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April 17, 2017

Eagles mock draft roundup

Eagles NFL

We're now only 10 days away from the 2017 NFL Draft, so let's take a look in on who the national guys see the Philadelphia Eagles taking in the first round.

Jabrill Peppers, CB/S/LB, Michigan (Rob Rang, CBS)

Given the dynamic pass-catchers the Eagles face annually in the NFC East, addressing a leaky secondary should be among Philadelphia's top priorities. Peppers is a polarizing prospect in the scouting community based in large part because he recorded just one interception over his career at Michigan. However, he is an instinctive, versatile player with the open-field tackling skills and competitive nature to quickly become a fan favorite.

#JimmySays: This would be an awful pick. Yes, Peppers may very be an instinctive, versatile player with tackling skills, but his deficiency is in coverage. That doesn't fix the "leaky secondary" Rang is alluding to.

Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford (Dane Brugler, CBS)

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: McCaffrey can run, he can catch, you can move him all over the formation in the passing game, and he can return kicks and punts, so you don't have to squint too hard to make a comparison to Brian Westbrook. McCaffrey would be a great fit in the Eagles' offense, but if you take him at 14, he better be a huge part of your plans offensively. Is he going to touch the ball 15-20 times per game and stay healthy? Then sure, go ahead and take him. I just don't see that as likely.

Tre'Davious White, CB, LSU (Pete Prisco, CBS)

They have to get an upgrade at corner. White is one of the corners the scouts like more than draftniks.

#JimmySays: I like White too, but that's a reach.

Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford (Will Brinson, CBS)

Some team is going to take McCaffrey and turn him into a monster, and I think the offense Doug Pederson runs fits the profile. Carson Wentz would be a huge offseason winner if the Eagles did this.

#JimmySays: Aaaaand, I think the McCaffrey-to-the-Eagles notion is going to begin to explode over the next week.

Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford (Jared Dubin, CBS)

The Eagles spent a bunch of their free-agent money making their offense more Carson Wentz friendly. Adding a versatile weapon like McCaffrey in the draft amounts to doubling down on that effort. There are few things more important than putting your franchise quarterback in position to succeed.

#JimmySays: That makes three.

Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State (Ryan Wilson, CBS)

Played in the same secondary with Marshon Lattimore and Malik Hooper and started every game the last two seasons, replacing another first-rounder, Eli Apple, who was drafted by the Giants in 2015. At 6-0, 195 pounds, Conley has been compared to Aqib Talib, which would make him a valuable asset for the Eagles in the rough-and-tumble NFC East.

#JimmySays: I've gone from thinking that Conley would be a slight reach at 14 to thinking that he won't be there when the Eagles are on the clock.

Mike Williams, WR, Clemson (Chad Reuter,

Williams helped Deshaun Watson at Clemson, and now is in position to aid Carson Wentz, who is need of more receivers.

#JimmySays: Williams' skill set very closely resembles that of Alshon Jeffery's, so I would be more inclined to see Corey Davis or John Ross, both of whom are extremely close in talent level to Williams, as better fits. Yes, Jeffery is only on a one-year deal, however, the Eagles will have the opportunity to franchise him (or get a long-term deal done with him) at the end of the season if he plays well, as I expect he will. Would it be the worst thing to have two guys like Jeffery in the Eagles' offense? No, but if I'm the Eagles, I'd prefer a receiver who can complement Jeffery's skill set, not mirror it. 

Christian McCaffrey, RB Stanford (Bucky Brooks,

Doug Pederson could transform the Brian Westbrook clone into a star in the Eagles’ offense.

#JimmySays: Four.

Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama (Daniel Jeremiah,

Foster is a tone-setter and would excel in the Eagles' defensive scheme.

#JimmySays: Foster could play the WILL in the Eagles' scheme, with Jordan Hicks staying right where he is in the middle. The Eagles would have to be comfortable with Foster's character.

Charles Harris, DE, Missouri (Josh Norris, Rotoworld)

The Eagles could absolutely take a similar approach to the Panthers last season in terms of multiple corners after round one. Harris will be a top 15 selection and greatly improved his athletic testing at the school’s pro day.

#JimmySays: Harris has an outstanding burst off the snap, a great spin move (both ways), he hustles, he isn't fooled by misdirection, and he has counter moves if his initial pass rush move doesn't work. I can see Harris doing a lot of damage in a wide-nine alignment. On the downside, his Combine performance was dreadful. 

Mike Williams, WR, Clemson (Dan Kadar, SB Nation)

If Williams is there, the Eagles have to strike and come back on positions like cornerback and linebacker later in the draft.

#JimmySays: Again, I think the aim would be to complement Jeffery with another receiver, not mirror him.

Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford (Todd McShay, ESPN)

I love the idea of McCaffrey on the Eagles. Coach Doug Pederson comes from Andy Reid's coaching tree and wants a RB with pass-catching ability. McCaffrey is one of the most polished receiving running backs I've ever studied coming out of college.

#JimmySays: Five.

To note, McShay's mock was three rounds. His second- and third-round picks were Michigan CB Jourdan Lewis and Florida State DE Demarcus Walker. Meh.

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