Opportunity comes knocking for two Eagles

Trevor McNaboe

While thousands of students will have their name called in May at graduation, two Eagles are hopeful to hear their name called in New York City at the NFL Draft.

Seniors Jerick McKinnon and Lavelle Westbrooks both have had stellar collegiate careers at Georgia Southern University that ended with an upset win at the Swamp against the University of Florida.

Now the pair are pursuing their dreams of playing professional football beginning with the invite to the selective and elite NFL Combine that will be hosted in Indianapolis starting Saturday Feb. 22.

McKinnon is known for his versatility and speed that lead him to gain over a thousand yards each in the past two seasons and 3,899 rushing yards in his career.

Despite McKinnon’s lack of an aerial game he transitioned to more of an A-Back his senior year to capitalize off of his athleticism, most notably his 125-yard performance against UF.

“One player to watch for is Jerick McKinnon from Georgia Southern, he can play running back and cornerback. What I’m interested in is his footwork at the Combine,” NFL analyst Mike Mayock in a conference call said.

Lavelle Westbrooks has been a reliable force in the defensive backs unit for the Eagles as he started 41 career games recording over 200 tackles and six career interceptions.

Both players were invited to the 2014 Senior Bowl that took place in late January in Mobile, Ala., and took advantage of the opportunity that was presented to them.

Scouts and GM’s were impressed by McKinnon’s display of power as he ran over Florida State University safety Terrance Brooks during one of the practices leading up to the Senior Bowl.

Along with that, it was Westbrooks coverage ability that impressed scouts, rather than his well-known ability to make tackles.

Both are currently projected to go in the range of sixth or seventh round, however if history tells us anything, just one year ago another GSU player(J.J. Wilcox) was invited to the NFL Combine and boosted his draft stock to the third round after being a projected fourth- or fifth-round pick.