February 19, 2017
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.
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:
|2013 (Idaho State)||45||501||11.1||3|
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.
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:
Oh hello, Zay Jones! Frame by frame suggests this is TD even in NFL. Right toe taps just before the knee pic.twitter.com/CHqLVIcENA— Sam Monson (@PFF_Sam) January 29, 2017
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.
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:
|Kyle Vanden Bosch||2005-2008 (Titans), 2010-2012 (Lions)||6'4||278|
|Jevon Kearse||2001-2003, 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.
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.
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 NFL.com'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.
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