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November 09, 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.

K.J. Hamler, WR, Penn State (5'9, 176): (4) Penn State at (17) Minnesota, 12:00 p.m.

As we've seen through the first half of the season, the Eagles' offense badly needs more speed, and K.J. Hamler has plenty of that:

And he's not just a straight-line speed guy either. He starts and stops with impressive acceleration, and has been called a "human joystick."

Hamler tore his ACL prior to his senior season in high school, redshirted at Penn State in 2017, and broke out as a redshirt freshman in 2018, when he had 42 catches for 754 yards (18.0 YPC) and 5 TDs. So far in 2019, Hamler has 37 catches for 620 yards (16.8 YPC) and 8 TDs, and is clearly the best offensive player on the team.

There are good reasons for Hamler to stay in school for another season, most notably that the 2020 NFL Draft is stacked with receiver talent. However, with an ACL tear in his history already, he may not want to risk a second one before he's ever able to cash an NFL paycheck, especially when his greatest attribute, by far, is his speed.

James Lynch, DT, Baylor (6'4, 295): (12) Baylor at TCU, 12:00 p.m.

Lynch has played inside and outside in an even-man front, and at DE in an odd-man front in Baylor's defense, and he produces wherever they have put him. In his third season at Baylor, Lynch has 17 career sacks (3 as a freshman, 5.5 as a sophomore, and 8.5 in 8 games so far as a junior). 

He's quick with a high motor, and I like him as a 3-tech in the Eagles' defense.

Grant Delpit, S, LSU (6'3, 203): (2) LSU at (3) Alabama, 3:30 p.m.

Delpit is regarded by many as the best safety prospect in college football, and he has a chance to go top 10. He is a versatile player who can play both safety spots, slot corner, outside corner, or even linebacker.

He has good ball skills (7 INT, 21 PBU since 2017), and he's a good blitzer from the slot (5 sacks in 2018). A highlight reel: 

Delpit very likely won't be around whenever the Eagles are drafting, but he would be a plug-and-play replacement for Malcolm Jenkins if he somehow fell.

MORE: A recap of the Eagles' 2019 injuries so far, in stick figure form

Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama (6'2, 207): (2) LSU at (3) Alabama, 3:30 p.m.

Trevon Diggs is the younger brother of Vikings receiver Stefon Diggs, and he started out initially at Alabama at receiver before switching to the defensive side of the ball. Here's a little glimpse of Diggs as a receiver and returner early in his Bama career: 

At 6'2, 207, he has ideal size for a corner, and as you can see above, he has the athleticism to go along with it. As a former receiver, Diggs has good ball skills (3 INTs and 5 PBUs this season). At Bama, Diggs has played both inside and outside, and the Eagles obviously value that versatility.

Here he is working against DK Metcalf and A.J. Brown last season. He's No. 7:

As long as he tests well at the NFL Combine, I think he could go Day 1.

MORE: NFL Week 10 betting advice: Some love for the underdogs, like the Bengals (yes, the winless Bengals)

Devin Duvernay, WR, Texas (5'11, 210): (16) Kansas State at Texas, 3:30 p.m.

Duvernay looks like a running back playing receiver. Watch what he does to Delpit at the 45 second mark in a game in which he looked very impressive against LSU's secondary:

Through 8 games, Duvernay has 69 catches for 800 yards and 7 TDs. 

In 2016, in Doug Pederson's first season, Josh Huff had an interesting role in the Eagles' offense, when Pederson used him on a bunch of jet sweeps and misdirection looks. That role was effective at times, and Pederson has tried to use Nelson Agholor similarly, but in my opinion, mostly unsuccessfully, save for Agholor's big play against Atlanta in the playoffs.

Duvernay is a strong runner once he has the ball in his hands, and could bring that jet sweep element to the Eagles' offense while also serving in a slot receiver role. 

MORE: Week 10 NFL picks

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

• October 26

  1. CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
  2. Jeffrey Okudah, CB, Ohio State
  3. Lloyd Cushenberry III, C, LSU
  4. K.J. Costello, QB, Stanford
  5. McTelvin Agim, DT, Arkansas

November 2

  1. Marvin Wilson, DT, Florida State
  2. Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson
  3. Patrick Nelson, S/LB, SMU
  4. James Proche, WR, SMU
  5. Joe Reed, WR/RB/KR, Virginia

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