The big game on the college football schedule today is Baylor at Oklahoma State. As long as you're watching that game, and others, here are some players to keep an eye on who could be of interest to the Eagles in the 2014 draft.
Richardson is a 6'5, 340 pound behemoth, and one of the mostly highly thought of OGs in college football. However, he's not just a big fatbody -- As a sophomore, he protected the blindside of Robert Griffin III at LT, where he did a good job, before Baylor moved him back inside to LG.
Whenever you have a player that size, you might worry about his conditioning in Chip Kelly's hurry-up offense. With Richardson, that's probably not an issue, as Baylor runs a fast paced offense of its own. In fact, Baylor averages 83 offensive snaps per game, and Richardson dominates, particularly in the run game. Once Richardson gets his hands on you... goodnight.
Baylor averages 62.2 points per game, and they rush for over 300 yards per game. A high percentage of those rushing yards are behind Richardson, who consistently opens up gaping holes. I have no idea what he looks like in space, as I didn't see Baylor run any screens in the games of theirs that I watched, but they do use Richardson as a pulling guard quite a bit, so he does have athletic ability. A team like the Eagles that is among the Top 5 teams in the NFL in run:pass ratio might value a road grating OG more than other teams, especially with Todd Herremans at 31 years of age and Evan Mathis at 32.
Watch Dixon at the 1:02 mark below. Top propect Jace Amaro is going to run a shallow cross into Dixon's zone, and because Amaro isn't past the 5 yards chuck zone, Dixon lays him out. This is a perfectly legal hit that shows not only aggressiveness, but also great awareness. You have to love this (via DraftBreakdown.com):
Dixon isn't without issues. He was arresting for punching another student, and on a side note, his mugshot looks a little bit Donovan McNabb.
Texas A&M scores 49.2 points per game. They also give up 30.9 points per game. That means that Texas A&M games average 80.1 combined points per game. While the Texas A&M secondary won't provide the LSU receivers with a great test, they'll likely be heavily involved and fun to watch.
Beckham Jr. is 13th in the nation with 1,051 receiving yards, while Landry is 16th with 972 receiving yards.
That's particularly impressive, considering they take targets away from each other, while other receivers across the nation are the focal points of their offenses.
Of the two receivers, Beckham Jr. is the more compelling option for the Eagles. He would be a far more explosive big play threat than Jason Avant out of the slot. He's also a dangerous kick and punt returner. Watch the following missed FG return against UAB. He catches the ball 9 yards deep in his own end zone, heads to the right hash, reverses field and runs down the left sideline while weaving through his lead blockers into the end zone for a 109 yard TD return. Total time elapsed: 14.05 seconds. Impressive.
There are a growing number of people who really like Derek Carr:
What would Derek Carr bring to the table that would be an improvement over Nick Foles? My buddy Tommy Lawlor answered that question:
Carr has weird passing numbers this season. On the one hand, he has a tremendous TD:INT ratio, with 32 TDs and just 4 INTs. He also has a completion % of just under 70%. However, he has a yards per attempt (YPA) average of just 7.36. That's a very low number for a guy completing almost 70% of his passes, and it means that a whole lot of his completions are going for short gains.
It seems like every year there's a QB who really helps his draft stock at the Senior Bowl week of practices. In 2013 it was E.J. Manuel. in 2012 it was Brandon Weeden. In 2011 it was Christian Ponder. Carr has already accepted his invite to Mobile and has a great chance of impressing pro teams there.
Carr might go top 10. He might also slip to the bottom half of the 1st round. If the Eagles find themselves on the board and Carr is still available, would they have interest?
I already wrote this in a post earlier this week in which I profiled the last 2 Eagles draft classes, but I'll re-state it again. The Eagles have 5 games to go. At a minimum, Foles has proven he is an NFL starter. However, being a legit NFL starter and being a guy who can be one of the Top 10 or so QBs in the league are two totally different things. Teams with aspirations of winning a Super Bowl typically have the latter. It's way too early to say that Foles is on that level, but obviously he has put together a very impressive season, and is only going to get smarter.
The Eagles may or may not decide to address the QB position in the 2014 draft. It seems crazy to do so after the season Foles has had, but I wouldn't completely rule it out. If Foles continues to be the guy he has been during the Eagles' 3-game win streak, Foles may very well be "the franchise QB." However, if the Eagles think there's a QB who has better physical attributes and a solid football mind, they may very well pull the trigger on a guy like Carr.