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September 17, 2016

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

Eagles NFL
090116Damore'ea Stringfellow Rogelio V. Solis/AP

It will be mildly inconvenient learning how to spell Damore'ea Stringfellow's name if the Eagles draft him.

As long as you're taking in some college football action this Saturday afternoon/evening, here are some players who could make some sense for the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2017 NFL Draft.

Damore'ea Stringfellow, WR, Ole Miss (6'2, 212): (1) Alabama at (11) Ole Miss, 3:30 p.m.

Stringfellow is a talented wide receiver with a history of off-the-field incidents. From Kyle Glaser of The Press Enterprise:

Stringfellow was ranked the nation's No. 10 receiver by coming out of high school, but trouble began after his freshman season at Washington. He was arrested for assault stemming from a fight following the Super Bowl and pled guilty to three misdemeanors. Washington suspended him and he decided to transfer, signing a nonbinding agreement with Nebraska. After a trip to Ole Miss, however, he switched his commitment to the Rebels.

With bridges burned at Washington and Nebraska he again found trouble at Ole Miss. After sitting out last season because of transfer rules he was arrested in Jan. 22 on charges of disorderly conduct.

In the 2016 NFL Draft, the Eagles showed that they are willing to take chances on talented players with off-the-field issues, when they drafted Wendell Smallwood, Jalen Mills, and Alex McCalister.

Stringfellow's numbers in his first two seasons in college are underwhelming:

Year Rec Yrads YPC TD 
 2013 (Washington)20 259 13.0 
 2015 (Ole Miss)36 503 14.0 

However, he is expected to become Chad Kelly's go-to target with Laquon Treadwell having left for the NFL. 

As a player, while he's not a burner, Stringfellow had good size, leaping ability, and strength. He also breaks tackles after the catch. A highlight reel:

Obviously, the Eagles need help at wide receiver.

Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama (6'1, 240): (1) Alabama at (11) Ole Miss, 3:30 p.m.

Alabama has churned out their share of inside linebackers the last seven years:

 YearPlayer Team Round Overall 
 2016Reggie Ragland Bills 41 
 2014C.J. Mosley Ravens 17 
 2013Nico Johnson Chiefs 99 
 2012Mark Barron (S at Bama) Buccaneers 
 2010Rolando McClain Raiders 

Foster is the next man up, and a potential Day 1 or Day 2 pick, playing in the middle of Bama's defense. He's likely a MIKE at the next level, which would mean that if the Eagles had interest, they might have to consider shifting Jordan Hicks to the WILL spot and moving on from Mychal Kendricks.

Foster is thumper as the below video will show, but he also has speed, ability in coverage, and was a special teams standout while he waited his turn to be "the guy" in the middle of the defense. A highlight reel:

James Conner, RB, Pittsburgh (6'2, 240): Pittsburgh at (21) Oklahoma State, 3:30 p.m.

After a 2014 season in which he rushed for 1765 yards, in Pitt's first game in 2015 Conner tore his MCL and was lost for the season. In December he was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma. In May of 2016, Conner announced that he beat cancer.

His career numbers:

James Conner Rush Yards YPC TD 
 2013146 799 5.5 
 2014298 1765 5.9 26 
 201577 9.6 
 TOTAL452 2641 5.8 36 

In a class full of bigger backs, Conner is among the biggest at 6'2, 240, but he moves a lot faster than you would expect at his size. The downside with Conner is that he has just nine career receptions, perhaps making him not the best fit for the Eagles in Doug Pederson's offense. If he can show that he can be a weapon as a receiver out of the backfield this season as well, the Eagles could have interest. Conner's highlight reel:

Charles Harris, DE, Missouri (6'3, 260): (18) Georgia at Missouri, 7:30 p.m.

Missouri has produced a lot of defensive linemen and/or edge rushers over the last six years, including three first round picks and two second round picks:

 YearPlayer Team Round Overall 
 2015Shane Ray Broncos 23 
 2015Markus Golden Cardinals 58 
 2014Kony Ealy Panthers 60 
 2014Michael Sam Rams 249 
 2013Sheldon Richardson Jets 13 
 2011Aldon Smith 49ers 

They're likely to have another first or second round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft as well, assuming junior Charles Harris comes out. Harris' stats over his first two seasons at Missouri aren't eye popping (9 sacks his first two seasons), but his skills are. Watch the following video against Florida. A few things stand out -- He has an outstanding burst off the snap, a great spin move (both ways), he hustles, he isn't fooled by misdirection, and he has counter moves if his initial pass rush move doesn't work.

I can see this dude doing a lot of damage in a wide nine defense.

Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame (6'7, 310): (12) Michigan State at (10) Notre Dame, 7:30 p.m.

McGlinchey is a Philly native who has played RT throughout his career at Notre Dame so far, but will move to LT with Ronnie Stanley having moved on to the NFL. That'll check off some versatility boxes for Doug Pederson if McGlinchey can play well on the blind side in 2016. He was also named one of four team captains for the 2016 season. 

McGlinchey doesn't have Stanley's power or athleticism, but he has great length and is thought to be technically sound. Here's his game last season against Joey Bosa (for a few minutes, anyway) and Ohio State:

Previously profiled players

September 1

  1. Zach Cunningham, OLB, 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

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