December 29, 2020
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.
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.
UCLA OLB Jaelan Phillips has medically retired, per a spokesperson for the school. He was ESPN’s top-ranked defensive recruit in the Class of 2017.— Kyle Bonagura (@BonaguraESPN) December 16, 2018
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.
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:
Bubba Bolden was everywhere Saturday night. pic.twitter.com/2CFs4H8IEE— ₜₐₜₑ (@perctate) September 23, 2020
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.
Hubbard had a productive college football career, highlighted by his 2000-plus yard season in 2019:
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.
Nixon is becoming a hot name, as he is a highly decorated player during this weird college football season:
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.
DT Daviyon Nixon - 6'3 305 @HawkeyeFootball— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) November 1, 2020
4 sacks yesterday vs Northwestern! Strong & Stout!
RS-Junior. One season at Iowa Western JUCO in 2017, Redshirted in 2018, 366 snaps in 2019... Got my attention!
How about these 3rd down pressure looks - everyone standing up! pic.twitter.com/duMhwgCdN1
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.
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.
TCU's Ar'Darius Washington (@ad_washington24) is something SPECIAL.— Carter Donnick (@CDonnick3) June 12, 2020
🔹Natural ball skills and playmaking ability
🔹Fluid hips and quality range
🔹Triggers downhill with intensity
🔹Undersized, but sound and tenacious tackler
🔹Earl Thomas vibes?
Definite name to monitor. pic.twitter.com/xa2Co2fovr
He's a Rodney McLeod replacement candidate, maybe late on Day 2, early Day 3.