Eagles Wake-Up Call: Post-Combine Mock Drafts

Now that the Combine is in the rear-view mirror, we thought we would take a look at some fresh mock drafts to see how experts’ opinions have shifted. Boy, have they shifted. Some of that can be attributed to improved intel. Part of it is overreaction to what happened in Indianapolis. Mostly, this is just a difficult draft to handicap. With few true standouts, there is little consensus as to who should go where.

Who will be gone when the Eagles are on the clock? You will get a different answer almost everywhere you go.

In his first mock draft, Don Banks of Sports Illustrated had the Eagles selecting Geno Smith. That was before the Eagles restructured Michael Vick‘s deal. Now he has offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland reuniting with Alabama guard Chance Warmack.

The Michael Vick re-signing fairly well convinced me that Chip Kelly is going to make do with what’s already on hand in Philly this year on the quarterback front. But getting a better foundation built in front of an Eagles quarterback is the most pressing issue Kelly faces. Warmack is the best guard prospect to hit the NFL in many years, but Philadelphia could easily turn in the card for Central Michigan offensive tackle Eric Fisher as well.

Banks has made quite a few tweaks to his projections. He has Alabama CB Dee Milliner (originally sixth overall) being selected with the second pick in the draft by Jacksonville. Clearly, Banks was impressed by the 4.37 40-time that Milliner posted in Indy. He also moved Florida defensive lineman Shariff Floyd from 24th all the way up to third. He pushed linebacker Manti Te’o out of the first round following his 4.82 40.

Mel Kiper‘s big board is totally different. He once had Texas A&M defensive end Damontre Moore ranked second overall, and now he’s nowhere to be found in the top 25. Floyd currently owns that No. 2 slot, climbing six spots after impressing at the Combine. Kiper now has offensive tackle Eric Fisher ahead of  Luke Joeckel. In the Eagles’ spot at fourth overall is Oregon defensive end/linebacker Dion Jordan, who was ninth before the Combine.

There had been questions about his ultimate position, but in Indy he showed why he should be considered a potentially dynamic 3-4 OLB. He showed elite speed for his size, and alleviated questions about whether he can cover, even as he profiles as a very good pass-rusher. He went to Oregon with the possibility of playing either offense (tight end) or defense but has emerged as an athletic, long-armed pass-rusher ready to make a difference.

Gil Brandt had Fisher going 18th last month. Now, he has him going to the Eagles at No. 4.

Fisher (6-7 1/4, 306) ran real well and was strong; in short, he looked to be every bit what I thought he was. He’ll be one of those guys who starts at left tackle for a long time. The Eagles could use the offensive line help.

No consensus.  Don’t expect that to change much between now and April 25.


Some thoughts on what the Alex Smith trade means for Nick Foles, Chip Kelly and the Eagles.

Sheil takes an in-depth look at DE/OLB Dion Jordan.

Kelly is a big fan of speed. Who showed off their wheels in Indy?

Kapadia explains why Kelly prefers science over tradition.


Geoff Mosher believes it’s all over for Nnamdi Asomugha in Philadelphia:

One thing’s almost 100 percent certain: Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique-Rodgers Cromartie aren’t coming back. Asomugha’s agent, Ben Dogra, had said the Eagles are asking Asomugha to take a massive pay cut, but the buzz in Indy was that the Eagles had already made up their minds to move on.

Les Bowen gives his thoughts on Foles’ future now that Smith is in KC.

Reid is the only NFL decision-maker who definitely sees Foles as a viable starting QB, and Reid now has a QB. So what’s the remaining market for Foles, if he is available? In Jacksonville, as we’ve noted, Gus Bradley hired Frank Scelfo, Foles’ University of Arizona quarterbacks coach and closest advisor, to coach the Jags’ QBs. But the immediate goal there is to develop Blaine Gabbert, whom Jacksonville took 10th overall two years ago. The Jags might be interested in Foles next year, if Gabbert flunks what looks to be his final chance to establish himself as a starter, but for now, there is no indication anyone else will quarterback Jacksonville in 2013.


Last day of February! Time to amp up our free agency coverage.

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  • John

    Don Banks is clueless. Offensive line isn’t close to their top priority, or shouldn’t be

    • LostInChiTown

      I’m not sure I agree. Peters and Herremans are both past 30. Yes our line can be a strength this year without a high draft pick, but what will it look like next year? I’m not against sitting a top pick behind one probowler for a year if he develops into another.

      • The only person on the entire Eagles team who has the possibility of making a pro bowl is Jason Peters, and he’s coming back off an injury. Herremans is a total joke at right tackle and needs to be replaced. If pick 4 doesn’t yield the eagles one of the dominating tackles it’s a wasted pick. There are more than enough dbacks and linebackers to pick from being the Eagles have 3 picks in the first 60. The Eagles are in no position to trade down, they need talent and depth.

        • LostInChiTown

          I think trading back makes the most sense actually. The top ten this year isn’t like past years. Just look at how the mocks are all over the board with players being moved up and down 20 slots in the first round. Depth is the strength of this draft, not elite talent, so lets get the most high picks we can get. I haven’t heard consensus that the top tackles are dominant. I’ve heard “good”, “potential probowler”, even “great”, but I haven’t heard “dominant” or “future HoF” much for any of the players in the current top ten, and that’s unlike several of the last drafts.

          Secondly, potential Eagles probowlers: LeSean McCoy, Fletcher Cox, DeSean Jackson, Jason Kelce, Evan Mathis, DeMeco Ryans, Micheal Kendriks. Is Peters the best player at his position on the roster? Yes, but let’s not think we’re devoid of talent elsewhere.

          • Cox, McCoy and D Jackson are studs and stand out players in solid conferences.

  • Call me old fashion, but I have no interest in taking a guard at 4. Warmack may be the best guard prospect in a while, but at the end of the day he’s still a guard. If someone he is an Eagle, it better not be at the 4 pick. If they’re head over heels for him, then trade back. Take a tackle at 4 if you’re going OL and move Herremans back in.

    I’d be real excited for Dion if they go that way. Fills an immediate need. Kids a freak, I know some people aren’t to high on his tape but he’s still in development. There might be more sure fire picks at 4 but I think everyone at the top of the board has some sort of question mark.

    • JofreyRice

      I agree with you. Once again, we had one of the best guards in the league last year, and it didn’t mean crap because of a myriad of other issues. At any rate, Jon Cooper from UNC probably fits what Kelly wants more than Warmack, if he’s running a majority ZBS. We definitely need depth, but drafting a guy in the 3rd or 4th to bring along would be fine, considering all the other fires that need to be put out on the defensive side.

      • Token

        Im not a fan of the idea of drafting a tackle or guard in the high first. Bad teams do it all the time and stay bad. How many of the top tackles in the league are on shit teams? If your talent evaluators are doing their job and you have good coaching you can get lineman later that fit your scheme.

        It cant be understated how much a QB matters for a lineman. A bad QB makes the line look bad regardless, I think we have seen that. Peyton Manning goes to Denver and all the sudden Ryan Clady is great.

        • peteike

          O line is the safest kind of pick in terms of getting a quality player, you hope at an all pro level to play for years and years. I agree a team is nothing w/o a QB and they do matter in terms of line play, but we dont reach for a qb in this draft anyway. As well, there are many more examples of busts on d side of the ball, you absolutely have to get value at #4. You win in the trenches also. I just want a solid player for years, theres more of a risk drafting D line, lb or dbs imo.

          • Football is still a game won in the trenches. People saw Flacco perform exceeding well in this Super Bowl, but missed the war in the trenches that allowed Flacco time to hit those 45 yard bombs.

        • Sensei

          Ryan Clady has been considered a pretty good tackle for awhile now

          • Token

            Not really. Allowed 25 sacks in the 3 years before Manning. Allowed 1 last year. Now considered a big time tackle due for a big pay day.

          • Sensei

            He’s also a 3 time all pro now he hadn’t played well for a few seasons but he’s always been “considered” pretty good I’m pretty sure he was coming off an Achilles one year(can’t really remember) but anyway he isn’t someone who has never been good

    • Eoin Cunningham

      Chip Kelly has a very specific set of measurements for his O-Line, most of his Oregon Linemen are Tall and UNDER 300lbs and I just don’t see a 320lbs behemoth like Warmack fitting that mould. It’s all about the system for the Eagles now, I think Kelly is going to find some gems later on in the draft that meet his requirements.

      Our O-Line is often referred to as undersized and athletic and I think that played a part in Chip taking the job.

      • knighn

        But here’s where it gets interesting – the O-line coach is Jeff Stoutland, who coached at Alabama… and coached Chance Warmack last year.

        Is Chip Kelly sticking with his college system? Or is he making some modifications for the NFL? Or is he simply going to allow Stoutland to do his thing since Stoutland has such a reputation with O-lineman?? We’ll see!

        • Stoutland may be a huge benefit for Danny Watkins. Watkins hasn’t played football that long and may be just raw talent that needs refining. Sound like the scheme is simpler with basic trapping plays, and elementary splits.

          • knighn

            The “huge benefit” for Danny Watkins might be getting him out of Pro Football. Football doesn’t seem to rank high on his list. It’s just a job for that guy – one that he doesn’t seem to love… or even like that much. On the field Watkins doesn’t look like a Fireman, he looks like a Matador… or just a revolving door. And there are times he just looks lost. He’s stuck there wondering “Who am I supposed to block? Who am I supposed to block?!?!” and then he blocks nobody.

            If Chip Kelly and Jeff Stoutland can turn Danny Watkins into a legitimate football player (not even pro-bowl level, just a legitimate starter) then they are both geniuses.

          • Matt

            Watkins is terrible in pass protection and with Andy/Marty calling 60 passing plays a game he was terrible, Chip Kelly is supposed to run the ball a lot more and he was good in run blocking. I would like to have someone to compete with him but i don’t want to quit on him yet.

          • knighn

            Agreed: Watkins is terrible in pass protection and Andy/Marty’s pass-happy scheme did him little favor.

            Here’s the problem: at some point Watkins is going to have to pass protect. As much as we’d like to see complete games without a single attempted pass to make up for the Andy Reid era… the Eagles are eventually going to have to pass the ball. The Eagles need Danny to be serviceable when that happens. If Watkins can’t be, it may be best for all involved that he goes back to fighting fires.

          • The Truth hurts….. I agree but on the other hand, I do believe a more simple blocking scheme should go a long way to help Watkins take advantage of any potential he may have. Take thinking out of his duties. It may be a benefit to move Watkins to the left to play beside Peters, providing Peters comes back 100%. Move Herremen’s back inside and find a Tackle to play on the Right Side.

      • The Eagles have nothing on the Offensive Line, nothing. Herremen’s should be replaced with this draft and moved back inside. Out on the edge Herremen’s is a revolving door and the weak link. Maybe Herremens can compete with the guy the Eagles brought in midway through the season to start at right guard. I like Lane Johnson to come play Right Tackle, this is a kid that is massive and can move and seems to play well in space. I love what Chance Womack can bring, but that still leaves Herremens in place and he has to come off that edge.

        • Bdawkbdawk

          Nothing?!? I suggest that you reevaluate. Before his injury, Jason Peters was, if not the best LT in the league, certainly top 3. Mathis is the best LG in the league. Kelce is a very capable C with room to grow. Our RG stinks but maybe we can squeeze some value out of Watkins (he is a much better run blocker than pass blocker). And Herremans is not a revolving door. Profootball Focus has him ranked at about league average to above average. You don’t move an above average Tackle back so he can be a good Guard.
          Unless you have reason to believe that our injured linemen will come back well-below their pre-injury performance, I don’t see where you are coming from. A better run-pass balance and shorter routes will do wonders. Lets hope there arent any more freak injuries, and we can just draft for depth.

          • Jason Peters is the best Tackle in Football, when he’s on the field. Jason is the reason the Eagles were respectable as a unit in 2011. Defenses put their best against the weakest Tackle, Herreman. Herremen gets abused week in and week out. There is nothing up the middle to deter linebackers from mauling Eagles Quarterbacks in the pocket. The Eagles Red Zone Offense tells the story about the lack of efficiency on the Eagles Offensive Line. McCoy didn’t gain those yards and 17 touchdowns on Herremen’s side. While Peters was out McCoy only found the end zone 5 times last year. Herremen is a guard playing tackle he can’t touch quick pass rushers. It is because of Herremen and Watkins that Celek has to stay in instead of going out into the pattern. All three combined doesn’t give you what Peters by himself provides on the left side of the line.

            This isn’t new, save 2011 the Eagles over the last 5 years surrenders 48 Sacks a season, that’s not good enough. Andy brought in help to deal with that issue when most of the fan base over looked those O line Issues.

            The Eagles Oline began to erode once the Andrews got injured. Who told you Mathis is the best guard in the league? Where did that come from Phila Radio? To think Mathis is one of the best guards in the NFL is the residue from how horrible the Eagles interior line was over the years, you guys though Jamal Jackson was worth keeping.

            If the Eagles don’t use pick 4 on one of the massive quick feet tackles it’s a wasted pick.

      • Kelly will gladly take a guy over 300 pounds that’s athletic.

    • I like Reid’s philosophy of drafting a Tackle and moving him to Guard. If you ever need a Tackle in the future, he can be moved. It’s easier to move a Tackle to Guard than the other way around.

    • Don’t draft for need. Draft an elite player. Chance looks like it, and I’m sure they’ll find a way to build a running game around him if we take him – something Chip isn’t opposed to. If we start running the ball we might actually see how athletic our line is!

      • If you’re at the top of draft, you’re going to have players of similar ranking. When they have similar grades you can draft based on the position you need the most, or value the most.

      • southy

        I was skeptical that a G could be that good until I saw him singlehandedly drop Te’o’s draft stock 25+ spots by mauling him repeatedly in the championship game.

  • JofreyRice

    I’m always curious as to how the combine affects the actual grades, beyond what comes out from the medical evals. The stuff from Star/Jarvis Jones is concerning, and I think you’ll see a greater drop if there are underlying issues than if someone runs a slightly slower 40 time. Damontre Moore’s lack of pass-rush counter moves have been a concern all along. Anyone watching Keke Mingo can see the guy explodes from the edge, he was just asked to contain a lot by the LSU D, because they faced so many running QBs.

    I think there are several key positions in a 3-4 Predator or 4-3 Under D that the Eagles don’t have an answer for: FS that can play deep and support the run, strong side LB that can do it all fairly well, and an edge setting LE. I’m hoping for Vaccaro, Jordan, Star (provided everything is clean), or Floyd at 4. If they are convinced they have to take an Olineman, Fisher or Joeckel give you the most flexibility now, and the best future value. No guards!

    • Jordan is getting a lot of discussion, My concern is the level of competition he’s played against at Oregon. Jordan doesn’t look like a dominating force when matched up against quality Tackles. Jordan’s games clearly bares the difference in his play against top talented teams like Stanford, when compared to his play against schools like Fresno State.

      Compare Georgia’s Jenkins, Jones or Olgetree to Jordan and I believe playing in the SEC separates their skill level from Jordon’s. The level of competition is far superior and closely matches anything guys from the SEC will see in the NFL. Jarvis Jones is a dominating force for Georgia, but Olgetree isn’t a lump of cheese by any means. Georgia is turning out this year 3 line backers who are certain to be first round picks

      I haven’t seen in Jordon’s games any evidence he’s worth a top 10 pick

      • Sensei

        Exactly Jordan seemed to be around a lot of plays but not making them sure there were moments here and there against top talent but nothing suggesting that this guy is a number 4 pick I don’t care if the guy ran a 4.6 if he’s getting 1 on 1 match ups and can’t beat a tight end of or rushes too far upfield and takes himself out of the play

  • Mitchell

    Trade back with one of the teams excited about Milliner and grab Lane Johnson. Started both left and right tackle, super athletic, 35 inch arms and looks like he can put on more mass.

    • Lane Johnson is my preference over Joeckle. I wouldn’t get cute about trading back, Johnson is, in my opinion a difference maker and the only reason I like him better than Fisher is because of the competition he’s played against.

      • Mitchell

        Trade down with the Jets for Milliner? Does Johnson last that long? Will Arizona take a quarterback or a tackle? Does Fisher make it to 7? SO MANY QUESTIONS!!!

        • Arizona needs a consistent Quarterback. Arizona has horses out at receiver. If you can’t get the ball down field to them it’s a waste. Geno Smith can hit every throw, but he’s going to need protection. He get’s happy feet when people get to swimming around him in the pocket.

          I don’t think the Eagles are talented enough to trade down if they have a chance to draft a difference maker, Milliner can be duplicated with a free agent pickup, some one with experience. The issues with the Eagles Defensive Backs can be attributed to no pass rush, 30 sacks suggest the boys up front just aren’t getting the pressure to help a D Back in coverage.

  • borntosuffer

    Have to agree with @Lost. Not sold on the guard – just because he’s a guard, I suppose. But, taking a top flight Tackle could also allow the Eagles to move Herremans back inside to guard. Jordan would appear to be a good pick as well.

  • Dilleria

    DIon Jordan or bust….most important piece in the 4-3 Under as Billy Davis explained is the SAM….Dion Jordan can cover, tackle hard and get to the QB…he’s a freak…gotta get him.

    • Jarvis Jones from Georgia plays circles around Dion Jordan. Jones is in a tougher conference, SEC matched up against a better football player.

      • Capt. Undapants

        If that were true, then how there’s more than just SEC players projected to be taken in the first round?

      • Dilleria

        Jarvis Jones also has a medical condition that will never go away and his career could end at anytime…too much risk there or else he’d be a lock

        • Token

          Its a worry. But Spinal Stenosis is certainly something that can be detected via image testing. By draft time doctors will know for sure whats going on there. So if the doctors say he checks out, Id think its pretty hard to pick Jordan over him.

          • JofreyRice

            I’ve seen it reported that multiple teams verified a narrowing between his c4 and c5 vertebrae, during combine evals and that quite a few have removed him from their boards.

        • Always a great idea to beware of injured players.

  • Corry

    I wouldn’t be thrilled with Warmack because, as others stated, he’s a guard. I would understand it though. A lot of draftniks have him as the best player in the draft regardless of position, so if he is the absolute BPA on the Birds draft board then fine, draft him. But if Milliner and/or Jordan are still on the board, I can’t guarantee that I won’t throw my remote at the wall.

    • You can find a comparable talent to Milliner. Loosing out on Milliner is no big deal you can pick the DBack from Mississippi State and get the same results, or better yet find experience in Free Agency, Jordan…… plays in a pretty weak conference, can he do what he’s done in that conference week in and week out against NFL Talent? I don’t see Jordan being a top 10 pick. His tape doesn’t support him being picked that high. In Tapes I’ve seen on Jordan, against SEC Schools he was invisible.

  • Sensei

    The combine is always pure overreaction put the stock in the tape not the drills

    • True, most people will fall in love with the workout and never watched these players Saturdays. All competition in college is not relative to the talent they are likely to met in the NFL. Many fans are excited about Jordan, but Jordan didn’t play in one of the better conferences last year likely to turn out pro caliber Offensive Linemen what he did in the Pac 12 he would have trouble duplicating against SEC Offensive Linemen

      • Sensei

        True and he actually didn’t do that much in Pac 12 yes he’s tall, long, and fast but his tape doesn’t match where’s he’s being projected but I’ve been wrong before so time will tell

        • southy

          I haven’t seen that much tape on him, but the tape I’ve seen suggests he has trouble changing direction in space. If he doesn’t gain the edge on the T in pass rush mode, he’s lost. He’s good at tracking TE’s across the field but is rarely the guy that gets to and puts a pass catcher on the ground when the ball is caught in front of him. Maybe I’m wrong about Jordan, but if I’m gonna take a guy at 4 I want him to be obviously dominating.

          Maybe that’s what Kelly is talking about with *If you run a 4.5 and play with 4.5 speed on the football field.*

  • I like Jordan and Milliner. Jordan could become the player every offense has to scheme around. We haven’t had a player like that since Dawk.

    • Token

      I just dont know about that. I like the idea of Jordan more than I like the player. Great height, looks like frame can handle more weight, really good speed for his size. But where is the production? I dont see the production of a elite pass rush prospect. Hes compared to Aldon Smith but even he had a double digit sack year in college. Jarvis Jones blows away his production playing in the SEC.

      Now I dont know what he was asked to do at Oregon. So maybe that is part of it. He certainly doesnt look to have pass rush moves. Seems to get blocked fairly easily by not elite lineman.

      I think 4 is too high for him. But at the same time I guess I wouldnt be mad at the pick.

  • I think our O-line problems are exaggerated. We lost both our Tackles, one being the best in the league, and our Center. Those are the 3 most important positions on the line. All 3 guys will be back – hopefully at 100%. And…the line looked much better in front of Foles than Vick. Proving that Vick is the biggest problem on offense.

    • ICDogg

      The questions are Peters’ health, Watson’s ability, and Herremans’ aging/durability.

      I would be fine with drafting a top tackle, such as Fisher. If everyone is healthy, and ready to play, then Herremans moves inside.

  • paulie

    I would take dee milliner with the #4 pick and either Eric Reid or matt Elam in the second those guys lay the wood in the secondary we can get o line pieces in the third b/c there is a lot of o line depth to go around with guys commin off ir we are goin to b ok there

    • Token

      Elam looked really sloppy in drills. Hope he looks much better on the field.

      • paulie

        He never looked sloppy with the pads on though

  • ICDogg

    If Warmack really is the best guard prospect in many years, he might be worth taking at 4. It depends on what specifically Chip wants to do with the offense. In order to take a guard that high, you really want to run the ball up the middle a lot.

    • Tackle is the anchor…… anyone remember Ruyan? Until the Eagles find a tackle that gives you a bit of Ruyan gave at tackle there is always going to be problems on that side. Shady only reached the end zone 5 times in 2012, what further evidence is necessary that there is nothing on the Eagles offensive line.

  • peteike

    Do the Eagles grab the honey badger in the 3rd if hes there? Dude can ball, just a head case. Hes this years Burfict, only will actually get drafted. How bout Manti in the 2nd round? ha, just fun to speculate on the big names that drop later in the draft. Im hoping for solid O lineman for years to come at #4, seems like safest value to me. Eagles have whiffed too many times on D guys over the years. What teams grabs the first QB, Gino Smith, is he the guy sitting in the green room this year waiting and waiting. No chance Kelly likes him right, I mean nobody knows for sure, youd hope he waits til next seasons draft to address QB.

    • Manti is another with questionable talent against the big boys. He didn’t seem to belong on the same field with Woman and Fluker of Alabama. If you didn’t like Matthews at linebacker, you’re not going to like Manti at Linebacker.

      Geno is a solid Quarterback, the same thinking about Geno was used to negate Russell Wilson from teams last year. That’s a mistake and if a team has a chance pick Geno, The Cardinals have the pieces in place with Fitzgerald and Floyd at receiver to take advantage of Geno’s talent.

  • nicksaenz1

    Great tackles seem to come every year. Warmack is being billed as the best prospect since Steve Hutchinson and some view him as the best player in the draft. Some people seem to think our O-line is fine once the guys who got hurt last year are back, and they’ll certainly be better. But, and a big but it is, 3 of the guys will be over 30 to start the season. Peters just turned 31, Herremans turns 31 in the season and Mathis turns 32 in the season. There’s a few more years left for all of them, sure, but Watkins is a bust. A guy like Warmack solidifies the line and allows them to start re-tooling the line from the inside out in the next few drafts with him and Kelce as the 2 definites.

  • 1972

    My. Picks would be Jordan and elam or millner and elam. I understand the need for o lineman,but the odds of4 out of 5 being injured again is slim.its time to finally fix this secondary