Media rights summary:
  • Image robeyusa.jpg must be uploaded to the network.

Syndication Flag: FALSE
Linking Flag: FALSE
Content is published: TRUE
Original Source is empty: TRUE
Article may be syndicated: No
Article may be linked: No
NFL draft: Saturday's prospect watch
Share This Post

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

Louisville vs. Kentucky (Noon, ESPN)

Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville, No. 5
I'm not going to go into a whole lot of detail on Bridgewater because, barring a disastrous junior year, he's most likely your No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 draft -- a spot I don't believe the Eagles will be sitting in (despite the mess that is their defense). But one can dream, and the Eagles are certainly in need of long-term solution to run Chip Kelly's offensive machine.

Bridgewater is a very good athlete but not quite in the same league as Colin Kaepernick or Russell Wilson. He is an accurate and strong-armed QB who has shown he can carry a team on his back. After winning the 2011 Big East Freshman of the Year, Bridgewater led the Cardinals to an 11-2 record and a Sugar Bowl victory in 2012 as a sophomore. Hopefully for Bridgewater, he uses this season to tweak some mechanical issues and improve his deep ball before being asked to save the Jaguars or Raiders in 2014.
Watch: Teddy Bridgewater in 2012 Sugar Bowl vs. Florida

Ohio State vs. California (7 p.m., FOX)

Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State, No. 1
Even before the season starts and we get a good, hard (painful) look at the Eagles' revamped secondary, there's little doubt as to what position their biggest need is going into the 2014 draft: cornerback.

Roby, who was suspended for Ohio State's opening game because of an offseason bar scuffle, might be the nation's top CB. Roby (5-11/193) is an aggressive burner who can stick with receivers deep and close on balls with astonishing speed. But it's his outstanding ball skills that make him so coveted, especially for a team like the Eagles, who lack defensive playmakers.

Last season's Eagles' secondary may have been the worst I've ever seen playing the ball in the air, and this year's cast of characters doesn't seem much better. Roby's knack for knocking down balls is uncanny. If the Eagles land anywhere from picks eight to 15, they'll probably have a shot at getting a player like Roby, who continues a proud Buckeye tradition of sending DBs to the NFL (Malcolm Jenkins, Donte Whitner, Nate Clements, Chris Gamble, Will Allen, Antoine Winfield and Shawn Springs).

Watch: Bradley Roby Highlights

Texas vs. Brigham Young (7 p.m., ESPN2)

Kyle Van Noy, OLB, BYU, No. 3
With the move to the hybrid 3-4, the Eagles are dangerously thin at OLB. With converted defensive ends Trent Cole and Brandon Graham acclimating to their new roles, only Connor Barwin seems to have a grasp of the position.

I would be shocked if the 2014 draft isn't used to start finding better fits for what Billy Davis (assuming he lasts the season) needs to make his defense work. Van Noy shocked many by staying in Provo for his senior season after notching 22 tackles for loss and 13 sacks in 2012. And despite those numbers, the lean (6-3/235) Van Noy didn't just pin his ears back and rush the passer. On most downs he played run first, holding up surprisingly well despite his lean frame.

Van Noy also showed the ability to drop back in coverage, using his speed and length effectively. As a pro, Van Noy will have to add some weight and strength, but that can said for most college prospects. As a pass rusher he relies on a quick first step and an terrific ability to "get skinny" to burst into the backfield. When he's locked up with a tackle, I didn't see a lot of fancy pass rushing moves though, so NFL coaches are going to need to add to his repertoire. It will be interesting to see how Van Noy reacts to being the man on BYU's defense now that Ziggy Ansah has moved on to the NFL. If his senior season plays out like his junior year, look for Van Noy to go late first or early second round.

Watch: Kyle Van Noy highlights