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January 25, 2020

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

Eagles NFL
022520MarlonDavidson John Reed/USA TODAY Sports

Auburn DT Marlon Davidson

The Senior Bowl game kicks off today at 2:30 p.m. EST, and if you find yourself watching that, here are some players who could make sense for the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2020 NFL Draft that we missed during the regular college football season.

Steven Montez, QB, Colorado (6'4, 240)

The quarterbacks the Eagles have had in camp or on their roster the last couple of years:

 Eagles QBHeight Weight 
 Carson Wentz6'5 237 
 Nick Foles6'6 243 
 Josh McCown6'4 218 
 Nate Sudfeld6'6 227 
 Clayton Thorson6'4 225 
 Kyle Lauletta6'3 222 

The Eagles clearly have "a type" that they like at quarterback, and Montez fits it at 6'4, 240, with a strong arm:

If the Eagles bring back Nate Sudfeld and also think of him as their No. 2 quarterback heading into 2020, then it would make sense for them to draft a late round developmental guy, like Montez, and try to correct some of his accuracy and pocket concerns.

Van Jefferson, WR, Florida (6'1, 197)

I hadn't done much homework on Jefferson during the season, but he was highly impressive as a route runner down in Mobile this week. Here's a sampling. The second route in this video is awesome:

And hey, his dad, as it turns out, is Shawn Jefferson, who played for 13 years in the NFL, and has been a wide receivers coach in the bigs for 12 years. Sooooo, I guess it makes sense that his kid can run routes.

In the Eagles' offense, while I don't think Jefferson is a guy who is going to make a lot of big, explosive plays, he can be a solid No. 2 who Carson Wentz can rely on to get open for first downs. Should the Eagles draft a burner early, Jefferson would make sense on Day 3 if they double-dip.

Matt Peart, OT, UConn (6'6, 310)

Peart has played for a UConn program that has gone 9-39 in the four years he was there, and still managed to get noticed as an NFL prospect competing at the Senior Bowl. In his time there, he racked up a lot of experience starting all four years, playing left tackle for two season, right tackle for two season, and even occasionally filling in at guard. 

In that sense, it's easy to see his fit with the Eagles as a potential swing tackle replacement for Halapoulivaati Vaitai. Here he is against UCF this past season. He's the RT, No. 65: 

At 6'6, with 35 1/8" arms, he has excellent length for the NFL, and athleticism to go along with it. I think some team will view him as a starter, which means he could go Day 2. If he lasts into Day 3, the Eagles could have interest.

Marlon Davidson, DT, Auburn (6'3, 297)

I struggled with profiling Davidson during the season, because I wasn't sure what he would be in the NFL. Now that he is up to 297 pounds, his fit at the next level, at least in terms of the Eagles' scheme, is now obvious. He could be a disruptive, gap-penetrating defensive tackle, with some versatility to play on the edge at times as well.

In 2019, Davidson had 48 tackles (11.5 for loss), and 6.5 sacks. NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah had him being picked at 29th overall in his initial first round mock draft, and 30th overall on his initial top 50 prospects. On the first day of Senior Bowl practices, Davidson was arguably the best player on the field, though his week was cut short by an injury, and he was in a walking boot on Day 2. 

After watching their defensive tackles drop like flies the last two years, the Eagles badly need some young reinforcements at the position, especially with Fletcher Cox turning 30 during the season next year and Malik Jackson both recovering from a serious injury and having just turned 30 in January.

The 2020 defensive tackle class appears to be a very good one, and there's a decent chance that one could slide to the Eagles' pick in Round 2. If that's Davidson, he would be a steal there.

Darnay Holmes, CB, UCLA (5'10, 192)

The downside is that Holmes is only 5'10, and thus, not an awesome candidate to play on the outside in the NFL. In that sense, he really only makes sense for the Eagles if they move Avonte Maddox to safety full time, which is certainly a possibility. 

The upside is that he has good athleticism, he's sticky in coverage, he competes like hell for the ball in the air, and (Jim Schwartz alert) he plays with swagger. I mean, look at the video preview photo below. He's wagging his finger! Lol.

Holmes also brings special teams ability to the table, both as a returner and on kick/punt coverage.

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

• December 7

  1. Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor
  2. Creed Humphrey, C, Oklahoma
  3. Rashard Lawrence, DT, LSU
  4. John Hightower, WR, Boise State
  5. Jordan Fuller, S, Ohio State

• December 14

  1. Omar Bayless, WR, Arkansas State
  2. Alex Taylor, OT, South Carolina State
  3. Robert Hunt, OG, Louisiana Lafayette
  4. Jeremy Chinn, S, Southern Illinois
  5. Kyle Dugger, S, Lenoir-Rhyne

• December 21

  1. Luq Barcoo, CB, San Diego State
  2. Antonio Gandy-Golden, WR, Liberty
  3. James Morgan, QB, FIU
  4. Akeem Davis-Gaither, LB, Appalachian State
  5. Gabriel Davis, WR, UCF

• December 26

  1. Amik Robertson, CB, Louisiana Tech
  2. Shaquille Quarterman, LB, Miami
  3. Dane Jackson, CB, Pittsburgh
  4. Justin Madubuike, DT, Texas A&M
  5. Michael Pittman, WR, USC

• December 28

  1. Antonio Gibson, WR/RB/KR, Memphis
  2. Khalid Kareem, DE, Notre Dame
  3. Troy Pride, CB, Notre Dame
  4. Shaun Wade, CB, Ohio State
  5. Damon Arnette, CB, Ohio State

• December 30

  1. Jonathan Greenard, DE, Florida
  2. Lynn Bowden Jr., ATH, Kentucky
  3. Hamsah Nasirildeen, S, Florida State
  4. Tamorrion Terry, WR, Florida State
  5. Logan Wilson, LB, Wyoming

January 1

  1. Xavier McKinney, CB/SCB/S, Alabama
  2. Shane Lemieux, OG, Oregon
  3. Juwan Johnson, WR, Oregon
  4. Marquez Callaway, WR, Tennessee
  5. Trey Smith, OG, Tennessee

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