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August 23, 2020

Grocery shopping: Five college prospects who could interest the Eagles in the 2021 NFL Draft

Eagles NFL
082320MicahParsons Jesse Johnson/USA TODAY Sports

Penn State LB Micah Parsons

During the college football season each year, as long as you were watching the games, we pointed out five players each week to watch who made logical sense for the Eagles in the following year's draft. 

Some parts of the country are still trying to have a college football season, and some have already surrendered to reason. Still, this is an exercise that allows me to have a clue about these guys during draft season, and hopefully it does for you too, so we'll continue to profile players anyway, because why not.

The following five players have already opted out of the 2020 season.

Kennedy Brooks, RB, Oklahoma (5'11, 214)

In his two years at Oklahoma, Brooks had an excellent yards per carry average.

 Kennedy BrooksRush Yards YPC TD 
 2018119 1056 8.9 12 
 2019155 1011 6.5 
 TOTAL274 2067 7.5 18 

Of course, those numbers were no doubt helped by the Sooners' explosive offense. A highlight reel:

Brooks doesn't have great speed or any obviously elite traits, but he has good vision, runs with patience, and when there are yards he should get, he gets them. He feels like a later-round pick who can be a good, long-term backup.

Warren Jackson, WR, Colorado State (6'6, 215)

Jackson is a skinny, 6'6 string bean with some "chuck it up deep" and jump ball red zone value. In 2019, he had 77 catches for 1119 yards and 8 TDs. Highlights:

The Eagles have had guys like Warren in their camps in the Doug Pederson era, like Carlton Agudosi a year ago, for example, and other failed big guys like Dorial Green-Beckham.

While none of those guys have become productive players, the Eagles do seem intrigued by skyscraper receivers, and Jackson is probably a late Day 3 guy.

MORE: Eagles 53-man roster projection, after the first week of training camp | Doug Pederson names five young Eagles players who have stood out early in training camp

Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State (6'3, 245)

In the interest of covering Micah Parson so I don't have to answer, "What about Micah Parsons" questions all season long, here's Micah Parsons.

Yes, he's awesome, and in my opinion is a more talented version of Isaiah Simmons, who went eighth overall to the Cardinals in the 2020 NFL Draft.

But you know it, and I know it — even if the Eagles are bad enough in 2020 to have any shot of drafting Parsons, they simply don't value the linebacker position enough to take one in the top 10. So if you're a big Parsons fan and you want him to be a Philadelphia Eagle, sorry, but it's a pipe dream. 

Jay Tufele, DT, USC (6'3, 315)

In two seasons at USC, Tufele doesn't have eye-popping numbers (65 tackles, 11 TFL, and 7.5 sacks), but he is a potential first-round pick because of his brute strength, his quickness off the ball at the snap, and his obvious athleticism. Watch his scoop-and-score at the 2:16 mark below. How many 2019 Eagles receivers could beat this guy in a footrace?

As we noted in the first installment of our Grocery Shopping series this year, the Eagles have only drafted three defensive tackles since they took Fletcher Cox in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft:

 YearPlayer Round 
 2013Bennie Logan 
 2014Beau Allen 
 2017Elijah Qualls 

Cox turns 30 in December, Malik Jackson turns 31 in January, and Javon Hargrave is currently hurt. The Eagles obviously value the position and have dumped a lot of financial resources into it, but it may also be time to reload with some youth on the interior of the D-line.

Kary Vincent Jr., CB, LSU (5'10, 189)

Vincent is already one of my favorite prospects in the 2021 draft. He isn't the biggest guy at 5'10, 189, but he hits, he has good ball skills, he has a bunch of highlight reel INTs, and hey, Jim Schwartz alert, he has slot corner and safety experience. 

In 2019, Vincent had 4 picks and 8 pass breakups, playing for LSU's championship team.

The Eagles seem to be collecting guys with slot corner and safety experience in bulk, like Avonte Maddox, Will Parks, and K'Von Wallace, and Vincent is a player in that same mold. I think he's a Day 2 guy.

Previously profiled players

August 9

  1. Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
  2. Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue
  3. Gregory Rousseau, DE, Miami
  4. Jaylen Twyman, DL, Pittsburgh
  5. Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech

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