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October 27, 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 ninth 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.

Austin Bryant, DE, Clemson (6'5, 265): (2) Clemson at Florida State, 12:00 p.m.

Bryant is now the fourth defensive line prospect from Clemson's loaded front that we have covered in this series. In 2017, he had 50 tackles, 8.5 sacks, 15.5 tackles for loss, and 2 forced fumbles.

A quick highlight reel: 

Bryant has good blend of size and athleticism, but you don't see much in the way of polish as a pass rusher. He'll need to develop moves and improve technique at the next level. It's fair to wonder if he benefits from a defensive line that is as loaded as Clemson's, but his frame and raw ability gives you something to work with.

David Montgomery, RB, Iowa State (5'11, 216): Texas Tech at Iowa State, 12:00 p.m.

Montgomery isn't an explosive, speedy runner, but he runs hard and breaks a lot of tackles. The lack of consistent big plays has led to a low yards per carry average over his college career:

 David MontgomeryRush Yards YPC TD 
 2016109 563 5.2 
 2017258 1146 4.4 11 
 2018111 523 4.7 

Montgomery is also a threat out of the backfield as a receiver, as he has 56 career catches. Here's a highlight reel, where you can see his ability to shed tacklers:

The Eagles could use an explosive back who can hit the occasional home run, but Montgomery mirrors some of the guys the Eagles have added in recent years who have not flashed that ability. Still, as we've seen this year, having depth at RB is important, and Montgomery could make sense as a late-round pick. 

Emanuel Hall, WR, Missouri (6'3, 200): (12) Kentucky at Missouri, 4:00 p.m.

Hall is deep threat with very good size (if accurate) at 6'3, 200 who has averaged more than 20 yards per catch over his career.

 Emanual HallRec Yards YPC TD 
 201564 8.0 
 201619 307 16.2 
 201733 817 24.8 
 201818 430 23.9 
 TOTAL78 1618 20.7 13 

In 2018, Hall was off to an excellent start, but he has only appeared in three games before dealing with a groin injury and a death in the family. To note, he likely won't play today either. In an Eagles offense that desperately needs a player who can stretch the field vertically, Hall is an obvious fit. Here's a highlight reel, with an odd choice of background music:

Hall's speed could open up the intermediate areas of the field, where Alshon Jeffery, Zach Ertz, and Nelson Agholor can do more damage.

Elgton Jenkins, C/OG/OT, Mississippi State (6'4, 310): (16) Texas A&M at Mississippi State, 7:00 p.m.

Like Isaac Seumalo, Jenkins is capable of playing every spot along the offensive line, though his best positions in the pros will be at guard and center. In his first three seasons at MSU, Jenkins appeared in 36 career games, with 21 starts. He started 13 games at center, five at left tackle, two at left guard and one at right tackle. In 2018, he is once again the starting center.

Jenkins is a well-rounded blocker both in the run game and passing game, and is thought to be very intelligent. Here's his game last year against Alabama:

As they have shown repeatedly, the Eagles highly value offensive line versatility, and they are likely to part ways with versatile backup Stefen Wisniewski this offseason.

Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi State (6'4, 300): (16) Texas A&M at Mississippi State, 7:00 p.m.

When draft season rolls around, Simmons won't be known for his play on the field. He'll be best known for a video showing him punching a woman repeatedly when he was in high school.

Any team will considering drafting Simmons will have thoroughly evaluate his character, though it's worth noting that Simmons seems to be making the most of his second chance

On the field, Simmons is a first round talent at his defensive tackle spot. In 2017, he had 60 tackles (12 for loss), 5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 3 blocked kicks/punts, and 2 touchdowns (one on a 90-yard fumble return, one off of a punt he blocked). He is a penetrating force with a repertoire of pass rush moves who would be a good fit next to another former Mississippi State Bulldog in Fletcher Cox.

A highlight reel: 

Leading up to the 2017 NFL Draft, the Eagles did a lot of background homework on Joe Mixon, who also appeared in a viral video viciously striking a woman, which shows that the Eagles didn't just immediately remove him from their draft board. The Eagles will surely do their share of homework on Simmons as well.

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

October 20

  1. Kavontae Turpin, WR/KR/PR, TCU
  2. Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson
  3. Isaiah Buggs, DT, Alabama
  4. Myles Gaskin, RB, Washington
  5. Connor McGovern, OG/C, Penn State

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