May 04, 2017
As a reminder of what a fool’s errand “way-too-early” mock drafts are, I present Sports Illustrated’s mock from May 2015. With the first pick of this particular mock draft, the Tennessee Titans selected Shawn Oakman, defensive end from Baylor. Remember all of the memes?
Well, Oakman had a bad following season and then went undrafted after being indicted on charges of second-degree felony sexual assault. So, yeah, that one didn’t quite work out. Also in that particular mock draft:
• No mention of Jared Goff or Carson Wentz, but three QBs were drafted in the first round: Connor Cook, Cardale Jones, and Christian Hackenberg (at No. 6!).
• Jalen Mills, who fell to the Eagles in the seventh round, was drafted at No. 23.
To be clear, I’m not faulting the writer for the mock draft (OK, Hackenberg was a stretch), because so much will change between now and next April. None of these way-too-early mock drafts mean anything, but hey, gotta get them pageviews.
Here is a roundup of who the Eagles selected in the (many) way-too-early mock drafts, with some expert analysis from yours truly:
Bo Scarbrough, RB, Alabama (Todd McShay, ESPN)
If Scarbrough stays healthy, he could be a top-15 pick. He was the best player on the field against Washington and Clemson (before getting hurt) in the College Football Playoff. At 6-foot-2 and 228 pounds, Scarbrough is a load to bring down.
#RichSays: Nicknamed “Morning Bo,” Scarbrough torched Clemson in the title game before getting injured. May not be necessary to draft a running back when Donnel Pumphrey and UDFA Corey Clement shred opposing defenses in 2017, which will obviously happen.
Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State (Chris Burke, SI)
The (very) early expectation is that Barkley will lead the ’18 running back class, carrying the same hype as Ezekiel Elliott or Leonard Fournette. The likely Heisman contender has size and speed. It’ll be difficult for another RB prospect to bump him from the top spot.
#RichSays: Forget everything we said about Sports Illustrated! Unfortunately, Barkley is going to be the top overall pick after winning the Heisman and leading STATE to a national title, which again, will obviously happen.
Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M (Dane Brugler, CBS Sports)
The Eagles' wide receiver depth chart is unsettled after the coming season and Kirk has the versatility to line up all over the formation and stress the defense.
#RichSays: Mike Evans 2.0*
*He plays nothing like Mike Evans
Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU (Steve Palazzolo, Pro Football Focus)
The Eagles will likely still be in the market to add weapons for QB Carson Wentz, and Sutton is has a combination of size and athleticism that shows up on the field. He uses his big, 6-foot-3 frame well, and he caught 45.7 percent of his deep targets last season, seventh-best among returning wide receivers.
#RichSays: Honestly have never heard of this guy. After watching 10 minutes of his YouTube highlights, I have determined he’s not going to drop to the Eagles after they win the Super Bowl, which will obviously happen.
Minkah Fitzpatrick, CB, Alabama (Matt Miller, Bleacher Report)
The early top cornerback in next year's class comes from Alabama and has a different look and skill set than any other corner that's come out of Tuscaloosa under Nick Saban. Minkah Fitzpatrick is a smooth cover man with the hip speed and instincts to profile as a shutdown cornerback on the outside.
#RichSays: How many good defensive backs do Alabama and Ohio State have? Sheesh.
Well, there you have it. And just so everyone is on the same page, we're only 357 days away from the start of the 2018 NFL Draft in (hopefully) Philadelphia.
Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann
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