 26

  1. Joe Alt, OT, Notre Dame
  2. Audric Estime, RB, Notre Dame
  3. Matthew Hayball, P, Vanderbilt
  4. Calen Bullock, S, USC
  5. Dorian Singer, WR, USC

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