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December 07, 2019

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

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120719DenzelMims Scott Sewell/USA TODAY Sports

Baylor's Denzel Mims is a big receiver with a background in track.

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.

Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor (6'3, 215): (7) Baylor vs. (6) Oklahoma, 12:00 p.m.

Mims is a little raw as a route runner, but he has good size, a track background, and good production at Baylor over the last three seasons:

 Denzel MimsRec Yards YPC TD 
 201624 6.0 
 201761 1087 17.8 
 201855 794 14.4 
 201961 945 15.5 11 

As such, he's going to be of interest. A highlight reel: 

Mims will compete at the Senior Bowl, and is expected to fare very well at the NFL Combine. Assuming he does, a late Day 2 / early Day 3 pick would probably be appropriate value.

Creed Humphrey, C, Oklahoma (6'5, 315): (7) Baylor vs. (6) Oklahoma, 12:00 p.m.

Humphrey is a redshirt sophomore who is already good enough to enter the NFL Draft and be selected somewhere in the first two rounds, if he does. He doesn't possess Jason Kelce's athleticism (nobody does), but he excels where Kelce struggled earlier in his career -- anchoring in pass protection, and getting movement in the run game with power and leverage. 

A closer look at Humphrey:

The Eagles will need a replacement for Kelce whenever he retires, which could be soon, and it will be interesting to see what type of player they prioritize in front of Carson Wentz. I believe Humphrey makes sense as a center who does not often allow the pocket to collapse, and would give Wentz the ability to move around and escape when necessary. I like his value in Round 2, but he could be gone by then.

Rashard Lawrence, DT, LSU (6'2, 308): (4) Georgia vs. (2) LSU, 4:00 p.m.

Lawrence had good numbers in 2018, when he had 54 tackles (10 for loss), 4 sacks, and 3 batted passes. Had he declared for the NFL Draft, he probably would have gone on Day 2, or early on Day 3 in a loaded D-line draft. Instead, he stayed at LSU for his senior season, got his ankle rolled up on early in the season, and has experienced a down-tick in production as a result. 

Through 9 games, he only has 19 tackles (4 for loss), 2.5 sacks, and 3 batted passes, though he did save his best game of the season (4 tackles, a half sack, and 2 batted passes) for LSU's huge win over Alabama.

I think he fits Jim Schwartz's scheme as a rotational penetrating DT, but would have concerns with his ability to take on double teams in the run game.

John Hightower, WR, Boise State (6'2, 171): Hawai'i at (18) Boise State, 4:00 p.m.

Hightower was a JUCO transfer who is now a senior at Boise, but with only two years of experience at the D1 level. His numbers:

John Hightower Rec Yards YPC TD 
 201831 504 16.3 
 201945 859 19.1 

As you can see, Hightower has a good yards per catch average. However, he's also a beanpole at 6'2, 171, so there will be concerns about his ability to beat press coverage at the next level. A highlight reel, where you can see his speed:

Hightower makes sense as a late round developmental speed guy with some added value as a kick returner.

Jordan Fuller, S, Ohio State (6'2, 205): (1) Ohio State vs. (8) Wisconsin, 8:00 p.m.

Since 2014, Ohio State has had a defensive back selected in every draft, including 10 draftees overall, and six first-round picks:

 YearPlayer Round (overall) 
 2019CB Kendall Sheffield, Falcons 4 (111) 
 2018CB Denzel Ward, Browns 1 (4) 
 2017CB Marshon Lattimore, Saints 1 (11) 
 2017S Malik Hooker, Chargers 1 (15) 
 2017CB Gareon Conley, Raiders 1 (24) 
 2016CB Eli Apple, Giants 1 (10) 
 2016S Vonn Bell, Saints 2 (61) 
 2015 S Doran Grant, Steelers4 (121) 
 2014 CB Bradley Roby, Broncos1 (31) 
 2014S Christian Bryant, Rams 7 (241) 

Fuller (and a bunch of other Buckeyes) will be next. While he won't scare opposing receivers as an enforcer over the middle, Fuller has great athleticism, and can cover a lot of ground in the deep middle. He can also stick with slot receivers, and has the height to cover tight ends.

A quick look: 

I like Fuller in the Eagles' scheme in the Rodney McLeod role. 

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

• November 23

  1. Binjimen Victor, WR, Ohio State
  2. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, LSU
  3. Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
  4. Matt Hennessy, C, Temple
  5. Julian Blackmon, S, Utah

November 30

  1. Kelly Bryant, QB, Missouri
  2. Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
  3. Chase Claypool, WR, Notre Dame
  4. Darryl Williams, OG/C, Mississippi State
  5. Douglas Coleman, S, Texas Tech

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