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February 19, 2017

Grocery shopping: Five college players to watch who could interest the Eagles in the 2017 NFL Draft

Throughout the season, as long as you were watching college football action on Saturdays, we would profile five players to watch who could make some sense for the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2017 NFL Draft. 

The college football season is over, but since there are always some players who tend to start getting attention after the season has concluded, we'll do a "late riser" edition.

To note, the Eagles currently have eight draft picks in the 2017 NFL Draft, listed here.

Chad Hansen, WR, California (6'1, 195)

When NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah published his first Top 50 prospect list, Hansen appeared on it at No. 48, with the following breakdown of his game:

Hansen started one season at wide receiver after transferring from Idaho State. He has a tall, lean build and outstanding play speed. This is a pure vertical receiver. He is sudden in his release, stacks on top of cornerbacks and tracks the ball naturally. He can find a second gear when the ball is in the air. He does have some trouble getting off press coverage at times and he wasn't asked to run the entire route tree at Cal. He will need some time to develop, but I love his size, speed and ball skills.

I'll admit I had no idea he even existed. Here are Hansen's numbers:

Chad Hansen Rec Yards YPC TD 
 2013 (Idaho State)45 501 11.1 
 2015 (Cal)19 249 13.1 
 2016 (Cal)92 1249 13.6 11 
 TOTAL156 1999 12.8 15 

Here's a highlight reel. You'll see Hansen's obvious play speed (as Jeremiah noted), leaping ability, body control, and YAC.

While the skill set is certainly there, I'd be very wary of taking a 22-year old developmental one-year wonder in the second round. In the third? Sure.

If the Eagles adequately address the wide receiver position in free agency, then perhaps Hansen would make sense as a player they can be patient with, especially if the Eagles were to sign a comparatively older free agent deep threat like DeSean Jackson, who can take the top off a defense for at least another two years while Hansen continues to develop.

Zay Jones, WR, Eastern Carolina (6'2, 202)

In 2016, Jones had ridiculous numbers, catching 158 passes for 1746 yards and 8 TDs. Those numbers always felt massively inflated due to East Carolina's pass-happy spread offense, as ECU attempted 554 passes this season, seventh-most in the country. 

This was not the first time an ECU receiver put up huge numbers. For example, in 2014 Justin Hardy caught 121 passes for 1494 yards and 10 TDs. The Atlanta Falcons ended up taking Hardy in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL Draft.

After watching Jones all week at the Senior Bowl a month ago, I am no longer concerned with whether or not he can play (he most certainly can). I was surprised by how good of a route runner he was, which is not always the case with receivers coming from spread offenses in college, and he displayed very good hands. For example, watch this catch he made in the actual Senior Bowl game, which was wrongfully ruled incomplete:

A highlight reel:

In his second mock draft this year, ESPN's Mel Kiper had Jones in the first round, going 27th overall to the Chiefs. I personally believe that's way too high. It will be interesting to see what Jones runs at the Combine. 

Tanoh Kpassagnon, DE, Villanova (6'7, 280)

Kpassagnon is a physical freak of nature at 6'7, 280, with 10 7/8" hands and 34 7/8" arms. He basically won the weigh-in at the Senior Bowl. At Nova last season, he had 33 tackles, 11 sacks, and 16 tackles for loss. On his first practice at the Senior Bowl, Kpassagnon drew a few oohs and ahhs from the crowd when he tossed highly rated guard prospect Forrest Lamp to the ground.

Kpassagnon is thought of as a raw prospect with a high ceiling. 

As we've noted in the past, in his time as the defensive coordinator for the Tennessee Titans and Buffalo Bills, as well as his time as the head coach in Detroit, Jim Schwartz has employed some rather large defensive ends. For example:

 PlayerYears Height Weight 
Devin Taylor 2013 6'7 275 
 Kevin Carter2001-2004 6'6 305 
 Mario Williams2014 6'6 300 
 Dave Ball2008 6'6 275 
 Jason Jones2008 6'5 272 
 Ezekiel Ansah2013 6'5 271 
 Lawrence Jackson2010-2012 6'5 261 
 Willie Young2010-2013 6'5 251 
 Kyle Vanden Bosch2005-2008 (Titans), 2010-2012 (Lions) 6'4 278 
 Antwan Odom2004-2007 6'4 277 
 Jevon Kearse2001-2003, 2008 6'4 265 

Kpassagnon would give the Eagles a huge presence with athleticism on the edge, although it might take a year or two for him to develop. In the meantime, the Birds could probably live with Vinny Curry as a starter at DE with Marcus Smith being the first DE of the bench for a year.

Fabian Moreau, CB, UCLA (6'0, 205)

Moreau was among the biggest standouts at the East-West Shrine Game week of practices. During the game, NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said that "worst case," Moreau will go in the second round.

Moreau's college stats aren't very impressive, as he had just three interceptions and two forced fumbles over his career at UCLA. As a redshirt senior, he'll also be 23 years old when he's drafted, which is less than ideal.

At 6'0, 205, he has very good size, and although his INT number are low, Moreau does a good job breaking on the football and batting down passes. He is also thought of as a physical defender in the run game.

If indeed Mayock is correct that Moreau isn't making it out of the second round, if the Eagles like him, Moreau could be an option there.

Adam Shaheen, TE, Ashland (6'6, 277)

This is a big boy who can run. Watch the highlight reel below, and note that this 6'6, 277 tight end is running away from cornerbacks:

Ashland is a Division II school in Ohio, so obviously, you're looking at a lower level of competition above. In 2015, Shaheen caught 70 passes for 803 yards and 10 TDs. In 2016, he had 57 receptions for 867 yards and 16 TDs.

Since there's not exactly a ton of Ashland tape available, we'll rely on the eyes of's Lance Zierlein:

Big, fast and athletic, Shaheen will immediately interest teams who are looking for size and traits. He's a poorer blocker than what might be expected for a player with his frame, but he's also a much more dangerous pass catching target. The jump in competition will be substantial and teams will expect him to become a more consistent blocker, but he's a pass catching tight end in a Y-tight end's body. Shaheen has starting potential with an ability to impact a passing game early in his career.

Doug Pederson wanted to keep four tight ends coming out of training camp last year, but Chris Pantale simply was not worthy of a roster spot. In a draft class loaded with tight end talent, a guy like Shaheen could potentially be available in the mid-to-late rounds, barring some kind of ridiculous Combine performance, which isn't out of the question.

Next year Brent Celek will count for $5 million against the cap, $4 million of which the Eagles will save if they release or trade him. He feels like a prime cap casualty in 2018. Shaheen could be a player the Eagles try to develop into a better blocker, which would allow them to create mismatches in two- and three-TE sets alongside Zach Ertz and Trey Burton.

Previously profiled players

• September 1

  1. Zach Cunningham, LB, Vanderbilt
  2. Mitch Leidner, QB, Minnesota
  3. Jonah Persig, OT, Minnesota
  4. Sean Harlow, OG, Oregon State
  5. Dion Dawkins, OT, Temple

• September 3

  1. Samaje Perine, RB, Oklahoma
  2. Tre'Davious White, CB, LSU
  3. Elijah Hood, RB, North Carolina
  4. Adoree' Jackson, CB/PR/KR/WR, USC
  5. Zach Banner, OT, USC

• September 10

  1. Dorian Johnson, OG, Pittsburgh
  2. Deatrich Wise, Jr., DE, Arkansas
  3. Cameron Sutton, CB, Tennessee
  4. Jalen Hurd, RB, Tennessee
  5. Royce Freeman, RB, Oregon

• September 17

  1. Damore'ea Stringfellow, WR, Ole Miss
  2. Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama
  3. James Conner, RB, Pittsburgh
  4. Charles Harris, DE, Missouri
  5. Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame

• September 24

  1. Desmond King, CB, Iowa
  2. Malik McDowell, DT, Michigan State
  3. Jalen 'Teez' Tabor, CB, Florida
  4. Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
  5. Johnny Caspers, OG, Stanford

• October 1

  1. Jourdan Lewis, CB, Michigan
  2. Freddie Stevenson, FB, Florida State
  3. Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
  4. Cordrea Tankersley, CB, Clemson
  5. Mike Williams, WR, Clemson

• October 8

  1. Dan Feeney, OG, Indiana
  2. Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State
  3. Josh Reynolds, WR, Texas A&M
  4. Jalen Reeves-Maybin, LB, Tennessee
  5. Donnel Pumphrey, RB, San Diego State

• October 15

  1. Ryan Switzer, WR, North Carolina
  2. Joshua Dobbs, QB, Tennessee
  3. Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee
  4. Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama
  5. Raekwon McMillan, LB, Ohio State

• October 22

  1. Amba Etta-Tawo, WR, Syracuse
  2. Dawaune Smoot, DE, Illinois
  3. Sidney Jones, CB, Washington
  4. Dede Westbrook, WR, Oklahoma
  5. Evan Engram, TE, Ole Miss

• October 29

  1. John Ross, WR, Washington
  2. Vita Vea, DT, Washington
  3. Taywan Taylor, WR, Western Kentucky
  4. Montravius Adams, DT, Auburn
  5. DeMarcus Walker, DE, Florida State

• November 5

  1. Anthony Walker Jr., LB, Northwestern
  2. Adam Bisnowaty, OT, Pittsburgh
  3. Sam Rogers, FB, Virginia Tech
  4. Curtis Samuel, RB, Ohio State
  5. Ethan Pocic, C, LSU

• November 12

  1. Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia
  2. Greg Pyke, OG, Georgia
  3. James Washington, WR, Oklahoma State
  4. JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, USC
  5. Jeremy McNichols, RB, Boise State

• November 19

  1. Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin
  2. Isaiah Ford, WR, Virginia Tech
  3. Damontae Kazee, CB, San Diego State
  4. Tyler Orlosky, C, West Virginia
  5. Chad Wheeler, OT, USC

• November 26

  1. Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State 
  2. Pat Elflein, C, Ohio State
  3. Amara Darboh, WR, Michigan
  4. Chidobe Awuzie, CB, Colorado
  5. Marquez White, CB, Florida State

• December 3

  1. Jordan Thomas, CB, Oklahoma
  2. Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama
  3. Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida
  4. Jarrad Davis, LB, Florida
  5. Wayne Gallman, RB, Clemson

• December 10

  1. Cooper Kupp, WR, Eastern Washington
  2. Billy Brown, WR, Shepherd
  3. Gerald Everett, TE, South Alabama
  4. Julie'n Davenport, OT, Bucknell
  5. Keionta Davis, DE, Chattanooga

• December 17

  1. Steven Taylor, LB, Houston
  2. Nico Siragusa, OG, San Diego State
  3. Kareem Hunt, RB, Toledo
  4. Michael Roberts, TE, Toledo
  5. Elijah McGuire, RB, Louisiana Lafayette

• December 24

  1. Jeremy Cutrer, CB, Middle Tennessee State
  2. Harold Landry, DE, Boston College
  3. Garett Bolles, OT, Utah
  4. Hunter Dimick, DE, Utah
  5. Lowell Lotulelei, DT, Utah

• December 29

  1. Marlon Mack, RB, USF
  2. Alvin Kamara, RB, Tennessee
  3. Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan
  4. Erik Magnuson, OT/OG, Michigan
  5. Roderick Johnson, OT, Florida State

• December 31

  1. Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
  2. Kevin King, CB, Washington
  3. Tyquan Lewis, DE, Ohio State
  4. Joe Mixon, RB, Oklahoma
  5. Carl Lawson, DE, Auburn

• January 9

  1. Dalvin Tomlinson, DT, Alabama
  2. Carlos Watkins, DT, Clemson
  3. Tyrone Crowder, OG, Clemson
  4. Jordan Leggett, TE, Clemson
  5. Jadar Johnson, S, Clemson

• January 15

  1. Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State
  2. Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford
  3. Chris Godwin, WR, Penn State
  4. Corn Elder, CB, Miami
  5. Rasul Douglas, CB, West Virginia

January 21

  1. Forrest Lamp, OG/OT, Western Kentucky
  2. Isaac Asiata, OG, Utah
  3. Daeshon Hall, DE, Texas A&M
  4. Antonio Garcia, OT, Troy
  5. Takkarist McKinley, DE, UCLA

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