NFL Draft: Saturday's prospect watch

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NFL Draft: Saturday's prospect watch
September 21, 2013, 10:30 am
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Here are some games, and specifically some NFL prospects, Eagles fans may want to check out on Saturday:

Michigan State vs. Notre Dame (3:30 p.m., NBC)

Louis Nix III, DT, Notre Dame, No. 1
With the Eagles' move to the 3-4/4-3 Under scheme, having a disruptive player manning the 1-technique helps tremendously. Veteran Isaac Sopoaga is limited in what he can do, and rookie Bennie Logan might not be big enough to fend off the double teams this position often sees. Nix provides both the size (6-3/340) that Sopoaga has (and more) and the quickness Logan brings to the table. It is amazing to watch such a huge man move so effortlessly, and Nix has the strength and quickness to also slide outside to the 5-technique in the Eagles' scheme. What Nix could really bring to Philadelphia is his ability to split double-teams and collapse the pocket, something the Eagles have desperately lacked in the first three games of the season. There really isn't much not to like about Nix, and if the redshirt junior decides to come out in 2014, look for him to be off the board no later than No. 15.  

Watch: Nix vs. Alabama in 2013 BCS Championship Game

Tennessee vs. Florida (3:30 p.m., CBS)

Antonio Richardson, OT, Tennessee, No. 74
While I still believe the Eagles' offensive line is going to be a strength of the team this season, the K.C. game was a bit worrisome. Left tackle Jason Peters looked a bit shaky against Tamba Hali, and you have to wonder how much those two Achilles tendon tears are going to affect his play going forward. It's well known that Chip Kelly loves the big boys (big guys beat up little guys), and they don't come much bigger (6-6/327) than the man they call "Tiny". The junior was an AP second-team All-SEC selection in 2012 and has continued to make folks take notice in 2013. Richardson possesses great upper-body strength and quick feet in pass protection, able to counter both inside and outside moves easily. As a run blocker, Richardson needs to keep his head up more consistently as he tends to bend at the waist and miss blocks he can't see. With only 15 career starts under his belt, Richardson has some work to do, but the physcial stature and tools are there to be a starting tackle in the NFL. If the Eagles were selecting in the middle of the first round, Richardson could certainly be a possibility.

Watch: Richardson vs. Florida in 2012

Auburn vs. LSU (7:45 p.m., ESPN)

Craig Loston, SS, LSU, No. 6
No surprise I'm featuring a safety this week, as Thursday night was Patrick Chung's turn to make Eagles fans groan. Loston, a redshirt senior, was the top safety prospect in the country coming out of high school in 2009, but a slew of nagging injuries and talented players ahead of him kept Loston from starting until 2012. Now the veteran leader of the Tigers' secondary, Loston can show off his size (6-2/209) and speed combination without being overshadowed by the likes of Tyrann Mathieu, Brandon Taylor and Eric Reid. The hard-hitting safety is a terrific tackler and attacks the line of scrimmage with abandon. His size and hitting prowess are also felt by receivers, who have to have their heads on a swivel when Loston is in the area. Loston, an AP second-team All-SEC selection in 2012, isn't quite the prospect Reid or Mathieu (minus the off-field issues) were, but the size-speed ratio will get the Tiger safety drafted somewhere in the second round.

Watch: Loston vs. Clemson in 2012 Chik-Fil-A Bowl

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