April 28, 2018
When personnel chief Joe Douglas is finished putting together the Philadelphia Eagles' draft board, it will include almost 200 players for the Birds to choose from on draft weekend.
Here, we'll put together our own smaller draft board, based on scheme fit, team needs, personal preference, and things we've heard, listed by round. As the draft progresses, we'll cross off players as they come off the board, as we've done over the last few years.
***To note, as of Wednesday morning, we have noted 85 players below, but will continue to add to it up until the draft. Bookmark, please.
• Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame: McGlinchey will probably go too early to be a viable trade-up candidate, but the Eagles' have a long-term need at tackle, as Jason Peters isn't going to play forever. Should he unexpectedly slide, the Eagles could have interest. • Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA: Playing at UT San Antonio (Conference USA), Davenport had 49 tackles, 8.5 sacks, 17.5 tackles for loss, and 3 forced fumbles, which for me is lacking for a first round pick coming from a smaller program. Still, he is a size-athleticism freak who ran a 4.58 at 6'6, 264 at a premium position. • Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State: From a height-weight-speed perspective, Vander Esch is as impressive a defensive prospect as there is in this draft. Though he's a bit of a one-year wonder, Vander Esch filled up the stat sheet in 2017, recording 141 tackles (8.5 TFL), 4 sacks, 2 INT, 5 pass breakups, and 4 forced fumbles. • Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama: Evans was a pass rusher who converted to linebacker at Bama. Over his first three years, he had a lack of playing time, sitting and watching behind guys like Reuben Foster at linebacker and a slew of edge rushers who have been drafted into the NFL. Evans suffered a groin injury early in the season this year, so he got off to a slow start statistically, but he has 66 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss, and 6 sacks. His skill set is reminiscent of Haason Reddick, the former Temple versatile edge rusher turned linebacker who was drafted 13th overall by the Cardinals in the 2017 NFL Draft. Evans doesn't have huge tackle numbers, but NFL teams could view him as a high-upside guy who will continue to gain more comfort at linebacker.
|Options at pick No. 32|
|Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota State (DRAFTED BY EAGLES)|
| |• Derrius Guice, RB, LSU: Guice averaged 7.8 yards per carry during his freshman and sophomore seasons. Obviously, that is excellent. His 5.3 yards per carry average in 2017? Not nearly as impressive, though Guice battled through some injuries. Additionally, in three seasons, Guice has just 32 career receptions, although that could be a symptom of LSU not using their backs much in the passing game. Guice is a violent runner with good cutting ability in the hole, as well as great balance and change of direction at top speed. Guice would be a slam-dunk first round pick, if not for personality concerns. Where he lands will be one of the more interesting story lines of this draft. It could very well be in the second round. • Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU: With a 6'3 frame and a wingspan of 79 ¼", Sutton has a large catch radius, and impressive measurables to go along with his size. Sutton is adept at winning 50-50 opportunities, like current Eagles wide receiver Alshon Jeffery. Having two bigger receivers would pose matchup problems for opposing defenses that lack a pair of bigger corners.
• Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota State (DRAFTED BY EAGLES): At a lower level of college football, Goedert dominated, which is what you would expect of a legitimate NFL prospect. In 2016, Geodert caught 92 passes for 1293 yards and 11 TDs. In 2017, he had 72 catches for 1111 yards and 7 TDs. He has a long highlight reel of outstanding catches, and could be an added weapon and matchup problem for Carson Wentz, especially in the red zone.
• Kolton Miller, OT, UCLA: While Miller has been knocked for his punch, his footwork, and other mechanical issues, his measurables are very impressive. The tape says he isn't a first round pick, but his upside makes him an interesting long-term developmental prospect who could potentially be special. Is he worth that risk in the first round? Classic boom or bust prospect. • Connor Williams, OT, Texas: After missing a big chunk of the 2017 season with a knee injury, and then not playing at his best once he did return, some of the shine is apparently off of Williams, who was at one time being projected as a top 10 pick. Williams had mixed results at the Combine. His athletic measurables were fantastic, but the tape measure revealed his 33" T-Rex arms, which will scare off teams who may not view him as a viable tackle prospect as a result. If Williams pans out as an offensive tackle in the NFL, great. If not, I believe his floor is as an athletic quality starting guard or center. • Isaiah Wynn, OG, Georgia: Wynn played LT and LG at a high level at Georgia. In the pros, he's not going to play on the edge because he's a hair under 6'3, however, like Seumalo, Wynn could potentially fill in at OT in an emergency. Wynn would be a long-term answer at LG, with some tackle versatility. • Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan: At, 6'1, 292, Hurst is far from a prototypical defensive tackle. In 2017, Hurst had 59 tackles (13 for loss) 5.5 sacks, and a forced fumble. Those numbers aren't great, but make no mistake, Maurice Hurst is really good player. He's quick, fast, he sheds blocks, and he constantly makes plays on the other side of the line of scrimmage. • Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville: Alexander is a sticky cover corner who can play both on the outside and in the slot. In 2016, he had 5 INTs, 9 additional pass breakups, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery. In 2017, his stock may have dipped a bit when he struggled through a sprained knee and other injuries. While a bit undersized, Alexander has very good athletic measurables, including a 4.38 40 time. Alexander would be an instant fit in the slot for the Eagles, as well as a capable punt returner. • Mike Hughes, CB, UCF: Hughes was an excellent returner in 2017, as he had a whopping 16.6-yard average (and 1 TD) on 14 punt returns, and a 31.8-yard average (and 2 TDs) on 20 kick returns. He was also a really good cornerback. In 2017, he had 49 tackles, 4 INTs (one of which was a pick-6), and 11 pass breakups. Hughes is a tough player who can play inside and stick with shifty slot receivers. He would potentially fill three needs -- slot corner, kick returner, and punt returner, though there are some character concerns. • Justin Reid, S, Stanford: Reid is a versatile, do-everything safety with very good ability in coverage, who has a lot of the same traits as Malcolm Jenkins. He could play in the slot early in his career, and could serve as the long-term replacement for Jenkins, whenever his career winds down. • Ronnie Harrison, S, Alabama: When you think of 6'3, 214 safeties, you think of thumpers who play close to the line of scrimmage. While Harrison will make big hits, he is also skilled in coverage, as Bama used him as a deep half safety, with some assignments against some of the better tight ends they faced.
|2nd round (trade back options)|
| |• Sony Michel, RB, Georgia: In his college career, Michel's numbers weren't what they could have been because he had to split time with Nick Chubb at Georgia. Despite splitting carries, Michel still finished with more than 1,220 rushing yards in 2017. While not a burner, Michel is a complete back, with the ability to run inside, run outside, be a weapon in the passing game, and pass protect. • Ronald Jones, RB, USC: The Eagles have a bigger, bruising back with some explosion in Jay Ajayi, as well as something of a well-rounded back in Corey Clement. What they lack is a home run threat, which is what Ronald Jones could be in Philly's offense. • Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia: When Georgia lost Todd Gurley for the season in 2014, Chubb came in and the Bulldogs' run game didn't suffer all that much. In his first five games in 2014, playing second fiddle to Gurley, Chubb only had 31 carries for 224 yards and 2 TDs. As the starter, Chubb lit it up in the final eight games, carrying the ball 219 times for 1547 yards (8.1 YPC) and 14 TDs. He looked like an elite prospect, until he shredded his knee in 2015. In 2016 after returning from his devastating injury, his explosive cutting ability and home run potential wasn't quite what it used to be. In 2017, Chubb looked to be a little closer to what he once was, a year removed from his injury, but is not the elite prospect he once was. Another concern would be Chubb's receiving numbers, as he had just 31 receptions in four years at Georgia. Chubb has a low center of gravity, running with good power and vision, but his projection to the NFL is difficult one because of his medical history. • Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M: Kirk has been a productive receiver since he arrived at Texas A&M, where he put up over 1000 yards as a receiver his freshman year in a crowded wide receiver room. At 5'11, 200 pounds, Kirk is built more like a running back. Think Josh Huff, but with actual receiving ability, as in, polished routes and good hands. In addition to his receiving ability, Kirk is a star returner. Over his career, Kirk had 7 return touchdowns (6 punt returns, 1 kick return). • James Washington, WR, Oklahoma State: Over the last three years, Washington had over 4000 receiving yards and 33 TDs on 19.8 yards per reception. He is the type of deep threat the Eagles have looked for in recent years, and with Mike Wallace on a one-year contract, Washington could make sense as the long-term field-stretching outside receiver. • Anthony Miller, WR, Memphis: Two years ago, we profiled a lot of quarterbacks, including Paxton Lynch. In watching Lynch, I can remember thinking, "this WR #3 is really good." It turns out that was Anthony Miller, who has put up big numbers at Memphis. Miller runs good routes, he has excellent hands, good body control, he tries to break tackles, and he gets yards after the catch. He's going to be a good professional wide receiver. • Deon Cain, WR, Clemson: Cain is the next in line of really godd receivers to come out of Clemson. Cain, like Washington above, has good speed and is a threat to take the top off a defense. Additionally, he has good hands, great body control, and is thought of as a good blocker.
2018 NFL DRAFT POSITION-BY-POSITION PREVIEWS
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end
Offensive tackle | Interior OL | Defensive end | Defensive tackle
Linebacker | Cornerback | Safety | Specialists
• Mike Gesicki, TE, Penn State: Gesicki is a local kid from Manahawkin, N.J. (near Long Beach Island), where he was a three-sport star in football, basketball, and volleyball. As with players like Tony Gonzalez, Antonio Gates, Julius Thomas, Jimmy Graham, Jordan Cameron, and other basketball-oriented tight ends, you can see Gesicki's hoops skills transfer onto the football field. He is an extremely athletic tight end with rare jumping ability who excels at winning 50-50 balls and should be an immediate impact player in the red zone. • Brian O'Neill, OT, Pittsburgh: O'Neill enrolled at Pitt as a tight end before moving to RT initially, eventually finishing out his college career at LT. That LT-RT versatility will be a check mark in his favor with Doug Pederson. As you might expect of a converted tight end, O'Neill has excellent athleticism for an offensive tackle (though he does have Burger King hands). While O'Neill is athletically gifted, he is an unfinished product whose technique needs refinement, and many analysts believe he needs to add some strength in the weight room. For the Eagles' purposes, O'Neill is a perfect fit, in that Jeff Stoutland will have plenty of time to coach up his mechanical deficiencies while O'Neill adds some bulk. • Martinas Rankin, OT/OG/C, Mississippi State: Rankin was a first-team All SEC selection at LT in 2017, but is probably too small (6'4, 308) to play tackle in the pros. Many believe that Rankin is versatile enough to play all five spots along the offensive line, similarly to Isaac Seumalo coming out of college. • Tyrell Crosby, OT, Oregon: Crosby was a starter along the Ducks' offensive line for four years dating back to the 2014 season, when Oregon played in the National Championship Game. He has experience both at left tackle and right tackle, and could probably also play guard at the next level, which in theory should interest the Eagles. Crosby puts defenders on their asses. He's powerful in the run game, and very physical both in pass protection and drive blocking. However, it's pretty clear to see that he doesn't exactly have cat-like quickness, which will pose problems against speed rushers in the NFL. • Frank Ragnow, C, Arkansas: As a sophomore in 2015, Ragnow started all 13 games at right guard. As a junior, he started 12 games at center and one at right guard. In 2017, he started at center. The Eagles will value that versatility along the interior of their offensive line. There are some who believe Ragnow is a potential first-round pick. I don't see that at all, but he could certainly be a value if the Eagles were to trade back. • Billy Price, C, Ohio State: Price likely would have been a first round pick had he not torn a pectoral muscle during the pre-draft process, putting his rookie season in jeopardy. Instead, he'll almost certainly slide into the second round, and maybe even into the third. Last year, the Eagles played the long game by drafting Sidney Jones in the second round, knowing that he likely would not play his rookie season. The Eagles could find similar long-term value in Price if they trade out of the first round. • James Daniels, C, Iowa: Daniels came to Philly on a pre-draft visit, which is interesting. He has outstanding athleticism, and would be a great fit for the Eagles' offense, but with Jason Kelce in place, where does he fit? • Darius Leonard, LB, South Carolina State: In 2017, Leonard was the MEAC Defensive Player Of The Year, racking up 124 tackles (14.5 for loss), 3.5 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, 2 INTs, and 2 blocked kicks. He is an interesting prospect who fits the speed profile Jim Schwartz looks for in his linebackers. • Lorenzo Carter, Edge, Georgia: At 6'5, 250, Carter is a size-length freak, and a former five-star recruit out of high school. However, his sack numbers at Georgia are unimpressive. In four seasons there, he had just 14 total sacks, though he does have upside. The Eagles took a chance on a similar speed-length freak in Alex McCalister, though Carter is going to require more of an investment than a seventh-round pick. At 250 pounds, Carter would have to put on weight in the NFL to play DE. The Eagles would have to determine if he can do that without losing explosiveness. Or maybe with his 4.5 speed, he's a linebacker in a 4-3? Difficult prospect to project to the NFL. • Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa: Jackson was the best ball hawk in 2017, by far, in this cornerback class. He led the country both in passes defensed (26) and interceptions (8). • Donte Jackson, CB, LSU: Jackson, a track star who ran a 4.32 at the 2018 NFL Combine, is the latest LSU defensive back who will go early in the draft. He has outstanding athleticism, but is undersized at 178 pounds, and projects to the slot at the next level.
|Marcell Ateman, WR, Oklahoma State|
| |• Rashaad Penny, RB, San Diego State: In 2016, playing behind Donnel Pumphrey at SDSU, Penny ran for 1005 yards and 11 TDs on 135 carries, for an average yards per carry of 7.4. In 2017, as the lead back, he built on those numbers, carrying 289 times for a ridiculous 2248 yards (7.8 YPC) and 23 TDs. Impressive. Like Pumphrey, Penny tore up his competition in college. Unlike Pumphrey, Penny has legitimate NFL size, at 5'11, 220. Penny also has special teams appeal. Over his career at San Diego State, he averaged an outstanding 30.2 yards per kick return, and brought 7 back for touchdowns. That tied an NCAA record. • Nyheim Hines, RB, North Carolina State: Hines is a former receiver who transitioned to running back while at North Carolina State. He is a player the Eagles can move around the formation to create mismatches, like they did with Darren Sproles before he was lost for the year with a torn ACL. Hines has great speed. At the Combine, he ran a 4.38 – that's best in the class among running backs. By comparison, Jay Ajayi ran a 4.57, while Corey Clement ran a 4.68, so Hines would give the Eagles a home run threat that they presently lack. • Kerryon Johnson, RB, Auburn: In 2017, Johnson was a workhorse back, carrying 285 times for 1391 yards and 18 TDs. He has also chipped in 24 receptions for 194 yards and 2 TDs. Johnson reminds me a little of former Clemson running back Wayne Gallman, but with more burst. Johnson is a tall, skinny-ish back who doesn't have elite speed, but ran hard and was a factor in the passing game, like Gallman, who was selected in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft.
• Marcell Ateman, WR, Oklahoma State: Ateman doesn't have great speed, but he's big (6'5), he can win contested catches, and he has good hands. In that sense, he can be a player the Eagles could groom in the Alshon Jeffery role.
• Dante Pettis, WR, Washington: Pettis owns sole possession of the all-time NCAA record for career punt return touchdowns. As with Kirk above, in Pettis the Eagles would be getting one of the best punt returners ever to come out of college, as well as a dangerous receiver. As a receiver, Pettis' reception and yardage numbers aren't great, but he found the end zone 15 times in 2016. It will be interesting to see how the NFL values Pettis as a receiver. A year ago, North Carolina's Ryan Switzer, an elite returner in college and 1000-yard receiver his senior year, lasted until the fourth round. • Mark Andrews, TE, Oklahoma: Andrews is basically an oversized wide receiver. In 2017, he had 62 catches for 958 yards and 8 TDs. Over his career, he has a very impressive 15.8 yards per catch. If you're looking for a guy who can open up holes in the run game, however, forget it. In other words, if Andrews sees the field in the NFL, he's not forcing defenses to stay in their base defense, and thus isn't as much of a mismatch creator to opposing defenses. He's going to have to add the blocking element to his game as some point, so in that respect he's still something of a project, even if the receiving skills are already there. • Chukwuma Okorafor, OT, Western Michigan: As you might expect of a 6'6, 330-pound man, Okorafor can move bodies in the run game, and he anchors very well in pass protection. He also has experience both at RT and LT, which will interest the Eagles. On the downside, there are concerns about his hand fighting and his overall technique, though that can be improved with NFL coaching. Okorafor is something a size-athleticism prospect, but raw. • Braden Smith, OG, Auburn: You don't often think of 6'6, 303-pound offensive linemen as guards, much less good run-blocking guards, but that's what Smith is. He also has tackle experience, so he could play on the edge in emergency situations. • Uchenna Nwosu, DE, USC: Nwosu's best fit in the NFL is probably as a 3-4 OLB. On the season, he had 75 tackles, 9.5 sacks, and an absolutely absurd 13 pass breakups, the majority of which were batted passes at the line of scrimmage. Nwosu is basically a volleyball player in a football uniform. So if his best fit is as a 3-4 OLB, why would the Eagles have interest? Well, they brought him in for one of their 30 allotted pre-draft visits, which was interesting. If Nwosu were to slide, it would be reasonable to select him as situational pass rusher in sub-packages. • Duke Ejiofor, DE, Wake Forest: In 2016, Ejiofor had 50 tackles (17 for loss), 10.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries, 4 batted passes, and a pick. In 2017, he tore his labrum in his right shoulder, which likely occurred the first week of October. Playing hurt all season, Ejiofor's numbers dipped, as he had 43 tackles (17 for loss), 7 sacks, 1 forced fumble, and 1 batted pass. He reportedly had successful surgery to repair his labrum early in February. At Wake, Ejiofor also played inside on obvious passing downs, like Graham and Bennett have done over their careers. He could be a player who the Eagles like as a long-term successor to Bennett. • Tim Settle, DT, Virginia Tech: At 6'3, 329, Settle was a a great run-stuffer for the Hokies, but also caused disruption in the passing game. Many wondered if Settle might slip into the first round, but after a bad Combine, his stock cooled off. In 2017, Settle had 36 tackles 4 sacks and 11.5 tackles for loss. Those aren't eye-popping numbers, but Settle's game tape is more impressive than his stats or his Combine numbers. • Derrick Nnadi, DT, Florida State: Nnadi is a very strong defensive tackle who is stout against the run, and a penetrating force with pass rush moves against the pass. The concern with Nnadi is his short stature, at 6'1, 317, combined with a bad athletic measurables at the Combine. • P.J. Hall, DT, Sam Houston State: At a lower level of college football, Hall put up incredible stats, as he amassed 284 tackles (outstanding for a DT), 42 sacks, 9 forced fumbles, and 14 (!) blocked kicks. He also put up insane numbers at the Combine. • Fred Warner, LB, BYU: Warner plays a lot more like a safety, but he has the size and aggressiveness of a linebacker. He is among the better linebackers in this draft in coverage, which is what Jim Schwartz prioritizes in his linebackers. He doesn't have huge tackle numbers (86 and 87 in 2016 and 2017, respectively), but he makes plays in the passing game, as he had 4 INTs and 11 pass breakups the last two seasons.
| |• Mike White, QB, Western Kentucky: We'll sneak one quarterback in here, because why not? At 6'5, 224, White fits the mold of bigger Eagles quarterbacks, as Carson Wentz, Nick Foles, and Nate Sudfeld are all at least 6'5 and 235 pounds. White throws a pretty deep ball and has NFL arm strength. • Kalen Ballage, RB, Arizona State: At 6'2, 227, Ballage is a big back, and as you might expect, he breaks a lot of arm tackles. He is perhaps best known for tying the FBS single-game touchdown record, when he scored eight of them against Texas Tech. Ballage's rushing numbers are concerning, however, because of a mediocre 4.4 yards per carry average. Part of the reason for Ballage's low yards per carry and yards per catch numbers were because his offensive line stunk. From a tools perspective, however, he's big, he has impressive speed/athleticism, he runs hard, he's thought of as good in pass protection, and he can catch a little bit, so he should be of interest to the Eagles. • Royce Freeman, RB, Oregon: Though he does not have the anywhere near the speed or elusiveness of, say, a guy like Saquon Barkley, Freeman is a big back at 229 pounds who moves faster than you would expect. Over his career at Oregon, Freeman put up huge numbers, though he has a lot of mileage on his legs. Freeman also has receiving skills. Over his career at Oregon, Freeman has 79 catches for 814 yards (10.3 YPC) and 4 TDs. • John Kelly, RB, Tennessee: The Volunteers didn't know what they had in Alvin Kamara, who was laughably underused in college before becoming the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2017. As such, you can probably throw out Kelly's pedestrian stats. Despite smaller size, Kelly breaks tackles, is a tough runner, and has some ability as a receiver. • Cedrick Wilson, WR, Boise State: Cedrick Wilson doesn't have ideal deep speed, but he makes plays down the field. In just two seasons, he racked up over 2600 receiving yards, and averaged 19 yards per catch. Unlike Shelton Gibson a year ago, Wilson runs the full route tree, makes guys miss after he has the ball in his hands, and I love his tenacity as a blocker. Wilson could be an immediate special-teams contributor and a guy who competes for meaningful reps in the offense, with No. 2 starter upside. • Tre'Quan Smith, WR, UCF: Smith is one of many deep threats for the Eagles to consider in this draft class. In 2017, Smith had 59 catches for 1171 yards (19.8 yards per catch), and 13 TDs. Smith would have been a Chip Kelly favorite, as he is thought of as an excellent blocker, and was named to 2016-17 American All-Academic Team. • Jordan Lasley, WR, UCLA: Lasley had a breakout season in 2017 when he caught 69 balls for 1264 yards (18.3 YPC) and 9 TDs, serving as Josh Rosen's deep threat. There are also character concerns with Lasley, as noted in his scouting report on NFL.com. If teams are scared off by Lasley's disappointing 40 time (he ran a 4.5 but was expected to be faster) and his off-field concerns, the Eagles could find good value in him in the fourth round. • Chris Herndon, TE, Miami: Herndon is an athletic but raw tight end with modest production (1048 career receiving yards), but has more upside than most of the players in this stacked tight end class. Herndon would be more of a long-term answer as the team's second tight end, but has more upside than most of the guys noted on this big board. • Troy Fumagalli, TE, Wisconsin: Fumagalli put up decent numbers in a run-dominant offense at Wisconsin. In 2016, he had 47 catches for 580 yards and two TDs. In 2017, he had 46 catches for 547 and four TDs. Fumagalli is a skilled receiver with great height who is fearless over the middle, and grinds for yards after the catch. He is also a willing blocker, though there's room for improvement there. • Ian Thomas, TE, Indiana: While his numbers aren't impressive (404 career receiving yards), Thomas looks the part of a skilled receiving tight end. Some have him as high as a second round pick. I think that's insane, but his potential is certainly worth a look in the fourth round. • Joseph Noteboom, OT, TCU: At the 2018 NFL Combine, Noteboom ran a 4.96 40 (94th percentile among OTs since 1999) and a 4.44 shuttle (96th percentile). Noteboom possesses athletic traits that will appeal to Doug Pederson and Co., however, the downside is that he is thought to be deficient, technique-wise, and could take some time to develop into a player worth seeing the field in the NFL. A "Noteboom" is also used as a unit of measurement in parts of England. • Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma: Brown is a 6'8, 360 pound behemoth who was thought of as a sure-fire first round pick at one point, but after absolutely bombing out at the Combine, his draft stock undoubtedly went into a free fall. I would set the fourth round as good value for him. • Dorian O'Daniel, LB, Clemson: O'Daniel is an undersized linebacker at just 223 pounds, but he is a playmaker. In 2017, he filled up the stat sheet, making 88 tackles (11.5 for loss), 5 sacks, 5 pass breakups, 2 fumble recoveries, and 2 INTs, both of which he returned for scores. O'Daniel is also thought of as one of the premier special teams standouts in this draft class, just as Mack Hollins was a year ago. He could contribute on special teams from Day 1, with the chance to become a starter at linebacker down the line. • Malik Jefferson, LB, Texas: Jefferson was a five-star recruit out of high school (28th in the country, according to Rivals). Over his first two college seasons, he evidently turned off a few NFL scouts, per Lance Zierlein of NFL.com, due to a lack of production. In his junior season, Jefferson's tackle numbers were way up, as he had 110 on the season. Still, the worries about his ability to create game-changing plays are warranted, however, as he had no career INTs, just two forced fumbles, and 5 pass breakups. Bleh. Still, he has good athleticism, and in the right system, he could flourish. We'll include him on the big board, but I think other teams will value him more highly than the Eagles. • M.J. Stewart, CB/S, North Carolina: With 37 pass breakups over the last three seasons, Stewart has been a consistently productive defensive back with experience at corner and safety. Jim Schwartz loves his safeties to have cornerback in their backgrounds. In the Eagles' scheme, I believe that Stewart could be a good third safety, with the potential to contribute early in his career in the slot. • DeShon Elliott, S, Texas: Elliott is a big, 6'2, 210-pound safety with ball-hawking skills, though a number of his forced turnovers fell in his lap. In 2017, he had 6 INTs, with 127 return yards and 2 pick-sixes. He has also forced 3 fumbles, and has 9 pass breakups. I wonder if the Eagles might view Elliott as a linebacker prospect. • Jordan Whitehead, S, Pittsburgh: Whitehead is a good athlete, as he has also played cornerback, and even some running back at Pitt. In his freshman season, Whitehead looked like a potential stud at the next level. In his sophomore and junior seasons, however, Whitehead did not build on the promise he showed as a freshman, though he did miss time in both seasons. If the Eagles think Whitehead can be the promising player he was a few years ago when he was fully healthy, they could think of him as a value in the mid- to late-rounds.
|Bo Scarbrough, RB, Alabama|
|Richie James, WR Middle Tennessee State|
|Desmond Harrison, OT, West Georgia|• Mark Walton, RB, Miami: In four games in 2017, Walton had 56 rushes for 428 yards (7.6 YPC) and 3 TDs, before injuring his ankle, which required surgery. In 2016, Walton had 209 carries for 1117 yards (5.3 YPC) and 14 TDs. Despite his smaller size (5'10, 202), Walton excels at breaking tackles and getting yards after contact. He is good all-around back who can catch the football (56 career catches) and pass protect.
• Bo Scarbrough, RB, Alabama: Alabama is a running back factory, and Scarbrough is the latest Crimson Tide back likely to be drafted into the NFL. He also has low mileage, as he sat behind Derrick Henry in 2015 and has shared the load with Damien Harris in 2016 and 2017. In 2016, Scarbrough did the bulk of his damage in the playoffs, carrying 46 times for 364 yards and 6 TDs in his three games against Florida (SEC Championship), Washington (Peach Bowl playoff game), and Clemson (National Championship Game). He is a physical runner in the same mold as Eagles running backs LeGarrette Blount and Jay Ajayi, but has some injury history.
• Jaylen Samuels, RB/WR/TE, North Carolina State: Samuels is sometimes listed as a tight end, and sometimes he lines up as one, but that's not what I would call him. I also wouldn't necessarily call him a fullback or a running back or a wide receiver, either. He some sort of hybrid of the four, and a very talented, versatile player with good receiving ability. If teams around the league view Samuels as "just" a versatile player who doesn't excel at any one thing, he could fall into the mid-to-late rounds. I think he would be a versatile player in the same mold as Trey Burton, but with a focus at the running back position as opposed to tight end.
• Richie James, WR Middle Tennessee State: James is one of my favorite prospects in this draft. In his freshman and sophomore seasons, James was incredibly productive, tallying just under 3,000 receiving yards those two seasons. In his junior season, a broken collarbone derailed his season. James lined up all over the field for MTSU, including the backfield, and was occasionally even used as a running back. In his college career, James has 60 carries for 542 yards (9.0 YPC) and 5 TDs. In the pros, he's likely going to be a slot receiver. Though he's only 5'10, 183, he plays much bigger and reminds me a little of Steve Smith (the good one).
• Durham Smythe, TE, Notre Dame: Smythe is an excellent blocker, though his number is college were non-existant, as he had just 381 receiving yards over a four-year career. I believe Smythe can become a better receiver in an Eagles offense that has a strong running game and no shortage of weapons in the passing game, but that is pure projection.
• Desmond Harrison, OT, West Georgia: Harrison destroyed inferior competition in the D-II Gulf Sun Conference, and is a highly athletic developmental prospect that Jeff Stoutland could try to work his magic with over the next couple years while riding the inactive list. Harrison is old (I don't have his age, but he's been in college since 2011), he has off-field concerns, and he has to put on more "good weight" if he's going to make it in the NFL.
• Jamarco Jones, OT, Ohio State: Jones is a polarizing player whose projections are all over the map. He's only a two-year starter, having taken over at left tackle after Taylor Decker was drafted. Jones has some nasty to him, but he has just average size and athleticism. While he's more pro ready than a guy like Harrison above, he offers extremely limited upside. • Kylie Fitts, DE, Utah: Fitts had an injury-riddled career at Utah, after transferring from UCLA. However, when he played, he was a productive pass rusher. The Eagles have shown that they will take chances on players with injury concerns, and Fitts could be a high-reward player if he can stay healthy.
|Akrum Wadley, RB, Iowa|
|Josh Adams, RB, Notre Dame|
|Ryan Izzo, TE, Florida State|
|Levi Wallace, CB, Alabama|• Ito Smith, RB, Southern Mississippi: Ito Smith was a consistently productive back who topped 1000 yards in each of his last three seasons. He was also an accomplished receiver, as he has 140 career receptions for 1446 yards (10.3 YPC) and 7 TDs. At 5'9, 195, Smith is thicker than 2017 fourth round pick Donnel Pumphrey, and he seems to have more explosion and tackle-breaking ability in his runs. If the Eagles view Pumphrey as a bad draft pick, I can see them trying again with a player they see similar qualities in with Smith.
• Akrum Wadley, RB, Iowa: In each of the last two seasons Wadley topped 100 yards, but his 4.4 yards per carry in 2017 are concerning. He did catch over 60 passes during that span. While Wadley does not possess great size, he gets up to top speed quickly and is able to make jump cuts without slowing down. His lateral agility in reminiscent in some ways of LeSean McCoy, but with less explosion. Wadley also has ability as a receiver (over 60 catches the last two seasons combined), which adds to his appeal in a west coast offense.
• Josh Adams, RB, Notre Dame: After a pair of productive seasons as a freshman and sophomore, Adams was having a monster junior season this year, as he worked himself into the Heisman discussion, before falling off. Adams offers very little in the passing game, both as a receiver and as a blocker, and he explosion as a runner isn't on par with many of the other backs in this draft.
• Antonio Callaway, WR, Florida: Callaway is a second-round talent who won't even be on a number of draft boards at all, because of his many, many off-field issues. As a receiver, however, he is a flashy prospect with good athleticism and return ability. His round projection is extremely difficult, but if I were the Eagles, he'd be worth a sixth-round flier to me. • Jaleel Scott, WR, New Mexico State: Scott is a huge target with a wide catch radius at 6'5 who has shown enough ability as a receiver to go along with his size and athleticism to be thought of as a legit pro prospect. In 2017, Scott had 64 catches for 908 yards and 8 TDs, with a number of highlight reel grabs. Scott kinda came out of nowhere, as he had just 23 catches for 283 yards and 5 TDs in his only other season for New Mexico State, but he is a high-upside developmental receiver who could be available in the late rounds.
• Ryan Izzo, TE, Florida State: Izzo isn't ever going to be thought of as a workout warrior, as he ran a 4.94 at the NFL Combine, in addition to some other ugly numbers. He's also not exactly the best receiving prospect coming out of this class at the tight end position, as his best season was in 2017, when he had 20 catches for 317 yards and 3 TDs. BUT, again, like Schultz and Smythe above, he can block, and has some nasty to his game.
• Kentavius Street, DT, North Carolina State: A player who might make sense as a draft-and-stash guy would be Street, who tore his ACL while working out for the Giants a few weeks ago. Street is an interesting prospect from the Eagles' perspective, as a player who can play inside and outside, much like Michael Bennett. Street's best attribute is his strength, as he once squatted 700 (!) pounds. The Eagles don't have an immediate need at DT, but they likely will next offseason. • Josey Jewell, LB, Iowa: Over the last three years, Jewell has been a tackling machine, racking up at least 120 tackles each season. Despite his impressive numbers, Jewell is probably going to be available in the mid-to-late rounds, due to a lack of speed, as he ran an alarming 4.82 at the Combine. • Tremon Smith, CB, Central Arkansas: Jim Schwartz loves him some finger-wagging corners, and Smith is thought of as a gambling, confident corner who produces turnovers. In 2017, Smith had 5 interceptions, and was Central Arkansas' primary punt returner.
• Levi Wallace, CB, Alabama: Wallace had excellent production when he was targeted this season, statistically, according to CFBFilmRoom.com, as he allowed just 25 receptions on 63 targets. Wallace has a slight build at 179 pounds, but he a willing and capable tackler, with good ball skills. He is a former walk-on who had to earn everything he got, and he could be a bargain in the late rounds.
|Jake Wieneke, WR, South Dakota State|
|Quadree Henderson, WR/KR/PR, Pittsburgh|
|Tyrone Crowder, OG, Clemson|
|Justin Lawler, DE, SMU|
|Jermaine Carter, LB, Maryland|
|Joseph Davidson, P, Bowling Green|
• Jake Wieneke, WR, South Dakota State: In his college career at a lower level, Wieneke put up big numbers, going over 5000 receiving yards for his career. Wieneke is slow (4.67), but with a 6'4, 221 pound frame, he could be an added red zone target.
• Quadree Henderson, WR/KR/PR, Pittsburgh: The Eagles need a returner, and Henderson was one of the best in the country for Pittsburgh during his career, as he had seven returns for scores (4 KR, 3 PR). Offensively, Henderson is little more than a gadget player, as Pitt loved using him on jet sweeps. In the first half of the 2016 season, Doug Pederson seemed intrigued by Josh Huff's ability as a ball carrier, as he tried to find creative-yet-simple ways to get the ball in his hands. He could potentially do the same with Henderson.
• Tyrone Crowder, OG, Clemson: As you might imagine with a 6'2, 334-pound guard, Crowder is a mauler in the run game. Also as you might imagine for a man of his dimensions, Crowder isn't exactly pretty to look at in the screen game or when he's asked to pull, although there some moments when he does a good job coming off double teams and picking up an extra block at the second level. He could be a late-round developmental guy to challenge Chance Warmack in camp.
• Justin Lawler, DE, SMU: In 2017, Lawler had 74 tackles (a ton for a DE), 15.5 tackles for loss, and 9.5 sacks. Lawler hustles and he plays good run defense. I can see the Eagles having interest in the seventh round, or as a UDFA.
• Jermaine Carter, LB, Maryland: Carter was a good player for Maryland, but he is short (5'11), and doesn't make up for his lack of size with stellar athleticism (4.69 40 at his pro day). That said, Carter has been a productive player in Maryland's defense, as he had 294 tackles, 9.5 sacks, and 6 forced fumbles over the last three years.
• Jordan Thomas, CB, Oklahoma: Thomas had a very weird combine. On the one hand, he put up a pathetic four reps on the bench press, and he ran an awful 4.64 40, which will unquestionably scare off a number of teams. On the other hand, he shattered the record for the best 3-cone drill in NFL Combine history. Once thought of as a potential first round pick, Thomas wasn't very good in 2016 or 2017, as CFB Film Room had him down for seven touchdowns allowed in each of those seasons. Still, Thomas has good size and talent. His short-area quickness could be an asset in the slot in the NFL. • Marcell Harris, S, Florida: In 2016, Harris had 73 tackles (4 for loss), a sack, 2 INTs, and 1 FF. In August of 2017, Harris tore his Achilles, and was done for the season. Harris is a big hitter, and was a highly productive special teams player for the Gators.
• Joseph Davidson, P, Bowling Green: 6'7, 232-pound left-footed punter who can give Cameron Johnston legitimate competition in camp, while also allowing the Eagles' punt returners (many of whom could be rookies) opportunities for plenty of reps against right- and left-footed punters in camp.
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