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November 23, 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.

Binjimen Victor, WR, Ohio State (6'4, 199): (8) Penn State at (2) Ohio State, 12:00 p.m.

Victor is a tall receiver with downfield ability, who has at least 15 yards per catch in every year he has been at Ohio State. His numbers:

Binjimen Victor Rec Yards YPC TD 
 201664 16.0 
 201723 349 15.2 
 201821 354 16.9 
 201922 391 17.8 

While Binjimen's college numbers above are not impressive, that's not exactly uncommon for receivers coming out of Ohio State. A look a few Ohio State receivers who are performing at the NFL level who did not have great numbers their final season in college:

 Year draftedPlayer Final OSU season receiving line 
2016 Michael Thomas, Saints 56-781-9 
2017 Curtis Samuel, Panthers 74-865-7 
2019 Terry McLaurin, Washington 35-701-11 

A highlight reel:

Victor's two most appealing traits are his contested catch ability in the red zone, and his ability to make plays down the field. The Eagles seem to prioritize the former, and they badly need the latter. Victor is a player that the Eagles could begin to develop behind the scenes while DeSean Jackson continues to (maybe) serve as the deep threat in their offense in 2020, if he can stay healthy-ish.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, LSU (5'8, 209): Arkansas at (1) LSU, 7:00 p.m.

If you watched LSU-Alabama a couple weeks ago and you don't love this kid, then there's simply something wrong with you. Not only does Edwards-Helaire have obvious quickness, but he's a good receiver and he runs with impressive power. This is big bad Bama that he's running through in the following video. Most of the guys on this defense are going to be playing in the NFL.

On the season, Edwards-Helaire has rushed 158 times for 958 yards (6.1 YPC) and 12 TDs, to go along with 32 receptions for 224 yards and a TD, and he brings added value as a kick returner.

If the Eagles insist on continuously bringing Darren Sproles back every year hoping he'll be something close to what he once was, maybe just draft a newer, more explosive model.

MORE: Eagles-Seahawks final injury report, with analysis | Week 12 betting advice: Take the Seahawks over the Eagles | Mailbag: Would Jay Gruden be a good fit as the Eagles' offensive coordinator in 2020?

Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU (6'3, 192): Arkansas at (1) LSU, 7:00 p.m.

LSU's impressive receiving corps are led by sophomore Ja'Marr Chase (he'll be a hot name next year) and Jefferson, who has 71 catches for 1010 yards and 11 TDs this season. Jefferson has been consistently productive, as he has at least 60 receiving yards in all but one game this season. His career numbers: 

 Justin JeffersonRec Yards YPC TD 
 201854 875 16.6 
 201971 1010 14.2 11 

Jefferson has speed, though he probably isn't as fast as some of the other ridiculous burners that will declare for this upcoming draft. He can certainly work the intermediate and deep parts of the field, as he is a good route runner, he has good body control, and #UnlikeAgholor, is adept at tracking the ball in the air. A highlight reel:

If Jefferson comes out, I think that any other year, he'd be getting more recognition. In this draft class he could be a bargain late on Day 2.

Matt Hennessy, C, Temple (6'4, 295): Temple at (19) Cincinnati, 7:00 p.m.

As a redshirt sophomore in 2018, Hennessy began wearing a single-digit number (No. 3), which Temple awards to the toughest players on the team. (Being a center, Hennessy can't wear the No. 3 during games, but he wears it during practice and on his helmet.)

He is thought of as very smart player and person (check out the Inquirer's Marc Narducci's piece on Hennessy here), but he is also a very athletic lineman. Here's his game last year against Boston College:

While there is no replacement for the type of unparalleled athleticism Jason Kelce has displayed over his career, Hennessy is tough, smart, and brings enough athleticism to the table that would allow the Eagles to continue to run a lot of their same run concepts whenever Kelce retires.

Julian Blackmon, S, Utah (6'1, 204): (7) Utah at Arizona, 10:00 p.m.

Blackmon played his first three seasons at Utah at corner, and he moved to safety for his senior season. Of course, any safety with corner experience in their background is going to be of interest to Jim Schwartz.

Blackmon has some pretty ugly tape early in his transition to safety, but has been much better of late as he has eased into his new role. Through 9 games, he has 49 tackles, 4 INTs, 2 FFs, and 1.5 sacks.

As a ball hawking player with good speed, he would make sense in the Rodney McLeod role in the Eagles' defense.

MORE: Week 12 NFL picks: Rounding up the experts' predictions for Eagles vs. Seahawks | Eagles vs. Seahawks: Predictions, odds and more

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

• November 9

  1. K.J. Hamler, WR, Penn State
  2. James Lynch, DT, Baylor
  3. Grant Delpit, S, LSU
  4. Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama
  5. Devin Duvernay, WR, Texas

November 16

  1. A.J. Epenesa, DE, Iowa
  2. Antoine Winfield Jr., S, Minnesota
  3. Tyler Johnson, WR, Minnesota
  4. Paulson Adebo, CB, Stanford
  5. Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State

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