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November 04, 2017

Grocery shopping: Five college players to watch who could interest the Eagles in the 2018 NFL Draft

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.

Brian Allen, OG, Michigan State (6'2, 305): (7) Penn State at (24) Michigan State, 12:00 p.m.

Allen has experience playing all three spots along the interior of the Spartans' offensive line. In 2017, he has started every game at center, but in 2016, he moved all over the place. In 2016, he started the first three games at LG, then moved to center for two games, then to right guard for five games, and back to left guard for the final two.

While interior offensive line help isn't a glaring need, the Eagles have clearly shown that they value OL versatility. At the next level, Allen will likely be a center who can also play guard.

Next season, Jason Kelce will count for $7.2 million against the cap, $6 million of which the Eagles would save if they traded or cut him. A few months ago, I would have thought that to be the likely outcome for Kelce's future with the team, but with him playing well in 2017... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota State (6'4, 260): North Dakota State at South Dakota State, 3:00 p.m.

The only readers of mine who will actually see this game are the NDSU fans who adopted the Eagles as their NFL team. Today, NDSU will face a very talented tight end in SDSU's Dallas Goedert.

At a lower level of college football, Goedert has dominated, which is what you would expect of a legitimate NFL prospect. In 2016, Geodert caught 92 passes for 1293 yards and 11 TDs. One of those games was against TCU, in which Goedert had 5 catches for 96 yards and a TD. In 2017, he's off to another good season, as he has 33 catches for 587 yards and 3 TDs. A highlight reel:

Goedert has great hands and athleticism for a tight end and could be a matchup problem in the NFL, though his blocking must improve. With Brent Celek's career coming to an end soon and Trey Burton set to become a free agent after this season, the Eagles will likely be in the market for a tight end. Paired with Zach Ertz, Goedert could give the Eagles the opportunity to show even more varied looks offensively than they already do.

In the 2017 NFL Draft, Eastern Washington's Cooper Kupp was selected in the 3rd round (69th overall) by the Los Angeles Rams. Kupp already has 23 catches for 316 yards and 3 TDs in his rookie season. FCS players are contributing quickly in the NFL, and should not be overlooked.

Cedrick Wilson, WR, Boise State (6'3, 188): Nevada at Boise State, 7:00 p.m.

When the Eagles signed Torrey Smith this offseason, they were looking for a speed receiver who would keep opposing defenses honest by making safeties respect the possibility of the deep ball. Smith has achieved that result to some degree, however, he has made plays too sporadically. 

Smith has a low number of targets and completely disappears for long period of time. While opposing defenses respect the deep ball, thus opening up the intermediate areas of the field, you would still prefer to get more out of one of your starting receivers. As such, the Eagles could look to add another deep threat this offseason.

Boise State WR  Cedrick Wilson would fit the profile of that kind of deep threat. In 2016, he averaged more than 20 yards per catch, and he had over 1100 yards receiving. In 2017, he's on pace to top 1100 yards once again. His numbers:

 Cedrick WilsonRec Yards YPC TD 
 201656 1129 20.2 11 
 201745 748 16.6 
 TOTAL101 1877 18.6 16 

Here's his game last year against San Jose State. Wilson isn't just a one-trick pony, much the way Shelton Gibson was a year ago. He runs the full route tree, makes guys miss after he has the ball in his hands, and I love his tenacity as a blocker: 

Wilson would make sense as a mid-round prospect.

Tim Settle, DT, Virginia Tech (6'3, 328): (13) Virginia Tech at (10) Miami, 8:00 p.m.

Settle is 6'3, 328, but is more than just a big-bodied fatso you plop down in the middle of the line to clog up running lanes. At Virginia Tech, he has shown to be a penetrating force, causing disruption in opposing backfields.

Here's a highlight reel from his freshman season last year:

So far in 2017, Settle has three sacks and 9.5 tackles for loss. He is only a redshirt sophomore, so he may stay in school, but is draft eligible.

The Eagles have a star at DT in Fletcher Cox, along with another quality starter in Tim Jernigan. They also have good depth in Beau Allen and Destiny Vaeao. Still, it's never a bad idea to load up on the defensive line.

Bo Scarbrough, RB, Alabama (6'2, 235): (19) LSU at (2) Alabama, 8:00 p.m.

Alabama is a running back factory, and Scarbrough is the latest Crimson Tide back (along with Damien Harris) likely to be drafted into the NFL. He also has low mileage, as he sat behind Derrick Henry in 2015 and has shared the load with Harris in 2016 and 2017. His career numbers:

Bo Scarbrough Rush Yards YPC TD 
 201518 104 5.8 
 2016125 812 6.5 11 
 201781 377 4.7 
 TOTAL224 1293 5.8 18 

In 2016, Scarbrough did the bulk of his damage in the playoffs, carrying 46 times for 364 yards and 6 TDs in his three games against Florida (SEC Championship), Washington (Peach Bowl playoff game), and Clemson (National Championship Game). 

He is a physical runner in the same mold as Eagles running backs LeGarrette Blount and Jay Ajayi. A highlight reel:

On the downside (or perhaps the bright side for the draft pick-challenged Eagles), Scarbrough has a grand total of 15 career receptions, with a long of reception of 13 yards, so my guess would be many teams would like to see some evidence of receiving ability before they'd ever consider him in the early rounds.

Previously profiled players

• August 26

  1. Michael Gallup, WR, Colorado State
  2. Adam Breneman, TE, UMass
  3. Quinton Flowers, QB, South Florida
  4. Quenton Meeks, CB, Stanford
  5. Justin Reid, S, Stanford

• August 31

  1. Richard Lagow, QB, Indiana
  2. Simmie Cobbs Jr., WR, Indiana
  3. Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State
  4. Azeem Victor, LB, Washington
  5. Vita Vea, DT, Washington

• September 2

  1. Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
  2. Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame
  3. Antonio Callaway, WR, Florida
  4. Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
  5. Tarvaris McFadden, CB, Florida State

• September 9

  1. Jarrett Stidham, QB, Auburn
  2. Tyrone Crowder, OG, Clemson
  3. Jordan Thomas, CB, Oklahoma
  4. Mark Andrews, TE, Oklahoma
  5. Tyquan Lewis, DE, Ohio State

• September 16

  1. James Washington, WR, Oklahoma State
  2. Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU
  3. Deon Cain, WR, Clemson
  4. Jaire Alexander, CB, Lousiville
  5. Ronald Jones II, RB, USC

• September 23

  1. Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State
  2. Harold Landry, DE, Boston College
  3. Mitch Hyatt, OT, Clemson
  4. Martinas Rankin, OT, Mississippi State
  5. Akrum Wadley, RB, Iowa

• September 30

  1. Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia
  2. Sony Michel, RB, Georgia
  3. Jamar Summers, CB, UConn
  4. Adonis Alexander, CB, Virginia Tech
  5. Dante Pettis, WR, Washington

• October 7

  1. Duke Ejiofor, DE, Wake Forest
  2. Brian O'Neill, OT, Pittsburgh
  3. Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M
  4. Royce Freeman, RB, Oregon
  5. Bryce Love, RB, Stanford

• October 14

  1. Derrius Guice, RB, LSU
  2. Troy Fumagalli, TE, Wisconsin
  3. Frank Ragnow, C, Arkansas
  4. Lowell Lotulelei, DT, Utah
  5. Rashaad Penny, RB, San Diego State

• October 21

  1. Trey Marshall, S, Florida State
  2. Damien Harris, RB, Alabama
  3. Mike Gesicki, TE, Penn State 
  4. Cameron Smith, LB, USC
  5. Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame

October 28

  1. M.J. Stewart, CB, North Carolina
  2. Trey Adams, OT, Washington
  3. Adarius Pickett, S, UCLA
  4. Allen Lazard, WR, Iowa State
  5. Kalen Ballage, RB, Arizona State

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