December 16, 2017
We're now into the bowl game part of the college football season, as there are games on TV most nights. As long as you're taking in some of the action over the following week, here are some players who could make some sense for the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2018 NFL Draft.
In recent years, Western Kentucky has been producing NFL talent on offense:
|2016||OT/OG Forrest Lamp||Chargers||2||38|
|2016||WR Taywan Taylor||Titans||3||72|
|2015||TE Tyler Higbee||Rams||4||110|
|2015||QB Brandon Doughty||Dolphins||7||223|
Mike White will be the next WKU player taken in the draft. He's rarely mentioned among the top quarterbacks in the 2018 NFL Draft, but this guy can play. A quick highlight reel:
At 6'4, 225, he fits the mold of bigger Eagles quarterbacks, as Carson Wentz, Nick Foles, and Nate Sudfeld are all at least 6'5 and 235 pounds. As you can see in the above highlight reel, White throws a pretty deep ball and has NFL arm strength. White will compete at the Senior Bowl.
The Eagles have their franchise quarterback in Wentz, their solid backup in Foles, and a developmental guy in Sudfeld. Still, if the value is there, and White slides a bit, I can see the Eagles having interest, especially now with the start of Wentz's 2018 season in question.
Earlier this year, we profiled another SDSU prospect in TE Dallas Goedert. He's not the only dominant player in SDSU's offense. In his college career, Wieneke has put up big numbers in his own right, going over 5000 receiving yards for his career.
Those aren't quite Cooper Kupp college numbers, but they're pretty damn good. Here's Wieneke's game a year ago against a good TCU defense in which he had 8 catches for 196 yards and 2 TDs:
Wieneke should be receiving a Senior Bowl invite.
James is one of my new favorite pro prospects. He likely won't play in this game, and he may not even declare for the draft, but I'm previewing him anyway. In his freshman and sophomore seasons, James was incredibly productive, tallying just under 3,000 receiving yards those two seasons. In his junior season, a broken collarbone derailed his season. His numbers:
James lines up all over the field for MTSU, including the backfield, and was occasionally even used as a running back. In his college career, James has 60 carries for 542 yards (9.0 YPC) and 5 TDs.
In the pros, he's likely going to be a slot receiver. Though he's only 5'9, 176, he plays much bigger and reminds me a little of Steve Smith (the good one). Here's his game against Hawaii last year:
The Eagles' depth chart at receiver currently looks like this:
|X WR||Z WR||Slot|
|Alshon Jeffery||Torrey Smith||Nelson Agholor|
|Marcus Johnson||Mack Hollins|
They could use another playmaking slot receiver.
Ferguson was tied for third in the country in 2016 with 14.5 sacks, but he has cooled off some in 2017, as he has just 6 sacks while being the focus of opposing offensive line schemes.
At 6'5 with long arms, Ferguson has good length for the position, but his college production is perhaps better than his actual ability. Here's his game last year against Western Kentucky, going up against 2017 second round pick (38th overall) Forrest Lamp, who mostly owned him.
Still, this is a draftable player, and the Eagles could use a developmental prospect to groom behind some of their older veteran defensive ends.
Like Louisiana Tech, SMU has an edge rusher prospect in this bowl matchup as well in Justin Lawler. This season, Lawler has 74 tackles (a ton for a DE), 15.5 tackles for loss, and 9.5 sacks. Here's a quick film review of his game:
Lawler isn't going to light up the Combine, but he hustles and he plays good run defense. I can see the Eagles having interest in the late rounds.