Grocery shopping: Five college prospects who could interest the Eagles in the 2021 NFL Draft

As long as you’re taking in some college football action this Saturday, here are some players who could make sense for the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Chazz Surratt, LB, North Carolina (6’2, 225): (19) Virginia Tech at (8) North Carolina, 12:00 p.m.

Surratt is an interesting prospect who moved from quarterback to linebacker. In his first full season at LB in 2019, Surratt racked up 115 tackles (15 for loss), 6.5 sacks, an INT, and a forced fumble. Impressive. In two games in 2020, he already has 17 tackles, 3 sacks, and a pass breakup. Here’s a look at him both as a quarterback and a linebacker. As you can see, he doesn’t lack athleticism.

The Eagles’ linebackers have been predictably bad in 2020 after they didn’t address the position in free agency, or draft any pro-ready linebackers. Surratt seems to be a quick learner, and he understands the game from a quarterback’s perspective. He would likely help right away, but is probably a second-round prospect.

Marco Wilson, CB, Florida (6’1, 192): (4) Florida at (21) Texas A&M, 12:00 p.m.

Wilson plays the “star” position in Florida’s defense, which is a CB-S-LB hybrid role. If you’ll recall, a popular player mocked to the Eagles during the 2019 draft was Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, who played the same role at Florida. Wilson has experience both in the the “star” role, and at outside corner as well. That type of versatility will appeal to the Eagles, who like their defensive backs to be “positionless.”

Wilson would fit in to the Eagles’ defense in a similar way as K’Von Wallace.

Amari Burney, LB, Florida (6’2, 230): (4) Florida at (21) Texas A&M, 12:00 p.m.

Like Wilson above, Burney also played a little in the “star” position for Florida, as well as safety and linebacker. He’s very likely just a linebacker going forward.

Burney is probably a Day 3 guy if he comes out next offseason, in which case he’ll check a bunch of linebacker boxes for the Eagles:

  1. Undersized, but athletic.
  2. Safety experience.
  3. A little bit of a project, in that he doesn’t have extensive experience at linebacker.
  4. Later round pick.

Of course, the Eagles haven’t had a ton of luck seeking out that linebacker profile, but he seems like a player they’d like.

MORE: Eagles-Steelers final injury report, with analysis | Week 5 NFL picks: Rounding up the experts’ predictions for Eagles vs. Steelers

Trey Smith, iOL, Tennessee (6’6, 330): (14) Tennessee at (3) Georgia, 3:30 p.m.

Smith’s fit with the Eagles is pretty straightforward. He is a brick wall offensive lineman with left tackle and left guard experience who anchors against power, and moves the line of scrimmage in the run game. In the NFL, he’ll very likely play guard.

With Jason Kelce soon to retire, the Eagles will either need a center to replace him directly, or a left guard if they view Isaac Seumalo as the center of the future.

The hard part with Smith is determining how healthy he is, as he has had recurring issues with blood clots in his lungs

, though he seemed to get through the 2019 season without being affected by them. His draft position will be very difficult to predict, given his medical history.

Amari Rodgers, WR, Clemson (5’10, 210): (7) Miami at (1) Clemson, 7:30 p.m.

Rodgers is a slot receiver who is built more like a running back. He tore an ACL in March of 2019, and somehow recovered fast enough to play for Clemson in Week 2 that season. He played a smaller role in Clemson’s talent-rich offense in 2019, catching 30 passes for 426 yards (14.2 YPC) and 4 TDs. As you can see below, he wore a knee brace, and was still able to outrun defenders:

In 2020, after three games, Rodgers is playing a more prominent role, as he has 12 catches for 206 yards (17.2 YPC) and 3 TDs. 

In Greg Ward, the Eagles have a slot receiver with reliable hands, but not much in the way of explosiveness. He is currently averaging 8.7 yards per catch for his career. The belief here is that there’s a role on a roster for a player like Ward, who works hard, gets the most out of his ability, and can contribute on special teams, but a more explosive slot receiver could be a difference maker in the Eagles’ offense. Rodgers has more speed and ability to get yards after the catch. 

MORE: Eagles mailbag: Who had worse receivers in their first five years, Donovan McNabb or Carson Wentz?

Previously profiled players

• August 9

  1. Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
  2. Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue
  3. Gregory Rousseau, DE, Miami
  4. Jaylen Twyman, DL, Pittsburgh
  5. Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech

• August 23

  1. Kennedy Brooks, RB, Oklahoma
  2. Warren Jackson, WR, Colorado State
  3. Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
  4. Jay Tufele, DT, USC
  5. Kary Vincent Jr., CB, LSU

• September 5

  1. Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern
  2. Reed Blankenship, S, Middle Tennessee State
  3. Kenneth Gainwell, RB, Memphis
  4. T.J. Carter, CB, Memphis
  5. Damonte Coxie, WR, Memphis

• September 12

  1. Andre Cisco, S, Syracuse
  2. Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame
  3. Asante Samuel Jr., CB, Florida State
  4. Carlos Basham Jr., DE, Wake Forest
  5. Jackson Carman, OT, Clemson

• September 19

  1. Paris Ford, S, Pittsburgh
  2. Victor Dimukeje, DE, Duke
  3. Matt Bushman, TE, BYU
  4. Chatarius Atwell, WR, Louisville
  5. Javian Hawkins, RB, Louisville

• September 26

  1. Rashad Weaver, DE, Pittsburgh
  2. Creed Humphrey, C, Oklahoma
  3. Seth Williams, WR, Auburn
  4. Alex Leatherwood, OG/OT, Alabama
  5. Marvin Wilson, DT, Florida State

October 3

  1. Alim McNeill, DT, NC State
  2. Najee Harris, RB, Alabama
  3. Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU
  4. Justyn Ross, WR, Clemson
  5. Tony Poljan, TE, Virginia

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