While the Eagles are poised for a playoff run, there is always a part of me focused on the future. The NFL Draft and the prospect evaluations leading up to it are one of my favorite aspects of the NFL. With that being said, I will be watching a lot of college bowls not to satisfy my interest in the BCS system, but to scout. Over the course of the college football season, I get to watch about a dozen teams play a bunch. The rest, not so much. This year, some of my favorite prospects are Ryan Mallett of Arkansas, Patrick Peterson of LSU, and Greg Jones of Michigan State. I will take Bowl Week to evaluate some players that I haven’t seen much of yet this season.
Brandon Harris, CB, Miami. I haven’t seen Miami play this year at all really, and everybody seems to be gushing about Brandon Harris. They say he is good in run support and has the speed and ball skills to start in the NFL. He could be a candidate for the Eagles’ first or second round pick, and I want to see if he has the consistency to be a player for us down the road.
Bruce Carter, OLB, North Carolina. Bruce Carter, from his measurables, looks to be the perfect WILL linebacker for this system. I have heard he can blitz and he is phenomenal in coverage. I’d like to see him in action against Tennessee for the whole game.
Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin. Whenever I have watched Wisconsin, I have taken it for granted that Carimi is an all-world left tackle who would be selected in the top ten picks. Recently, his footwork and pass protection skills have come into question, and he is in the middle of a very fuzzy offensive tackle picture along with Derek Sherrod, Nate Solder, and Anthony Costanzo. I want to see him work against TCU, who will have athletes lined up across from him.
Janoris Jenkins, CB, Florida. There have been a ton of contradicting reports about Jenkins. Florida has rarely been on television this season, and Jenkins has always been the puppy with huge paws that still had x number of years to realize his potential. Now, he could declare for the draft, and I haven’t seen the progress that he’s made yet.
Chimdi Chekwa, CB, Ohio State. Chekwa has made a lot of all-american teams this year behind Patrick Peterson and Prince Amukamara. He has forced four turnovers this season and has very good size. I have heard comparisons to Saints standout Malcolm Jenkins. I’ve seen some Ohio State, but I never really noticed Chekwa. Ryan Mallett won’t be scared to test him either.
Tejay Johnson, S, TCU. I had never heard of Johnson before he made pretty much every all-american team in the country. I have no idea what to expect from him, and he’ll have a tough matchup against Wisconsin.
Marcus Cannon, OL, TCU. I’m intrigued by this massive offensive line prospect. As an Eagle, he would play right guard, and at 6’6″, 350, he seems like the kind of player that would enamor Andy Reid.
Ideally, the Eagles would get a long-term solution at cornerback in the first round. That would probably be either Janoris Jenkins or Brandon Harris. Then, I would want the Eagles to draft a bunch of offensive linemen such as Marcus Cannon or John Moffitt, with a linebacker, tight end, and return man thrown in. Here’s an early potential scenario.
Round 1: Brandon Harris, CB, Miami
Round 2: Marcus Cannon, OG, TCU
Round 3: Kendric Burney, CB, North Carolina
Round 4: Ben Ijalana, OG, Villanova
Round 4: Mason Foster, LB, Washington
Round 5: Cameron Graham, TE, Louisville
Round 7: James Brewer, OT, Indiana