It seems like every year the Philadelphia Eagles target players in the Senior Bowl. Since 2010, The Eagles have drafted 5 of these players with their first round pick. QB Carson Wentz, DE Brandon Graham, and OT Lane Johnson have been the most notable. LB Jordan Hicks, WR Jordan Matthews, and DE Marcus Smith are among some of the other players who shined at the Senior Bowl and went on to be drafted by the Eagles. As of 2015, no other team had drafted more players from the all important game (24).
This season we could see much of the same. With the all important second year for franchise QB Carson Wentz coming up, it is imperative the Eagles find talent to surround him. The Senior Bowl is the perfect way to start this process. Jeffery Lurie, Howie Roseman and Doug Pederson are all in Mobile, Alabama this week for this very reason.
We have scoured the rosters of both the North and South teams in order to find gems whom would both fit the Eagles and be possible first year contributors in 2017.
FB Sam Rogers (Virginia tech):
At 5’10, 220 pounds, this sledge-hammer has served as more than just a blocking back, for the Hokies. With 409 yards on 98 carries and 2 touchdowns, the big back has been a weapon. Add to that his 72 receptions, for 802 yards with a longest of 52 and one would say he has been a huge part of the Hokies’ offense. Considered a leader amongst his teammates, the Mechanicsville, VA native has served as offensive captain for the last few years. The scouting report on Rogers suggests that he is so much more than a fullback. With both quick feet and great hands, he should be considered a true athlete.
WR Isaiah Jones (East Carolina):
Known to his teammates, and fans alike as “Zay”, Jones emerged as a dominant weapon for East Carolina. The 6’1, 200 pound, Dallas native is the NCAA D-1 leader in both Career receptions (399), and receptions in a single season (158). With a career 4,279 receptions, and 23 touchdowns in 49 games played, it is easy too see the potential that Jones possesses. With both great hands and body-control, Jones has the potential to be a difference maker at the next level.
DB Chidobe Awuzie (Colorado):
This first team all-Pac 12 defensive back has been a legitimate shutdown corner for the Buffalo’s this year. He has both the size 6’0, 205 pounds,and speed to be effective across the board. Playing four positions on the back end in his college career (free-safety, Strong-Safety, outside Corner, and nickel), Awuzie has developed into a playmaker, something the eagles are in dire need of. With 273 career tackles, 25 of them for loss, 9 sacks ,35 pass-deflections and 3 interceptions, he has been a real problem for opposing offenses throughout his career.
DL Ryan Glasgow (Michigan):
This prospect is a big man, at just under 6’5, weighing 300 LBs . The Aurora, Illinois native has been a true issue for offenses throughout his career. More then just a space eater, Glasgow has played across the defensive front, proving to be dangerous from anywhere. In 33 starts, the 2-time all big-ten honoree has 77 tackles, 13.5 for a loss, 4 sacks and 2 forced fumbles. Spending a lot of time in offensive backfields, he has been described as a big bodied athlete with quick feet and strong technique to keep offensive linemen off of his body. Even with all the playmakers the number one defense has, there was an obvious drop-off in 2015 when Glasgow left injured early in the season. Great against both the run and the pass, he will be someone to watch closely in the senior bowl, and in the NFL.
WR Ryan Switzer (North Carolina):
Ever hear the saying “Dynamite comes in small packages”? Well, that’s what Switzer is, Dynamite. The Charleston, WV Native was the 2013 punt return leader in yards, averaging 20.9 per return. Amongst his many awards, the 2016 all-ACC star had 243 receptions, for 2,903 yards and 19 touchdowns. Add 82 rushing yards on 25 attempts and you can see the potential Switzer would have in the Eagles offense. At 5’10, 190 pounds, Switzer creates separation almost effortlessly. Running clean routes with strong hands at the point of the catch, Switzer will be a name attracting a lot of attention over this weekend.
CB Corn Elder (Miami):
At 5’10, 190 lbs, the Nashville, TN native may not have the biggest body to defend WR’s, but has all the tools to be a shutdown corner at the next level. With good hip movement and better than average top end speed, Elder has been one of the Hurricanes’ most consistent playmakers. With 158 career tackles, 11.5 for loss, 6 sacks, 27 pass deflections, 1 forced fumble and 3 interceptions, Elder has the potential to become a solid slot corner in the NFL.
OL Isaac Asiata (Utah):
Asiata has played a huge part in an offensive line that helped Utah average 210 rushing yards a game. In 2016 he was named the Morris trophy award winner and voted the best offensive lineman in the Pac-12. At 6’4, 315 pounds, Asiata is a big man, with good feet and a lot of athleticism. The term “Road-grader” was made for this giant prospect. With the rebuild of the Eagles offensive line being a priority last offseason, Asiata could be added for extra depth and starting talent to protect Carson Wentz.
DE Jordan Willis (Kansas State):
One of the less talked about issues for the Birds has been the pass-rush. If the Eagles are to take that next step on defense, adding a difference maker should be on top of Howie’s to-do list. Enter Willis, The 6’5, 260 lbs edge rusher is dangerous. He isn’t talked about at length like Myles Garrett from Texas A&M or Derek Barnett from Tennessee, but he definitely deserves to be in the conversation. With 113 tackles, 39.5 of them for loss, 7 pass deflections, 6 forced fumbles and 2 fumble recoveries in his career, Willis has constantly turned heads. Dominant Against both run and pass, Willis would serve as an amazing back-up, and future starter for the Philadelphia Eagles.
Other notable players:
North: Jamaal Williams RB (BYU), Amara Dabroh WR (Michigan), Hasaan Riddick LB (Temple), and Zach Banner OT (USC).
South: Matt Dayes RB (North Carolina State), Josh Reynolds WR ( Texas A&M), Dalvin Tomlinson DT (Alabama), and Damontae Kazee CB (San Diego State).
Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports