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December 29, 2020

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

Eagles NFL

As long as you're taking in some college football bowl game action tonight (and throughout the week), here are some players who could make sense for the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Jaelan Phillips, DE, Miami (6'5, 266): (21) Oklahoma State vs. (18) Miami, Cheez-It Bowl, Tuesday, Dec. 29, 5:30 p.m.

Phillips is a former five-star prospect (No. 1 in the nation, according to some recruiting sites) who initially enrolled at UCLA, but suffered multiple injuries, plus a moped accident that severely damaged his wrist. He actually retired at one point.

Phillips would eventually transfer to Miami and return to football, missing the 2019 season. In 10 games at Miami this season, with a lot to prove, Phillips has 45 tackles (15.5 for loss), 8 sacks, 3 batted passes, and an INT. He is long, athletic, and he plays hard:

He would be a high-risk, high-reward play early on Day 2.

Bubba Bolden, S, Miami (6'3, 200): (21) Oklahoma State vs. (18) Miami, Cheez-It Bowl, Tuesday, Dec. 29, 5:30 p.m.

In the 2020 NFL Draft, it is widely accepted that the Eagles would have taken S/LB hybrid Jeremy Chinn if they hadn't drafted Jalen Hurts. The Panthers got Chinn instead, and in 14 games, he has 110 tackles, a pick, 2 FFs, 2 FRs, 2 TDs, a sack, and 5 PBUs.

A player who gives me sort of a Chinn vibe is Bolden, a bigger safety at 6'3, 200, who has had a productive 2020 season. In 10 games, he has 65 tackles (4 for loss), a sack, a pick, and 4 FFs. A look:

With the Eagles having drafted K'Von Wallace in the 2020 draft, the thinking here was that Eagles have a bigger need for a safety who can patrol the back end of the defense more than they do a guy who can play more of a Malcolm Jenkins role. However, Wallace has barely seen the field this season, which is somewhat alarming. Bolden would fill that Malcolm Jenkins - Jalen Mills role, if the Eagles had interest.

MORE: NFC Hierarchy/Obituary, Week 17: Eagles are dead | Eagles injury updates: Will Pederson hold veteran players out in a meaningless finale?

Chuba Hubbard, RB, Oklahoma State (6'0, 208): (21) Oklahoma State vs. (18) Miami, Cheez-It Bowl, Tuesday, Dec. 29, 5:30 p.m.

Hubbard had a productive college football career, highlighted by his 2000-plus yard season in 2019:

 Chuba HubbardRush Yards YPC TD 
 2018124 740 6.0 
 2019328 2094 6.4 21 
 2020133 625 4.7 

He also had 53 catches over his three seasons at OSU. A look:

The Eagles could use a power back to complement Miles Sanders, and Hubbard isn't that. However, he is a patient runner with good vision who doesn't leave meat on the bone, and has some big play ability.

His draft stock will be interesting to watch. I think he's a late Day 2 guy, but would be good value early on Day 3.

Daviyon Nixon, DT, Iowa (6'3, 305): (15) Iowa vs. Missouri, TransPerfect Music City Bowl, Wednesday, Dec. 30, 4:00 p.m.

Nixon is becoming a hot name, as he is a highly decorated player during this weird college football season:

  1. Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year.
  2. AP First-Team All-Big Ten.
  3. One of three finalists for the Outland Trophy, which is given to the best interior lineman (offense or defense) in the country. The other two finalists -- Alabama's Alex Leatherwood and Notre Dame's Liam Eichenberg -- play offense.
  4. Bronko Nagurski finalist, for the national defensive player of the year.

So that's all pretty good, right?

Nixon is quick, powerful, and instinctive, and many believe that he is the top DT prospect in this draft class. On the season, Nixon has 45 tackles, 5.5 sacks, 13.5 tackles for loss, and a forced fumble.

You can also see his obvious athleticism on display on this game-sealing pick six against Penn State. Watch him kinda-sorta Euro step Sean Clifford, lol:

Get to know him now, because the Eagles highly value DTs (duh), and they have some aging ones in Fletcher Cox and Malik Jackson. I don't know if he's a top 10 pick, which is where the Eagles will be picking, but Nixon would make a lot of sense if the Eagles moved back.

MORE: John McMullen: Time runs out on Eagles. Is Doug Pederson next? | Eagles should tank their Week 17 game vs. Washington

Ar'Darius Washington, S, TCU (5'8, 178): Mercari Texas Bowl, TCU vs. Arkansas, Thursday, Dec. 31, 8:00 p.m.

At 5'8, Washington is going to be an automatic no for some teams at the safety position, but the Eagles have shown in recent years that they don't care as much about height on the back end. If you can get past his height, Washington is a really good player, with speed, ball skills (5 INT in 2019), and a willingness to hit. 

He's a Rodney McLeod replacement candidate, maybe late on Day 2, early Day 3.

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

December 26

  1. Shi Smith, WR, South Carolina
  2. Jordan Smith, Edge, UAB
  3. Elijah Mitchell, RB, Louisiana
  4. Tarron Jackson, DE, Coastal Carolina
  5. Marlon Williams, WR, UCF

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