The big game on the college football schedule today is Miami at Florida State. As long as you're watching that game today, and others, here are some players to keep an eye on who could be of interest to the Eagles in the 2014 draft.
Seantrel Henderson, OT, Miami: (7) Miami at (3) Florida State
In 2010, Henderson was the #2 high school prospect in the country, according to Rivals.com. The Eagles have a recent history of drafting, signing, and trading for players who were formerly elite high school prospects.
Henderson is a monster at 6'8, 345 pounds. The Eagles showed interest in behomoths at OT when they won a bidding war for 6'8, 338 pound undrafted free agent Michael Bamiro by guaranteeing him almost $250K.
However, his career at Miami has been marred by suspensions and other character concerns. Still, Henderson remains a legitimate pro prospect who may be available at a bargain if teams are scared off by his history.
The Eagles' offensive line is aging, and they are going to have to reload along the line sooner than later. Next year, Evan Mathis will be 33, while Jason Peters and Todd Herremans will both be 32. The Eagles cupboard is bare in terms of OL depth, so they'll need to start bringing in talent to replace the players in place before it's too late.
This will be an interesting test for Henderson today. The Seminoles are 3 TD favorites today, and if Miami gets behind early, Henderson could be facing a pass rush that can just pin their ears back and go.
Cameron Erving, OT, (7) Miami at (3) Florida State
Staying along that same OL theme, Erving is the athletic blindside protector for Florida State rookie Jameis Winston, and has been a huge reason for the QB's success. Against Clemson, Erving completely shut down the nation's leader in sacks, DE Vic Beasley. Here's that game:
Erving had previously shut down another sack leader, Maryland's Marcus Whitfield.
It's interesting that another Florida State OT was drafted highly last year. That would be Menelik Watson, who went to the Raiders at 42nd overall. Menelik played RT his final year at Florida State, while Erving drew blindside responsibilities. Erving could go in the first round.
Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State: (18) Oklahoma State at (15) Texas Tech
Anyone tired of watching the Eagles start from the 20 on every drive? Justin Gilbert has 5 kick return TDs over the course of his college career. He's also a ball-hawking CB (4 INTs this season) with good size, at 6'0, 200 pounds.
Gilbert will be facing the #2 ranked passing offense in the nation today, and should be tested plenty.
Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State: (21) Michigan at (22) Michigan State
Michigan State has allowed just 12.3 points per game this season (3rd in the nation), due in large part to the play of their secondary, which is led by Dennard. He'll have a good test today against Michigan's Jeremy Gallon, who is 12th in the nation in receiving yards, with 831. Dennard is considered one of the top CB prospects in this upcoming class.
Aaron Murray, QB, Georgia: Georgia at Florida
Previously, we profiled 2 other QBs (LSU's Zach Mettenberger and Miami's Stephen Morris) against Florida's defense, because Florida has 3 terrific CBs in Louchiez Purifoy, Marcus Roberson, and Jaylen Watkins. In those two games, Mettenberger went 9 for 17 for 152 yards. Morris went 12 of 25 for 162 yards. Florida has had a disappointing season, but it hasn't been because of their pass defense.
It will be interesting to see if Murray can play better against Florida's secondary than Morris and Mettenberger did, especially with an offense that has been decimated by injuries. In an otherwise meaningless game between two bigtime programs, this is a good test for Murray's pro chops today.
Murray probably isn't the kind of QB we have in mind for Chip Kelly. Then again, I didn't think they'd re-sign Michael Vick or draft Matt Barkley, so perhaps we're still learning about when the Chippah values.
Previously highlighted players:
- Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech
- Hroniss Grasu, C, Oregon
- Michael Sam, DE, Missouri
- E.J. Gaines, CB, Missouri
- RaShede Hageman, DT, Minnesota
- Vic Beasley, DE, Clemson
- Lamarcus Joyner, CB/S, Florida State
- Christian Jones, LB, Florida State
- Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State
- Jason Verrett, CB, TCU
- Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon
- De'Anthony Thomas, TAZR, Oregon
- Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M
- Allen Robinson,WR, Penn State
- Zach Mettenberger, QB, LSU
- Antone Exum, CB, Virginia Tech
- Paul Richardson, WR, Colorado
- Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, CB, Oregon
- Taylor Hart, DE, Oregon
- Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Washington
- Aaron Colvin, CB, Oklahoma
- Donte Moncrief, WR, Ole Miss
- Chris Smith, DE, Arkansas
- Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State
- Deone Bucannon, S, Washington State
- Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina
- Daniel McCullers, NT, Tennessee
- Brandon Coleman, WR, Rutgers
- Craig Loston, S, LSU
- Yawin Smallwood, ILB, UConn
- Brett Hundley, QB, UCLA
- Adrian Hubbard, OLB, Alabama
- C.J. Mosley, ILB, Alabama
- Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
- Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt
- Stephen Morris, QB, Miami
- Louchiez Purifoy, Marcus Roberson, and Jaylen Watkins, CBs, Florida
- Tayler Lewan, OT, Michigan
- Louis Nix, DT, Notre Dame
- Stephon Tuitt, NT, Notre Dame
- David Fales, QB, San Jose State
- Trent Murphy, OLB, Stanford
- Kyle Van Noy, OLB, BYU
- Colt Lyerla, TE, Oregon
- Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama
- Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson
- Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA