NFL Draft: Saturday's prospect watch


NFL Draft: Saturday's prospect watch

If you're an Eagles fan looking toward the 2012 draft, here are a couple of players to watch on Saturday:
Rutgers vs. Connecticut (Noon, ESPN)

Mohamed Sanu, WR, Rutgers, No. 6

Sanu, a junior, has 100 catches this season and lines up both outside and in the slot. He's very adept at wide receiver screens, and until this season was used extensively on reverses (121 rushing attempts as a freshman and sophomore -- but only three this year). Sanu has size (6-2218) and strength but will need to clean up his game a bit in terms of route running and consistency catching the ball. He's feasting on a lot of bad secondaries in the Big East.

Clemson vs. South Carolina (8 p.m., ESPN)

Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson, No. 2

Only a freshman, Watkins is the closest thing college football has to DeSean Jackson. He's a deadly deep threat, frightening on reverses and a deadly kick returner. Watkins already has surpassed 1,000 yards receiving and has scored 10 TDs. And unlike Jackson, Watkins has impressive size (6-1190). He missed last week's game against NC State with a shoulder injury, and Clemson not-coincidentally lost, 37-13. Watkins should be ready to go against the Gamecocks and might be matched up against star cornerback Stephon Gilmore.

News and Notes

Hog tied

Arkansas hung tough with LSU for almost three quarters before the Tigers' scary talent and athleticism took over. Some quick notes from the game:

I'm just not impressed with Arkansas DE Jake Bequette nothing there in my opinion. Arkansas needed him to make an impact against LSU, and he showed little ability to get up the field and harass Jordan Jefferson and no energy against the run. I don't see him making any sort of impact in the NFL.

Arkansas middle linebacker Jerry Franklin disappeared for the majority of the game. He just got caught up in the wash too much to be effective.

LSU DB Tyrann Mathieu is simply outstanding. Only a sophomore, Mathieu, nicknamed "Honey badger," forced two fumbles and ran a punt back 92 yards for a TD. And the scary thing is, he's not even the best DB on the team. That honor goes to CB Morris Claiborne, a Top 10 pick in the 2012 draft.

LSU QB Jordan Jefferson has talent, but that delivery seems too long for him to succeed in the NFL.

FIlm Review: What led to Eagles' poor run defense against Washington?

FIlm Review: What led to Eagles' poor run defense against Washington?

The Eagles have vowed to get better. 

They desperately don't want to have a performance from their run defense like the one against Washington, when they gave up 230 yards on the ground. 

Head coach Doug Pederson said the run defense is "a pride thing" and the guys responsible for the performance, Jim Schwartz included, say things will get better. The defensive coordinator cited bad angles as a reason there were so many missed tackles on Sunday afternoon. 

In all, the Eagles missed 10 tackles and gave up 156 yards after contact — both more than they had given up in the first four games of the season. 

Washington's rushing yards came in some big chunks. Here's a look at some of the key running plays from Sunday as we try to figure out what went wrong: 

This is a key 3rd-and-7 from the Washington 13-yard line. On this drive, Washington ends up scoring a touchdown to go up 14-0, but it doesn't happen without this key third down conversion. 

The Eagles collapse the pocket and force Kirk Cousins to his left. That's exactly what Schwartz said he wants, to force the quarterback to his non-throwing side. Everything at this point is working out perfectly. 

Here's the angle that's really troublesome. At this point, Nigel Bradham (circled in green) has Cousins in his sights, while Vinny Curry and Brandon Graham (farther behind) are in pursuit. Curry and Graham seem to let up in their pursuit when it looks like Cousins will go out of bounds. But he doesn't. 

Schwartz talked about bad angles, and this is the perfect example from Bradham. He overshoots it and when Cousins makes his cut back inside, all of Bradham's momentum is heading toward the sideline. Curry ends up making the tackle but tackles Cousins forward for a big first down. 

This next play was just a little counter draw that ended up going for a huge 45-yard gain. Rob Kelley takes the handoff, which looks to be going right. The entire Eagles' linebacking group bites hard. Still, right end Connor Barwin is free and has a chance to make the play. 

He doesn't. Just a missed tackle. 

Kelley finds some open field. Rodney McLeod is the next guy to beat and Kelley simply turns him around. You'll see Mychal Kendricks enter the frame. Kendricks showed great recovery speed to get back in the play and has a chance to finally bring the running back down. 

Nope. Can't do it. Eventually, McLeod recovers to bring him down. 

This last play ended the game on Sunday. The Eagles punted the ball away with the hope that their defense would stop Washington and give them the ball back. Instead, Matt Jones broke off a 57-yard run on 3rd-and-7. 

Jordan Hicks over pursues, probably thinking the run was going wide. But he loses his gap and Jones is off to the races. 

Once Jones gets past the first down, it doesn't really matter that it was a 57-yard run. It could have been an 8-yarder and the game was over. 

So what did we learn? 

Well, Schwartz was right. Angles absolutely killed the Eagles on Sunday. But when they have a guy wrapped up, they need to bring him down. Sure, that's not Earth-shattering, but they couldn't do it on Sunday and it led to a loss. 

Eagles Injury Update: Logan, Ron Brooks, McKelvin questionable

Eagles Injury Update: Logan, Ron Brooks, McKelvin questionable

Bennie Logan will miss practice again on Friday, but after sitting all week, will still be listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Vikings.

While it seems unlikely Logan will be able to play, head coach Doug Pederson said the starting defensive tackle will be a game-time decision.

“The chance to possibly work him ouct game day and just see where he’s at,” Pederson said. “It’s groin strain, so we just have to be careful with it and be smart with it and how we handle him.” 

If Logan can’t play, reserve Beau Allen would get just his third career start. 

“I’ll tell you, Beau was honestly one of the bright spots last week,” Pederson said. 

Along with Logan, Ron Brooks (calf), Leodis McKelvin (hamstring) and Mychal Kendricks (ribs) will also be listed as questionable, according to Pederson. 

Pederson said Allen Barbre (ankle), Jason Kelce (foot), Jordan Matthews (knee tendinitis), Rodney McLeod (shoulder) and Marcus Smith (groin) should all be fine for Sunday’s game. 

McKelvin missed last week with the same hamstring that kept him out for Weeks 2 and 3 and forced him to leave the Lions game early. He has practiced in full all week. 

If Brooks, who was limited on Thursday, can’t play, the Eagles would be without their slot corner. That means Malcolm Jenkins would play the slot in the nickel package and Jaylen Watkins could come on the field as a safety.

While Kelce should be OK for the game, he did miss Wednesday’s practice with plantar fasciitis in his foot. 

Will that bother Kelce for the rest of the season? 

“It’s just a nagging deal,” Pederson said. “It’s kind of a sore … Again, I don’t know much about it. You can refer to it as a stone bruise, whatever you want to refer to it as. I talked to him yesterday. He was fine yesterday. We’ll just manage him and make sure he’s getting treatment and the proper medication and everything to try to keep it to a minimum.”