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October 01, 2016

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

Eagles NFL
092516MikeWilliams Brynn Anderson/AP

Clemson WR Mike Williams has great blend of size and speed.

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.

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

Jourdan Lewis, CB, Michigan (5'10, 176): (8) Wisconsin at (4) Michigan, 3:30 p.m.

Lewis is small, at 5'10, 176, and therefore he's likely to be drafted later than he should, but he is a great football player who could be a steal for someone. It's extremely difficult to get separation on Lewis, who is as sticky a cover corner as there is in college football.

In 2015, Lewis had a ridiculous 20 pass breakups, many of which you can see here in a 14-minute highlight reel:

Against the Steelers, the Eagles only had three corners dress on game day. Their need for more depth at corner is obvious.

Freddie Stevenson, FB, Florida State (6'0, 243): North Carolina at (12) Florida State, 3:30 p.m.

Yes, a fullback. Heath Evans would be so proud of me. Jokes aside, Doug Pederson said in a rather matter-of-fact manner that he wanted to add a fullback to his offense.

"Down the road, as we go, if we can develop a fullback at some point, we will do that," said Pederson. "We're constantly looking at that position, not only around the National Football League, but on our roster."

Stevenson is an intriguing prospect. Coming out of high school, he was a heavily recruited four-star linebacker who the Seminoles converted to fullback. A season ago, running back Dalvin Cook ran for 1691 yards on 228 carries (7.4 YPC) and 19 TDs. If you watch Cook's highlight reels, you'll often see #23 springing long runs with key blocks. Like here:

And here:

And here:

And here:

And, well, you get the idea.

Stevenson is also a competent receiver out of the backfield, although with so many other other weapons in the Seminoles' offensive attack, he wasn't often used that way. Stevenson could be a very good fit in Doug Pederson's offense.

Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan (6'3, 213): Western Michigan at Central Michigan, 7:00 p.m.

OK, so nobody is actually going to watch Western Michigan at Central Michigan, if that were even possible, but WMU has a player worth mentioning at the wide receiver position in Davis, who some believe could be a first round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. I'll reserve judgment on that for the 2017 Senior Bowl, where Davis is certain to get an invite.

In his career at Western Michigan, Davis has put up impressive numbers:

 Corey DavisRecYards YPC TD 
 201367 941 14.0 
 201478 1408 18.1 15 
 201590 1436 16.0 12 
 201624 395 16.5 

With 4180 career receiving yards, Davis is seven yards away from the all-time MAC conference receiving record. To note, the MAC has produced receivers such as Antonio Brown (Central Michigan), Julian Edelman (Kent State), Randy Moss (Marshall, then in the MAC), Greg Jennings (Central Michigan), Brandon Marshall (Central Florida, then in the MAC), Andrew Hawkins (Toledo), and Lance Moore (Toledo).

If Davis stays healthy, his career numbers will blow them all away. A highlight reel:

As you can see in the above video, Davis has size, speed, and hands.

Cordrea Tankersley, CB, Clemson (6'0, 195): (3) Louisville at (5) Clemson, 8:00 p.m.

Last season was Tankersley's first as a starter at corner, and he was smart to stay at Clemson for his senior season to build on his impressive starting debut. In 2015, Tankersley led the Tigers with five interceptions and nine pass breakups. In 2016, he already has four pass breakups, and has shown good ability to get his hands on the football. You can see his ball skills here:

As noted above, the Eagles' need for more corners is obvious.

Mike Williams, WR, Clemson (6'3, 220): (3) Louisville at (5) Clemson, 8:00 p.m.

Williams had a strong sophomore season in 2014, catching 57 passes for 1030 yards (18.1 YPC) and 6 TDs. He was poised for a huge season in 2015, when he broke his neck against Wofford in the season opener after being pushed into the goal post and what was a touchdown reception, shown below:

He missed the remainder of the season, and there was a question as to whether he'd ever play again. After healing fully, Williams was ready for the start of the 2016 season, when he went off for 174 yards on 9 catches against Auburn.

At 6'3, 220 pounds, Williams has the prototypical size for an NFL receiver, with speed and good hands to go along with his size. Williams is as intriguing a wide receiver prospect as any player in this draft, in what is a receiving class that is not as deep as it has been in previous years. A highlight reel:

The Eagles' clearly need to continue to give Carson Wentz more weapons in the passing game.

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

• 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

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