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January 01, 2019

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

Eagles NFL
010119ElijahHolyfield Dale Zanine/USA TODAY Sports

Georgia is the new running back factory.

The Philadelphia Eagles are in the playoffs, and so, you can still enjoy watching football. And hey look, there are a bunch of good college football bowl games on today! Below are five players who could make sense for the Eagles in the 2019 NFL Draft, in which the Birds are projected to have 10 picks.

To note, I meant to publish this yesterday, but my three-hour drive home from Washington D.C. kinda ruined that, so we're profiling two guys that played yesterday. Sorry. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Terry Beckner Jr., DT, Missouri (6'4, 295): (23) Missouri vs. Oklahoma State, Autozone Liberty Bowl (yesterday)

Beckner was the 36th rated recruit coming out of high school in 2015, but a pair of knee surgeries (one on each knee) stalled his early college career. Over the last two seasons, however, he has 22 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks. A highlight reel: 

Beckner will be of interest to teams at the medical checks at the 2019 NFL Combine, but could be a a later-round pickup as a rotational interior lineman.

Trayveon Williams, RB, Texas A&M (5'9, 200): NC State at (19) Texas A&M, Taxslayer Gator Bowl (yesterday)

Williams lit it up in the this bowl game, carrying 19 times for 236 yards, and 3 TDs. On the season, he had 271 carries for 1760 yards, and 18 TDs. He is currently third in the nation in rushing yards. A highlight reel: 

Williams is short, but well build, like Darren Sproles. He is also a good receiver out of the backfield, as Texas A&M moved him around the formation to create mismatches. Add in that he's also competent in pass protection, and the Eagles should have interest.

Johnathan Abram, S, Mississippi State (6'0, 215): (18) Mississippi State vs. Iowa, Outback Bowl, 12:00 p.m.

What really stands out about Abram's game is that he is a very physical player, who looks to deliver big shots whenever given the opportunity. A highlight reel:

Unfortunately, what highlight reels like that don't show are the missed tackles as a result of trying to deliver the knockout blow, and Abram has plenty of those. For example, had him down for 12 missed tackles last season, though he did clean clean that up a bit in 2018 (when he had 5).

Still, Abram's play speed is obvious, and he'll probably test relatively well at the 2019 NFL Combine. 

Abram's potential fit in the Eagles' offense would be interesting. I see him more as a player suited more toward the single-high (Rodney McLeod) safety spot, where he wouldn't be asked to cover man-to-man much, as he doesn't have extensive corner experience in his background.

Josh Allen, Edge, Kentucky (6'5, 260): (14) Kentucky vs. (12) Penn State, VRBO Citrus Bowl, 1:00 p.m.

With the Eagles making the playoffs, Allen will be long gone by the time they're picking. Should he fall out of the top 10, however (unlikely), in a draft in which the cost to trade up might not be crazy because the quarterbacks aren't very appealing, maybe the Eagles could make a power move?

Anyway, regardless of whether or not the Eagles have any reasonable chance of drafting Allen, just enjoy him today against Penn State.

Elijah Holyfield, RB, Georgia (5'11, 215): (15) Texas vs. (5) Georgia, Allstate Sugar Bowl, 8:45 p.m.

Even as the son of boxer Evander Holyfield, Elijah Holyfield gets lost in the shuffle at Georgia, which produced a pair of top 35 picks at running back last year, in Sony Michel (31st to the Pats) and Nick Chubb (35th to the Browns). This season, Holyfield shared carries with the more well-known D'Andre Swift.

Still Holyfield is a good player in his own right. In 2018, he had 147 carries for 956 yards (6.5 YPC) and 7 TDs. A highlight reel: 

Holyfield has great vision. He runs under control using quick steps to find a crease, and when one opens up, he hits it with conviction. One significant downside is that Holyfield has just 6 receptions over his college career. Sign me up in the mid-to-late rounds.

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

• December 15

  1. E.J. Ejiya, LB, North Texas
  2. Max Scharping, OT, Northen Illinois
  3. Ryan Bee, DE, Marshall
  4. Cody Thompson, WR, Toledo
  5. Corbin Kaufusi, DE, BYU

• December 22

  1. Tyree Jackson, QB, Buffalo
  2. Khalil Hodge, LB, Buffalo
  3. Michael Deiter, C/OG/ OT, Wisconsin
  4. Sheldrick Redwine, S, Miami
  5. Kyle Shurmur, QB, Vanderbilt

December 29

  1. Juan Thornhill, S, Virginia
  2. Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida
  3. Dru Samia, OT/OG, Oklahoma
  4. Cody Ford, OL, Oklahoma
  5. Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama

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