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Eagles 2023 NFL Draft prospects: Pac-12 players to monitor

The Conference of Champions has a number of players the Birds should take a look at. Let’s get into it!

USC Trojans defeated the UCLA Bruins 48-45 during a NCAA Football game at the Rose Bowl.
Both guys in this picture would be worth drafting for the Eagles!
Photo by Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images

I watch what many might consider an “unhealthy” amount of college football. When you combine that with all of the time I spend consuming college football content via other media you can see why my children already know that they won’t get to watch Bluey on Saturdays ever. I was hoping to turn this “problem” into something useful for Eagles fans, so I started compiling a list of players, one from every Power 5 team plus some Group of 5 and FCS prospects too, that I think the Birds should at least kick the tires on come draft weekend. (where available, measurements are from the NFL Combine)

PREVIOUSLY: B1G prospects | SEC prospects | ACC prospects | Big 12 prospects

Here is the next conference of prospects to take a look at, the Pac-12!

Arizona: S Christian Young, 6-foot-3, 225 pounds (7th round)

  • 2022 stats: 76 tackles (6.5 TFL), 0.5 sacks, 2 passes defended, 1 fumble recovery
  • 2022 honors: none that I could find
  • My first go around looking for Pac-12 prospects that might interest the Eagles left me with nobody from Arizona. After looking a little harder I found Christian Young, a solid if unspectacular safety for the Wildcats. Young has great size for a safety and was used in the box for run support regularly at Arizona. He is also extremely fast, and was even recruited to run track by Texas State before deciding on football. Take a late round flier on a guy who could be a special teams dynamo and potentially a rotational safety in a couple of years? Why not!

Arizona State: LB Merlin Robertson, 6-foot-3, 235 pounds (7th round)

  • 2022 stats: 83 tackles (5 TFL), 2.5 sacks, 1 pass defended, 1 forced fumble
  • 2022 honors: All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention
  • Robertson is nothing if not durable. He finished his career having played 3,305 career snaps, the most among active linebackers in FBS, and had 49 career starts. The Sun Devils played Wisconsin in a bowl game two years ago and I heard Robertson’s name called multiple times, as he racked up seven tackles, but also because the first name “Merlin” is cool. He is the kind of guy who maximizes all of his talent and is a “high floor/low ceiling” type. He isn’t great in coverage but is a stout run defender. He’s another guy that could stick around as a special teamer and maybe develop into something more.

Cal: S Daniel Scott, 6-foot-1, 208 pounds (7th round)

  • 2022 stats: 85 tackles (2.5 TFL), 3 interceptions, 7 passes defended, 2 forced fumbles
  • 2022 honors: All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention
  • Sometimes, and this is rare, there are people who know more than me about a certain prospect. In this particular case my pal Nam Le (written about Cal football for over a decade at Cal Golden Blogs and Cal’s Rivals site) knows way more about Scott than I do. Here is his (admittedly biased) report: “Scott gives you great athleticism (4.45 40 in Indy; 3rd among safeties by’s athleticism score metric), size (6’1, 208), willing physicality and general ranginess; despite lining up all over the place for the Bears, my guess is he’ll probably play free safety (or field, if your team’s system uses that designation instead) and be a contributor on special teams at the next level. He’s been on the end of several lowlights too – some slips and falls, some coverage busts his senior year – but overall you’re getting an absolute favorite of Cal fans and someone who should give good depth.”
COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 05 Oregon at Cal Photo by Bob Kupbens/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

My one addition is to note that Scott is old for an NFL draft pick. He’ll turn 25 during the season and, as such, a lot of teams might not want to “waste” a pick on him but I think he brings enough to the table as a utility defensive back/special teams maniac that he could be worth a late round pick.

Colorado: ?????

  • I don’t know man, I couldn’t find any Colorado prospects even IN the draft this year. I’d imagine new head coach Deion Sanders will change that with a quickness.

Oregon: LB Noah Sewell, 6-foot-1.5, 246 pounds (2nd/3rd round)

  • 2022 stats: 56 tackles (5.5 TFL), 1.5 sacks, 1 interception, 5 passes defended, 1 fumble recovery; 1 rush, 1 yard, 1 touchdown
  • 2022 honors: 1st Team All-Pac 12 (Phil Steele), 2nd Team All-Pac-12 (coaches, AP), 3rd Team All-Pac-12 (PFF)
  • The younger brother of Detroit Lions Pro Bowl OT Penei Sewell, Noah was a standout football player for Oregon in his own right. It’s so weird to talk about players like this, because they obviously are ALL very athletic, but Sewell lacks some of the high-end athleticism teams might want in the NFL. He is a great tackler and is also very strong, especially against the run, but he might only be a two-down linebacker in the pros. 25 years ago, Sewell would’ve been a no doubt first rounder but alas…we don’t possess the technology to transport him there.

Oregon State: TE Luke Musgrave, 6-foot-6, 253 pounds (2nd round)

  • 2022 stats: 11 catches, 169 yards (15.4 ypc), 1 touchdown
  • 2022 honors: N/A
COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 03 Boise State at Oregon State
  • Musgrave suffered a knee injury after just two games in his junior season, which derailed the hot start he was having. The comparison for Musgrave is Dallas Goedert and when watching his tape you can certainly see some similarities. They are basically the same size; Goedert is a “skilled unicyclist” while Musgrave was a high school champion downhill skier; and, uh, they both play tight end. Musgrave is extremely athletic and has the frame to still add a little bit of weight if needed to handle blocking NFL edge rushers. This would be a bit of a luxury pick for the Birds, but if there is no one else they like in round two…maybe taking the best available player is a good idea.

Stanford: CB Kyu Blu Kelly, 6-foot-0, 191 pounds (3rd round)

  • 2022 stats: 35 tackles, 6 passes defended
  • 2022 honors: 2nd Team All-Pac-12 (coaches, Phil Steele)
  • Kelly’s father, Brian, played football at USC and then 11 years in the NFL (Tampa Bay and Detroit), so he has been around the game since birth. He has good size for a corner and breaks up a lot of passes (he had 13 in 2021 and 26 for his career), but he isn’t exactly a burner nor is he particularly useful in run support. At the top end of his potential I’d wager he’d be a rotational corner that can fill in if injuries hit.

UCLA: RB Zach Charbonnet, 6-foot-0, 214 pounds (3rd round)

  • 2022 stats: 195 carries, 1,359 yards (7.0 ypc), 14 touchdowns; 37 catches, 321 yards (8.7 ypc)
  • 2022 honors: 1st Team All-America (all purpose player, FWAA), 2nd Team All-America (all purpose player, AP, PFF, Sporting News); 1st Team All-Pac-12 (running back), 2nd Team All-American (running back, CBS Sports)
  • If the Eagles don’t take Texas RB Bijan Robinson in the first round, Charbonnet would be a nice value pick in the third round. He started his career at Michigan, where he was successful but ultimately passed on the depth chart, and then transferred west for two highly productive seasons with the Bruins. He is a physical runner with more speed than you’d think and he is also productive catching the ball out of the backfield and picking up blitzes. While the Birds aren’t in dire need of a tailback, grabbing a young one to sit behind Rashaad Penny, Kenneth Gainwell, and Boston Scott should be something they do.

USC: EDGE Tuli Tuipulotu, 6-foot-3, 266 pounds (2nd round)

  • 2022 stats: 46 tackles (22 TFL), 13.5 sacks, 3 passes defended, 2 forced fumbles
  • 2022 honors: Unanimous 1st Team All-American; 1st Team All-Pac-12; Morris Trophy (best DL/OL in Pac-12); Pat Tillman DPOY (best defender in Pac-12)
  • The younger brother of Eagles DL Marlon Tuipulotu, Tuli had an outstanding 2022 season for the Trojans. He was the best defensive player in the Pac-12 and basically lived in opposing backfields all season. His listed weight on USC’s site is about 30 pounds heavier than what he weighed in during the NFL Combine. At his higher weight he played inside on the d-line for the Trojans but with his new, slimmed-down look he’s probably looking at mostly being an EDGE rusher in the pros. He is extremely strong and his highlights are fun to watch as he just devours quarterbacks on a regular basis.

Utah: CB Clark Phillips III, 5-foot-9, 184 pounds (2nd round)

  • 2022 stats: 24 tackles (2 TFL), 1 sack, 6 interceptions, 12 passes defended, 2 touchdowns
  • 2022 honors: Unanimous 1st Team All-American; 1st Team All-Pac-12 (coaches, AP); AP Pac-12 DPOY; Jim Thorpe Award (best DB in nation) finalist
  • Phillips is one of those dudes who just makes plays. He started all 31 games he played at Utah and picked off nine passes, four of which he returned for a touchdown. The Utes play a pleasing, smash-mouth style of football on both sides of the ball and, despite his short stature, Phillips was usually leading the charge in the physicality department. He could absolutely be an excellent nickelback for the Eagles and I’d love for them to take him.

Washington: IOL Henry Bainivalu, 6-foot-6, 306 pounds (7th round)

  • 2022 stats: 50 games (31 starts, RG and LG)
  • 2022 honors: 2nd Team All-Pac-12 (AP); 3rd Team All-Pac-12 (PFF); Honorable Mention All-Pac-12 (coaches)
  • Bainivalu is a massive interior offensive lineman prospect that was a multi-year starter for the Huskies. He can play either guard spot but he isn’t outstanding at run or pass blocking, making him a definite project. If the Eagles want to take a roll of the dice with a player who has the correct size and knowledge of the position, but needs to improve his athleticism…Bainivalu is your guy!

Washington State: LB Daiyan Henley, 6-foot-1, 225 pounds (3rd round)

  • 2022 stats: 106 tackles (12 TFL), 4 sacks, 1 interception, 2 passes defended, 3 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries; 1 reception, 36 yards (because why not, right?)
  • 2022 honors: 2nd Team All-America (College Football News); 1st Team All-Pac-12 (linebacker); 2nd Team All-Pac-12 (all-purpose/special teams player); Butkus Award (best LB in nation) finalist
COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 10 Washington State at Wisconsin
Daiyan Henley could point at whoever he wanted in Camp Randall Stadium after beating the Badgers.
Photo by Dan Sanger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
  • Henley transferred to Wazzu for his final season of eligibility after a five-year career at Nevada where he started out as a wide receiver before switching to defense permanently as a junior. Henley was an absolute dynamo for the Cougars last year. In their upset win over Wisconsin, Henley was all over the field making nine tackles (1.5 TFL) and generally causing havoc for Wisconsin’s (admittedly inept) offense. He is fast and tough and hasn’t been playing linebacker at the highest level for a super-long time, so there might be some room for growth too. Worst case scenario for him is becoming an ace special teamer.

Others: RB Nakia Watson (6-foot-0, 223 pounds, Washington State); WR Jake Bobo (6-foot-4, 206 pounds, UCLA); CB Mekhi Blackmon (5-foot-11, 178 pounds, USC); ILB Mohamoud Diabete (6-foot-5, 222 pounds, Utah)

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