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April 27, 2017

2017 NFL Draft: How the latest draft-day rumors and storylines affect the Eagles

This is it. The 2017 NFL Draft gets underway on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway tonight, as Philadelphia hosts the event for the first time since 1961 (well, December 1960 technically). As we inch closer to 8:00 p.m., there will trade rumors and reports aplenty.

And as it turns out, we might a developing situation at the very top of the draft. Here are a few general storylines to keep in mind over the next day when it comes to the Eagles and potential trades and rumors.

Trubisky at 1?

There are quite a few respected NFL reporters pushing the “Mitchell Trubisky to the Cleveland Browns at No. 1” possibility, but let’s stick with the name everybody knows best. Here is what ESPN’s Adam Schefter had to say about the rumor:

“I continue to hear that Mitchell Trubisky is in consideration and may turn out to be the No. 1 pick. Now I know everyone thinks Myles Garrett’s going to be the pick and I won’t be surprised if that’s the case tomorrow night. But I have got very smart, very well-connected people telling me over the last 24 hours they think Mitchell Trubisky is going to be the No. 1 pick.”

ESPN does have the rule where Schefter can’t go all Woj and tweet out first-round picks before they happen, so maybe that is how he’ll go about it. And Schefter is far from the only person to hear this rumor:

Respected Packers writer Bob McGinn also has Trubisky going first overall in his mock draft.

By the way, my funniest draft scenario from a few days ago was the Browns taking Trubisky first after passing on Carson Wentz last year. Please, please let this happen in Philadelphia, where the fans do not forget.

Conley off Eagles’ board?

Ohio State cornerback Gareon Conley is facing a rape accusation, and even if it may seem possible that he’s innocent, there isn’t enough time for NFL teams to be sure of that before the draft. And with such a serious accusation, being sure is absolutely critical. This is not smoking weed out of a gas mask bong.

Conley is probably going to lose a lot of money, according to The MMQB’s Albert Breer:

Before the rape accusation, scuttlebutt in league circles had Conley connected to the Saints at 11, the Eagles at 14 and the Colts at 15. After talking to teams now, it seems likely Conley’s drop will be more precipitous than Tunsil’s, but probably won’t fall out of the draft like Collins.

There’s a chance he falls out of the draft all together, but teams I’ve talked to figured he could land in the third or fourth round now if teams feel comfortable he’ll be cleared. At that point, the upside is you get a potential high-end starter at premium position for a bargain basement price. And if he’s guilty of what he’s been accused, you can cut him without much penalty. The reality is he’s the one paying a price here.

Character is a major factor in the NFL Draft, and it seems like what has teams thinking twice in this situation is Conley’s previous spotless record. That doesn’t mean he isn’t guilty, though. Maybe the Eagles are the team that feels comfortable drafting him during a later round? Or perhaps he falls out of the draft completely a la La’el Collins?

Eagles take McCaffrey?

Christian McCaffrey is considered to be one of biggest risers of the 2017 NFL Draft, but if he falls to 14, there seems to be a lot of reporters who believe the Eagles would take him.’s Lance Zierlein is one of those people who are hearing the Birds in rumors:

I know I've had Christian McCaffrey all over the place in mock drafts, but there is just too much buzz about McCaffrey ending up inside the first 14 picks for it not to happen. Carolina and Philadelphia are the two spots to keep a close eye on, from what I'm hearing.

Mayock has Eagles taking Williams

It’s Mike Mayock’s time to shine, and the longtime Philadelphia-area resident has the Eagles taking Clemson wide receiver Mike Williams with the No. 14 pick in his final mock draft:

Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann

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