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January 09, 2020

Eagles-only 2020 mock draft, version 1.0

Eagles NFL
010920TeeHiggins Bob Donnan/USA TODAY Sports

Clemson WR Tee Higgins

As a reminder, the Eagles are projected to have 10 draft picks this year, with two in the third round, and three in the fourth, depending on how compensatory pick projections go.

Round 1: Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson (6'4, 215)

Higgins is a tall receiver with a huge catch radius who aggressively attacks 50-50 balls and makes plays with his speed down the field. His numbers:

Tee Higgins Catches Yards YPC TD 
 201717 345 20.3 
 201859 936 15.9 12 
 201956 1115 19.9 13 

Note those yards per catch numbers. A highlight reel:

I believe that the perception among Eagles fans is that they must find a "burner" this offseason, and I wouldn't necessarily disagree. While Higgins certainly has speed, he's not your classic burner. More accurately in terms of the Eagles' wide receiver position, in my opinion, the Eagles need everything, since they really don't have anything they can feel good about long-term.

Higgins would be an asset both in the red zone, which the Eagles seem to prioritize, as well as in between the 20's, where the offense plodded along slowly all season after they lost DeSean Jackson.

Round 2: Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU (6'0, 183)

Gladney appeared at No. 13 on Bruce Feldman's freaks list this past offseason:

The top cover man in the Big 12, Gladney had the lowest passer rating allowed (46.9), according to PFF and had a team-high 13 pass breakups, which placed second in the Big 12. The 185-pound Gladney isn’t just extremely fast — he ran a 4.34 in the 40 this offseason — but he’s insanely strong for his size. According to the Horned Frogs staff, he squats 620 pounds, benches 400 and cleans 400.

In 2018, Gladney had 41 tackles and two picks to go along with the aforementioned 13 pass breakups. In 2019, he had 14 pass breakups. A highlight reel:

Not only is Gladney perhaps a corner who can run down the field with big-league receivers, but his work in the weight room will give him a better chance of staying healthy than most of the corners already on the Eagles' roster. As you see in the video above, Gladney is a willing and able tackler, who also played on special teams for TCU.

Round 3: Antoine Winfield Jr., S, Minnesota (5'10, 205)

I loved Winfield's father as a player when he was still in the league. He was an undersized corner, but tough as hell, and a playmaker. The younger Winfield, who plays safety, is a playmaker too, as he had seven INTs in 2019, fourth in the nation, to go along with two forced fumbles, with some of those plays coming in big moments or big games.

Like his father, Winfield is undersized, which the Eagles don't seem to care much about at safety. I think he fits 
in the Rodney McLeod role in the Eagles' defense.

Round 3 (compensatory): Zack Moss, RB, Utah (5'11, 222)

Moss is in the same mold as Eagles backs past and present like Jay Ajayi (2017 version) and Jordan Howard, in that he's more of a power guy who finishes his runs. A look:

For a power guy, Moss had a good yards per carry average over his last two season, though there could be concerns about Utah putting a lot of mileage on Moss' odometer the last three seasons. His career numbers:

Zack Moss Rush Yards YPC TD 
 201684 382 4.5 
 2017214 1173 5.5 10 
 2018179 1096 6.1 11 
 2019235 1416 6.0 15 

Moss could be a long-term power complement to the explosive Miles Sanders.

Round 4: Rashard Lawrence, DT, LSU (6'2, 308)

Lawrence had good numbers in 2018, when he had 54 tackles (10 for loss), four sacks, and three batted passes. Had he declared for the NFL Draft, he probably would have gone on Day 2, or early on Day 3 in a loaded D-line draft. Instead, he stayed at LSU for his senior season, got his ankle rolled up on early in the season, and has experienced a down-tick in production as a result. 

With one game to play, he only has 25 tackles (five for loss), 2.5 sacks, and three batted passes, though he did save his best game of the season (four tackles, a half sack, and two batted passes) for LSU's huge win over Alabama.

I think he fits Jim Schwartz's scheme as a rotational penetrating DT, but would have concerns with his ability to take on double teams in the run game.

Round 4 (compensatory): Alex Taylor, OT, South Carolina State (6'9, 310)

Taylor is a long, lean offensive tackle with good athleticism (he is a former basketball star) who will be competing at the Senior Bowl this year. Here he is against USF:

Of course, the Eagles drafted Andre Dillard, and they just gave Lane Johnson a monster contract extension, so they're set at both starting tackle spots for the foreseeable future. However, with Jason Peters likely moving on this offseason (I mean, right?), Halapoulivaati Vaitai potentially leaving in free agency, and Jordan Mailata not showing any significant progress this past offseason, the Eagles could be in the market for a Day 3 swing tackle.

Taylor's stock could rise in Mobile, but for now we'll project him here.

Round 4 (compensatory): Dane Jackson, CB, Pittsburgh (6'0, 190)

I was made aware of Jackson by a friend of mine who covers the team, who thinks Jackson reminds him quite a bit of Jalen Mills, in that he's an overconfident corner who is excellent in run support (four FF in 2018), but may have some speed limitations. I don't know what this says about me, but after watching him, I kinda like him.

Assuming Jim Schwartz is still the defensive coordinator this draft season, I'm pretty sure he'll like this guy.

Round 5: Logan Wilson, LB, Wyoming (6'2, 250)

A year ago, a prospect who made sense for the Eagles, because of their prioritizing of coverage skills at the linebacker position, was Wisconsin's T.J. Edwards, who had 10 career INTs, to go along with other impressive numbers.

This year, a linebacker prospect who makes sense for them is Wilson, whose physical measurements, production, and stats look a lot like Edwards':

Career College stats Tackles (TFL) Sacks INT (PBU) FF-FR 
 T.J. Edwards, Wisconsin (6'1, 244)366 (37.5) 10 (15) 1-1 
 Logan Wilson, Wyoming (6'2, 250)402 (33.5) 10 (14) 5-4 

Here's a little more about him:

Wilson would make sense for the Eagles early on Day 3, or higher if he tests well at the NFL Combine.

Round 5: Cohl Cabral, C, Arizona State (6'5, 304)

To begin, Cohl Cabral is an awesome name that sounds like a bad guy in a kids cartoon, so there's that. He also fits the profile of a versatile offensive lineman that the Eagles look for in the draft. As a sophomore in 2017, Cabral was the starting left tackle. In 2018, he moved to center. In 2019, because of the absence of ASU's left tackle, Cabral had to move back to left tackle.

Cabral's future in the NFL will likely be at center, but he has the length, smarts, and experience to play multiple positions along the offensive line. That kind of player makes sense for the Eagles, who need interior OL depth in the short term, and an eventual replacement for Jason Kelce at center in the long term.

Round 6: Marquez Callaway, WR, Tennessee (6'2, 204)

Callaway is a speed receiver whose talents may have been wasted to some degree in Tennessee's offense. His production there wasn't great overall, but his yards per catch average should appeal to the Eagles, especially his 21.2 YPC in 2019.

Marquez Callaway Rec Yards YPC TD 
 201613 13.0 
 201724 406 16.9 
 201837 592 16.0 
 201930 635 21.2 

While the numbers aren't where you'd like them to be, Callaway's talent is still pretty clear, as he made more than his share of spectacular plays:

An added bonus is that Callaway brings some return ability to the table, as he has three career punt return TDs on 39 opportunities, and a 13.8 career punt return average. Here's one against South Carolina: 

The Eagles haven't had a threat at punt returner since "Chip Kelly era Darren Sproles." I think Callaway makes sense late on Day 3, as an immediate special teams contributor, and developmental receiver.

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