Eagles

8 NFL draft prospects to watch in bowl games Friday

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8 NFL draft prospects to watch in bowl games Friday

With three days of college football bowl games in the books this week, we turn our attention to Thursday's contests and NFL draft prospects.

The Eagles will have a late first-round pick and no second- or third-rounders. But Howie Roseman isn't one to sit on his hands come draft day.

Here are eight prospects in action today that could help the Eagles next season.

Wake Forest-Texas A&M
Belk Bowl (1 p.m./ESPN)

No. 53 - Duke Ejiofor, DE, Wake Forest, senior (6-4/275)
Ejiofor has been one of the most disruptive players in the ACC over the past two seasons. He's put up 17 ½ sacks and 32 tackles for a loss over the last two campaigns combined. He wins with excellent and violent hand usage. He has a lethal swim move on his inside rush and a pretty decent spin move. He's ultra aggressive — perhaps too much at times — so he would fit what the Eagles do defensively.

No. 3 - Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M, junior (5-11/200)
Kirk has seen a drop off in receiving yards in each of his three seasons at Texas A&M. But don't be fooled by the numbers. Kirk is one of the most electrifying receivers coming out this season. With his size, he's done most of his damage in the slot but has at times played on the outside. He's also returned six punts and one kickoff for TDs in his career. Nelson Agholor has had an outstanding year in the slot, but will be on the last year of his deal next season. Kirk could be an ideal replacement or perhaps get reps on the outside if Agholor is signed long term.

No 24. NC State-Arizona State
Hyundai Sun Bowl ( 3 p.m./CBS)

No. 1 - Jaylen Samuels, TE/WR/RB, NC State, senior (5-11/223)
You've heard of positionless basketball, but Samuels has introduced the college football world to the concept. Because of his size, Samuels lacked a true position when he got to Louisville. He's lined up as a halfback, H-back, tight end and wide receiver during his four-year career. He's also put his name in the record books, with a chance to pass Jerricho Cotchery's all-time receptions record for the Wolfpack. The Eagles will likely lose Trey Burton. Doug Pederson could probably think of some creative ways to deploy Samuels.

No. 7 - Kalen Ballage, RB, Arizona State, senior (6-3/230)
Ballage has been in a timeshare for all four of his years at Arizona State with Demario Richard (No. 4). Ballage is the back with more NFL potential. His numbers aren't overly impressive because of the shared backfield and the Sun Devils' struggles as a football team. Ballage does possess incredibly quick feet and good patience and burst in finding holes. For a bigger back, you'd like to see him finish runs and punish tacklers. On a similar note, he doesn't stand his ground in pass protection. He's an intriguing late-round option if running backs coach Duce Staley thinks he can get the most out of him.

Kentucky-No. 21 Northwestern
Music City Bowl (4:30 p.m./ESPN)

No. 7 - Mike Edwards, S, Kentucky, junior (6-0/200)
Edwards might be better served coming back for his senior season, but there's a lot to like about the junior safety. He's recorded 189 tackles and seven interceptions the last two seasons combined. He's versatile with the ability to cover and play up in the box. It's also worth keeping an eye on LB Josh Allen (No. 41). He's an undersized edge rusher at 235 pounds, but he's registered 14 ½ sacks in the last two seasons combined. 

No. 16 - Godwin Igwebuike, S, Northwestern, senior (6-0/212)
Igwebuike is a perfect example of a player increasing his value by staying in school for an extra year. The hard-hitting safety flies around the field like a heat-seeking missile. Off the field, he paints and is the vocalist in a band. He's been very outspoken about his desire to be more than a football player even after he reaches the NFL. That might scare some scouts off, but the Eagles' locker room can certainly handle that personality. As far as on the field, Igwebuike can add physicality to the team's back end and become a special teams maven.

No. 8 USC-No. 5 Ohio State
Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic (8:30 p.m./ESPN)

No. 25 - Ronald Jones, RB, USC, junior (6-0/200)
In another deep running back class, a guy like Jones could get lost in the shuffle. He shouldn't. He followed up a 1,082-yard, 12 touchdown sophomore campaign with 1,486 yards and 18 TDs in 2017. Jones is shifty and explosive, averaging 6.2 yards per carry for his college career. It's tough to know whether Jones will be an elite back at the next level because of his size. He sort of resembles Jamaal Charles, who's had a spectacular but oft-injured career. If he slips, the Eagles should certainly take a long look.

No. 13 - Jerome Baker, LB, Ohio State, junior (6-1/225)
Baker came into this season with a ton of hype, but his stock has seemed to slip. Advantage, Eagles. Baker has the eyes and coverage ability of a safety with the willingness to mix it up in the box. He's racked up 154 tackles (16 for a loss), 6 ½ sacks and two interceptions during his college career. He's a difference-making 'backer that would look excellent playing alongside (a healthy) Jordan Hicks. With Nigel Bradham's status uncertain next season, it's certainly a position of need. 

Eagles 2018 regular-season breakdown (Part 1)

Eagles 2018 regular-season breakdown (Part 1)

A game-by-game breakdown of the Eagles’ 2018 regular-season schedule.

For Weeks 9-17, click right here. Let’s break down Weeks 1-8 below.

Week 1: Falcons at Eagles
8:20 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018
Lincoln Financial Field

The Falcons come to Philadelphia for a third straight season. The Eagles won 24-15 at the Linc in 2016 and 15-10 last year in the conference semifinal round of the playoffs. The Eagles are 6-1 all-time against the Falcons at the Linc, with the only loss coming in 2012. They’re 19-14-1 all-time vs. the Falcons and 11-6-1 at home. The Falcons’ last win over the Eagles came in 2015 at the Georgia Dome. Going back to 2000, the Eagles have won 10 of the last 14 games against Atlanta.
 
Week 2: Eagles at Buccaneers
1 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018
Raymond James Stadium

The Eagles travel to Tampa for the first time in five years to face the Buccaneers. They’re 4-3 all-time in Tampa and 3-1 at Raymond James. The Bucs beat the Eagles 45-17 at the Linc in 2015 in their last meeting. The Eagles won in 2013 in the last game in Tampa. Overall, the Eagles are 10-8 against the Bucs.
 
Week 3: Colts at Eagles
1 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018
Lincoln Financial Field

From 1996 through 2006, the Eagles lost four straight to the Colts by an average of 25 points. But they’ve won the two matchups since, at the Linc in 2010 and at Lucas Oil Stadium in 2014. Including their years in Baltimore, the Eagles are 9-10 all-time vs. the Colts and 5-5 at home but just 1-0 at the Linc. Since the Colts moved to Indianapolis, the Eagles are 4-5 against them.
 
Week 4: Eagles at Titans
1 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 30, 2018
Nissan Stadium

The Titans have won four of the last five games against the Eagles, although the Eagles won the last meeting, 43-24, at the Linc in 2014. The Eagles are 7-4 all-time against the Titans/Oilers franchise and 3-2 on the road, but the last road win was the House of Pain game at the Astrodome in 1991. The Eagles  are 0-2 against the Titans in Nashville.
 
Week 5: Eagles vs. Vikings
4:25 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018
Lincoln Financial Field

The Eagles have won seven of their last nine games against the Vikings, including a 38-7 rout in last year’s NFC Championship Game at the Linc. They are 4-1 at the Linc vs. the Vikings, 10-6 in Philly and 14-13 all-time in a series dating back to 1962. Since 1980, the Eagles have won 14 of 20 matchups, including all four postseason meetings. The Eagles have won eight of their last nine home games against the Vikings, with the only loss coming in 2010.
 
Week 6: Eagles at Giants
8:20 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 14, 2018
MetLife Stadium

The Eagles are 9-2 in their last 11 meetings with the Giants in East Rutherford, and their last three wins on the road against the Giants have come with different coaches at the helm – Chip Kelly in 2014, Pat Shurmur in 2015 and Doug Pederson in 2017. The Eagles’ only losses at MetLife Stadium since it opened in 2010 came in 2012 and 2016.
 
Week 7: Panthers at Eagles
1 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018
Lincoln Financial Field

The Eagles and Panthers meet for the fifth time in seven years. The Eagles beat Carolina 28-23 in Charlotte, N.C., last October, and won the last meeting in Philadelphia 45-21 in 2014. The Eagles are 7-4 all-time vs. the Panthers, 4-2 at home and 3-2 at the Linc. The Eagles’ last home loss to Carolina came in 2012, late in Andy Reid’s final season as head coach.
 
Week 8: Eagles at Jaguars
9:30 a.m., Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018
Wembley Stadium, London

After losing their first three games against the Jaguars, the Eagles have won the last two, in Jacksonville in 2010 by 25 points and at the Linc in 2014 by 17 points. The Eagles are 1-2 against the Jaguars in Jacksonville, with the losses coming in 1997 and 2002. The Eagles have never played a regular-season game in London. The Jaguars have played every year since 2013 at Wembley, where they are 3-2.

Eagles 2018 regular-season breakdown (Part 2)

Eagles 2018 regular-season breakdown (Part 2)

A game-by-game breakdown of the Eagles’ 2018 regular-season schedule.

For Weeks 1-8, click right here. Let’s break down Weeks 9-17 below.

Week 9: Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018
Bye week

Week 10: Cowboys at Eagles
8:20 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018
Lincoln Financial Field

The Cowboys have given the Eagles more trouble than any other division team of late, winning four of the last seven meetings and five of the last six at the Linc. The Eagles’ only home wins over the Cowboys since 2009 have been in 2011 and 2016. The Eagles overall are 52-66 against the Cowboys, 28-29 in Philly and 6-9 at the Linc. The Eagles haven’t swept the Cowboys since 2011. They lost, 6-0, to the Cowboys on the last day of last season with Nate Sudfeld playing most of the game at quarterback.

Week 11: Eagles at Saints
1 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018
Mercedes-Benz Superdome

The Eagles are 17-13 all-time vs. the Saints but have lost five of seven meetings dating back to 2006. They beat the Saints at the Linc in 2015 after losing to them in a playoff game in 2014. Their last game in New Orleans was a 28-13 loss in 2012. They last won in New Orleans late in the 2007 season. Overall, they’re 8-9 in New Orleans but they’re 8-5 since the Saints moved from Tulane Stadium to the Superdome.

Week 12: Giants at Eagles
1 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018
Lincoln Financial Field

The Eagles are 16-4 in their last 20 games against the Giants, including a four-game home winning streak. A win at the Linc this year would give the Eagles their longest home winning streak against the Giants since they won five straight from 1988 through 1992. The Eagles last year swept the Giants for the third time in the last four years, with the two wins coming by a total of just eight points. The Eagles are 84-86-2 all-time vs. the Giants, including a 10-6 record at the Linc.

Week 13: Redskins at Eagles
8:15 p.m., Monday, Dec. 3, 2018
Lincoln Financial Field

The Eagles swept the Redskins last year for the first time since 2013 after losing five straight against their division rivals. Overall, the Eagles are 78-86-6 against the Redskins in a series that dates back to 1934. They’re 39-42-3 at home against the ‘Skins and 8-7 at the Linc. The Redskins have beaten the Eagles six times in their last 12 meetings at the Linc.

Week 14: Eagles at Cowboys
4:25 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018
AT&T Stadium

The Eagles have won six of their last eight games in Dallas, losing only in 2012 by five points and in 2016 in overtime. Their 28-point margin of victory at AT&T Stadium last November was the Cowboys’ ninth-worst home loss ever. Their last three home losses by 28 or more points have been against the Eagles. The Eagles are 24-37 all-time against Dallas on the road but 6-4 at AT&T Stadium.

Week 15: Eagles at Rams
8:20 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018
LA Memorial Coliseum

The Eagles have won five straight games against the Rams, including two wins in St. Louis, two at the Linc and last year’s comeback in L.A. after losing Carson Wentz for the season. The Eagles are 21-19-1 all-time against the Rams, 6-11-1 on the road and 1-5 at LA Coliseum. Their last loss to the Rams was a meaningless late-season game in 2004. Their last loss to the Rams in Los Angeles came in 1977.

Week 16: Texans at Eagles
1 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018
Lincoln Financial Field

The Eagles have never lost to the Texans, beating them in Houston in 2006 on opening day and in 2014 and in Philly in 2002 and 2010, with all four wins by double digits and by an average of 13 points per game. The Texans and Jets are the only current NFL franchises the Eagles have never lost to.

Week 17: Eagles at Redskins
1 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 30, 2018
FedEx Field

The Eagles have lost three of their last four games at FedEx Field, with those three losses coming by an average of about four points per game. They did win by 10 points last year during their nine-game winning streak, their biggest win in Landover since 2010. The Eagles are 37-44-3 all-time vs. the Redskins on the road, including three games played in Boston in the 1930s. They’re 12-9 all-time at FedEx Field.