With the NFL draft only eight days away, here’s the latest mock draft roundup with projections for the Eagles at No. 4.
Dane Brugler of CBSSports.com has the Birds taking West Virginia QB Geno Smith:
With Michael Vick currently under contract, quarterback isn’t a huge need for the Eagles, but head coach Chip Kelly will be on the lookout for the long-term solution at the position. Smith has all the physical tools for Kelly’s offense and would be able to sit and digest the playbook and not thrown into the fire on day one.
Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com thinks it’ll be Smith too:
With this move, Chip Kelly would be getting a young quarterback who has experience playing in an up-tempo offense. Michael Vick’s veteran presence will give Smith some time to sit and learn before he takes the reins in Philly.
OurLads.com also has the Eagles taking Smith:
Demonstrates good accuracy vertically as well as horizontally. Sudden release. Snaps ball out to perimeter receivers after setting his feet. Ready to pull the trigger at all times. Right on target with his passes.Student of the game. Can fire a dart through a smoke ring.
Clark Judge of CBSSports.com has Smith:
I know it’s too high for him, but the Eagles can’t survive with Michael Vick.
Rob Rang of CBSSports.com says it’ll be Smith:
Michael Vick has proven unreliable. Nick Foles, despite what the Eagles are saying publicly, is clearly not a fit in head coach Chip Kelly’s offense. Thus, this seems to be the logical spot for Smith, the most gifted talent of an average quarterback class. The Eagles are certainly doing their homework on the strong-armed quarterback. Team owner Jeffrey Lurie, general manager Howie Roseman and head coach Chip Kelly traveled to Morgantown to put the former Mountaineer quarterback through a personal workout three days before WVU’s scheduled Pro Day.
Lance Zierlein of the Houston Chronicle goes with Smith:
I was told to “plug Geno in here” by a league source and I usually listen when this guy speaks. Kelly’s offense probably won’t ask the QB to run as much as people would like to believe, but I do think his offense will try to stretch the field and play up-tempo which is something that Geno Smith is used to.
Will Brinson of CBSSports.com has the Birds trading down to No. 7 with the Cardinals and picking Utah defensive lineman Star Lotulelei:
Honestly I could have Philly going four different ways with this pick. Part of me wants to give them an athletic guard, part of me wants to give them Geno with a move down and part of me wants them to take a pass-rusher. But I think they’ll see serious value in Lotulelei as a guy who can wreck havoc on opposing offensive lines.
Nate Davis of USA Today has the Eagles taking Lotulelei with the No. 4 pick:
It makes sense to connect Oregon pass rusher Dion Jordan to the Eagles given new coach Chip Kelly’s familiarity with him from their days together in Eugene, Ore. But Philadelphia has already invested in free agent linebacker Connor Barwin and has some intriguing candidates to start opposite him in the team’s new 3-4 defense. But they really need help on the D-line, and Lotulelei can play anywhere along the three-man front.
Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com goes with Lotulelei also:
Big, fast, strong and tough. He would be a great fit in the middle.
ESPN.com’s Todd McShay has Lotulelei as well:
Of all the teams in the top five overall, the Eagles did the best job in free agency and are most free to take the best available player for their schemes. The D-line isn’t a pressing need, but Lotulelei is a top-five talent and would give the Eagles another solid 3-4 end and some flexibility in their new 3-4 hybrid scheme.
Russ Lande of the National Football Post has Lotulelei:
For the Eagles new 34 defense to be successful they will need to find a strong and powerful nose tackle to anchor the middle of it and Lotulelei fits the bill perfectly. He can be the man in the middle of their 34 defense and brings the versatility to also line up at DT when they align in four man fronts.
Pat Kirwan of CBSSports.com thinks it’ll be Oregon outside linebacker Dion Jordan:
Chip Kelly coached him and needs a guy like Jordan for the new 3-4 defense. Mike Vick is a short-term answer at QB and Nick Foles should be in a different offense. The Eagles could miss on Geno Smith, but could come back later for EJ Manuel.
Peter Schrager of FoxSports.com goes with Jordan too:
The Eagles’ defensive backfield has undergone an extreme makeover. Four new defensive backs — Bradley Fletcher, Cary Williams, Patrick Chung and Kenny Phillips — should be in the starting lineup. With those additions, I don’t see the Eagles going with Dee Milliner, the cornerback out of Alabama. Dion Jordan, a fantastic athlete who played for Chip Kelly at Oregon, could be the guy here. Jordan is most favorably compared to Aldon Smith, the electric outside linebacker in San Francisco.
Eric Galko of Optimum Scouting thinks the Birds will take Florida defensive lineman Sharrif Floyd:
While I prefer Sheldon Richardson over Sharrif Floyd as a prospect, Floyd seems to be more highly viewed by NFL teams, and can step in and play the 5-technique spot on day one opposite Fletcher Cox.
Doug Farrar of Yahoo Sports also goes with Floyd:
The thought of Chip Kelly taking former Oregon endbacker Dion Jordan is obvious and appealing in some schematic senses, but when a team moves from 4-3 to 3-4 principles, versatility is the order of the day, and nobody plays more roles on the line with more impact than Floyd.
SI.com’s Don Banks thinks Texas A&M tackle Luke Joeckel will still be available:
I still can’t pull the trigger on the Eagles taking West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith, because my sense is Chip Kelly views Florida State’s E.J. Manuel a more viable option early in the second round. In Joeckel, the Eagles get one of the draft’s elite offensive tackles and give themselves alternatives as both starters at the position, Jason Peters and Todd Herremans, return from injury-marred 2012 seasons.
Charles Davis of NFL.com has the Birds going with Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner:
Some recent buzz had Geno Smith being a bit of a surprise pick here. Here’s my surprise choice, after previously penciling OT Lane Johnson into this spot.