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January 24, 2017

List of players Eagles scouts spoke with at the Senior Bowl practices, with analysis

Eagles NFL

After each practice at the Senior Bowl, players are available on the field to speak both with NFL scouts and media. Teams will speak with hundreds of prospects throughout the draft process, at the Senior Bowl, the NFL Combine, at pro days, individual workouts, and visits to team complexes.

In other words, don't make too much of the following list of players, although it's noteworthy that there isn't a randomness to it. Scouts seek out specific players after practice and zero in on them. Here's who the Eagles spoke with after practices today:

1) Tanoh Kpassagnon, DE, Villanova (6'7, 280)

Yes, that's spelled correctly. Kpassagnon is a physical freak of nature at 6'7, 280, with 10 7/8" hands and 34 7/8" arms. At Nova last season, he had 33 tackles, 11 sacks, and 16 tackles for loss. On his first day at the Senior Bowl, Kpassagnon drew a few oohs and ahhs from the crowd when he tossed highly rated guard prospect Forrest Lamp to the ground.

Kpassagnon is thought of as a raw prospect with a high ceiling. We'll take a deeper look at him soon.

2) Dawuane Smoot, DE, Illinois (6'3, 255)

Smoot is a less heralded player in this year's draft class because his team stunk, but he is an explosive, penetrating defensive end whose skill set would fit in well in Schwartz's defense.

Smoot's numbers in 2016 weren't eye-popping. He has 56 tackles (15 for loss), 5 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles. A season ago, he had 40 tackles (15 for loss), 8 sacks, and 3 forced fumbles. Schwartz likes defensive linemen who can consistently find their way into opposing backfield and make tackles for loss, putting the offense far behind the sticks. Because Illinois was often getting blown out, Smoot didn't get as many opportunities to pin his ears back and get after the quarterback, but he has the ability to do it.

3) Derek Rivers, DE, Youngstown State (6'4, 250)

In case you haven't noticed, the Eagles spoke with several edge rushers, although it was the same scout for each of them. In 2016, Rivers had 58 tackles, 15 sacks, and 19.5 tackles for loss.

4) Ethan Pocic, C, LSU (6'6, 307)

Pocic is arguably the top center prospect in this draft with the versatility to also play guard. At 6'6, 309, he is much bigger than Kelce, doing a better job anchoring against bigger defenders, but is not nearly as athletic. He's kind of like a Bizarro Kelce in that respect. While Seumalo may be the center of the future, it certainly wouldn't hurt having a pair of starters in Seumalo and Pocic who can play all three spots along the interior of the offensive line, if need be.

5) Matthew Dayes, RB, NC State (5'9, 207)

Dayes is a mid- to late-round prospect who fits what Doug Pederson prefers in running backs. Over the last three seasons, Dayes has 88 receptions for 760 yards and 5 TDs, and is also thought of as a quality blocker in pass protection. His career numbers as a rusher:

RushYardsYPCTD
 201363 252 4.0 
 2014104 573 5.5 
 2015134 865 6.5 12 
 2016249 1166 4.7 10 
 TOTAL550 2856 5.2 34 


A 5.2 yards per rush average in college isn't exactly awe-inspiring, but Dayes is a do-everything guy that NC State moved all over the formation.


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