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November 14, 2020

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

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110420KwityPaye Tommy Gilligan/USA TODAY Sports

Michigan DE Kwity Paye

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.

Mohamed Ibrahim, RB, Minnesota (5'10, 210): Iowa at Minnesota

Ibrahim is a compact, physical runner who seems to like contact, and finishes his runs, often with authority. He also has good vision, and knows what holes to hit as blocking develops in front of him. In that respect, he has a chance to be a good short yardage guy. On the downside, he only has 13 career college catches, and spoiler, he is going to run an ugly 40 time. A look:

In his first three games this season, Ibraham already has 571 yards and 10 TDs on 97 carries in just 3 games. He could give the Eagles a power element in their inside running game that they currently lack. Later round guy.

(Technically, this game happened Friday night, but whatever.)

Dazz Newsome, WR, North Carolina (5'11, 190): Wake Forest at North Carolina, 12:00 p.m.

Newsome is a slot receiver with some juice who had 72 catches for 1018 yards (14.1 YPC) and 10 TDs in 2019. He's off to a slow start in 2020, with just 18 catches for 209 yards (11.6 YPC) and 1 TD in six games.

Still, as you'll see below, he can threaten defenses down the field, he creates separation underneath, and he has some toughness, as he tries to maximize his yards per catch on every reception.

Greg Ward is a fine back of the roster player, but the Eagles could really use a player with more playmaking ability from the slot. Day 3 guy.

MORE: Eagles-Giants final injury report, with analysis | Brian Westbrook has three reasons why the Eagles have fallen short this season

Alijah Vera-Tucker, OG/OT, USC: (20) USC at Arizona, TBD

Vera-Tucker was a quality LG for USC before moving out to LT this season to replace 2020 first round pick Austin Jackson. The Eagles heavily value versatile offensive linemen, and with good reason, given the fact that they have had seven different offensive line combinations in eight games so far this season.

Vera-Tucker's future in the NFL is likely at guard. He is thought of as a technician with just OK athleticism and strength, who consistently wins his matchups. 

He would make sense for the Eagles at LG, with Isaac Seumalo potentially moving to center whenever Jason Kelce retires, which could be on the horizon. He's probably a Day 2 guy.

Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama (6'2, 202): Alabama at LSU

Surtain is thought of by some as the best cornerback prospect in the country, as he possesses a prototype blend of size and athleticism, to go along with legit corner polish, being the son of former 11-year pro Patrick Surtain, Sr.

Daniel Jeremiah likened Surtain to Dolphins CB Byron Jones, but with better ball skills.

The Eagles still need help at outside corner, as they have one very good, but aging corner in Darius Slay, and then a bunch of slot guys. This draft is particularly strong at corner, so it wouldn't be out of the question for one to fall further than expected.

(Disclaimer: This game was postponed.) 

MORE: Week 10 NFL picks: Rounding up the experts' predictions for Eagles vs. Giants | Mailbag: The future of the Eagles' offensive line

Kwity Paye, DE, Michigan (6'4, 272): (13) Wisconsin at Michigan, 7:30 p.m.

Paye came in at No. 1 on Bruce Feldman's freaks list:

The 6-4, 271-pound Paye (50 tackles, 12.5 for loss, 6.5 sacks) has generated a lot of buzz among the NFL scouting community for some remarkable wheels. He clocked the second-best 3-cone time on the team at a blistering 6.37 seconds, which would have topped anyone at the 2020 combine. Paye’s 40 is also moving at 4.57, with a solid 34-inch vertical and 30 reps on the bench press. Paye’s 40 time and 4.15 pro shuttle time are better than any D-lineman or edge player who tested at the 2020 combine. His 11.3 time in the 60-yard shuttle is also elite.

Paye, a former high school running back who reported to Ann Arbor at 228 pounds, was a member of a state championship 4×100 meter relay team in high school and also won a state title in the long jump, going 21 feet, 5 inches as a junior. He has a rare blend of strength, control and balance and his change of direction is probably even better than former Wolverine Freak Rashan Gary.

While Paye has elite athletic measurables, his production in the stat sheet his first three seasons at Michigan wasn't great, as he had 9.5 sacks in 24 games. The Eagles believe that sacks in college translate to sacks in the pros, though it's worth noting that Rashan Gary, mentioned by Feldman, was an athletic freak with pedestrian production, and my understanding is that the Eagles had him as a potential trade-up target.

Paye is off to an OK start this season, with 2 sacks and 4 tackles for loss in 3 games. NFL teams would feel more comfortable using a first round pick on him if they saw more production. A look:

He could be a player of interest to the Eagles in Round 1 if he has a strong season the rest of the way.

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

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