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October 20, 2018

Grocery shopping: Five college players to watch who could interest the Eagles in the 2019 NFL Draft

The college football season is in full swing, as we are now into the eighth week of a full slate of games.

As long as you're taking in some of the action, here are some players who could make sense for the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2019 NFL Draft, in which the Birds are projected to have 12 picks.

Kavontae Turpin, WR/KR/PR, TCU (5'9, 157): (11) Oklahoma at TCU, 12:00 p.m.

Over his college career, Turpin has five returns for touchdowns (four on punts, and one kick return). On 51 career punt returns, he has averaged a ridiculous 14 yards per return. A highlight reel:

Turpin is also a receiver with home run hitting ability, though he's going to face questions about his size, at 5-foot-9, 157 pounds. A creative offense can find ways to use his skills, but he's unlikely to be an every down type of receiver at the next level.

The Eagles have noticeably lacked a quality returner both on kicks and punts the last two season whenever Darren Sproles has been out. Turpin could fill both roles, and would be appealing in the later rounds. 

Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson (6'4, 300): (16) NC State at (3) Clemson, 3:30 p.m.

The Clemson defensive line is absolutely loaded with NFL talent (we already profiled Clelin Ferrell and Dexter Lawrence), and Wilkins will be a high pick as well.

Wilkins' primary position is at defensive tackle, but he also has extensive experience playing on the edge at defensive end, as you'll see in the following video. Typically, it's defensive ends who can kick inside to defensive tackle, not the other way around.

Wilkins has even played some safety (!).

OK, so not really. Anyway, the Eagles already have a major need at defensive tackle, and they will also soon need help at defensive end, as Chris Long and Michael Bennett are nearing the end of their careers. Wilkins is an athletic, disruptive interior player with some nice versatility. 

Isaiah Buggs, DT, Alabama (6'5, 286): (1) Alabama at Tennessee, 3:30 p.m.

Like Clemson, Alabama is loaded along their defensive line, like they are every year, churning out an absurd number of NFL defensive linemen. In the last three drafts alone, Alabama has had seven defensive linemen selected, and that doesn't even count their edge rushers. Five of them went in the second round or higher.

 YearPlayer Team Round Overall 
 2018DaRon Payne Redskins 13 
 2018Da'Shawn Hand Lions 114 
 2018Joshua Frazier Steelers 246 
 2017Jonathan Allen Redskins 17 
 2017Dalvin Tomlinson Giants 55 
 2016A'Shawn Robinson Lions 46 
 2016Jarran Reed Seahawks 49 

Raekwon Davis (previously profiled here) will go in the first round if he comes out, barring any unknown character or medical issues. Buggs likely won't go quite that high, but he's going to be playing in the NFL. Buggs, now a senior, was a JUCO transfer who is in his second season at Bama. He is currently fifth in the nation (first among defensive tackles) with 7.5 sacks. 

Buggs is athletic and strong, and could do some damage playing next to Cox on the interior of the Eagles' D-line.

Also, if the Eagles want to revive their basketball team, he can play a little point guard.

Myles Gaskin, RB, Washington (5'10, 193): Colorado at (15) Washington, 3:30 p.m.

Gaskin is already Washington's career leader in rushing yards and touchdowns.

 Myles GaskinRush Yards YPC TD 
 2015227 1302 5.7 14 
 2016237 1373 5.8 10 
 2017222 1380 6.2 21 
 2018139 623 4.5 
 TOTAL825 4678 5.7 50 

He is a smooth runner with good lateral quickness, and while he doesn't have much in the way of receiving numbers, he has shown that he is a good at catching the football. Where Gaskin really stands out, however, is in pass protection, where he is outstanding. 

On the downside, at 193 pounds, he's not a pile pusher, and he lacks top-end physical traits. A highlight reel:

The pass protection traits, as well as Gaskin's all-around skills should appeal to the Eagles as a replacement for Darren Sproles.

Connor McGovern, OG/C, Penn State: (18) Penn State at Indiana, 3:30 p.m.

McGovern has been a starter along the PSU OL since he was a freshman. He played left guard initially, then played center for a year and a half, and now he's the starting right guard.

Stefen Wisniewski's demotion to the bench signals that this will likely be his last year in Philly. Wisniewski is signed through the 2019 season, but if the Eagles were to cut or trade him, they would save $3 million.

McGovern is a guy who could provide depth at all three interior OL spots before eventually growing into a starting role.

Previously profiled players

• August 25

  1. Carl Granderson, DE, Wyoming
  2. Justice Hill, RB, Oklahoma State
  3. Nate Herbig, OG, Stanford
  4. T.J. Edwards, LB, Wisconsin
  5. David Edwards, OT, Wisconsin

• September 1

  1. Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State
  2. Devin Singletary, RB, Florida Atlantic
  3. David Sills V, WR, West Virginia
  4. Damien Harris, RB, Alabama
  5. Raekwon Davis, DT, Alabama

• September 8

  1. Ed Oliver, DT, Houston
  2. Nick Fitzgerald, QB, Mississippi State
  3. Deebo Samuel, WR, South Carolina
  4. Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia
  5. Cameron Smith, LB, USC

• September 15

  1. Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma
  2. Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson
  3. Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn
  4. Dakota Allen, LB, Texas Tech
  5. Zack Moss, RB, Utah

• September 22

  1. Anthony Johnson, WR, Buffalo
  2. Jaylon Ferguson, DE, Louisiana Tech
  3. Bryce Love, RB, Stanford
  4. Troy Dye, LB, Oregon
  5. N'Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State

• September 29

  1. Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson
  2. Mitch Hyatt, OT, Clemson 
  3. Dalton Risner, OT, Kansas State
  4. Parris Campbell, WR, Ohio State
  5. Jalen Jelks, DE, Oregon

• October 6

  1. Ross Pierschbacher, OG/C, Alabama
  2. Jaquan Johnson, S, Miami
  3. Joe Jackson, DE, Miami
  4. Benny Snell, RB, Kentucky
  5. Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State

October 13

  1. Jerry Tillery, DT, Notre Dame
  2. Darrell Henderson, RB, Memphis
  3. Mecole Hardman, WR, Georgia
  4. Taylor Rapp, S, Washington
  5. Rashan Gary, DE, Michigan

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