NFL Draft: Saturday's prospect watch

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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.

Eagles pick up compensatory fourth-round pick from Browns

Eagles pick up compensatory fourth-round pick from Browns

The NFL announced the list of compensatory picks for the 2017 draft and the Eagles weren't awarded any.

They're still going to get one, though. 

Thanks to the trade with the Browns to move up to No. 2 in last year's draft, the Eagles got back a conditional fifth-round pick that has now turned into a fourth. 

Basically, if the Browns received a fourth-round compensatory pick, the Eagles would get it. The Browns were awarded two (Nos. 139 and 142), so the Eagles get one. According to a league source, the Eagles will get No. 139 overall, the higher of the two.  

This is the first year teams are allowed to trade compensatory picks. The Bengals, Browns, Broncos and Chiefs were each awarded four compensatory picks. The highest compensatory pick awarded this year belongs to Miami at No. 97 in the third round. 

The Eagles still don't know where they'll pick in the first round -- either No. 14 or 15. That will be determined by a coin flip next week at the combine in Indianapolis. They have eight draft picks in total.

Eagles wise to bring Jason Peters back, even with full salary

Eagles wise to bring Jason Peters back, even with full salary

This isn't a big surprise, but Jason Peters will be back with the Eagles -- big salary and all -- for the 2017 season.

While the Eagles approached the veteran left tackle about his contract in January, Peters has not restructured his deal, according to a league source. 

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport on Thursday morning reported that Peters will be back next season on his normal contract. 

Yes, Peters is expensive in 2017. His base salary after hitting another Pro Bowl escalator written into his contract is up to $10.45 million for next season (plus a $250K workout bonus), which comes with a big cap hit of $11.7 million. That cap hit is the highest on the team, but not outlandish for a high-caliber left tackle. 

The Eagles could have very well cut Peters and moved on. It would have saved them significant cap space to use elsewhere. They just wouldn't have found any player more valuable to pay with that money. 

Peters, 35, is still their best option to protect Carson Wentz's blind side. He made his ninth Pro Bowl in 2016 after playing all 16 games. The team hasn't been shy about wanting him back and Peters toward the end of the season said he wanted to return for another year. 

"We certainly want to have him back," Eagles vice president of football operations Howie Roseman said of Peters in early January.

“I love him. I want him on the team,” head coach Doug Pederson said with two games remaining this past season. “I don’t want him to go anywhere."

With Peters back, it means Lane Johnson's eventual trip to left tackle will be held off for another year. Eventually, he'll take over that spot … just not right now. 

During the season, Peters opened up about his future, saying he hopes Wentz can be the guy who finally gets him a Super Bowl ring (see story).