After a wild Eagles victory Sunday night, it is understandable if you're a little burned out on football right now, but for those of who are diehards, today presents... more football! There are three games on the college bowl schedule today, and a bunch of interesting prospects will be on display.
Obviously, the Eagles' season is in high gear right now, as the Birds are headed for their first playoff game since 2010. But for those of you taking in some college football today, here are some players to watch.
• Jeremiah Attaochu, OLB, Georgia Tech (6'3, 242): Attaochu is a player I will have a very close eye on at the Senior Bowl. Impressions of him are all over the map. Here's an extensive review of his game (they like him less than I do, but it's very well done). The Eagles will be in the market for edge rushers, and Attaochu is very athletic one, but he'll probably take a few years to develop.
• Donte Moncrief, WR, Ole Miss (6'2, 226): Moncrief has good size. He had four 100-yard receiving games in 2012, including a 2-game stretch against LSU and Mississippi State in which he caught 13 passs for 334 yards and 5 TDs. Mississippi State had a pair of corners (Darius Slay and Johnthan Banks) drafted in the 2nd round last year, and Moncrief produced against them. He is also appears to be a good blocker.
• Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, CB, Oregon (5'10, 185): Ekpre-Olomo doesn't have blazing speed or good size, but he's extremely physical and very instinctive. In 2012, he had 4 INTs and an incredible 6 forced fumbles, although number in 2013 (3 INTs, 1 FF) were down. Obviously, Chip Kelly will have a deep familiarity with all of his former Oregon players, and CB is a need area.
• Josh Huff, WR, Oregon (5'11, 202): Huff had 57 catches for 1036 yards, and 11 TDs with Oregon in 2013. There are currently 2 former Oregon receivers on the back end of the Eagles' roster. They would be Jeff Maehl, and Will Murphy (practice squad).
Huff is a good blocker, which is what you would expect from an Oregon receiver. Below is a video of Huff's best game this season. You can see him make a bunch of catches and get a lot of yards after the catch, but watch the decleater block he throws on the safety at the :10 mark:
• Taylor Hart, DE, Oregon (6'6, 287): At 6'6, 287, Hart has great size. Hart not only played under Chip Kelly at Oregon, but his position coach was Eagles DL coach Jerry Azzinaro. Hart had 8 sacks in 2012 for the Ducks as a 3-4 rusher in 2012. Impressive. Those numbers were down in 2013, but he did force 3 fumbles. While a 3-4 DE isn't a huge need area for the Eagles, Hart could be of interest if he slides to the middle rounds.
• Hroniss Grasu, C, Oregon (6'3, 294): One lesser known Oregon player (nationally, anyway) is C Hroniss Grasu. Grasu is actually quite a bit like Jason Kelce, in that he's a center that relies on his excellent athleticism instead of overpowering defensive linemen. Grasu is staying at Oregon, but as long as you're watching, keep an eye on him.
• De'Anthony Thomas, TAZR, Oregon (5'9, 170): What is a TAZR? Succinctly, it's an athlete in Oregon's offense who can play tailback, wide receiver, or in the slot. The position is designed to create matchup nightmares for opposing defenses, who often find themselves trying to cover a dynamic athlete with a safety or a linebacker. The TAZR can also draw some attention away from the main tailback (cough, LeSean McCoy) in the running game.
"DAT" is as explosive as they come… and he returns kicks and punts, too.
Look at what he does to this poor bastard at the 3:17 mark:
Thomas' numbers are down this year, partly because he dealt with a sprained ankle, but if he comes out, you can bet Chip Kelly will have interest.
• Jackson Jeffcoat, DE, Texas (6'4, 250): Jeffcoat has 12 sacks this season, and 23.5 in his last 25 games. Just as importantly, he has experience rushing from a 2 point stance and dropping into coverage.
Underrated prospect who could be of interest to the Eagles.
• Mike Davis, WR, Texas (6'2, 195): 49-715-8 as a senior after putting up 57-939-7 as a junior.
• Will Sutton, DT, Arizona State (6'0, 305): Sutton had 13 sacks (3rd in the country) in 2012 from his interior DL spot, and was thought of as a major prospect heading into 2013. In 2013, his production fell off sharply. Rotoworld's Josh Norris had a good review of Sutton in June.
• Carl Bradford, LB, Arizona State (6'1, 241): 11.5 sacks in 2012, 8 in 2013 despite missing 2 games. Bradford could be of interest because of his versatility, as he has lined up at DE, OLB, and ILB at Arizona State. The downside is his lack of ideal size.
• Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech (6'5, 260): Amaro is a 6'5, 260 pound TE that Texas Tech loves to utilize in the slot in their spread offense, using him as a matchup nightmare. Want to put a linebacker on him? Amaro can run by them. Want to put a nickel CB or a safety on him? You're giving up a lot of height in the passing game, and a mismatch advantage in the run game.
Amaro has 98 catches for 1240 yards and 7 TDs with one game to play. To put those numbers into perspective from the TE position, here are the NCAA leaders in receiving yards the last 10 years.
Note that the Eagles brought in both the NCAA TE leader in receiving yards in 2012 and 2008 this past offseason, which could indicate they value college production highly.
People are already comparing Amaro to the Saints' Jimmy Graham, because of his excellent size, route running, speed, and receiving ability. That's far fetched, but he's certainly a player to watch.