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September 14, 2019

Grocery shopping: Five college players to watch who could interest the Eagles in the 2020 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 2020 NFL Draft.

Yetur Gross-Matos, DE, Penn State (6'5, 264): Pittsburgh at (13) Penn State, 12:00 p.m.

Gross-Matos has excellent size, at 6'5, 264, and production to go long with it. In 2018, he had 8 sacks and 20 tackles for loss, and in 2 games so far in 2019, he has 3 sacks and 3 tackles for loss.

Despite selecting defensive ends in each of the last three drafts, the Eagles have only found only one edge rusher, Derek Barnett, who has definitively proven so far that he belongs in the NFL level.

They need to keep taking shots.

Gross-Matos is a potential first-round pick, and obviously, the Birds loved them some Penn Staters a season ago. 

Cohl Cabral, C, Arizona State (6'5, 304): Arizona State at (18) Michigan State

To begin, Cohl Cabral is an awesome name that sounds like a bad guy in a kids cartoon, so there's that. He also fits the profile of a versatile offensive lineman that the Eagles look for in the draft. As a sophomore in 2017, Cabral was the starting left tackle. In 2018, he moved to center. In 2019, because of the absence of ASU's left tackle, Cabral had to move back to left edge.

Cabral's future in the NFL will likely be at center, but he has the length, smarts, and experience to play multiple positions along the offensive line. More than ever, that kind of player makes sense for the Eagles, who need OL depth in the short term, and an eventual replacement for Jason Kelce at center in the long term.

MORE: Eagles-Falcons final injury report, with analysis | Mailbag: Should the Eagles trade for Dolphins CB/S Minkah Fitzpatrick?

Cam Akers, RB, Florida State (5'11, 210): Florida State at (25) Virginia, 7:30 p.m.

Akers' college career got off to a fast start, as he ran topped 1000 yards as a freshman. In his sophomore season, playing behind a horrendous offensive line, Akers' number suffered greatly.

 Cam AkersRush Yards YPC TD 
 2017194 1025 5.3 
 2018161 706 4.4 

Akers has good speed, he is good in pass protection, and he can catch the ball out of the backfield. A one-two punch of Miles Sanders and Akers could be a very good one. A highlight reel from his freshman season:

This season, Akers is off to a fast start, racking up 376 yards from scrimmage in two games. He could be a good value on Day 2.

Bryce Hall, CB, Virginia (6'1, 200): Florida State at (25) Virginia, 7:30 p.m.

Hall is a local kid (Bishop McDevitt HS) who racked up a lofty 21 pass breakups in 2018. He also had 2 picks and 2 forced fumbles in 2018, and was named to the AP preseason All-America team this offseason. Had he come out a year ago, he likely would have at least been a second-round pick, but he decided to stay for his senior season at Virginia. 

A highlight reel:

With good size at 6'1, 200, the Eagles could have interest in Hall as an outside corner. Even with a bevy of young players at corner, they would be wise to keep drafting more, especially with Jalen Mills and Ronald Darby in contract years, and the current outside corners still trying to prove themselves. 

MORE: Eagles vs. Falcons: Predictions, odds and more for Week 2 | Philly Godfather: Bet the over, expect a shootout between Eagles and Falcons

Neville Gallimore, DT, Oklahoma (6'2, 301): (5) Oklahoma at UCLA, 8:00 p.m.

Gallimore is an athletic beast who landed at No. 32 in Bruce Feldman's 2019 college football Freaks List (via The Athletic):

The Canadian import who grew up playing soccer, basketball and volleyball moves up one spot from last year. He’s down to 305 pounds from 330, but he bench presses 500 pounds and squats 800. He cleans 405. The most impressive number of all is that he clocked a 4.76 in the 40. The fastest 300-pounder at this year’s NFL Scouting Combine — 303-pound Quinnen Williams — ran a 4.83, which is remarkable. 

Last year, Gallimore had a solid year with 50 tackles, 5.5 TFLs, three sacks and two forced fumbles. Sooners fans are hoping Gallimore can take a big step forward as OU transitions to Alex Grinch’s new scheme.

A quick highlight reel:

Defensive tackle looked like one of the Eagles' deepest positions in 2019, but Malik Jackson is now hurt, and he will turn 30 in January. Meanwhile, Timmy Jernigan is playing on a one-year contract, and really, you can never have too many disruptive defensive linemen.

Gallimore's production doesn't match his reported athletic measurables, so it will be interesting to see if he can put it all together and have a big season in 2019. He's off to a nice start with a sack, 2 tackles for loss, and a forced fumble in Oklahoma's first 2 games.

Previously profiled players

August 24

  1. Lamical Perine, RB, Florida
  2. Jabari Zuniga, DE, Florida
  3. C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida
  4. Jonathan Garvin, DE, Miami
  5. Jeff Thomas, WR, Miami

August 31

  1. Scottie Phillips, RB, Ole Miss
  2. Henry Ruggs, WR, Alabama
  3. Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina
  4. Troy Dye, LB, Oregon
  5. Jeremiah Dinson, S, Auburn

September 7

  1. Nate Stanley, QB, Iowa
  2. Laviska Shenault, WR, Colorado
  3. J.D. Spielman, WR, Nebraska
  4. Jason Huntley, RB, New Mexico State
  5. Ashtyn Davis, S, California

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