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.
Josey Jewell, LB, Iowa (6'2, 236): Iowa vs. Boston College, Dec 27, 5:15 p.m.
Over the last three years, Jewell has been a tackling machine, racking up at least 120 tackles each season. He has also been something of a ball hawk, picking off 6 passes and forcing 3 fumbles over that same span.
Here's Jewell's game against Penn State this season, in which he had 16 tackles (3 for loss), a pick, a couple pass breakups, and a fumble recovery:
Despite his impressive numbers, Jewell is probably going to be available in the mid-to-late rounds, due to a lack of speed, which will likely be exposed at the NFL Combine.
As you can see in the video above, he won't exactly wow anyone running sideline to sideline. Still, he is an instinctive linebacker with special teams promise who could help the Eagles' linebacker depth.
DeShon Elliott, S, Texas (6'2, 210): Texas vs. Missouri, Dec 27, 9:00 p.m.
Elliott is a big, 6'2, 210-pound safety with premier ball-hawking skills. So far in 2017, he has 6 INTs, with 127 return yards and 2 pick-sixes. He has also forced 3 fumbles, and has 9 pass breakups.
A long highlight reel:
Safety is something of an underrated need for the Eagles, in a long-term sense. Elliott hasn't gotten much buzz as a first-round pick, and I'm not sure why. I believe his stock will rise when the fans/media catch up with the NFL's thinking on players.
Malik Jefferson, LB, Texas (6'3, 240): Texas vs. Missouri, Dec 27, 9:00 p.m.
The scoop: "I see Malik (Jefferson) and all of this hype around him as carry over from when he came in highly recruited. Where is the production? Where do you see him dominate games on tape? It's not on the tape yet." -- NFC scouting director
The skinny: The scouting director has a point. I looked at all of the data to check on Jefferson's production and the most glaring issue is his lack of tackles. Jefferson has good size and great athleticism, but managed just 121 tackles over his first two seasons. He has only one game in his career with double-digit tackles, and his "impact" production (game-changing plays like tackles for loss, fumbles forced and recovered, INTs) is very modest.
In his junior season, Jefferson's tackle numbers are way up, as he has 110 on the season. The worries about his ability to create game-changing plays are warranted, however, as he has no career INTs and just two forced fumbles.
Still, he has excellent size at 6'3, 240, with athleticism. In the right system, he could flourish, and the Eagles' needs at linebacker are obvious.
Uchenna Nwosu, LB, USC (6'2, 240): (8) USC vs. (5) Ohio State, Dec 29, 8:30 p.m.
Nwosu's best fit in the NFL is probably as a 3-4 OLB, but I don't care. I'm profiling him anyway. On the season, he has 71 tackles, 7.5 sacks, and an absolutely absurd 13 pass breakups, the majority of which are batted passes at the line of scrimmage. Nwosu is basically a volleyball player in a football uniform.
A highlight reel:
I believe the Eagles are an unlikely landing spot for Nwosu, because it's hard to find an obvious place to put him in Jim Schwartz's defense, but we'll just show him because he's fun to watch.
Jamarco Jones, OT, Ohio State (6'5, 310): (8) USC vs. (5) Ohio State, Dec 29, 8:30 p.m.
Jones is a polarizing player whose projections are all over the map. Ohio State lists him at 6'5, so he may be even shorter than that, which is less than ideal for an NFL offensive tackle. (Yes, I realize Jason Peters is 6'4.) He's also only a two-year starter, having taken over at left tackle after Taylor Decker was drafted.
Still, Jones has good athleticism, quick feet, and a bit of nasty to him. Here's his game this year against Penn State:
Interestingly, Jones accepted an invite to the East-West Shrine Game, the less prestigious of the two main college football all-star games, after the Senior Bowl.