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February 27, 2018

5 players the Eagles could select with their first round pick: Offense edition

Eagles NFL
022618SonyMichel Jason Getz/USA TODAY Sports

Sony Michel is good.

As you all may know by now, the Philadelphia Eagles won the Super Bowl. It's true. Look it up. As such, however, they'll be picking last in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft, at pick No. 32.

In previous years, it was much easier to pinpoint Eagles targets in the first round. Last year, for example, we had Derek Barnett going to the Birds in our Eagles-only mock draft version 1.0. In 2016, everyone knew the pick would be Carson Wentz, with a few saying it would be Jared Goff. In 2015, Nelson Agholor was a decent bet to be taken at 20th overall.

This year, there will be a bit more dart-throwing when it comes to predicting the Eagles' first round pick. Still, we'll note 5 guys on offense who would make some sense. Later today, we'll pick out 5 defenders.

Sony Michel, RB, Georgia (5'11, 215)

Michel's numbers aren't what they could be because he has had to split time with Nick Chubb at Georgia. And yet, despite splitting carries, Michel still finished with over 1220 rushing yards in 2017. A quick look:

Sony Michel Rush Yards YPC TD 
 201464 410 6.4 
 2015219 1161 5.3 
 2016152 840 5.5 
 2017156 1227 7.9 16 


Here's a highlight reel from Michel's 2015 season, when Chubb went down:


Michel is a hard, elusive runner with receiving and pass protection ability, which will obviously appeal to the Eagles.

Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M (5'11, 200)

Kirk has been a productive receiver since he arrived at Texas A&M, where he put up over 1000 yards as a receiver his freshman year in a crowded wide receiver room that included players like Josh Reynolds (a fourth-round pick of the Rams), Ricky Seals-Jones (now playing for the Cardinals), and Speedy Noil (a former No. 21 overall recruit out of high school, via Rivals.com).

Kirk's numbers at Texas A&M:

Christian Kirk Rec Yards YPC TD 
 201580 1009 12.6 
 201683 928 11.2 
 201771 919 12.9 10 
 TOTAL186 2201 11.8 26 


At 5'11, 200 pounds, Kirk is built more like a running back. Think Josh Huff, but with actual receiving ability, as in, polished routes and good hands. In the NFL, he probably projects to the slot, but he can be a great one.

In addition to his receiving ability, Kirk is a star returner. Through 31 career college games, he already has 7 return touchdowns (6 punt returns, 1 kick return). You can see some of those returns here:


With Darren Sproles likely not returning to the Eagles in 2018 and Donnel Pumphrey having shown next to nothing in the way of a viable return candidate last offseason, the Eagles could (and should) be looking to add one.

Additionally, Kirk could fill the role that the Eagles were perhaps trying to carve out for Pumphrey and Huff, as a versatile weapon in the passing game who could get occasional carries on end arounds and in the backfield, similarly to the way the Chiefs use Tyreek Hill.

The difference would be that Kirk is a legitimate receiver and returner, with the ability to catch the football, break tackles, and get yards after the catch. The only question would be if the Eagles were willing to use a high pick on a slot receiver, especially with current slot receiver Nelson Agholor finally producing.

Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame (6'8, 315)

McGlinchey is a Philly native who played RT his first two seasons at Notre Dame, but moved to LT in 2016 with Ronnie Stanley having moved on to the NFL. That'll check off some versatility boxes for Doug Pederson, though many feel that McGlinchey's best position in the pros will be at RT.

McGlinchey doesn't have Stanley's power or athleticism (Stanley went sixth overall in 2016), but he has great length and is thought to be technically sound.

Whether Jason Peters returns to the Eagles in 2018 or not (I believe strongly that he will), the Eagles would be smart to have a replacement ready whenever he retires. Halapoulivaati Vaitai has improved steadily during his time with the Eagles, but McGlinchey could solidify two spots in a post-Peters world. I believe he would be an upgrade over Vaitai at a starting spot at OT (left or right), while Vaitai could resume his role as a good reserve swing tackle. 

Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma (6'8, 360)

Brown is an absolutely enormous human being at 6'8, 360, and as you might expect from his size, he moves defensive linemen off the ball against their will, but he is not exactly Lane Johnson, athletically. A quick highlight reel:


I didn't bother profiling Brown all season long in our Grocery Shopping series, because I figured he'd be long gone by the time the Eagles picked. However, it would appear that reviews on Brown are a little more polarizing than I originally thought. 

Tyrell Crosby, OT, Oregon (6'5, 320)

Crosby has been a starter along the Ducks' offensive line for four years dating back to the 2014 season, when Oregon played in the National Championship Game. Like McGlinchey above, he has experience both at left tackle and right tackle, which should interest the Eagles, though I think he can play guard as well.

Here's his game from last year against Virginia:


As you can see in the above video, Crosby puts defenders on their asses. He's powerful in the run game, and very physical both in pass protection and drive blocking. However, it's pretty clear to see that he doesn't exactly have cat-like quickness, which will pose problems against speed rushers in the NFL.

In 2016, Crosby missed most of the season with a foot injury, but he was back in 2017, and played very well.


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