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October 26, 2019

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

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101919CeeDeeLamb Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports

CeeDee Lamb is an awesome football player, and he has an elite name for puns.

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.

CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma (6'2, 191): Oklahoma at Kansas State, 12:00 p.m.

CeeDee Lamb is awesome. First, his numbers:

 CeeDeeLambRec Yard YPC TD 
 201746 807 17.5 
 201865 1158 17.8 11 
 201931 681 22.0 10 

Next, his highlights:

If you try to poke holes in Lamb's game, you're nitpicking. He has great hands, body control, he tracks the ball with ease, strength, YAC ability, etc etc. If there's one small gripe, it's that he's not a burner, though certainly his speed is fine. 

He's probably going to be a top 10 pick, which is a realistic "worst case scenario" for the Eagles' 2019 season at the moment. If the Eagles' season doesn't fall apart and Lamb somehow fell because the 2020 NFL Draft is going to be absolutely loaded with wide receiver talent, maybe he would be a trade-up target? Anyway, I just felt like including him, because why not? Maybe just hope that he doesn't go to the Giants to be their OBJ replacement, minus the drama.

Jeffrey Okudah, CB, Ohio State (6'1, 200): Wisconsin at Ohio State, 12:00 p.m.

Ohio State puts one or more defensive backs in the NFL every year lately, and often high in the draft:

 YearPlayer Team Round Overall 
 2014Bradley Roby, CB Broncos 31 
 2014Christian Bryant, S Rams 241 
 2015Doran Grant, CB Steelers 121 
 2016Eli Apple, CB Giants 10 
 2016Vonn Bell, S Saints 61 
 2017Marshon Lattimore, CB Saints 11 
 2017Malik Hooker, S Colts 15 
 2017Gareon Conley, CB Raiders 24 
 2018Denzel Ward, CB Browns 
 2019Kendall Sheffield, CB Falcons 111 

That would be six first-round defensive backs in the last six years. Okudah is another potential first-round pick upcoming in the 2020 NFL Draft. He has good size, long arms, and of particular note to Eagles fans, great speed and footwork to cover fast receivers deep down the field. Yes, those kinds of corners do exist. As a bonus, he also attacks in run support.

Here's his game this season against Washington: 

In my view, Okudah will go early, but since there are so many corners and receivers likely to go Round 1 this year, I'm just going to preview them all.

Lloyd Cushenberry III, C, LSU (6'4, 315): Auburn at LSU, 3:30 p.m.

Cushenberry was a lightly-recruited prospect coming out of high school who has improved drastically, and was elected to wear LSU's prestigious No. 18 jersey this season, which goes to a good player who also has great character:

"The No. 18 is for a guy who's not going to get in trouble off the field," (Jacob) Hester said. "He's going to go to class. He's going to do the right things. He's also going to be a leader on the football team. He's going to be a guy who everyone can count on. You don't have to worry about ever seeing his name in the newspaper for the wrong reasons."

Cushenberry would be a first round prospect if Chip Kelly were still in the league.

OK, kidding aside, he is the best offensive lineman on an LSU line that has done a great job protecting Heisman candidate Joe Burrow, and the Eagles could use a strong leader at center whenever Jason Kelce retires, which could be as soon as this next offseason. He'll probably be a late Day 2, early Day 3 pick if he comes out.

K.J. Costello, QB, Stanford (6'5, 222): Arizona at Stanford, 3:30 p.m.

In his first two years as a starter at Stanford, Costello had 43 TD passes vs. 15 INTs and an 8.2 YPA average. He opted to stay in school, and his senior season has been disappointing, as he got out to a slow start on the field in his first three games, and a thumb injury has sidelined him since.

Costello's best trait is his accuracy, particularly on touch passes down the field, which you can see plenty of in the following video. Note that he puts the ball in places where his receiver can make the play despite close coverage.

As you can see in the above video, Costello isn't going to be a threat as a runner in the NFL, but he does a good job buying time with subtle moves inside the pocket, and throwing at multiple arm angles when the pocket begins to collapse around him. His arm strength is just OK, depending on how you look at it. On the one hand, he throws a pretty deep ball. On the other hand, if you're asking him to fire a laser into the turkey hole, forget it.

Costello technically has a year of eligibility left, so he could opt to stay one more year at Stanford since 2019 hasn't gone as he would have liked. If he does declare for the draft, I view him as a Day 3 pick, and he seems to be the type of quarterback, especially at 6'5, that the Eagles would like to back up Carson Wentz.

McTelvin Agim, DT, Arkansas (6'3, 300): Arkansas at Alabama, 7:00 p.m.

Agim is a future 3-tech in the NFL with good quickness to cause disruption in the backfield. He is having his best season at Arkansas so far, as he has five sacks in six games. You can see his athleticism here:

As you can see, Agim also has a knack for dislodging the football. Since 2017, he has six forced fumbles. The Eagles will get Malik Jackson back next season, but it's time to also develop some young interior defenders.

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

• September 14

  1. Yetur Gross-Matos, DE, Penn State
  2. Cohl Cabral, C, Arizona State
  3. Cam Akers, RB, Florida State
  4. Bryce Hall, CB, Virginia
  5. Neville Gallimore, DT, Oklahoma

• September 21

  1. Tyler Biadasz, C, Wisconsin
  2. Shyheim Carter, S, Alabama
  3. Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn
  4. Tylan Wallace, WR, Oklahoma State
  5. Solomon Kindley, OG, Georgia

• September 28

  1. Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU
  2. Alex Leatherwood, OG/OT, Alabama
  3. Jacob Eason, QB, Washington
  4. Jaquarius Landrews, S, Mississippi State
  5. Zack Moss, RB, Utah

• October 5

  1. Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU
  2. Ben Bredeson, OG, Michigan
  3. Oluwole Betiku Jr., DE, Illinois
  4. K.J. Hill, WR, Ohio State
  5. Jake Hanson, C, Oregon

• October 12

  1. DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
  2. Raekwon Davis, DL, Alabama
  3. Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU
  4. Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
  5. Curtis Weaver, DE, Boise State

October 19

  1. Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson
  2. Larrell Murchison, DT, NC State
  3. Brandon Jones, S, Texas
  4. Steven Gonzalez, OG, Penn State
  5. Lavert Hill, CB, Michigan

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