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September 16, 2023

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

From the short, squatty interior lineman Jer'Zhan Newton to a behemoth of an offensive tackle in Amarius Mims, a few more prospects who might be on the Eagles' radar.

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082623AmariusMims Corey Perrine/USA TODAY NETWORK

Georgia RT Amarius Mims is a large human.

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.

Jer'Zhan Newton, iDL, Illinois (6'2, 295): (7) Penn State at Illinois, 12:00 p.m.

Newton is a short, squatty interior lineman with impressive strength, athleticism, and versatility. He is tougher to move off of the line of scrimmage as his undersized frame might indicate, and he has a knack for penetrating the line of scrimmage, being disruptive both against the run and the pass. A look:

In 2022, Newton had an impressive 62 tackles from the interior of the line, to go along with 5.5 sacks, 14 tackles for loss, 11 QB hits, and 3 batted passes. He has a chance to go Round 1 if he plays in 2023 like he did in 2022. So far he has 2 sacks in 2 games. As we have seen, the Eagles love collecting iDL talent in bulk.

Amarius Mims, OT, Georgia (6'7, 340): South Carolina at (1) Georgia, 3:30 p.m.

Mims has just two career starts, but they were in pretty important games against Ohio State in the College Football Playoff and TCU in the National Championship Game when he filled in at RT for an injured Warren McClendon (fifth-round pick in the 2023 draft). 

If you watch this supercut of the Georgia-OSU playoff game, you can see how talented Mims is. For a 6'7, 340 behemoth, he is an extremely easy mover in pass pro, on screens, and on run plays to the second level. You can also see how powerfully he shoves guys in white jerseys to the ground. 

Mims is light on experience, but he is a potential star player, and in Philadelphia, he would have the luxury of learning under Lane Johnson before taking over at RT. If he plays to his potential he won't be available when the Eagles pick.

Kai Kroeger, P, South Carolina (6'4, 212): South Carolina at (1) Georgia, 3:30 p.m.

The Gamecocks might be punting quite a bit against Georgia, which is great because you can get a good look at Kroeger, a second-team AP All-American. Kroeger is a left-footer who averaged 46.1 yards per punt with a net of 42.8, and who has some longball ability (long of 79).

But what sets Kroeger apart is his passing ability, as he is 6 for 6 for 173 yards (28.8 YPA), and 3 TDs over his career, lol. Are we going to show all 6 passes? You bet your ass we are.

Here he is hitting the long snapper against Notre Dame:

Another one against Florida: 

And against Tennessee:

And Vanderbilt: 

Georgia knows it's coming, and Kroeger still throws a dime, lol:

And Kentucky:

Dude is more accurate than Marcus Mariota.

Jacoby Windmon, SAM, Michigan State (6'2, 250): (8) Washington at Michigan State, 5:00 p.m.

Before we even get started, let's just appreciate this dude's dip and bend around the edge. Here with Michigan State:

And here with UNLV: 

Excuse any hyperbole you may perceive here, but that one move he possesses is reminiscent of Von Miller.

Windmon originally enrolled at UNLV, where he played for three years before transferring to Michigan State. In his final year at UNLV, he had 119 tackles, 6.5 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles. He got off to a hot start in 2022 with MSU, collecting 49 tackles, 5.5 sacks and 6 (!) forced fumbles in just 8 games before he was suspended for the rest of the season for his role in a postgame fight after a loss to Michigan.

Windmon possesses out of the box pass rushing traits and he has experience playing as an off-ball linebacker. He is a SAM linebacker candidate in the Eagles' defense.

It should be noted that Windmon suffered a pectoral injury last Saturday, so his season might be over. At a minimum, he's unlikely to play in this game. He still makes sense for the Eagles as a Day 3 value play who could slide because of his suspension and injury.

MORE: Jordan Davis wants to be more than just a run-stuffer

Oronde Gadsden II, WR, Syracuse (6'5, 223): Syracuse at Purdue, 7:30 p.m.

Gadsden's dad, also Oronde, played six seasons in the NFL as a wide receiver for the Miami Dolphins in the late 90's and early aughts. Syracuse lists Gadsden as a TE, but he's really more like a big slot in a similar mold of, saaayyy, Allen Lazard. In 2022, he had 61 catches for 975 yards and 6 TDs. 

Gadsden has some downfield receiving chops, and he has a huge catch radius to go along with great hands, which makes him a reliable chain mover in the middle of the field. A look:

A big slot could be an interesting player type to combine with A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith, and Dallas Goedert, particularly against teams that lack size at corner and safety.

Like Windmon above, Gadsden suffered an injury (ankle, in Gadsden's case) last Saturday and likely won't play. 

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

September 2

  1. Blake Corum, RB, Michigan
  2. Rome Odunze, WR, Washington
  3. Olu Fashanu, OT, Penn State
  4. Maason Smith, DT, LSU
  5. Johnny Wilson, WR, Florida State

September 9

  1. Blake Fisher, OT, Notre Dame
  2. Demani Richardson, S, Texas A&M
  3. T'Vondre Sweat, DT, Texas
  4. J.C. Latham, OT, Alabama
  5. Braelon Allen, RB, Wisconsin

MORE: D'Andre Swift has a career night in Philly homecoming

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