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October 28, 2023

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

Keep an eye on these college football stars today.

Eagles NFL
101423TykeeSmith Dale Zanine/USA TODAY Sports

Georgia DB Tykee 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.

Kingsley Suamataia, OT, BYU (6'6, 325): BYU at (7) Texas, 3:30 p.m.

Suamataia came in at No. 3 on Bruce Feldman's outstanding "Freaks" list this offseason, with the following glowing review.

Coaches have always been great resources for this project over the years. That said, it’s been awhile since I stared at a response as long as I did the one I received from BYU offensive coordinator Aaron Roderick this month.

“Kingsley Suamataia is the most athletic and violent OL I’ve ever coached. More athletic than Garett Bolles when I was at Utah. More athletic than Blake Freeland,” he wrote.

Bolles was a first-round pick and has started all 82 games he’s played in the NFL, and the 6-8, 302-pound Freeland, BYU’s left tackle last year, lit up the combine last spring by running a 4.98 40, vertical-jumping 37 inches — a combine record for offensive tackles — and broad-jumping 10-0, which was 1 inch away from the combine record for that, too. More athletic than Freeland, especially in that Suamataia weighs 23 pounds more, seemed like a mouthful.

The 6-6, 325-pound Suamataia didn’t allow a sack last season, a run of 361 pass plays.

“Kingsley is off the charts,” BYU sports scientist Skyler Mayne says. “He’s faster than our linebackers. He’s just a Freak in the weight room. What makes it look different from Blake is that Kingsley just makes it look a little more effortless. Blake was a better jumper, but Kingsley was our fastest lineman by a good bit.”

According to Mayne, Suamataia hit 21.5 MPH last year as a 318-pound freshman. That’s really good for a 218-pounder, much less an athlete 100 pounds more than that.

“He’s so fluid and smooth,” Mayne says. “I think he could run in the 4.8s. He’s definitely a sub-5 guy (in the 40). He’s super explosive and can throw a ton of weight around. You watch him on the field throw a big defensive end around with one arm, and he doesn’t even break stride. If he wanted to be a tight end or fullback, because he’s so naturally gifted and has the agility, he could.”

In addition to being a premier athlete, Suamataia also has plenty of nastiness in his game. 

As an added bonus, he has experience playing both at LT and RT, which means that he could be a swing tackle off the bench early in his career before eventually taking over for Lane Johnson at RT. 

In a previous edition of this series, I noted that I'll make a list of the 10 or so players at the end of the season who I think best fit the Eagles in terms of need, scheme, and player profile (the types of guys they look for). Suamataia will join Georgia S/CB Javon Bullard on that list.

Xavier Worthy, WR, Texas (6'1, 172): BYU at (7) Texas, 3:30 p.m.

Worthy had a great freshman season in 2021, catching 62 passes for 981 yards (15.8 YPC) and 12 TDs, but he had a bit of a downtick in production in 2022, catching 60 passes for 760 yards and 9 TDs. So far in 2023, he has 40 catches for 545 yards and 4 TDs.

Worthy has a small frame at 6'1, 172, but he has good speed and he is a nasty route runner, as shown below.

Worthy can play outside or in the slot. His potential fit with the Eagles initially would be in the slot, and the Eagles have shown that they like their slot receivers to have downfield playmaking ability. Quez Watkins and Olamide Zaccheaus are two examples of that, of course. Worthy fits that mold as well. He's probably a Day 2 guy. 

Frank Gore, Jr., RB, Southern Mississippi (5'10, 200): Southern Mississippi at Appalachian State, 3:30 p.m.

If Frank Gore won't come play for you, go get his kid instead.

Gore had 228 carries for 1382 yards (6.1 YPC) and 9 TDs in 2022. His 2023 season isn't going quite as well (115 carries, 434 yards, 3.8 YPC, and 4 TDs) on a bad USM team, but he's a hard runner with some receiving chops. Day 3 guy, maybe a UDFA. He's just in here because it would be funny. 🤷‍♂️

Tykee Smith, STAR, Georgia (5'10, 205): (1) Georgia at Florida, 3:30 p.m.

Smith is a Philly product who originally enrolled at West Virginia but transferred to Georgia, where he plays the star (safety / slot / linebacker hybrid) position in the Bulldogs' defense. He's a big hitter with instincts, and he has become a ball hawk this season (4 INTs). Some highlights from his time at WVU:

Also, I love this play...

It feels like a good bet that the Eagles will be in on players with safety / slot corner versatility, and Smith applies.

Nazir Stackhouse, DT, Georgia (6'3, 320): (1) Georgia at Florida, 3:30 p.m.

The Eagles have found a couple of stud Georgia defensive tackles in Jordan Davis and Jalen Carter the last couple of drafts, and now that Davis in particular is out of the way Stackhouse has gotten more playing time. He does not have the same type of athleticism that Davis and Carter do for players their size (I mean, who does?), and he's perhaps a little more one-dimensional than Davis and Carter, but he is a very good run-stuffing 1-tech. 

Stackhouse's stats aren't impressive. He has 2 career sacks and 7 career tackles for loss. Of course, Davis and Carter didn't exactly have eye-popping stats in Georgia's defensive scheme either. The Eagles were not turned off by a lack on on-paper production from Davis or Carter, and likely wouldn't be with Stackhouse either.

The argument against the Eagles drafting a player like Stackhouse, with, saaayyyy, a Day 2 pick is that they are already loaded with young talent in the form of Carter, Davis, Milton Williams, Moro Ojomo, and Marlon Tuipulotu. However, the argument for it is that the Eagles typically play six interior defensive linemen, and they have found success exploiting opposing inferior interior offensive lines. So why not continue to load up?

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

September 16

  1. Jer'Zhan Newton, iDL, Illinois
  2. Amarius Mims, OT, Georgia
  3. Kai Kroeger, P, South Carolina
  4. Jacoby Windmon, SAM, Michigan State
  5. Oronde Gadsden II, WR, Syracuse

September 23

  1. Tyler Guyton, OT, Oklahoma
  2. Dontay Corleone, DT, Cincinnati
  3. Jared Verse, EDGE, Florida State
  4. Barrett Carter, LB, Clemson
  5. Tory Taylor, P, Iowa

September 30

  1. Javon Bullard, S, Georgia
  2. Jimmy Horn, WR, Colorado
  3. Eric Gentry, LB, USC
  4. Graham Barton, OL, Duke
  5. Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB, Alabama

October 7

  1. Tyler Nubin, S, Minnesota
  2. Smael Mondon, Jr., LB, Georgia
  3. Jordan Morgan, OT, Arizona
  4. Kris Abrams-Draine, CB, Missouri
  5. Laiatu Latu, EDGE, UCLA

October 14

  1. Dallas Turner, EDGE, Alabama
  2. Deshawn Pace, LB, Cincinnati
  3. Bucky Irving, RB, Oregon
  4. Cooper Beebe, OG, Kansas State
  5. Kamren Kinchins, S, Miami

October 21

  1. Kalen King, CB, Penn State
  2. Emeka Egbuka, WR, Ohio State
  3. TreVeyon Henderson, RB, Ohio State
  4. Patrick Paul, OT, Houston
  5. Cole Bishop, S, Utah

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