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December 15, 2018

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

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121518CodyThompson Marvin Gentry/USA TODAY Sports

Cody Thompson is a big play threat for Toledo.

The first week of the college football bowl season is chock full of, um, football games? I imagine the only way any of will will actually be watching any of these games this week is if your TV just happens to be on and you're wrapping Christmas presents or something.

Still, in case you look up from time to time, here are five later-round players who could make sense for the Eagles in the 2019 NFL Draft, in which the Birds are projected to have 10 picks.

E.J. Ejiya, LB, North Texas (6'3, 231): North Texas vs. Utah State, New Mexico Bowl, Dec. 15, 1:00 p.m.

Over the last two seasons, Ejiya has 221 tackles (35.5 for loss) and 16 sacks. In recent drafts, good idea or not, the Eagles have prioritized production over athletic measurables. Ejiya is a downhill linebacker who makes plays in the backfield, and could a late-round depth option for the Eagles.

Max Scharping, OT, Northen Illinois (6'6, 311): UAB vs. Northern Illinois, Cheribundi Boca Raton Bowl, Tuesday, Dec. 18, 6:00 p.m.

Scharping has experience playing both tackle spots on Northern Illinois' line, as well as a little bit of guard. The Eagles will value his versatility. 

According to, "he allowed just eight quarterback pressures on 469 pass blocking chances in 2018 and has surrendered just one sack over the past three seasons."

With Jason Peters likely to retire, the Eagles could use more tackle depth, and one who can play both sides would make sense, especially with Halapoulivaati Vaitai heading into a contract year in 2019.

Ryan Bee, DE, Marshall (6'7, 280): Marshall vs. South Florida, Bad Boy Mowers Gasperilla Bowl, Thursday, Dec. 20, 7:00 p.m.

There's no buzz on Bee that I can see (sorry), but this guy has some athleticism at his defensive tackle spot:

Over his four-year career at Marshall, Bee has 197 tackles (29.5 for loss), 18 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles. The Eagles need an infusion of youth on their defensive line, and I can absolutely see the Eagles having interest in Bee as a rotational interior defender.

Cody Thompson, WR, Toledo (6'2, 205): Florida International vs. Toledo, Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl, Friday, Dec. 21, 11:30 a.m.

Thompson is a former quarterback-turned-receiver, and the Eagles kind of have a thing for those guys, as evidenced by their acquisitions of Braxton Miller, Greg Ward, and Trey Burton.

Thompson also has an 18.5 yards per catch average over his career at Toledo, which the Eagles also covet. Over his career, he has 176 catches for 3257 yards and 30 TDs. 

One of the glaring pieces missing from the Eagles' offense is a speed receiver who can make big plays. With Shelton Gibson being unable to get on the field after two seasons, the Eagles could use another mid-to-late-round speed receiver to develop if they can't land one early in the draft.

A highlight reel:

In addition to big play ability, Thompson also has great hands, as he has a very low drop rate. 

Corbin Kaufusi, DE, BYU (6'9, 275): Western Michigan vs. BYU, Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, Friday, Dec. 21, 3:00 p.m.

Corbin's similarly-sized brother Bronson was a third-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, but he has turned out to be a bust (5 career tackles), though he's still on the Jets' 53-man roster.

At 6'9, 275, Corbin Kaufusi is absolutely going to draw interest from teams around the league because of his size-athleticism combination. As the below video shows, Kaufusi does indeed have quite a bit of upside:

In 2018, Kaufusi had 55 tackles (8.5 for loss), and 7.5 sacks. That's decent production that doesn't quite match what his brother did at BYUKaufusi could be a later-round developmental project for a team like the Eagles, who need help both now, and in their defensive line pipeline.

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

• November 24

  1. Brian Burns, DE, Florida State
  2. Jachai Polite, DE, Florida 
  3. Terry Godwin, WR, Georgia
  4. Greedy Williams, CB, LSU
  5. Dexter Williams, RB, Notre Dame

• December 1

  1. Kris Boyd, CB, Texas
  2. Lil'Jordan Humphrey, WR, Texas
  3. Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina
  4. K.J. Costello, QB, Stanford
  5. Tony Pollard, RB/WR/KR, Memphis

December 8

  1. Rodney Anderson, RB, Oklahoma
  2. D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss
  3. Porter Gustin, Edge, USC
  4. Olive Sagapolu, DT, Wisconsin
  5. Mark Gilbert, CB, Duke

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