It has been one hell of a ride this draft season following the Philadelphia Eagles. We have seen the attention go from Ronnie Stanley to Jack Conklin to Ezekiel Elliot and now it’s pretty much a lock that the Eagles will get their franchise quarterback prospect in Carson Wentz.
The Eagles have seven picks in total, but lost this year’s second(Bradford trade) along with a third and fourth(Browns trade). They did however acquire an extra fifth from the Brandon Boykin trade and an extra seventh from the Matt Barkley trade.
The Eagles could acquire an extra day two pick if they are able to trade Sam Bradford on Friday, but that seems very unlikely with Bradford limiting the teams he is willing to be traded for and simply because he isn’t very good. I think it’s more likely he is traded closer to training camp and I also think there is zero change he is an Eagle this season. His agent his completely torched that bridge. There is a better chance he retires.
But enough about spoiled rich kids wanting things handed to them, let’s get to my one and only 7 round Eagles mock draft.
1st Round, 2nd Overall: Carson Wentz QB/North Dakota State- There will be no drama on Thursday night. This is who I would take, who the Eagles want to take and who the Eagles will take. The LA Rams have been locked in on Jared Goff since they decided to trade up. Goff knows that, the Eagles know that and the entire league knows that. They only reason this isn’t made public yet is because the tv networks want you to think there could be some drama with the first overall pick.
I’ll be honest, I wasn’t seeing the hype when I first watched Wentz’s tape. He wasn’t connecting with his deep ball and he was leading receivers consistently enough. He also hadn’t shown the ability to anticipate throws and throw his receivers open. But that’s the thing with Wentz, you have to keep studying his tape because he just keeps getting better. Halfway thru his 2015 tape his deep ball was outstanding and his ball placement was much more consistent. Then you get to the FCS championship game against Jacksonville State and all you see is him making elite anticipation throws and finding ways to throw his receivers open.
Wentz is a perfect fit for the Eagles because he comes from a west coast offense, is used to playing in a cold weather region(even if he did play his home games in a dome) and already has an NFL ready body. I don’t think his adjustment to the NFL is going to be that long. I even think there is an outside shot he is ready to start Week 1 this year, though I believe the coaching staff has zero desire to rush him in.
Third Round, 79th Overall: Paul Perkins RB/UCLA- If Perkins is available at this pick(most projections state that he will) Howie Roseman should run full speed to the podium and make this pick himself. Perkins is what I call a five tool back. He has speed, quickness, vision, power and is a very dangerous receiver. He’s also the second beast pass-blocking back in this draft, only behind Zeke Elliot.
The best way I can describe Perkins is that he is the good version of LeSean McCoy all the time. You get the vision and elite cutting ability that McCoy had without the inconsistent vision or poor ball security. Of all the running backs I scouted, Perkins was ranked third overall and he was one of eight running backs I believe can get 1,000 yards in their rookie season in the right situation. For Perkins, he just needs the touches.
5th Round, 153rd Overall: Alex Lewis OT/Nebraska- I admit I feel like this is cheating, mocking Lewis in the 5th, but this is where he has been most consistently projected at. I’m a big fan of his and apparently so are the Eagles who brought him in for a private visit.
Athletically and physically he is very similar to Ronnie Stanley. Same height and weight, but Lewis had better 10 yard split, 3-cone and short shuttle times. That’s were the similarities end. Lewis is a mauler who will develop into a very good right tackle. Outside of Jack Conklin, no other tackle prospect finishes their blocks as much as Lewis does.
I don’t think Lewis has the quickness of the snap to handle the left tackle spot, but for the Eagles that’s just fine because Lane Johnson will eventually take over that spot. What they need is a future starting right tackle who can both handle quicker edge rushers and be effective in the run game. Alex Lewis is perfect for that role and he will get 1-2 years to develop before he it becomes a full-time role for him.
5th Round, 164th Overall: Willie Henry DT/Michigan- Henry really surprised me on tape. I remember him being a pretty stout run defender at Michigan, but it’s his versatility and explosion off the snap that really jumped out at me. He was the best player in the Michigan/Michigan State game where he was responsible for two sacks and about 10-15 more disruptive plays.
Henry is a nice player to draft and develop on day 3. He has a very quick first step for a 3oo pound tackle(1.7 10 yard split). He just needs to develop some counter moves when that first step doesn’t get the job done. At the very least he should have a nice impact as a rotational tackle in Schwartz’s defense.
6th Round, 188th Overall: Alex McCalister DE/Florida- A major project late in the draft, but man does this kid have potential. A basketball player who switched to football a couple years ago who was kicked off his team late in the 2015 season.
Right now he is a very raw prospect with a very lean frame, but he is 6’6 with 36 inch arms and has outstanding speed and quickness for his position. He’s going to take time before he can challenge for a full-time gig, but he can have an impact as a rookie in this defense because of the wide-9 DL scheme.
7th Round, 233rd Overall: Quinton Jefferson DT/Maryland- Jefferson is another prospect I would love to bring in for depth on this defensive line. He has an incredibly quick first step for a 290 pound tackle and does a good job of getting low and disengaging with his hands. The reason he will be available this late is because he is 6’3, 290 pounds and isn’t very stout against the run. That means 3-4 teams won’t have much interest and 4-3 teams that utilize a two-gap scheme won’t like him much either.
For the Eagles he is perfect guy to bring in on nickel packages and let him just worry about rushing the passer and getting into the backfield on third downs. He has to get a lot stronger and develop more than just one pass rush move in order to take that next step in his career, but fit wise the Eagles make a ton of sense.
7th Round, 251st Overall: Steven Daniels LB/Boston College- Once you get to the final couple rounds of the draft you are really just looking for players who fit your schemes and can challenge for a roster spot. Steven Daniels is a guy who can come in and challenge for the number two MIKE linebacker spot.
Daniels isn’t a great athlete, but he’s an incredibly smart linebacker who takes proper angles when pursuing and can shed blocks as well as any linebacker in this draft. He is a pure run stuffing linebacker who should also be able to make an immediate impact on special teams.