It’s never too early to take a look at next year’s draft class and so I’ve come up with four names that the Eagles may be looking at come draft time. I “draft” based on a mix of both need and the best player available, so every player on this list would help fill a hole and give the Eagles a shot at some of the more talented players in each draft round. Keep in mind that while every player here should be available late in the round (where I think the Eagles will be picking), draft stock and team need will rise and fall as both the college and professional season continues. Finally, while the Eagles will have multiple picks in at least one of these rounds, I’m sticking to one pick per round because it’s so early.
Round One: Isaiah Ford, Wide Receiver – I’ve been a proponent of the Eagles going for a cornerback in round one since I first started looking at this draft class; but as Matt Miller points out, Isaiah Ford might be too perfect of a pick for the Eagles to pass up. At 6’1” and 190 pounds, Ford is fast. He will fill the roll of a field stretcher the Eagles desperately need extremely well. While he lacks the “go up and get it” ability to catch contested balls, his speed and incredible footwork paired with Wentz’s deep ball accuracy would make a deadly combination. What’s more, he pairs well with the skill sets of Jordan Matthews and Nelson Agholor. Adding Ford here would allow the Eagles to target every level of the field well. Isaiah Ford would give the Eagles a trio of starting receivers who can operate at every level of the field.
Round Two: Marshon Lattimore, Cornerback – The Eagles need a playmaker at cornerback, and this is the time to find one. In a draft full of corner talent, Marshon Lattimore is an interesting target. At 6’0 even and 190 pounds, Lattimore has a good combination of size and speed. His coverage skills are good, and he’s got a nose for the ball. His vision and hips are both good enough to compete for a job and possibly start. Lattimore is a name to watch as the year goes by, and if the Eagles wait till round two to take a CB, expect Lattimore to be a target of interest.
Round Three: Ryan Anderson, Outside Linebacker – Given the sloppy play of Mychal Kendricks recently, the Eagles need another linebacker to complement the dangerous duo that is Jordan Hicks and Nigel Bradham. Ryan Anderson could be that guy. Coming in at 6’2” and 253 pounds, Anderson has the size, speed, and ability to be an early second round pick. He’ll drop because of off the field concerns, but there’s a lot to like about his on-field ability. A great pass rusher and run stopper, Anderson isn’t exactly the cream on the crop when it comes to coverage, and he may have some struggles moving from Alabama’s defense into the Wide-Nine defense that Schwartz likes to use. Still, Anderson could be the missing piece of the puzzle for the Eagles linebacker corps, and would be a strong third round pick.
Round Four: Jon Heck, Offensive Tackle – Jon Heck is definitely a project type of pick. While he plays tackle, his long arms and overall slowness may mean he projects better as a guard in the NFL. However, Heck is very well suited to deal with bull rushers, with good size at 6’6” with a 300-pound frame and long arms. Heck would bring versatility and size to an offensive line that has solid starters already in place.