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December 28, 2017

2018 NFL mock draft roundup: Who will the Eagles take in the first round?

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122817_USC-Darnold-Jones Kelvin Kuo/USA TODAY Sports, File

Southern California Trojans quarterback Sam Darnold will be long gone when the Eagles pick – not that they'd take a QB anyway – but running back Ronald Jones II may still be available for them.

After securing the No. 1 overall seed in the NFC playoffs, the Philadelphia Eagles are likely to have one of the last few picks in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft – and if everything goes according to plan, they'll be picking 32nd. When that happens, in addition to fans caring slightly less about the draft, it's nearly impossible to find anything resembling consensus in terms of a strategy.

This year is no different, as football writers from around the country seem to have no idea what the Eagles might do. A few think the Birds should search out a replacement for veteran left tackle Jason Peters, but even they differ on who that replacement should be. Others think they should address the defense, with some suggesting secondary help, some looking at the linebacker position, and some even focusing on the defensive line. 

The only thing it seems they agree on is that the Eagles will not be taking a quarterback. Here's a look at some of the latest NFL mock drafts and what Howie Roseman and Co. might do in the first round

DraftWire | Luke Easterling

Could the Eagles start off by looking for an heir apparent to Jason Peters?

32. Philadelphia Eagles: Chukwuma Okorafor | OT | Western Michigan

The crushing loss of Carson Wentz has made the Eagles’ top priority crystal clear. With Jason Peters aging and coming off a serious injury of his own, Philly has to target his replacement early in this draft. Okorafor is still fairly raw, but has all the tools to develop into a quality starter at left tackle.  [draftwire.usatoday.com]

CBS Sports | Chris Trapasso

The Eagles will definitely have some decisions to make in their backfield this offseason with LeGarrette Blount's contract expiring and Jay Ajayi entering the final year of his – not to mention Darren Sproles, Wendell Smallwood and last year's fourth-round pick Donnel Pumphrey, who has been on IR all season.

32. Philadelphia Eagles: Ronald Jones | RB | USC

The Eagles get Carson Wentz another exquisite piece on offense in Jones, a back capable of battling for yardage between the tackles and speeding around the corner for a 60-yard touchdown.  [cbssports.com]

Bleacher Report | Alec Nathan

There wasn't an explanation for this pick, so we've just put a highlight video there instead... 

32. Philadelphia Eagles: Carlton Davis | CB | Auburn

SB Nation | Dan Kadar

Here's another potential replacement for Peters – assuming he doesn't try to come back from that knee injury.

32. Philadelphia Eagles: Martinas Rankin | OT | Mississippi State

After Jason Peters was lost for the season in October, it was apparent that the Eagles need better depth at offensive tackle. Rankin could assert himself at the Senior Bowl as a first-round pick.  [sbnation.com]

ESPN (In$ider) | Todd McShay

This one is a little old – it's from December 13 – but it's the most recent one we have from ESPN's Todd McShay.

32. Philadelphia Eagles: Rashaan Evans | LB | Alabama

The Eagles have one of the most complete rosters in the NFL, though offensive tackle could be an issue if 35-year-old Jason Peters isn't the same coming back from his knee injury. Another versatile linebacker such as Evans, who has had a strong senior campaign, is a good pick to help bolster an elite defense.  [espn.com]

Walter Football | Walter Cherepinsky

Even more OT speculation means another (different) potential replacement for Peters.

32. Philadelphia Eagles: Kolton Miller | OT | UCLA

The Eagles may never have Jason Peters on the field again after he tore both his ACL and MCL against the Redskins. It's unfortunate for them, but they'll have to find a new offensive tackle to pair with Lane Johnson. 

Kolton Miller had a rough start to his 2017 campaign, but ever since moving from right tackle to the blind side, he's been terrific. He could sneak into the opening round.  [walterfootball.com]

Walter Football | Charlie Campbell

But would the Eagles be reaching by taking an OT so late in the first round, likely after the top-tier talent at that position has already been snatched up?

32. Philadelphia Eagles: Harold Landry | DE | Boston College

The Eagles could use a left tackle, but there isn't one available here worthy of a first-round pick. Vinny Curry has only three sacks this year, and the Eagles could get out of his contract this offseason. With him turning 30 next summer, they could decide to get younger and cheaper with a third edge rusher to go with Derek Barnett and Brandon Graham. 

In 2017, Landry has 38 tackles with 8.5 tackles for a loss, five sacks and two passes broken up. The senior was manhandled by Notre Dame, struggling against a freshman right tackle and, on a few snaps, against left tackle Mike McGlinchey. Landry was moderately better, but still underwhelming, against Clemson.

The 6-foot-3, 250-pound Landry had an impressive junior season as an edge rusher for Boston College, recording 16.5 sacks, 22 tackles for a loss, seven forced fumbles, four passes batted and 51 tackles. He contributed as a sophomore with 60 stops and 4.5 sacks. Landry would fit best as a 3-4 outside linebacker in the NFL.  [walterfootball.com]

SEC Country | Connor Riley

I'm not sure safety is where the Eagles need the most help, but... 

32. Philadelphia Eagles: Ronnie Harrison | S | Alabama

The Eagles appear to be set at corner with Ronald Darby and Jalen Mills, but the secondary is still a weakness. Harrison could help turn that into a strength.  [seccountry.com]

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