Akrum Wadley

6 NFL draft prospects to watch in Wednesday's bowl games

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6 NFL draft prospects to watch in Wednesday's bowl games

College football bowl season is upon us so there's no better time to get to know some 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 six prospects in action today that could help the Eagles next season.

Southern Mississippi-Florida State
Walk-On’s Independence Bowl (1:30 p.m./ESPN)

No. 91 - Derrick Nnadi, DT, Florida State, senior (6-1/312)
Nnadi is built more like a nose tackle, but he doesn't just take up blockers and space. He's been downright disruptive during his time with the Seminoles. He's racked up 9½ sacks and 19½ tackles for loss the last two seasons combined. He's also arguably the strongest man in college football. He may not be a perfect fit in Jim Schwartz's scheme (if Schwartz is even here next season), but he may be too talented to pass up.

No. 25 - Ito Smith, RB, Southern Mississippi, senior (5-9/195)
Nnadi's primary job will be trying to stop the elusive Smith. Smith has rushed for 1,000 yards in each of the last three seasons. He's one of only five backs to top 3,000 yards in program history. He's also caught 136 passes for over 1,400 yards out of the backfield in his career. Smith is undersized but man, is he shifty. Fitting that he wears No. 25 like LeSean McCoy because his cutting ability and balance are ridiculous. This running back class may be even more stupid deep than last season's. Smith could be the type of back that sneaks into the later rounds. He'd be a steal there.

Iowa-Boston College
New Era Pinstripe Bowl (5:15 p.m./ESPN)

No. 43 - Josey Jewell, LB, Iowa, senior (6-2/236)
Jewell is a heady player and a tackling machine. The 2017 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year has recorded three straight seasons of at least 120 tackles. This season he set a career high with 13½ for a loss. He also threw in 4½ sacks and two picks. And he's not just bringing guys down with arm tackles either. He plays with an edge. Jewell wasn't highly recruited but leaves Iowa as arguably the best 'backer in the program's history. How he tests at the combine — as a four-sport athlete in high school, he should do just fine — will likely determine his draft status. His matchup with Boston College's star freshman running back A.J. Dillon should be interesting.

No. 25 - Akrum Wadley, RB, Iowa, senior (5-11/195)
With Boston College's stud edge rusher and likely first-round pick Harold Landry out for this game, we turn to another Hawkeye in Wadley. Wadley is another undersized back who's been productive, rushing for 1,000 yards in each of the last two seasons. He's also been productive catching the ball out of the backfield, hauling in almost 70 catches in his career. Like Smith, he lacks the size to be a lead back, but with his elusiveness and speed, there's a role for him in an NFL offense.

Iowa's stud corner Josh Jackson (No. 15) has been a popular pick for the Eagles in some mock drafts, but it's hard to imagine the Eagles using a first-round pick on a corner with all the resources they've put into the position recently.

Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl (9 p.m./ESPN)

No. 46 - Malik Jefferson, LB, Texas, junior (6-3/240)
There's a strong chance Jefferson, a likely first-round pick, won't play in this game because of a toe injury. But if he does play, he'll be hard not to notice out there. Jefferson is an aggressive, fast, sideline-to-sideline linebacker. The Big 12 Co-Defensive Player of the Year amassed 110 tackles (10 for a loss) and four sacks this season. He'd make a lot of sense for the Eagles with their late first-round pick. The Longhorns will be without three other possible first-round picks — OT Connor Williams, safety DeShon Elliot ad CB Holton Hill are all skipping the bowl game to prepare for the draft. 

No. 16 - Marcell Frazier, DL, Missouri, senior (6-5/265)
On the other end of the spectrum is Frazier, who yesterday said the Tigers were treating this game "like the national championship." Frazier's play reflects this attitude. He's been hampered by a partially torn quad all season but has still managed to record seven sacks and 13½ tackles for a loss. He's not a tremendous athlete and lacks real pass rush moves. His sacks are the result of bull rushes and/or his crazy high motor. He should be a late-round pick with intriguing physical traits.

If you're into quarterback play, definitely check out the Tigers' Drew Lock (No. 3). He's thrown 43 TDs this season and should be able to pick apart the Longhorns' depleted defense. There's a chance Lock, a 6-foot-4, 225-pound junior, could declare for the NFL draft following the game. He could be a riser during the pre-draft process.

2018 NFL draft prospect watch: Six seniors to keep an eye on

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2018 NFL draft prospect watch: Six seniors to keep an eye on

It wasn't the intention of the author to profile all seniors, but here we are.

On Saturday, there will be six seniors in action during three of college football's biggest games. All six are worthy of NFL draft consideration. And all of them could possibly help the Eagles in 2018 and beyond.

Let's take a look at a few players to keep your eye on Saturday.

No. 16 TCU at No. 6 Oklahoma State, 3:30 p.m. (ESPN)

►No. 28 James Washington, WR, Oklahoma State, senior (6-1/205)

Washington could've skipped his senior year after two extremely productive seasons for the Cowboys, but opted to return. And so far the results have been prolific. Through three games, Washington has 13 catches for 367 yards and three touchdowns. He's averaging 28.5 yards per catch, good for fifth in the country. Washington isn't a polished route runner, but his quick feet indicate he could become one. He has a second gear when the ball is in the air and is excellent at tracking it.

►No. 32 Travin Howard, LB, TCU, senior (6-1/213)
Howard is a tackling machine. The senior 'backer is coming off back-to-back 100-tackle seasons. His disruptive plays were down a bit from his sophomore to junior year, but he's already notched 2½ tackles for a loss and a pick six in three games this season. He's undersized, though he looks bigger than his listed weight. Still, the NFL is trending toward small, quicker linebackers. With Nigel Bradham on the final year of his deal and Mychal Kendricks perpetually on the trade block, linebacker is a sneaky need for the Eagles.

No. 4 Penn State at Iowa, 7:30 p.m. (ABC)

►No. 2 Marcus Allen, S, Penn State, senior (6-2/207)

Hey, Eagles fans. Can we talk for a second? Cool. I know you all think Saquon Barkley would look fantastic in midnight green, but here's the thing: unless, the Eagles win four games or less, they likely have no shot at landing Barkley. 

Moving on, Allen is a safety prospect that would seem to fit Philly quite well. He's coming off a strong junior campaign where he recorded 110 tackles, including six for a loss. He's built more like a corner, but Allen is physical and plays with an edge. He recorded his first career interception last week against Georgia Southern, so you'd like to see more production there. With that said, the Eagles could use a developmental safety to learn under Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod. While he's learning, Allen could be a special teams maven with his speed and physical nature.

►No. 25 Akrum Wadley, RB, Iowa, senior (5-11/195)
Wadley isn't the biggest back, but boy is he fun to watch. He's coming off a 1,000-yard, 10-touchdown season. He also snagged 36 passes in 2016. Wadley is an ankle breaker. Some of the cuts he makes are LeSean McCoy-esque. He's been slowed by an ankle injury but is expected to play today. And the Hawkeyes will need him against the Nittany Lions.

No. 7 Washington at Colorado, 10 p.m. (FS1)

►No. 36 Azeem Victor, LB, Washington, senior (6-3/231)

Even after losing a bunch of extremely talented players to the NFL (including two to the Eagles) the Huskies' defense is still a force. Part of that is Victor. Before suffering a broken leg late season, Victor recorded 68 tackles in nine games. Even with the injury, Victor was named All Pac-12 first team. You have to love what head coach Chris Petersen is doing up in Washington. His players play a fast and physical brand of football. It's worth mentioning that Victor was suspended for the team's opener for violating team rules, but hasn't had any off-the-field issues.

►No. 23 Phillip Lindsay, RB, Colorado, senior (5-8/190)
Another undersized back, Lindsay had a big junior season, rushing for 1,252 yards and 16 scores. He was also impressive as a receiver out of the backfield, with 53 receptions for 493 yards and a TD. He's off to another strong start, notching two games of 140-plus yards and finding pay dirt in all three games. He's more of a north-south runner for a smaller back, but if he finds daylight, he has the speed to run by defensive backs. Every once in a while, he'll break off one of those Darren Sproles-like-pinball runs as well.