March 15, 2017
The NFL Combine is in the books, and free agency has died out, which is a good time to collect those page views with mock drafts. Yesterday, we published our Eagles-only mock draft, version 3.0.
Here's who some of the national guys see the Eagles taking in round one:
The Eagles upgraded the receiver spot in free agency, and now they need to address the cornerback position in the draft.
#JimmySays: I know a number of you will look at White and go, "But he's not rated that highly in most places." I personally believe he is being undervalued by the media, and is worthy of a high pick.
The Eagles have surrounded second-year quarterback Carson Wentz with weapons on offense, but adding a versatile threat like McCaffrey is something that should frighten the rest of the NFC East.
#JimmySays: The Eagles haven't drafted a running back in the first round since they took Keith Byars in 1986. Meanwhile, teams that employed Joe Douglas drafted a running back every single year from 2006 to 2016. Every year. None were drafted in the first round, one was drafted in the second, and one was drafted in the third. The other nine were taken in rounds four to seven. Five of them made the Pro Bowl. While Douglas wasn't necessarily calling the shots in each of those drafts, he sure as hell has seen a lot of late-round running backs have success in the NFL. In other words, I don't see the Eagles taking any back in the first round, whether that be Leonard Fournette, Dalvin Cook, or McCaffrey.
With last year’s starting cornerbacks (Leodis McKelvin and Nolan Carroll) playing elsewhere in 2017, the Eagles will be looking hard at this position in free agency and the draft. Humphrey is an NFL legacy player with a rare combination of size (6-0, 197 pounds) and speed (4.41), who at just 20-years old appears to be just scratching the surface of his potential.
#JimmySays: Humphrey was the pick in our Eagles-only mock draft, version 2.0, mostly for the reasons cited by Rang.
Davis revealed at the combine that he needs surgery, but he should be ready in time for mini-camp. The Eagles gave Carson Wentz some options at receiver with Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith, but Jeffery is only on a one-year deal, so adding a long-term starter at the position isn’t out of the question.
#JimmySays: I agree that the acquisitions of Jeffery and Smith don't mean that the Eagles won't take a wide receiver in the first round.
This feels like it might be too low for Ross after he ran the fastest recorded 40 in combine history. But if the Eagles miss out on the DeSean Jackson sweepstakes and Ross is here, it would make total sense.
#JimmySays: Ross was the pick in our Eagles-only mock draft, version 3.0. To my surprise, that pick was largely pooped upon. For those of you who don't like Ross, I hate to break it to you but he is absolutely going to get strong consideration from the Eagles at pick No. 14, as he should.
While Torrey Smith is someone opposing defenses have to respect as deep threat, we're talking about a guy who ran a 4.41 when he competed at the Combine, and has been in the league for six years. Ross ran a freaking 4.22. That is a whole different ball game in terms of speed. There's a big difference between opposing defenses having to respect the deep ball, and fearing it so much that they park their safeties 20 yards off the line of scrimmage, like they used to do when the Eagles had DeSean Jackson.
Yes, there are injury concerns, but this is the most explosive player in the draft.
The Eagles may be high on last year’s seventh-round corner Jalen Mills, who played in 16 games and started two last year, but after cutting Leodis McKelvin and letting Nolan Carroll walk in free agency, Philly’s top priority needs to be addressing depth at the position. Picking White here is a nice start. The LSU product drew praise from Philadelphia vice president of player personnel Joe Douglas at the Senior Bowl, and he has the size, speed, and confidence to start from day one. He could factor into the Eagles’ return game early on, too.
#JimmySays: Again, this is a perfectly reasonable pick. I will note, however, that when Douglas raved about White, he also raved about every other player he was asked about directly as well.
If Sidney Jones was healthy, I would have projected him here. Conley is a name drawing more buzz as the process goes along.
#JimmySays: I like Conley too, however, my sense is that there will probably be better players available when the Eagles pick at 14. I don't think they'll force a cornerback just because it's their most glaring need, but I certainly understand why Josh slated him here.
Continuing to move up draft boards after a strong combine, Thomas will fit well in Philadelphia where he can use his outstanding run-stopping ability at defensive end before kicking inside to rush the passer. Thomas was the best run defender in college football last season, finishing at 92.0 overall and improving as a pass-rusher to rank seventh among the nation’s interior defensive linemen, at 86.5.
#JimmySays: Thomas is not going to be there at 14.
The Philadelphia Eagles offense has the potential to be dynamic, but it's missing one piece. Running back remains a void even with veterans Darren Sproles and Ryan Mathews on the roster.
After the organization signed both Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith to upgrade a subpar wide receiver corps, the offense now features legitimate weapons on the outside along with Jordan Matthews out of the slot and Zach Ertz at tight end.
Second-year quarterback Carson Wentz should be extremely happy. Although, he still requires a consistent presence out of the backfield.
Stanford's Christian McCaffrey is a dynamic multipurpose weapon equally dangerous as a runner, receiver and returner. The running back provided one of the best workouts at the NFL combine, too. He posted a 4.48-second 40-yard dash, 37.5-inch vertical and 10'1" broad jump.
Adrian Peterson is the last first-round running back to provide those kind of athletic numbers, per ESPN Stats & Info (via Stanford Football).
#JimmySays: Earlier we noted the Eagles' as well as Joe Douglas' draft history in regard to running backs. That's certainly not the only reason for our thinking that the Eagles are not going to take a running back in the first round. There's way more.
The Eagles brought in veteran wide receivers Torrey Smith and Alshon Jeffery, so that should eliminate that position as the team’s top need. Wilson’s size and ability to play the ball make him a hot commodity.
#JimmySays: I like Wilson too, but not this high. There will be better players available.
After adding two receivers in free agency, the Eagles now assuredly won’t draft a receiver in round one. Cornerback remains their biggest need and they’ll have plenty of options. Humphrey is a top-three cornerback in this class.
#JimmySays: I'll respectfully disagree that wide receiver is off the table for the Eagles in the first round, but I have no complaints with the pick, and agree he's a top three corner in this draft.
The Eagles filled their holes at wide receiver in free agency, so they can turn to defense with this pick. Tabor would step in immediately at cornerback.
#JimmySays: Tabor ran a 4.62 at the Combine. No way he goes this high.
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