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April 26, 2017

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

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Tomorrow, Philadelphia will have its close-up as the 2017 NFL Draft gets underway on the Art Museum steps. Always a hectic time on the NFL calendar, there will absolutely be tons of trade rumors and reports flying around the Internet over the next 35 or so hours before Roger Goodell steps to the podium and promptly gets booed.

Will the Cleveland Browns trade from No. 12 up for a quarterback such as Mitch Trubisky? Where will the top two running backs, Christian McCaffrey and Leonard Fournette, end up going? Will Philadelphia sports talk radio finally have to move on from Joe Mixon?

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.

Gareon Conley latest

The Ohio State corner was the name linked to the Eagles most in mock drafts, and the rape accusation will have major ramifications on his draft stock if teams can’t find some answers in an extremely short time. And you would have to imagine the Eagles are hard at work investigating this issue.

According to Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller, the Eagles are high on Conley as a player. In fact, they’re even in love with him:

Every scout or general manager from a rival team I've spoken to expects this to be a cornerback pick. One Philadelphia scout at the combine told me they love Conley. This could be his landing spot.

There have been a few shaky rumors about the Conley situation as teams try to gather info quickly, but one thing is for sure: As we saw with La’el Collins a few years back, there is a lot of money at stake here. Peter King did that math at his website:

Collins ended up signing as a free agent with Dallas. He’s slated to start at left guard on probably the best offensive line in football. If Conley’s stock plummets the way Collins’ did, it could cost him in the range of $10 million. I projected Conley to be the 14th player picked Thursday, Last year’s 14th pick, safety Karl Joseph, signed a four-year, $11.6-million contract with Oakland. Collins, as a prime free agent with a very different back story, signed for three years and $1.6 million.

King reported that two evaluators told him Conley “had a spotless record in their pre-draft research.”

Foster dropping?

Reuben Foster is an extremely talented linebacker from Alabama that had a pretty rough pre-draft process off the field. First, he was booted from the NFL Combine because of a “heated argument” he had with a hospital worker in Indianapolis. Foster also tested positive for a diluted urine sample.

The Eagles have much bigger holes on the roster than linebacker, but if you subscribe to the idea of taking the best player available and figuring everything out later, Foster could end up being that guy if he falls to 14 because of off-field issues.

Over at ESPN Insider, Todd McShay wrote an excellent roundup of all the NFL draft buzz and he’s reporting that Foster’s rumored floor might be lower than where the Eagles are picking. Roseman and Douglas would then have an interesting decision if Foster is still on the draft board:

One person I spoke to said the Indianapolis Colts could end up being the parachute pick for Foster at No. 15 overall, given how they're trying to overhaul the defensive side of the ball. If he doesn't go there, the Redskins two picks later could be in play.

Quarterbacks rising?

The more quarterbacks that get drafted before 14, the better. Well, that’s the case as far as the Eagles are concerned. This is the benefit of trading up for Carson Wentz last season, as the Eagles are likely set at the game’s most important position for the near future.

At The MMQB, Albert Breer put out a rumor that three QBs could be drafted that high:

I wouldn't necessarily call it a likelihood, but there’s a chance Mitchell Trubisky, DeShaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes all go in the Top 15.

For what it’s worth, Miller also reported in his latest draft buzz that a high-level executive also expects three quarterbacks to go in the Top-15.

No Mixon in New York

Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon has been debated in Philadelphia for a solid two months now. Our own Eagles expert Jimmy Kempski reported that Mixon is still on the Eagles big board and even pegged him to the Birds in his final mock draft.

But according to NFL.com, you can cross a few teams off the list of possible Mixon destinations, the New York Jets and New York Giants:

It's anyone's guess where Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon winds up, but it won't be with the Jets or Giants. After Gang Green general manager Mike Maccagnan came out strong this week on the subject of domestic violence, NFL Network's Kimberly Jones reported Tuesday that Mixon "will not be a New York Jet when this draft is over."

Jones then said Mixon -- who was involved in an ugly domestic violence incident at Oklahoma -- "will not be a New York Giant, either," noting that it would be "impossible for me to imagine" Giants ownership adding a player "who, on video, has punched a woman."


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