November 14, 2015
As long as you're taking in some college football games today, here are some players who could make some sense for the Eagles in the 2016 NFL Draft.
As a pass protector, Conklin is, um... eh. As a run blocker, he's nasty. I watched Conklin's bowl game last year against Baylor, in which he went up against Shawn Oakman (we profile him below), and there's a lot to love about his effectiveness and sheer brawn in the run game.
Here's Conklin caving/pancaking Oakman down the line of scrimmage on a 60+ yard run:
Here you can see the nastiness. He gets to the second level, and there's nobody there to block, so he peels back and levels some poor Baylor linebacker.
Here you see the Runyan in him. He pretends to not want to bury this Baylor defender after the play, but clearly that's his intent:
And here you see him win with power on a QB sneak:
The downside? While he's good in pass protection, he's not as good in that regard as a lot of other OT prospects in this draft. Run blocking is clearly his strength. You'll see him get off-balance at times, which can lead to moments like this:
As far as a potential fit with the Eagles goes, ideally he could slide in a right tackle whenever Jason Peters hangs them up, with Lane Johnson moving over to left tackle. Unlike Johnson, however, Conklin doesn't have experience playing on both sides at the college level. A switch to right tackle would be new.
For each quarterback we profile, we're going to do an extensive look worthy of its own post. That's what we did for Dak Prescott here on Friday. In case you missed any of the other quarterbacks we've profiled, you can catch up with them all below:
Spoiler on Prescott: Meh. I'm not a big fan, but the Eagles might like him. He'll have a huge test against Alabama this week.
Jones was the 20th ranked high school recruit in the country by Rivals.com when he committed to Mississippi State in 2013. In his third year with the Bulldogs, Jones is short on production, as he has 90 career tackles, 8.5 sacks, and 16.5 tackles for loss. He has not been the impact player Mississippi State thought they had when they got him to commit. He is a very athletic player for his size, with the versatility to play anywhere along the defensive line. However, you occasionally see some really bad moments when he's not hustling to the football. Jones is No. 98, lined up over the center:
Jones will have the size-athleticism combo the Eagles covet. They'll have to decide if he's a hungry football player during the interview process, and whether or not he's worth a mid-round pick.
In 2013, the Eagles racked up 80 pass plays of 20+ yards, which was a new NFL record. DeSean Jackson had 25 of those.
In 2014, that number fell off some, as they managed 63 pass plays of 20+ yards, which was still very good, but nowhere near the output they had the previous season. Jeremy Maclin had 21 of those.
In 2015, they are on pace for 52, which would put them in the bottom half of the NFL. Jordan Matthews is on pace to lead the team with 12. Here's a snapshot of the Eagles big plays in the passing game over the last three years.
|Year||20+ yard pass plays (Eagles' leader)||NFL Rank|
|2013||80 (DeSean Jackson - 25)||1|
|2014||63 (Jeremy Maclin - 21)||3|
|2015 (projected)||52 (Jordan Matthews - 12)||22|
There's little question the Eagles have lacked a down-the-field threat this season, with Jackson and Maclin having moved on less green pastures.
This season, Corey Coleman has been an incredible deep threat for Baylor. He is averaging 20.3 yards per reception, and he has 20 receiving touchdowns. His game log:
Obviously, the Eagles have spent first, second, and third round picks on wide receivers the last two drafts, but there's certainly room for more playmakers in the Eagles' offense. Coleman could be the big play guy they've lacked. Highlight reel:
Big people beat up little people, and Oakman is 6'8, 276. Oakman was initially at Penn State, but was kicked off the team for multiple incidents that don't sound all that bad the way he tells them. He lost a year after transferring to Baylor, but is now playing DE for the Bears in their four-man fronts.
In 2014, Oakman had 11 sacks, 19.5 tackles for loss, 3 forced fumbles and 3 batted passes. This season, Oakman's numbers are down. He has 4 sacks, 11 tackles for loss, 2 forced fumbles and no batted passes. Still, Oakman fits what the Eagles are looking for along their defensive line.
"We want taller, longer guys with longer arms that can two-gap," said Kelly this past offseason. "And if you look at our D-Line, they’re taller and longer than when we first got here.
"When you kind of have those height/weight/speed parameters by position, it narrows it down, narrows the pool down in terms of what you’re looking for. But that’s what you play with. It’s tough to play with a 6-foot, 290-pound guy who’s not gonna be a good two-gapper. It doesn’t mean he’s not gonna be a good football player. It just means he doesn’t fit in terms of what we’re trying to get accomplished.”
Highlight reel here (again, he's big, in case I didn't mention that):
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