Draft day is finally here. It is arguably the biggest football day during the off-season, and for the Eagles, the stakes are extremely high. The second draft of the Doug Pederson era, the Eagles have the backbone in place to become a serious contender in the next few years. With a franchise quarterback and defensive tackle leading the charge, the Eagles need to make their draft picks count this year. In my final draft piece of the year, you’ll find my top-50 players, some draft rumors I’ve hear, and a final mock draft.

Top 50 players

A quick note, this list is ordered based on on-field talent alone. I use my own numerical grading system and have ordered them based on grades I gave them after watching a minimum of three games a player. While injury or off field concerns factor into my mock drafts, this is simply the 50 highest graded players I watched.

 

  1. Myles Garrett – EDGE
  2. Reuben Foster – LB
  3. Solomon Thomas – EDGE
  4. Jamal Adams – S
  5. Jonathan Allen – DL
  6. Joe Mixon – RB
  7. Mike Williams – WR
  8. Malik Hooker – S
  9. Gareon Conley – CB
  10. Marshon Lattimore – CB
  11. Corey Davis – WR
  12. Sidney Jones – CB
  13. Leonard Fournette – RB
  14. J. Howard – TE
  15. Mitch Trubisky – QB
  16. Christian McCaffery – RB
  17. Charles Harris – EDGE
  18. Quincy Wilson – CB
  19. Haason Reddick – LB
  20. David Njoku – TE
  21. Derek Barnett – EDGE
  22. Ryan Ramczyk – OT
  23. John Ross – WR
  24. Forrest Lamp – OG
  25. Dalvin Cook – RB
  26. Tre’Davious White – CB
  27. Garett Bolles – OT
  28. Deshaun Watson – QB
  29. Taco Charlton – EDGE
  30. Kevin King – CB
  31. Patrick Mahomes – QB
  32. Jabrill Peppers – S
  33. Alvin Kamara – RB
  34. Takkarist McKinley – EDGE
  35. Montravious Adams – DL
  36. Malik McDowell – DL
  37. Jordan Willis – EDGE
  38. Budda Baker – S
  39. Raekwon McMilan – LB
  40. Ryan Anderson – EDGE
  41. Cam Robinson – OT
  42. Jarrad Davis – LB
  43. Chris Godwin – WR
  44. J. Watt – EDGE
  45. Cordrea Tankersly – CB
  46. Chidobe Awuzie – CB
  47. Dan Feeney – OG
  48. Zay Jones – WR
  49. DeShone Kizer – QB
  50. Zach Cunningham – LB

 

Some things I’m hearing

This is something I haven’t don’t before, but I’ve complied a short list of thing I have heard or think might happen on draft day. I won’t include any “said team will pick player x” because that information is rarely accurate, but this is a list of general things you could see on draft day.

  1. Reuben Foster will more than likely fall out of the top-10 – Once pretty much a top-10 lock, Foster could be in free-fall on draft day. My personal feeling is that he might be snagged by the Saints at 11 or the Colts at 15, teams who could use a player of Foster’s caliber on defense. If they pass on him however, expect him to go anywhere between 25-35.
  2. Corey Davis is all over the place – Corey Davis is somewhat of oddball this year. While fans love him and often tout him as the first or second best receiver in this class, not all NFL teams may feel the same way. Even with a recent surgery, Davis is in play to go top 15 and the Eagles are an option to grab him at 14. But there’s also a chance he falls, maybe even out of the first round.
  3. Three QB’s will be taken early on – This is more of a gut feeling than anything, but my guess is we’ll see three QB’s taken before the Eagles pick. The Browns, Bears, Jaguars, Jets, Bills, and cardinals are all teams who could take a QB early.
  4. Marshon Lattimore will still be the first CB drafted – As Joe Douglas said recently, Conley’s rise up public daft boards is the result of public perception catching up to NFL teams. But despite both this and Lattimore’s injury concerns, I still think Lattimore will be the first CB on the board. (Edit, this is slightly more obvious considering the recent sexual assault allegation Gareon Conley is facing.)
  5. Eagles may be targeting Gareon Conley in the 4th round – I’ve heard a rumor (and just a rumor) that the Eagles may be targeting Gareon Conley with one of their fourth round picks. I have no idea if it’s true or not (although I do trust the person who told me) but it makes some sense. The Eagles were apparently very high on Conley before he was accused of sexual assault and it seemed he was to be their first round pick. They were reportedly the only team to request more information from the police department in charge of the investigation, and if they seem to think he’s innocent, its not unreasonable to suggest they may try to grab a legit first round talent before other teams either take a chance and draft him or he becomes an UDFA. Draft sources I’ve talked to say he may even go higher than this, taken in the second or third round. The Eagles interest is very real, so keep your eye on this.

Eagles only mock drafts.

My mock drafts are based on what I think the Eagles are going to do, not what I think is best for them.

Round One: Corey Davis – With Gareon Conley no longer an option in the first, the Eagles have a bit of a dilemma. They can solve this by taking Davis, my #2 WR and #11 overall prospect. Davis does pretty much everything well, and has been compared to guys like TO before. His biggest issue is one Eagles fans are familiar with, drops. But his boundary awareness, ability to operate all over the field, and body control all make him the type of receiver the Eagles would love to pair with Carson Wentz for the foreseeable future.

Round Two: Cordrea Tankersley, CB – Passing on a top corner in the first round will certainly sting a little bit, but grabbing Tankersley early in the second should make up for it. Tankersley has all the physical attributes you want, at 6’1”, 199 lbs., with 32 ¼ inch arm length and a 4.40 40 time to match, Tankersley can play all over the field and cover a large variety on receivers. With guys like OBJ, Dez, and now Terrelle Pryor in the NFC East, the Eagles need a do it all type of guy. He’s got some shortcomings and will need to improve his footwork and hand placement, but he’s the type of corner Schwartz will love and can make an impact day 1.

Round 3: Ahkello Witherspoon, CB – Matching Witherspoon with Tankersley gives the Eagles a pair of very versatile corner. Witherspoon’s exceptional combination of size and speed means he can line up just about anywhere. The biggest thing that impressed me about Witherspoon however was how much he improved year to year. Now he is really hitting his stride. He shows an excellent combination of both route mirroring and understanding angles. He needs to add some weight to stay competitive with some bigger receivers, but he’ll be a solid number 2 corner in the NFL very quickly.

Round 4: James Connor, RB – As good as Ryan Mathews has been for the Eagles, his constant injuries means he’s probably on his way out of the city. To replace him, the Eagles grab a guy who’s very, very similar. Connor won’t wow you with his break away speed, but he’s tough, has fantastic balance, and doesn’t go down easy. He knows what it’s like to battle and overcome, and would give the Eagles a solid running back trio with different abilities. Connor’s ability to excel in short yard and goal line situations as well as in pass protection makes him a good fit to pair with Wentz, and relieve some of the pressure.

Round 4: Kendall Beckwith, LB – The Eagles need to move away from the nickel because of how much it takes away from their ability to stop the run. They grab the guy that will help them do this in Beckwith. Even though he spent most of his time playing inside, Beckwith’s ability to do everything means he should transition to playing weak side without too many problems. He’s capable at stopping the run, rushing the passer, and in coverage which is exactly what the Eagles need. He’s somewhat raw and plays with more stiffness than you’d like to see but he’s a safe, smart pick here.

Round 5: Shaquill Griffin, CB – A team can never have too man corners, and when your current group is as weak as the Eagles, drafting three in the first five rounds makes sense. Griffin had offers from top schools like Alabama, but ended up playing and UCF because he wanted to play with his brother. Watching him on tape, it reminds of Jalen Mills, if Mills was a good bit faster. Griffin has plenty of potential, and the physical tools and aggressiveness to capitalize, and makes a lot of sense for the Eagles in round five.

Round 6: Avery Moss, EDGE – Going this long without adding to the D-line may seem risky. But with set starters in place and a solid amount of depth, the Eagles can wait and grab one of my favorite prospects in the draft. He’s got size, speed, all the athletic tools one could ask for. He just needs development. He’s too reliant on his athleticism now (which isn’t the worst thing ever) but with the right coaching, could become a legit 7+ sacks a season type guy for the Eagles.

Round 7: Storm Norton, OT – The Eagles have mentioned in the past they want to add offensive line depth in every draft, and they do so by adding a guy with a cool name. Norton is your classic 7th round giant. He’s 6’8”and 310 pounds, but just isn’t developed enough to go any higher. The Eagles can use him as a camp body or stash him on the practice squad if they like, but who doesn’t want a guy named Storm on your team?

 

 

 

 

Max Burka

College student living the beach life at UNCW. Die hard Eagles fan. Follow me on twitter for other opinions, and easier access to my articles.

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