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November 24, 2018

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

As long as you're taking in some college football action this Saturday, 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 10 picks.

Brian Burns, Edge, Florida State (6'5, 235): (11) Florida at Florida State, 12:00 p.m.

Burns' game is all about speed around the edge. 

Burns has been productive since his freshman season in 2016, when he had 8.5 sacks. This season, Burns has 46 tackles (15.5 for loss), 10 sacks (tied for 7th in the nation), and 3 forced fumbles. As a pass rusher, he is as explosive as any in the country, with a great get-off at the snap and closing speed to get to the QB. At a minimum, he should be able to contribute instantly on obvious passing downs.

The concern with Burns is his weight, where he will be giving up 100 pounds to some NFL offensive tackles. Teams will have to decide if he can hold up against the run, and how much if even matters if he struggles in that area. But clearly, he has the ability to cause disruption, which is by far the most important thing. 

Jachai Polite, Edge, Florida (6'2, 260): (11) Florida at Florida State, 12:00 p.m.

Polite is having a breakout season with 37 tackles (14.5 for loss), 8.5 sacks, and 4 forced fumbles. He is one of the funnest prospects in this draft to watch, because of his combination of speed, pass rush feel, and relentlessness. A taste:

Polite is a playmaker, and the Eagles haven't made many plays this season.

Terry Godwin, WR, Georgia (5'11, 185): Georgia Tech at (5) Georgia, 12:00 p.m.

Godwin's numbers leave a lot to be desired, especially this season, as he has less than 300 receiving yards, and no more than three catches in any one game. However, he plays in Georgia's run-heavy offense, and he has dealt with an assortment of leg injuries, which might help explain that. 

If you can get past his lack of production, Godwin does have deep speed and yards after the catch ability.

If the Eagles have fully soured on Shelton Gibson by now, Godwin could be a late-round project with speed who can take his place.

Greedy Williams, CB, LSU (6'3, 184): (7) LSU at (22) Texas A&M, 7:30 p.m.

I didn't even bother profiling Williams this season because I figured the Eagles wouldn't be anywhere near in position to draft him, but if they continue to completely crap the bed down the stretch, maybe they'll be in position to select the consensus No. 1 corner in the draft?

Here he is:

There isn't much not to like about Williams. He's 6'3, he's a natural athlete with good speed, he has good ball skills, and a great feel for when the ball is coming his way. He also has experience playing on the inside and outside. 

At this point, the Eagles' need for help at corner is pretty obvious.

Dexter Williams, RB, Notre Dame (5'11, 215): (3) Notre Dame at USC, 8:00 p.m.

Williams missed the first four games of Notre Dame's season due to an unofficial suspension that Notre Dame won't confirm. The Eagles will surely have Big Dom check out that situation, and determine if he's a significant character risk or not.

But since his return on the field, Williams has had a good season, rushing 126 times for 844 yards (6.7 YPC) and 11 TDs. Here's his game this season against Virginia Tech: 

Williams has good mix of athleticism and power, but is thought of as kind of a mess in pass protection, which means he should quickly become friends with Wendell Smallwood. Late-round potential.

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

• October 27

  1. Austin Bryant, DE, Clemson
  2. David Montgomery, RB, Iowa State
  3. Emanuel Hall, WR, Missouri
  4. Elgton Jenkins, C/OG/OT, Mississippi State
  5. Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi State

• November 3

  1. A.J. Brown, WR, Ole Miss
  2. Dre'Mont Jones, DT, Ohio State
  3. Lukas Denis, S, Boston College
  4. Lavert Hill, CB, Michigan
  5. Julian Love, CB, Notre Dame

• November 10

  1. Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama
  2. Mack Wilson, LB, Alabama
  3. Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama
  4. Zach Allen, DE/DT, Boston College
  5. Preston Williams, WR, Colorado State

November 17

  1. Miles Sanders, RB, Penn State
  2. Kelvin Harmon, WR, NC State
  3. Gerald Willis III, DT, Miami 
  4. Byron Murphy, CB, Washington
  5. Hakeem Butler, WR, Iowa State

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