September 30, 2017
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 2018 NFL Draft.
When Georgia lost Todd Gurley for the season in 2014, Chubb came in and the Bulldogs' run game didn't suffer all that much. Insert Chubb, and everything was fine. In his first five games in 2014, playing second fiddle to Gurley, Chubb only had 31 carries for 224 yards and 2 TDs. As the starter, Chubb lit it up in the final eight games, carrying the ball 219 times for 1547 yards and 14 TDs.
In 2015, he picked up where he left off the previous season, rushing 92 times for 747 yards (for a ridiculous 8.1 ypc) and 7 TDs in his first five games. And then he suffered a grotesque injury in his sixth game against Tennessee.
His numbers at Georgia:
Chubb has a low center of gravity, running with good power and vision. However, his explosive cutting ability and home run potential last season wasn't quite what it used to be before he shredded his knee in 2015. A highlight reel, post-injury:
As you can see from Chubb's numbers above, his yards per carry plummeted after his injury. As a result, he made the correct decision to stay in school for his senior season. In 2017, Chubb is off to a good start, another year removed from his injury.
In the 2016 NFL Draft, two Alabama running backs -- Derrick Henry and Kenyon Drake -- were both taken in the first three rounds. Georgia could also have two backs taken in the 2018 NFL Draft in Chubb and Michel.
Michel's numbers aren't what they could be because he has had to split time with Chubb. A quick look:
Here's a highlight reel from Michel's 2015 season, when Chubb went down:
While he doesn't have top-end speed, Michel is a hard runner with receiving ability, which will appeal to the Eagles. In 2015, he had 26 catches for 270 yards and 3 TDs.
In the 2017 NFL Draft, the Eagles selected a bunch of players with excellent college production. For example, Derek Barnett broke Reggie White's sack record at Tennessee, Rasul Douglas tied for the nation lead in INTs, and Donnel Pumphrey was the NCAA's all-time leading rusher.
In 2015, Summers was very productive, picking off eight passes, which tied for second in the country. A look at those picks:
All 8 of Jamar Summers INTS (Tied for #2 in the country) pic.twitter.com/PMuTvXhzQU— WeAreDBnation (@WeAreDBNation1) July 26, 2016
In 2016, Summers struggled a bit and did not have anywhere near the same level of production. Still, he is likely to interest the Eagles, because he has played both cornerback and safety at UConn.
Jim Schwartz has noted repeatedly that he likes his safeties to have coverage ability.
"I think that's an asset," he said. "First of all, it's tough to find guys that can do both. I've probably been very long-winded on how we like safeties that have some corner in the background. Now Corey Graham, former corner. Malcolm Jenkins, corner. Rodney McLeod, corner in college. All of those guys fit in that same role, and Jaylen Watkins did also."
All four of the Eagles' non-Maragos safeties were once corners. The Eagles could see a similar role for Summers.
SMU has a very talented wide receiver in the previously profiled Courtland Sutton, who should test UConn's secondary.
Like Summers, Alexander has played some safety in addition to corner for Virginia Tech. As a freshman in 2015, Alexander had 55 tackles and four interceptions, one of which is shown below:
In 2016, he had 44 tackles and two picks.
Alexander is a tall, athletic corner who is not afraid to stick his nose in and make tackles, and his ball skills are rather obvious. However, he comes with serious character concerns.
In 2016, he was suspended for Virginia Tech's opener after being busted for possession of marijuana. Last week against East Carolina, Virginia Tech coach Justin Fuente had him stay home for 'not living up to' VT's expectations.
"We will continue to uphold the exemplary standards of Virginia Tech football," Fuente said. "Integrity, trust and teamwork remain the foundation of this program and that will not change.
"Adonis has not lived up to our expectations at Virginia Tech. He will continue practicing and participating in team activities. Our staff will continue to monitor his progress and evaluate his progress going forward."
The Eagles have shown they are willing to take chances on character concern players, and Alexander will likely be available much later in the draft than he otherwise would if his background were clean.
With one more punt return TD, Pettis will own sole possession of the all-time NCAA record for career punt return touchdowns. A list of the NCAA career leaders for punt return TDs:
Here are all 8:
With Darren Sproles' career likely over and Donnel Pumphrey having showed next to nothing in the way of a viable punt return candidate, the Eagles could (and should) be looking to add one. In Pettis, they'd get one of the best punt returners ever to come out of college, as well as a dangerous receiver.
As a receiver, Pettis' reception and yardage numbers aren't great, but he found the end zone 15 times in 2016 and has 3 receiving TDs already in 2017.