James Washington

8 NFL draft prospects to watch in bowl games Thursday

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8 NFL draft prospects to watch in bowl games Thursday

College football bowl season continues Thursday with four games on the docket

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.

Military Bowl (1:30 p.m./ESPN)

No. 3 - Quin Blanding, S, Virginia, senior (6-2/210)
Blanding has been a four-year starter for the Cavaliers and a very productive one at that. He's recorded at least 115 tackles in each one of his four seasons at Virginia. He's also hauled in 10 interceptions, including a career-high four picks this season. He's strong in the run game, which will be on display today against Navy. He's fairly instinctive, knows his assignments and rarely gets caught out of position. But his foot speed to recover can be a problem if a receiver or back gets by him. He'll likely be a mid-round pick because of his lack of athleticism.

No. 53 - Micah Kiser, LB, Virginia, senior (6-2/240)
Kiser has been a full-time starter the last three years at Virginia and he's been extremely disruptive. He's amassed at least 117 tackles in the last three seasons while piling up 33 1/2 tackles and 19 sacks in that span. He's also got a nose for the football, forcing eight fumbles in his career. His character is also off the charts. Kiser was the recipient of the William V. Campbell Trophy, otherwise known as the "academic Heisman." He's also suiting up today against Navy after having surgery on his right thumb earlier this month. If he slips to the middle rounds, the Eagles should be all over him. 

No. 22 Virginia Tech- No. 19 Oklahoma State
Camping World Bowl (5:15 p.m./ESPN)

No. 49 - Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech, junior (6-5/236)
Simply put, Edmunds is a beast. He's collected 206 tackles (33 for a loss) and 10 sacks the last two seasons combined. He has tremendous size, strength and instincts. He stuffs the run and looks smooth in coverage. He hasn't declared for the draft, but if he does, there's a strong possibility he'll be the first 'backer off the board. He's the most talented player that will take the field for any team Thursday. 

No. 28 - James Washington, WR, Oklahoma State, senior (6-1/205)
Washington was a player that would've been viewed highly if he had come out last season. He chose instead to come back and play one more season with senior quarterback Mason Rudolph. The duo was explosive yet again for the Cowboys. Washington was this year's recipient of the Biletnikoff Trophy as the nation's best receiver. He's also just 66 yards away from being Oklahoma State's all-time leading receiver. He's gone for at least 1,300 yards and 10 TDs in each of the last two seasons. He lacks the desired height for a No. 1 receiver, but he has strong hands and has quick feet.

No. 13 Stanford-No. 15 TCU
Valero Alamo Bowl (9 p.m./ESPN)

No. 20 - Bryce Love, RB, Stanford, junior (5-10/196)
What else is there to say about Love? He was the best running back in college football this season, a Heisman Trophy finalist and the Pac 12 Offensive Player of the Year. Love rushed for 1,973 yards with a ridiculous 8.3 yards per carry and 17 TDs. He's obviously undersized but he's too explosive not to have a spot in the NFL. The one odd thing about Love is, he hasn't done much in the passing game at Stanford (six catches this season). That'll be something to monitor during the pre-draft process.

No. 32 - Travin Howard, LB, TCU, senior (6-1/213)
Howard has been a leader on a very good Hornfrogs' defense. While playing mostly safety as a sophomore, Howard recorded 107 tackles, then amassed 130 last year while transitioning to linebacker. He's been banged up at times this season but should be a go for today's game. Howard is undersized at 213 pounds, but he's an intriguing fit in today's NFL. Players like the Rams' Mark Barron and the Cardinals Deone Bucannon have had success as hybrid players at the next level. He'd be an interesting piece in the Eagles' defense.

No. 18 Washington State-No. 16 Michigan State
Holiday Bowl (9 p.m./FS1)

No. 50 - Hercules Mata’afa, DE, Washington State, junior (6-2/252)
Aside from having easily the coolest name in college football, Mata’afa has also been a productive player for the Cougars. He's racked up 9 1/2 sacks and 21 1/2 tackles for a loss this season. Despite his size, he lined up mostly as a tackle this season thanks to his son of Zeus-like strength. He'd fit Jim Schwartz's scheme as a player that attacks the line of scrimmage with the versatility to take pass rush snaps inside.

No. 3 - LJ Scott, RB, Michigan State, junior (6-1/229)
Scott is as frustrating a back as there is in college football. Every so often he'll blow you away with a performance like his 25 for 194 game against Minnesota or his 29 for 147 outing against Maryland. But mixed in will be much more uninspired performances. So which Scott will we see tonight? Who knows? Watching the tape, you can see a big, bruising back with surprisingly nimble feet and great balance and vision. If that guy shows up tonight, expect a nice boost in Scott's stock.

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.

2018 NFL draft prospect watch: More weapons for Carson Wentz?

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2018 NFL draft prospect watch: More weapons for Carson Wentz?

College football came back in a big way over the weekend.

While a couple of the top quarterback prospects struggled, a bunch of skill players showed off their NFL potential. With the Eagles' running back situation a bit muddled and Alshon Jeffery being on a one-year deal, it's worth taking a look at a few weapons that could help Carson Wentz next season.

Here's a look at how some of the best running backs and receivers fared:

Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State, junior (5-11/230)
Barkley got his Heisman campaign off to a booming start. The junior back ran the ball just 14 times but went for 172 yards and two touchdowns in No. 6 Penn State's 52-0 shellacking of Akron. Barkley displayed magnificent balance, tip toeing the sideline on multiple big gains. He also added two catches for 29 yards, including one ridiculous play after the catch. This kid is the real deal and will likely be the first running back off the board next April.

Derrius Guice, RB, LSU, junior (5-11/212)
Barkley's competition to be the first back taken is Guice. Waiting for his turn behind star back Leonard Fournette, Guice is now in the spotlight. The junior rushed for 1,387 yards in Fournette's absence last season with a ridiculous 7.6 yards a carry. In his 2017 debut, Guice ran for 122 yards and two scores in No. 13 LSU's 27-0 win over BYU. Guice doesn't have the insane size and speed combo of Fournette, but he's a more complete back.

Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia, senior (5-10/225)
Chubb's path to this point has been less than ideal. After a sensational freshman year (1,547 yards, 7.1 per carry), Chubb seemed destined to leave Athens early and be on his way to NFL stardom. But after a stellar start to his sophomore campaign, Chubb suffered a significant knee injury that cut his season short. Chubb had a decent junior year, but opted to come back for his senior season and raise his stock. So far so good: Chubb ran for 96 yards on just 15 carries and two scores in No. 15 Georgia's 31-10 win over Appalachian State. Chubb will face a stiff test this coming week against Notre Dame.

James Washington, WR, Oklahoma State, senior (6-1/205)
Washington is another player that could've left school after two straight 1,000-yard seasons. Instead he teamed back up with quarterback Mason Rudolph, another NFL prospect, to lead No. 10 Oklahoma State in 2017. And the duo got off to a strong start, leading the Cowboys to a 59-24 win over Tulsa. Washington was up to his old tricks, hauling in six catches for 145 yards and two touchdowns. Washington is built more like a running back — don't let his "listed" size fool you — but outmuscles smaller corners and tracks the ball very well. The proof is in the 19.4 yards per catch he's averaged in his college career. 

Simmie Cobbs Jr., WR, Indiana, redshirt junior (6-4/220)
Cobbs got a national audience last Thursday when the Hoosiers put a scare in No. 2 Ohio State. The Buckeyes had an extremely difficult time containing Cobbs who caught 11 balls for 149 yards and a score. What the redshirt junior receiver showed is that if he's got single coverage, he's open. Even against Ohio State's impressive secondary, Cobbs wasn't slowed down until the Buckeyes gave their corners help. Coming off a 1,000-yard season in 2015, Cobbs faced a one-game suspension in 2016 and then suffered a season-ending injury. He looks poised to be a big threat — literally and figuratively — in the Big Ten this season.

Michael Gallup, WR, Colorado State, senior (6-1/200)
Gallup is a bit of sleeper. At least for now. A four-sport athlete in high school, Gallup struggled academically and was unable to sign with a major college despite having offers from several. He spent two years at a community college before joining the Rams. In his first season at the D-1 level, Gallup showed off his big play ability with 76 catches for 1,272 and 14 TDs. He picked up right where he left off in Colorado's opening win over Oregon State. Gallup hauled in 11 passes for 134 yards in the Rams' 58-27 win. Coming off a short week, Colorado stumbled in a 17-3 loss to Colorado. Gallup had five catches for 67 yards but also had a 33-yard catch called back for a questionable offensive pass interference.