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November 14, 2015

Grocery shopping: Five college players to watch who could interest the Eagles in the 2016 NFL Draft

Eagles NFL
111315ShawnOakman Tony Gutierrez/AP

Baylor DE Shawn Oakman definitely qualifies as "big people."

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.

Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State (6'6, 318): Maryland at Michigan State, 12:00 p.m.

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.

Dak Prescott, QB, Mississippi State (6'2, 230): (2) Alabama at (17) Mississippi State, 3:30 p.m.

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:

• Michigan State's Connor Cook
• Ohio State's Cardale Jones
• USC's Cody Kessler
• Cal's Jared Goff
• Cincinnati's Gunner Kiel
• Mississippi State's Dak Prescott

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.

Chris Jones, DE, Mississippi State (6'6, 308): (2) Alabama at (17) Mississippi State, 3:30 p.m.

Jones was the 20th ranked high school recruit in the country by 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.

Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor (5'10, 190): (12) Oklahoma at (6) Baylor, 8:00 p.m.

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 
 201380 (DeSean Jackson - 25)
 201463 (Jeremy Maclin - 21)
 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:

Opponent Rec Yards YPC TD 
 SMU178 35.6 
 Lamar182 30.3 
 Rice100 16.7 
 Texas Tech110 15.7 
 Kansas108 15.4 
 West Virginia10 199 19.9 
 Iowa State85 14.2 
 Kansas State11 216 19.6 
 TOTAL58 1178 20.3 20 

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:

Shawn Oakman, Baylor (6'8, 276): (12) Oklahoma at (6) Baylor, 8:00 p.m.

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):

Check out our grocery shopping page here, or any of the individual grocery shopping posts below.

September 5

  1. Derrick Henry, RB, Alabama
  2. A'Shawn Robinson, DL, Alabama
  3. Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State
  4. Dadi Nicolas, Edge rusher, Virginia Tech
  5. Kendall Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech

• September 12

  1. Tyler Johnstone, OT, Oregon
  2. DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon
  3. Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State
  4. Shilique Calhoun, Edge rusher, Michigan State
  5. Tre'Davious White, CB, LSU

• September 19

  1. Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame
  2. Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia
  3. Rashard Higgins, WR, Colorado State
  4. Jared Goff, QB, California
  5. O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama

• September 26

  1. Wayne Lyons, CB/S, Michigan
  2. Hunter Henry, TE, Arkansas
  3. Germain Ifedi, OT, Texas A&M
  4. Christian Westerman, OG, Arizona State
  5. Cody Kessler, QB, USC

• October 3

  1. Jordan Jenkins, Edge rusher, Georgia
  2. Jason Spriggs, OT, Indiana
  3. Cody Whitehair, OT/OG, Kansas State
  4. Emmanuel Ogbah, Edge rusher, Oklahoma State
  5. KeiVarae Russell, CB, Notre Dame

• October 10

  1. Maurice Canady, CB, Virginia
  2. Tyler Boyd, WR, Pittsburgh
  3. Cam Sutton, CB, Tennessee
  4. John Theus, OT, Georgia
  5. Dean Lowry, DE, Northwestern

• October 17

  1. Karl Joseph, S, West Virginia
  2. Jalen Mills, CB/S, LSU
  3. Vadal Alexander, OT/OG, LSU
  4. Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida
  5. Carl Nassib, DE, Penn State

• October 24

  1. Jeremy Cash, S, Duke
  2. Le'Raven Clark, OT/OG, Texas Tech
  3. Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss
  4. Jalen Ramsey, CB, Florida State
  5. Darian Thompson, S, Boise State

• October 31

  1. Jonathan Bullard, DE, Florida
  2. Isaac Seumalo, C/OG/OT, Oregon State
  3. Nick Martin, OG/C, Notre Dame
  4. Tyler Matakevich, ILB, Temple
  5. Kyle Murphy, OT, Stanford

November 7

  1. Landon Turner, OG, North Carolina
  2. Gunner Kiel, QB, Cincinnati
  3. William Jackson III, CB, Houston
  4. Josh Doctson, WR, TCU
  5. Jarran Reed, DL, Alabama

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