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October 03, 2015

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

Eagles NFL
092615JordanJenkins Mark Humphrey/AP

Jordan Jenkins could be the fourth Jordan drafted by the Eagles in as many years.

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. 

To note, if there's a player you have in mind that you think we should have profiled, check the bottom of this post for the players we've looked at in prior weeks. If he's not there, leave your recommendation in the comment section and we'll take a look to see if we agree.

Jordan Jenkins, OLB, Georgia (6'2, 253): (13) Alabama at (8) Georgia, 3:30pm

Jenkins has been a contributor in the Georgia defense since his freshman season, as he has appeared in 44 games over his career. He had five sacks in each of his first three seasons, and has three so far in his fourth. Those numbers aren't indicative of an elite pass rusher, but Jenkins absolutely does have pass rush skills, and he does an excellent job against the run.

Here's Jenkins giving Vanderbilt's offense all kinds of headaches:

First, he reads run all the way, and shoots the gap before the RT can block him:

Here he is easily defeating a block from their TE, then hitting the running back with violence:

Here he is working on the the interior of the Vandy OL, where he's too much for their center, and picks up a sack:

And then again, trying to block him with a TE (or even two of them) is just a bad idea:

Here he is with a dip move around the edge, which forces the QB to escape the pocket:

And that move set up the RT for a bull rush, as Jenkins puts him on roller skates back into the quarterback's lap as he tries to throw:

As for the #Culture aspect, Jenkins is thought of as the leader of Georgia's defense, and he is accomplished as a student

Additionally, the Eagles have drafted a Jordan in each of the first three drafts under Chip Kelly:

Year  PlayerSchool Round Overall 
2013 Jordan PoyerOregon State 218 
2014Jordan Matthews Vanderbilt 42 
2015Jordan Hicks Texas 84 

Jenkins is the best draft-eligible Jordan in the 2016 draft. #JordanBias.

Jason Spriggs, OT, Indiana (6'6, 305): (1) Ohio State at Indiana, 3:30pm

In 2014, former Indiana RB Tevin Coleman ran for 2036 yards on 7.5 yards per carry. He did so with the help of LT Jason Spriggs. When you watch Tevin Coleman highlight reels, you'll see all kinds of impressive blocks by Spriggs. For example:

Here's Spriggs (#78) blocking down on Bowling Green's DT, moving the entire line to the right and opening up a big hole on the left side of the line:

Here's Spriggs (#78) getting outside of Iowa's DE and walling him off, again creating a hole on the left side of the line:

And this one is a good look at Spriggs' athleticism. Watch at the snap as Spriggs runs to a spot and walls off the Michigan State ILB (#34), eliminating him from the play from the back side and creating a huge run for Coleman:

As a pass protector, Spriggs allowed just two sacks in 689 snaps in 2014, according to Brian Bennett of ESPN. Spriggs is also expected to test well at the Combine. Here are some measurables tweeted out by head coach Kevin Wilson:

Spriggs should be a clear player of interest to the Eagles. Today he'll have a very difficult matchup against Joey Bosa, who some believe is the best NFL prospect eligible for the 2016 draft.

Cody Whitehair, OG, Kansas State (6'4, 309): Kansas State at (20) Oklahoma State, 4:00pm

Whitehair has positional versatility, which is something the Eagles highly value. He played RT, was moved to LG, then back to RT, and finally he has found a home at LT. At just 6'4, he'll probably have to move back inside to guard at the pro level, but will have experience on the edge in a pinch.

Here's his game last year against Auburn. Nothing flashy here, but no Auburn defender sniffs the QB working against Whitehair:

Whitehair will have a very tough test today against...

Emmanuel Ogbah, Edge rusher, Oklahoma State (6'4, 275): Kansas State at (20) Oklahoma State, 4:00pm

In 2014, Ogbah had 11 sacks and 17 tackles for loss. He also batted down five passes. So far in 2015, he already has five sacks. At 6'4, 275, Ogbah would certainly qualify as "big people," and clearly the Eagles have a need for depth on the edge at OLB. Ogbah's projection to the NFL as a 3-4 OLB is a little difficult, as Oklahoma State rarely asks him to drop into coverage, but the most important attribute (getting to the quarterback) is there.

Here's Ogbah working against Florida State's professional offensive line a year ago, when he had six tackles, three sacks (one didn't count), and he got his hands on two passes:

KeiVarae Russell, CB, Notre Dame (6'0, 190): (6) Notre Dame at (12) Clemson, 8:00pm

Russell came in at #8 on Bruce Feldman's "Freaks" list this season, with the following explanation:

Russell showed off some of his athleticism this offseason with this incredible vault atop six boxes. The 5-11, 196-pound senior also has proven to be a standout DB for Notre Dame. He should put on quite a show after his college career when he gets to the NFL combine. In South Bend, he’s already broad-jumped 11-2 1/2 to go with his 40-inch vert. He’s also extremely strong for his size, squatting 500 pounds, benching 350 and doing 20 reps of 225 -- only two corners did more at the Combine in the past two years.

Here's that box jump:

In 2013, Russell's last full season on the field, he had eight pass breakups, and the Eagles seem to value corners who gets their hands on the football more than most.

Russell does have a #Culture red flag. He missed the 2014 season because of an academic fraud investigation.

 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

Follow Jimmy on Twitter: @JimmyKempski