Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Grocery shopping: Five college players to watch today who could be Eagles draft targets

As long as you're relaxing on the sofa watching the season's first Saturday of college football, we'll point out some players who could be of varying interest to the Eagles. The most intriguing matchup today is (16) Clemson at (12) Georgia. Here are some players to watch in that game and around college football. Eli Harold, OLB/DE, Virginia (6’4, 235): UCLA at Virginia, 12:00pm

Grocery shopping: Five college players to watch today who could be Eagles draft targets

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Vic Beasley in action. (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Vic Beasley in action. (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

As long as you're relaxing on the sofa watching the season's first Saturday of college football, we'll point out some players who could be of varying interest to the Eagles. The most intriguing matchup today is (16) Clemson at (12) Georgia. Here are some players to watch in that game and around college football.

Eli Harold, OLB/DE, Virginia (6’4, 235): UCLA at Virginia, 12:00pm

Harold is only a junior, and he's raw, so he may be better served to stay in college for an extra year, but his athleticism and length are both very appealing. As a sophomore, Harold had 8.5 sacks, 15 tackles for loss, and two forced fumbles. I have two issues with Harold after a brief look -- Once you stop his first pass rush move, that's it. He's done on the play. I'm also not in love with his motor. But you can see his raw speed/athleticism here:

Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson (6’2, 235): (16) Clemson at (12) Georgia, 5:30pm

Beasley's numbers last year: 13 sacks, 23 tackles for loss, four forced fumbles, six batted passes.

Clemson primarily lined up Beasley with his hand in the dirt as a 4-3 DE last season, but there’s no way he can play that spot at his size in the NFL, as opposing offensive linemen are able to move him with ease in the run game if they can get their hands on him. 3-4 OLB is probably a better fit, which would put him squarely on the Eagles’ radar, one would think. Clemson did stand him up on rare occasions last season, but evaluating how well he can drop into coverage will be difficult for NFL teams.

Some people think Beasley is a top five pick. Others believe his smaller size will hurt his draft stock considerably, and project him as a late first round pick. Whatever the case, he's definitely somebody to watch. His highlight reel is impressive -- Watch his speed:

Todd Gurley II, RB, Georgia (6’1, 232): (16) Clemson at (12) Georgia, 5:30pm

Whenever he comes out, Gurley is a near certainty to be drafted in the first round, and the Eagles aren't going to take a running back in the first round. I only include Gurley for two reasons.

• He's awesome.

• In addition to the Eagles' #DuckBias, they have a "II bias." This offseason, they brought in Nolan Carroll II in free agency, and drafted both Marcus Smith II and Ed Reynolds II. So I guess maybe there is a chance. 

Derron Smith, S, Fresno State (5’11, 200): Fresno State at (15) USC, 7:30pm

Smith is short, but he can play. In 2013, Smith filled up the stat sheet, finishing second in the nation with seven INTs, while adding eight tackles for loss and four sacks. He also had six INTs in 2012. Here they are:

If you'll notice, he has impressive hands and knows what to do with the ball once he has it. Beyond his ball hawking skills, Smith is a tough player who will mix it up. While the Eagles safety spot appears more solid than it was a year ago, Nate Allen is a free agent at the end of this season.

Denzel Perryman, ILB, Miami (6’0, 240), Miami at Louisville, 8:00pm Monday

The Eagles have excellent depth at many positions, but they remain paper thin at ILB, and DeMeco Ryans isn't getting any younger. Perryman doesn't have good size, which is doubly concerning for a team like the Eagles who already appear to have a long-term starter in Mychal Kendricks, who is also short. However, Perryman plays big. He a physical tackler who explodes through ball carriers.

Perryman is a senior, and a prime candidate to play at the Senior Bowl. The Eagles' first four picks in the 2014 draft all competed at the Senior Bowl.

Previously profiled:

August 28:

Mike Davis, RB, South Carolina

AJ Cann, OG, South Carolina

Cedric Ogbuehi, OT, Texas A&M

Corey Robinson, OT, South Carolina

Cody Prewitt, S, Ole Miss

Follow Jimmy on Twitter: @JimmyKempski

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