NFL Draft: Saturday's prospect watch

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NFL Draft: Saturday's prospect watch
October 12, 2013, 6:00 am
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From left to right: Tajh Boyd, Loucheiz Purifoy, Cyril Richardson. (USA Today Images)

Here are some games, and specifically some NFL prospects, Eagles fans may want to check out on Saturday.

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

Loucheiz Purifoy, CB, Florida, No. 15
Now a two-year starter at cornerback, the junior is proving that his outstanding sophomore campaign was no fluke. Purifoy has the size (6-1/190) and foot speed to stick with receivers man-to-man and the fearlessness of a special teams ace (which he is) to make plays in the run game. You won't see him missing tackles, either, something Chip Kelly and the Eagles seem to be putting more of a premium on these days. Watching him play, it's hard to find much fault in his game, although I'd like to see him play closer to the line more often in bump-and-run coverage. But even when giving space at the snap, Purifoy is so quick in changing directions that receivers rarely get a step or two after making a catch before he's wrapping them up. The Eagles, of course, could use a potential shutdown corner like Purifoy, and if they end up with a top-15 pick in next year's draft, they should get a crack at him.

Watch: Purifoy vs. South Carolina and Georgia in 2012

Baylor vs. Kansas State (3:30 p.m., FOX)

Cyril Richardson, OG, Baylor, No. 68
The apparent decline of Todd Herremans is worrisome as the Eagles have little depth to potentially replace him next season. Richardson is a mammoth (6-5/340) offensive guard who moved inside in 2012 after protecting Robert Griffin III's blindside in 2011 as the Bears' LT. His feet are very good for a guy his size, allowing him to position himself nicely when sealing off defenders and pulling in the run game. I'd like to see him bend his knees more consistently rather than bending at the waist, as he seems to lose contact with his defender too often when his head drops.

As a pass blocker, Richardson isn't dominant but gets the job done. It looks like he doesn't use his long arms effectively yet, letting pass rushers get into his body too often. But he's got such great size and strength that he's rarely beaten. I'm not quite as high on Richardson as some other scouting pundits. I don't think he's a first-round pick, but if the Birds can find him floating down into the second round, he'd be a nice piece to help continue rebuilding the offensive line.

Watch: Richardson vs. UCLA in 2012 Holiday Bowl

Boston College vs. Clemson (3:30 p.m., ABC)

Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson, No. 10
Who knows, this Sunday could be the start of the Nick Foles era in Philadelphia. While I doubt it, maybe the big guy can convince Kelly he's the man to build his offense around. If he can't, the 2014 class of signal callers is rife with possibilities, including the stocky Boyd. The three-year starter is continuing where he left off last season, completing a high percentage of passes and not making many mistakes while leading the Tigers into BCS bowl territory. Boyd is a very good short- to mid-range passer, getting the ball out quickly to a bevy of very talented pass catchers and running backs over the past three seasons (Sammy Watkins, Andre Ellington, DeAndre Hopkins and Dwayne Allen).

Boyd's deep ball is hit or miss, as he has the arm strength to get the ball out there, but his accuracy is a bit suspect. He has experience in Kelly's type of offense (read-option), and he's proven to be a sturdy and effective, if not a dynamic, runner. Boyd's size (6-1/225) might also be a concern, as it's not ideal for the QB position, but he seems to do a good job moving his feet in the pocket and finding passing lanes. In my mind, Boyd ranks behind Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater, Oregon's Marcus Mariota and UCLA's Brett Hundley as a prospect, but he could be an effective signal caller in the Eagles' offense. I just wouldn't spend a first-round pick on him.

Watch: Boyd vs. Georgia in 2013

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