More Sports:

December 22, 2020

Grocery shopping: Five college prospects who could interest the Eagles in the 2021 NFL Draft

Eagles NFL
122220RichieGrant Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports

UCF S Richie Grant

As long as you and the family are all gathered around the fire in the living room for the Boca Raton Bowl, (as well as other bowl games throughout the week), here are some players who could make sense for the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Richie Grant, S, UCF (6'0, 194): (16) BYU vs. UCF, Boca Raton Bowl, Tuesday, Dec. 22, 7:00 p.m.

Grant is a deep middle safety with 10 INTs, 5 forced fumbles, and 17 pass breakups over the last 3 seasons for UCF. He also has 258 tackles over that span, leading the team in tackles both in 2018 and 2020. He is a legit Day 2 prospect. A look:

The Eagles' need for a deep middle safety is fairly obvious with Rodney McLeod aging, and now having to rehab from a second ACL tear in three seasons. Grant has a great challenge in this game, going up against BYU's Zach Wilson.

He'll also be at the Senior Bowl in January.

Khyiris Tonga, DT, BYU (6'4, 321): (16) BYU vs. UCF, Boca Raton Bowl, Tuesday, Dec. 22, 7:00 p.m.

Tonga is listed at 6'4, 321, but he's more likely either shorter than 6'4, or heavier than 321, because this is a wide-bodied player on the interior of BYU's defense. He has some pass rushing chops (8.5 career sacks) and added value in the passing game in that he helps DEs by pushing the pocket, thus not allowing quarterbacks to step up. A look:

The Eagles have brought in big-bodied DTs in the past, like Haloti Ngata and Anthony Rush. Tonga is a guy who might make sense on Day 3.

Obinna Eze, OT, Memphis (6'8, 315): Memphis vs. Florida Atlantic, R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl, Wednesday, Dec. 23, 7:00 p.m.

Eze is a long and athletic offensive tackle prospect originally from Nigeria, who is likely to go on Day 3 of the 2021 NFL Draft if he comes out. In that sense, he fits the theme of the Eagles' taking shots on big, athletic late Day 3 offensive tackles from overseas, like they did with Jordan Mailata and Prince Tega Wanogho. Here he is against UCF. As you can see, he's the biggest player on the field: 

Offensive tackle isn't a huge need for the Eagles this offseason. At LT, they have Jordan Mailata and Andre Dillard. At RT, they have Lane Johnson and Jack Driscoll, though Driscoll could potentially be in line for a starting job at LG if Jason Kelce retires and Isaac Seumalo moves to guard (but we won't go too far down that rabbit hole).

Ideally, Eze would have experience both at LT and RT, but according to his college bio page, he has only played LT. Still, he makes sense as another late round developmental OT to add to the pipeline. 

Marquez Stevenson, WR, Houston (6'0, 190): Hawaii vs. Houston, New Mexico Bowl, Thursday, Dec. 24, 3:30 p.m.

Stevenson is an explosive receiver who has had good production the last three seasons in Houston's spread offense:

Marquez Stevenson Rec Yards YPC TD 
 2018 (13 games)75 1019 13.6 
 2019 (12 games)52 907 17.4 
 2020 (5 games)20 307 15.4 

He mainly works out of the slot, and has added value as a returner, where the Eagles have an obvious need.

If you're a regular reader of this series you already know where this is going. Yes, we all like Greg Ward, who should have a role on the team, just not as a starting slot, where the Eagles can use more playmaking ability. 

The 2021 NFL Draft is going to be loooooaded with explosive slot receivers, many of whom we have already profiled, such as Jaylen Waddle (Alabama), Amon-Ra St. Brown (USC), Rondale Moore (Purdue), Kararius Toney (Florida) Tutu Atwell (Louisville), Amari Rodgers (Clemson), Elijah Moore (Ole Miss), and Dazz Newsome (UNC).

Payton Turner, DE, Houston (6'6, 270): Hawaii vs. Houston, New Mexico Bowl, Thursday, Dec. 24, 3:30 p.m.

Turner is an interesting prospect who mostly played at around 290 pounds as a 4i technique (lined up on inside shoulder of the tackle) his first few years at Houston, before moving outside to play more of a true DE spot as a senior. In just 5 games in 2020, Turner has 25 tackles (10.5 for loss), 5 sacks, and a forced fumble. 

He'll compete at the Senior Bowl in January, and he seems like a smart kid in the following interview. Also note the agility for a 6'6, 270-pound rusher:

The Eagles don't have a severe need at DE, at least in comparison to other positions, but Turner could make sense on Day 3 as an edge defender with some experience playing on the interior.

Previously profiled players

• August 9

  1. Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
  2. Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue
  3. Gregory Rousseau, DE, Miami
  4. Jaylen Twyman, DL, Pittsburgh
  5. Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech

• August 23

  1. Kennedy Brooks, RB, Oklahoma
  2. Warren Jackson, WR, Colorado State
  3. Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
  4. Jay Tufele, DT, USC
  5. Kary Vincent Jr., CB, LSU

• September 5

  1. Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern
  2. Reed Blankenship, S, Middle Tennessee State
  3. Kenneth Gainwell, RB, Memphis
  4. T.J. Carter, CB, Memphis
  5. Damonte Coxie, WR, Memphis

• September 12

  1. Andre Cisco, S, Syracuse
  2. Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame
  3. Asante Samuel Jr., CB, Florida State
  4. Carlos Basham Jr., DE, Wake Forest
  5. Jackson Carman, OT, Clemson

• September 19

  1. Paris Ford, S, Pittsburgh
  2. Victor Dimukeje, DE, Duke
  3. Matt Bushman, TE, BYU
  4. Chatarius Atwell, WR, Louisville
  5. Javian Hawkins, RB, Louisville

• September 26

  1. Rashad Weaver, DE, Pittsburgh
  2. Creed Humphrey, C, Oklahoma
  3. Seth Williams, WR, Auburn
  4. Alex Leatherwood, OG/OT, Alabama
  5. Marvin Wilson, DT, Florida State

• October 3

  1. Alim McNeill, DT, NC State
  2. Najee Harris, RB, Alabama
  3. Ja'Marr Chase, WR, LSU
  4. Justyn Ross, WR, Clemson
  5. Tony Poljan, TE, Virginia

• October 10

  1. Chazz Surratt, LB, North Carolina
  2. Marco Wilson, CB, Florida
  3. Amari Burney, LB, Florida 
  4. Trey Smith, iOL, Tennessee
  5. Amari Rodgers, WR, Clemson

• October 17

  1. Patrick Jones II, DE, Pittsburgh
  2. Hamsah Nasirildeen, S/LB, Florida State
  3. Tamorrion Terry, WR, Florida State
  4. Richard LeCounte III, S, Georgia
  5. Brian Robinson, RB, Alabama

• October 24

  1. Elijah Moore, WR, Ole Miss
  2. Jayson Oweh, DE, Penn State
  3. Tylan Wallace, WR, Oklahoma State
  4. Cameron McGrone, LB, Michigan
  5. Daniel Faalele, OT, Minnesota

• October 31

  1. Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU
  2. Wyatt Davis, OG, Ohio State
  3. Shaun Wade, DB, Ohio State
  4. Master Teague, RB, Ohio State
  5. Nick Bolton, LB, Missouri

November 7

  1. Chase Lucas, CB, Arizona State
  2. Brant Kuithe, TE, Utah
  3. Mustafa Johnson, DT, Colorado
  4. Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
  5. Jevon Holland, S, Oregon

November 14

  1. Mohamed Ibrahim, RB, Minnesota
  2. Dazz Newsome, WR, North Carolina
  3. Alijah Vera-Tucker, OG/OT, USC
  4. Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama
  5. Kwity Paye, DE, Michigan

November 21

  1. Derion Kendrick, CB, Clemson
  2. Joshua Kaindoh, DE, Florida State
  3. Amari Gainer, LB, Florida State
  4. Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida
  5. Sadarius Hutcherson, OG/OT, South Carolina

November 28

  1. Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State
  2. Aidan Hutchinson, DE, Michigan
  3. Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
  4. Dylan Moses, LB, Alabama
  5. Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina

December 5

  1. Patrick Johnson, DE, Tulane
  2. Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa
  3. Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
  4. Jabril Cox, LB, LSU
  5. Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR, USC

December 12

  1. Tyson Campbell, CB, Georgia
  2. Javonte Williams, RB, North Carolina
  3. Terrace Marshall Jr., WR, LSU
  4. Zach Wilson, QB, BYU
  5. Myjai Sanders, DE, Cincinnati

December 19

  1. Sage Surratt, WR, Wake Forest
  2. Josh Myers, C, Ohio State
  3. Charlie Kolar, TE, Iowa State
  4. Ronnie Perkins, DE, Oklahoma
  5. Bobby Brown III, DT, Texas A&M

Follow Jimmy & PhillyVoice on Twitter: @JimmyKempski | @thePhillyVoice

Like us on Facebook: PhillyVoice Sports

Add Jimmy's RSS feed to your feed reader