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December 26, 2020

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

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122620TarronJackson Jay Biggerstaff/USA TODAY Sports

DE Tarron Jackson is the player to watch on 11-0 Coastal Carolina's roster.

As long as you're taking in some college football bowl game action this Saturday, here are some players who could make sense for the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Shi Smith, WR, South Carolina (5'10, 190): South Carolina vs. UAB, Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl, Saturday, Dec. 26, 12:00 p.m.

As we've noted all year, the 2021 NFL Draft will be loaded with slot receiver talent. Smith isn't quite as explosive as some of the others, but he has an impressive highlight reel of fantastic catches. Like this:

Or this: 

Or this:

Smith is tough, fearless, and can make catches in traffic. In that sense, he is sort of a souped up version of Greg Ward with more speed.

Note: The Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl has been cancelled. 😢

Jordan Smith, Edge, UAB (6'7, 255): South Carolina vs. UAB, Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl, Saturday, Dec. 26, 12:00 p.m.

Smith originally enrolled at Florida as a four-star recruit, but he and eight other players were suspended for a credit card scam. Smith was sentenced to two years of probation, and he would leave Florida for a JUCO team, before eventually landing at UAB.

In two seasons (21 games) at UAB, Smith has 12.5 sacks, 23.5 TFLs, and 3 FFs. He has length and athleticism, and as such, is going to get a long look from NFL teams. His 2019 highlights:

Smith's evaluation is going to be all about his character. If he can impress someone, he could go Day 2. He'd be a good value play on Day 3. 

Elijah Mitchell, RB, Louisiana (5'11, 218): (19) Louisiana vs. UTSA, SERVPRO First Responder Bowl, Saturday, Dec. 26, 3:30 p.m.

Mitchell has a 6.2 yards per carry average and 45 total TDs in his 41 career college games. While he doesn't have good long speed, he's a "get it and go" back with good acceleration who can get up to top speed quickly and run through tacklers with his decent size. 

He also has 47 career catches and a 11.7 yards per catch average. Day 3 guy who has a chance to help himself at the Senior Bowl.

Tarron Jackson, DE, Coastal Carolina (6'2, 260): Liberty vs. (12) Coastal Carolina, FBC Mortgage Cure Bowl, Saturday, Dec. 26, 7:30 p.m.

Jackson is a short, thick (likely heavier than 260) pass rusher with 18 sacks the last two seasons (22 games). He is known as a hand fighter, which is sort of a necessary trait given his lack of length.

Teams will have to decide where he'll play at the next level, but I like him as a backup behind Brandon Graham at LDE. He's a Day 3 project with potential versatility.

Marlon Williams, WR, UCF (6'0, 215): Bowl game already played (oops)

I meant to profile Williams last week for UCF's bowl game against BYU, and then just forgot about him. Oops. So we'll get to him here. 

In the eight games Williams played this season, he had a monster season, as his average receiving line was something close to 9-130-1. His game log:

 Marlon Williams, UCFRec Yards YPC TD 
At Georgia Tech 10 154 15.4 
 At East Carolina13 136 10.5 
 Tulsa98 10.9 
 At Memphis13 191 13.7 
 Tulane174 19.3 
 At Houston87 17.4 
 Temple102 25.5 
 Cincinnati97 12.1 
 TOTAL71 1039 14.6 10 

Williams looks more like a running back than a receiver, and like guys with similar builds in the NFL like A.J. Brown and Deebo Samuel, he is YAC machine.

Williams isn't going to run a fast 40, but he is a player who can turn short passes into big gains, especially if matched up against smaller slot corners who will struggle matching his physical play.

There are going to be a slew of fast, explosive slot receivers in the 2021 NFL Draft, and Williams will offer an alternative skill set to those guys at the same position.

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

December 22

  1. Richie Grant, S, UCF
  2. Khyiris Tonga, DT, BYU
  3. Obinna Eze, OT, Memphis
  4. Marquez Stevenson, WR, Houston
  5. Payton Turner, DE, Houston

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