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October 17, 2015

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

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101715CarlNassib Gene J. Puskar/AP

Penn State DE Carl Nassib leads the nation with 10 sacks.

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.

Karl Joseph, S, West Virginia (5'11, 197): West Virginia at (2) Baylor, 12pm

I had been waiting for this game all season to preview Joseph against a high-powered offensive attack in Baylor... and then Joseph injured his knee and will be out for the season. D'oh. I don't care. For the first time ever, I'm going to preview a guy who isn't even playing because I like his game so much.

While he doesn't have tremendous size at 5'11, 197, Joseph is one of the meanest, nastiest players in college football. I'm just going to let his highlight reels do the talking. Here's Joseph killing people during his freshman (freshman!) year:

And his junior year highlights:

His numbers at WVU:

Karl Joseph Tackles Sacks FF INT PBU 
 2012 102 (7 for loss)
 201368 (3 for loss)
 201490 (4.5 for loss) 
 201520 (2 for loss) 

But does Joseph fit the whole #culture thing? Here's what West Virginia defensive coordinator Tony Gibson thinks:

Joseph is a guy who looks like he was born to play football. The Eagles of course want their safeties to be able to drop down into the slot and cover receivers man-to-man. Unfortunately, in the games I watched of Joseph, the Mountaineers rarely had him do that. On the occasions he did, however, he did look comfortable in that role. The Eagles would have to determine if (A) he can cover man-to-man at the pro level, or (B) be comfortable enough drafting a beast killer who make take some time to develop in coverage because they already have a pair of great cover safeties in Malcolm Jenkins and Walter Thurmond.

Jalen Mills, CB/S, LSU (6'0, 193): (8) Florida at (6) LSU, 7pm

Mills is a player who will absolutely be on the Eagles' radar, due to the versatility he brings from the safety position to drop down and cover slot receivers man-to-man. With his blend of size and athleticism, Mills can also play corner on the outside. Watch him go mano-e-mano in the slot up against Auburn's D'haquille Williams, who is a highly regarded prospect. This is outstanding coverage (via

What I don't like about Mills, however, is that he doesn't seem all that willing to stick his nose in there and make tough tackles. This is less than awesome:

Mills also has a serious incident on his record (via Emily Lane of that Chip Kelly and the Eagles would have to investigate.

Mills was arrested in June after a woman who claims he punched her outside his Highland Road apartment picked him out of a lineup.  
He pleaded not guilty to the charge October.
The alleged victim, who is 5-foot-3 inches tall and weighed 113 pounds, told police she was briefly knocked unconscious and received four stitches to her lip for her injuries, according to an affidavit of probable cause
Mills' attorney Brent Stockstill, however, had denied the alleged vcitim's account, saying it was actually Mills' girlfriend who threw the punch and that the victim gave multiple conflicting accounts of what happened.

But again, from a "scheme fit" perspective, Mills feels like the exact type of defensive back that Chip Kelly and Billy Davis covet.

Vadal Alexander, OG/OT, LSU (6'5, 326): (8) Florida at (6) LSU, 7pm

Alexander is CBS Sports' 21st ranked prospect overall, and their top rated guard. He also has versatility, in that he has played both LG and RT for the Tigers, which the Eagles will like. Alexander has good size, he plays through the whistle, and you'll often see him bury opponents against their will, which is something the Eagles don't really have on the interior of their OL. However, I just don't see a first-round guy here. There is nothing that really stands out about his game, as he has far too many missed blocks below, and he is on the ground quite a bit.

He's worth noting because of the Eagles' obvious and desperate need for help along the offensive line, and obviously there are others who like him more than I do, but this would be a disappointing first round pick, in my view. Third round? Sure.

Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida (5'11, 198): (8) Florida at (6) LSU, 7pm

If you read this column every week, I'm going to sound like a broken record here, but of the 31 cornerbacks that were selected in the 2015 NFL Draft, the three corners the Eagles drafted all landed among the top six players in pass breakups the last two years, including the #1 overall player, sixth round pick JaCorey Shepherd, who had 28. Here's that full list:

Player Team PBU - 2014 PBU - 2013 TOTAL 
 JaCorey ShepherdEagles 15 13 28 
 Darryl RobertsPatriots 17 24 
 Dexter McDonaldRaiders 13 10 23 
 Randall EvansEagles 10 12 22 
 D'Joun SmithColts 13 21 
 Eric RoweEagles 13 20 
 Craig MagerChargers 10 19 
 Doran GrantSteelers 10 19 
 Kevin JohnsonTexans 12 18 
 Lorenzo DossBroncos 18 
 P.J. WilliamsSaints 10 17 
 Alex CarterLions 17 
 Charles GainesBrowns 10 17 
 Marcus PetersChiefs 16 
 Steven NelsonChiefs 16 
 Damian SwannSaints 16 
 Quandre DiggsLions 10 15 
 Ifo Ekpre-OlomuBrowns 15 
 Trae WaynesVikings 13 
 Tevin MitchelRedskins 13 
 Byron JonesCowboys 12 
 Jalen CollinsFalcons 11 
 Senquez GolsonSteelers 11 
 Quinten RollinsPackers 
 Ronald DarbyBills 
 Bobby McCainDolphins 
 Josh ShawBengals 
 Taurean NixonBroncos 
 Akeem KingFalcons 
 Tray Walker*Ravens N/A N/A N/A 
 Tye Smith*Seahawks N/A N/A N/A 

*PBU stats for Tray Walker and Tye Smith could not be located.

The last two seasons, as a true freshman and sophomore, Hargreaves had 6 interceptions and 24 pass breakups.

Hargreaves doesn't have the size that many teams (the Eagles included) would prefer, but watch the ball skills:

Hargreaves may be one of those guys that the media and fans like more than NFL people, because of his measurables. And if so, there's an outside chance he could land in a draftable area for the Eagles.

Carl Nassib, DE, Penn State (6'7, 270): Penn State at (1) Ohio State, 8pm

Here are the 2015 NCAA sack leaders through the first six weeks of the season:

 PlayerSchool Sacks 
 Carl NassibPenn State 10 
 Joe SchobertWisconsin 
 Steven TaylorHouston 
 Emmanuel Ogbah (previously highlighted here)Oklahoma State 7.5 
 Miles GarrettTexas A&M 7.5 

"We want taller, longer guys with longer levers that can two-gap," said Chip Kelly back in July. "And if you look at our D-Line, they’re taller and longer than when we first got here." Nassib would certainly fit the "taller and longer" initiative.

Here's Nassib's game against Buffalo this season, when he had 10 tackles, 3 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and an INT.

In the video above, in addition to being able to get to the quarterback, you can see that Nassib is mindful of getting his hands up in passing lanes, and Penn State even likes to drop him into coverage on occasion. He'll have to put on more weight at the next level if he were to play DE in a 3-4, but the athleticism is there.

As an added note, Nassib is a former walk-on who has had to earn everything he has gotten. His brother is Giants backup QB Ryan Nassib.

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

Follow Jimmy on Twitter: @JimmyKempski