Nyheim Hines

10 prospects Eagles could target in Rounds 4-7 of NFL draft

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10 prospects Eagles could target in Rounds 4-7 of NFL draft

After trading up to select TE Dallas Goedert in the second round, the Eagles have picks in the fourth round (125, 130), one in the sixth (206) and one in the seventh (250).

Here are 10 prospects — in no particular order — that could interest the Eagles in Rounds 4-7.

Nyheim Hines, RB, NC State (drafted by Colts*)
Hines is undersized but explosive. He was strong in the running game but also excelled as a pass catcher and returner. A Darren Sproles-like skill set.

Bo Scarbrough, RB, Alabama
Scarbrough would be an ideal LeGarrette Blount replacement. He’s a power back but he’s also explosive at the second level. Injuries are a concern.

John Kelly, RB, Tennessee (drafted by Rams*)
Kelly is the back that bridges the gap. He’s a little undersized (216 pounds) but can run between the tackles and help in the passing game. He’s an ideal committee back.

Will Richardson, OT, NC State (drafted by Jaguars*)
Richardson has all the traits you like, including a nasty streak. His technique will fail him at times and there are character concerns.

Equanimeous St. Brown, WR, Notre Dame
Aside from having the coolest name ever, St. Brown has a great size and speed combo. Was his lack of production (33 catches last season) because of poor QB play or a sign of something bigger?

Desmond Harrison, OT, West Georgia
Harrison dominated at his level, but struggled with technique and comes into the draft a little light (292 pounds) for a tackle. He’s a project for sure but one worth taking on in the sixth round.

Deon Cain, WR, Clemson (drafted by Colts*)
Cain has great size, speed and is a strong route runner. His issue is with his concentration level, which caused drops and false start penalties.

Shaquem Griffin, LB/DB, UCF (drafted by Seahawks*)
Griffin isn’t just a great story, this kid was a beast at UCF. He lacks a true position but is a tremendous athlete and plays with an edge.

Natrell Jamerson, DB, Wisconsin (drafted by Saints*)
Jamerson plays fast and physical. Converted from WR, he has experience as a slot CB and also at safety. He crushed the combine (4.40 40, 25 reps) and will contribute on special teams immediately.

Richie James, WR, Middle Tennessee State
James is small (5-foot-8) but he’s explosive and was incredibly productive at MTSU. He also ran the wildcat and showed ability as a runner. A broken collarbone suffered during his junior season is the only reason he slips to the later rounds.

Jeremy Reaves, DB, South Alabama
Reaves is extremely instinctual, physical and versatile. He falls because his workout numbers were just OK and his level of competition.

Running backs that could fit Eagles in 2018 NFL draft

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Running backs that could fit Eagles in 2018 NFL draft

We continue our positional breakdown leading up to the 2018 NFL draft with a look at running backs. Instead of a top five, we'll highlight players at these positions who fit the Eagles and have a chance to be available when the team picks.

We looked at quarterbacks to start the series. Now we'll take a look at running backs.

At No. 32
Ronald Jones II, USC, 5-11, 205 pounds

Jones is coming off a monster junior season at Southern Cal. He carried the ball 261 times (that's a ton) for 1,550 yards and 19 touchdowns and also chipped in 14 catches for 187 yards. Jones might be a little on the light side, but he's surprisingly physical, which can be good and bad. He definitely has the ability to burst through holes and the patience to find them. He didn't put up huge receiving numbers in college but might have more ability in that area, which could make him appealing to Doug Pederson and the Eagles. He could use some work as a blocker, but that's pretty common for guys coming into the league. He's not perfect but could grow into being a three-down NFL back. Jones suffered a hamstring injury at the Combine, but his tape doesn't lie.

Derrius Guice, LSU, 5-11, 212
During his junior season, Guice dealt with injuries that didn't derail his season but definitely affected it. He still put up big numbers, putting up another 1,000-yard season. You can really see the difference between 2016 and 2017 in his yards after contact numbers. According to PFF, he averaged 4.1 yards after contact per attempt in 2016, but just 3.2 in 2017. Still, he's the type of back whose legs never stop churning even when his torso is wrapped up. He's a pretty big, powerful runner, but is surprisingly smooth as a receiver, even though he wasn't called upon too much in that area at LSU.

In the middle
Nick Chubb, Georgia, 5-11, 228

Along with his Georgia teammate Sony Michel, Chubb is in the next group of running backs in this year's draft. At the combine, at 228 pounds, he ran a 4.52, crushed the bench (29 reps) and was impressive in both jumps. What's even more impressive is he did it all with his rehabilitated knee. Michel might still be the first Georgia back off the board, but Chubb shouldn't be too far behind. Chubb will be gone by the time the Eagles pick in the fourth round, but if they move back up, he could be a target.

Nyheim Hines, N.C. State, 5-8, 197
You probably know Hines because of his lighting-fast 4.38 in the 40 at the combine. What he lacks in size, he makes up for with speed and playmaking ability. Hines really has one big season under his belt — as a junior last year he rushed for 1,112 yards and caught 26 passes for 152 more yards. At the NFL level, he's going to need to become a better receiver if he sticks. Maybe the Eagles will avoid another undersized guy who needs to become a better receiver to stick (think Donnel Pumphrey). But a big bonus with Hines is his ability as a return man. He has returned kicks and punts and is dangerous.

Late-round sleeper(s)
Chase Edmonds, Fordham, 5-9, 205

The last time the Eagles drafted a running back from Harrisburg it worked out OK. Of course, Edmonds isn't Shady McCoy; he's a relatively unknown player from a small school. But he's an intriguing prospect and had a good combine. No his 4.55 time in the 40 isn't eye-popping but his 4.07 in the 20-yard shuttle and 19 reps on the bench are note-worthy. At Fordham, he didn't face a ton of top competition so his tape should be taken with a grain of salt. An injury slowed him down as a senior. There's a reason he's a late-round guy, but Edmonds appears to have some explosion and shiftiness, even with his thick frame.

6 NFL Combine studs Eagles should keep eye on

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6 NFL Combine studs Eagles should keep eye on

With the combine over, we look at six prospects that impressed and should be on the Eagles’ radar.

Taven Bryan, DT, Florida (6-4/291)
Bryan’s combine matched the tape. He’s an athletic freak, testing in the 97th percentile. That’s part of the reason I projected him to the Eagles in my first-round mock 1.0. He would provide them a strong rotational piece with pass rush ability. Remember, if Beau Allen walks, the Eagles' top backup is Destiny Vaeao. Bryan is raw, but his upside is huge in a one-gap, attacking defense.

Mike Gesicki, TE, Penn State (6-5/247)
Speaking of freaks, Gesicki ran a 4.54 40 and recorded a 41½-inch vertical at 247 pounds. He’s a dynamic receiver and serious red zone threat but his blocking is subpar. Has Zach Ertz’s blocking come far enough to allow for a playmaker like Gesicki to play on the other side? It would make the Eagles scary in 12-personnel and could make up for the likely loss of Trey Burton in free agency.

Leighton Vander Esch, LB Boise State (6-4/256)
While his 40 and bench numbers were just OK, Vander Esch finished in the top-five among 'backers in the vertical, broad jump, three-cone drill, and 20- and 60-yard shuttle. Word is the Eagles are high on him. He’s only a one-year starter but that one year was spectacular. One of the concerns is that he looks to avoid blocks as opposed to shedding them, but he may have tested himself out of pick 32. That would be too bad for the Eagles, who could lose veteran Nigel Bradham.

Nyheim Hines, RB, NC State (5-8/197)
Hines was the fastest back at the combine, running a 4.38 40. He’s undersized but he was as dynamic as anyone in college football. He ran for 1,112 yards, averaging 5.6 yards a carry and scoring 12 TDs. He was also a lethal returner, recording two kick return TDs and a punt return score during his time at NC State. Hines is what the Eagles were looking for in Donnel Pumphrey last season. 

Connor Williams, OT/G, Texas (6-5/320)
The aforementioned players had strong combines and that’s why they've made this list. Williams didn't have a bad combine by any stretch but his measurements may cause him to fall. His arms measured 33 inches. Teams typically want their tackles to have at least 34-inch arms. Silly, I know, but that, plus an injury-riddled junior season could cause Williams to fall. He was considered by many to be the best tackle in the draft before the season. Looking at his 2016 tape, that may be accurate. And now, he might fall into the Eagles' lap at 32.

Justin Reid, S, Stanford (6-1/204)
Reid is a prototypical safety in today's NFL. He has corner speed (4.40 40) and is strong in coverage. Safety isn't a need for the Eagles, but like defensive tackle, it’s a position lacking depth. Plus, with how much time teams spend in nickel and dime, and how Jim Schwartz likes to deploy Malcolm Jenkins — who also can't play forever — all over the field, Reid gives them a ton of options in sub packages.