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September 26, 2020

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

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092520AlexLeatherwood Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports

Alabama's Alex Leatherwood would give the Eagles options along their offensive line.

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 2021 NFL Draft.

Rashad Weaver, DE, Pittsburgh (6'5, 270): (24) Louisville at (21) Pittsburgh, 12:00 p.m.

Weaver was thought of as a potential breakout player in 2019, but he tore an ACL, and he missed the entire season. In his debut in 2020, Weaver was impressive, racking up 7 tackles, 3 TFLs, and 2 sacks. 

Weaver has good size at 6'5, 270, and the Eagles have an obvious need at DE, with Brandon Graham and Vinny Curry aging, and Derek Barnett unable to stay healthy.

Creed Humphrey, C, Oklahoma (6'5, 315): Kansas State at (3) Oklahoma, 12:00 p.m.

Humphrey is a redshirt junior who served as Jalen Hurts' center, and might have been a first-round pick if he had entered the 2020 NFL Draft. 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:

If Kelce retires next offseason, one option would be for Isaac Seumalo to take his place at center. The Eagles could also just draft a center and have him fill in. A first-round center wouldn't exactly be an exciting pick, but Humphrey would an out-of-the-box solidifier of the Eagles' interior.

MORE: Eagles-Bengals injury report, with analysis | Rounding up the experts' picks for Eagles vs. Bengals | Eagles vs. Bengals: Predictions, odds and more

Seth Williams, WR, Auburn (6'3, 211): (23) Kentucky at (8) Auburn, 12:00 p.m.

Williams is a bigger receiver who wins in contested catch situations. He's good around the goal line on slants, fades, and back shoulder throws, and he'll go up and out-muscle defenders for passes deep down the field, as you can see here.

This type of player will turn off some Eagles fans, given the disappointment that J.J. Arcega-Whiteside has been through the first 18 games of his NFL career.

However, Alshon Jeffery very likely won't be back in 2021, and if Arcega-Whiteside is a bust, Williams would be a classic "X" receiver in an Eagles offense that loaded up on speed at WR in the 2020 NFL Draft. Williams could be a Day 2 guy with a strong 2020 season.

Alex Leatherwood, OG/OT, Alabama (6'6, 312): (2) Alabama at Missouri, 7:00 p.m.

Leatherwood's athleticism is rather obvious, and he's a potential first-round pick at LT. However, he could have particular appeal to the Eagles because of his versatility, as Leatherwood also has experience at guard. First, a look:

The Eagles aren't going to give up on Andre Dillard next year. He's going to be given every opportunity to start at LT in 2021. However, Leatherwood makes sense as a player who could compete with Dillard at LT, but who also has experience at guard, and would give the Eagles options along their line. I think he's a first round pick.

Marvin Wilson, DT, Florida State (6'5, 311): Florida State at (12) Miami, 7:30 p.m.

Big Marv is listed at 311 pounds, but he looks bigger than that to me, and in some ways reminds me of Dexter Lawrence, a player commonly mocked to the Eagles during the pre-draft process in 2019. Both Lawrence and Wilson were the No. 2 overall high school recruits in the country, a year apart. 

Wilson is a huge run-stuffer who would immediately help the Eagles in that regard, which remains important in a division with Ezekiel Elliott and Saquon Barkley. In my view, that is his base expectation. However, like Lawrence, Wilson isn't just a run stuffer. He had 5 sacks in 2019, winning with his sheer power. Even if he doesn't rack up a lot of sacks at the next level, he is a player who can push the pocket, allowing for more opportunities for his defensive line teammates. A look:

Is Fletcher Cox still among the best DTs in the NFL? Will Malik Jackson still be around in 2021? I believe that there are legitimate questions on the interior of the Eagles' defensive line, and we know that the defensive tackle spot is a priority for them.

MORE: Mailbag: Is the season over if Eagles lose to Bengals?

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

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