With the draft just two days away, here’s one final mock draft roundup.
Dane Brugler of CBSSports.com has the Eagles landing Oklahoma offensive tackle Lane Johnson and Florida State QB EJ Manuel with their first two picks:
The offensive tackles are going to fly off the board fast and even if both Joeckel and Fisher are still available at the fourth pick, Johnson might be the best fit for Chip Kelly and his offense. Johnson is just scratching the surface of his potential at tackle.
Charley Casserly of NFL.com also goes with Johnson:
Both of the Eagles’ starting offensive tackles are coming off surgery.
ESPN.com’s Todd McShay thinks it’ll be Johnson too.
Josh Norris of Rotoworld has the Birds taking Utah DL Star Lotulelei:
Don’t pigeonhole Star as a nose tackle, since he can help the entire three man front in a variety of different ways. Sure, he wasn’t effective on every one of his snaps, but he was on the field for 91.2 percent of the team’s defense plays in 2012.
Will Brinson of CBSSports.com also thinks it’ll be Lotulelei:
This feels like a spot ripe for trade (if the Raiders don’t move out ahead of Philly anyway) given the presence of Luke Joeckel on the board. Someone could hop up ahead of Detroit and nab the big left tackle. But for right now we’re going to give the Eagles the talented Utah defensive tackle.
Rob Rang of CBSSports.com goes with Lotulelei too:
Chip Kelly is known for the fast pace of his offense, but if the Eagles are to improve in the NFC East it is their defense that will need to improve the most. With Philadelphia expected to make the transition to a 3-4 scheme, it needs help up front, which the powerful Lotulelei can provide. The Eagles are one of three teams currently picking in the top 10 who have both worked out Lotulelei and invited him to visit their facility, NFLDraftScout.com has learned.
SI.com’s Don Banks has Lotulelei:
The Eagles would seem to be in prime position to trade down here, with teams just behind them coveting either Texas A&M offensive tackle Luke Joeckel or Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner. If the Eagles are content with the notion of winding up with Lotulelei in a lower slot, why not try to get the tackle-needy Lions, Cardinals, Chargers and Dolphins bidding on Joeckel? By next week’s final mock, Philly’s No. 4 slot might be almost slam-dunk trade territory.
Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com has Lotulelei at No. 4.
Pat Kirwan of CBSSports.com goes with Oregon OLB Dion Jordan:
The Eagles are building a 3-4 defense and need an OLB with pass rush skills. Jordan played for Chip Kelly. If they take Jordan I would expect them to re-enter the first round late and grab a QB. Either Geno Smith or EJ Manuel could be the choice.
Greg Cosell of NFL Films/Yahoo Sports goes with Jordan:
At Oregon this past season, he primarily played in space, which he did exceptionally well. I had to study a lot of games to get a feel for his pass rush skills. They were impressive, and I believe he will become a very good edge rusher in the NFL. He showed the ability to get low and bend the edge with the needed flexibility to succeed against quality NFL offensive tackles.
Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times put together a mock with beat writers from across the country. Les Bowen picked for the Eagles at No. 4 and went with Jordan:
“The Eagles don’t have anybody who was drafted as a 3-4 linebacker. They’d like someone who can both rush the passer and drop back in coverage.”
Eric Galko of Optimum Scouting put together a “need-based” fantasy draft and gave the Eagles Florida International safety Jonathan Cyprien:
A bit of a reach (both in real life and on my board), the Eagles have done a fantastic job adding pieces to their defense in free agency to the point where they really only have a need at safety. Cyprien gets the nod over a 5-technique (Sharrif Floyd) and an offensive tackle (Luke Joeckel).
Clark Judge of CBSSports.com goes with West Virginia QB Geno Smith:
Chip Kelly knows he can’t win with Michael Vick. So who’s next? You’re looking at him.
ESPN.com’s Mel Kiper Jr. goes with Smith too:
More inclined to believe they’ll trade up from their Round 2 pick to get him later in Round 1, but can’t reflect that here.
Russ Lande of the National Football Post says Smith:
The Eagles have a number of quarterbacks on their roster, but none is a proven starter and new head coach Chip Kelly needs an athletic quarterback to run his offense. Although Smith’s mechanics need work, his ability to make big plays with his feet and strong arm could be a perfect fit for the new Eagles’ offense.
Peter Schrager of FoxSports.com has the Eagles trading back into the first round (No. 17) and taking Smith. He awards them Jordan with the No. 4 pick:
It’s my mock draft and I’ll make trades if I want to. Chip Kelly and Howie Roseman get aggressive and pounce on the opportunity to grab Smith when he slips all the way to 17. The trade would likely be for 2014’s first-round pick and the Eagles’ second-round pick this year. Geno goes to Philly, where he backs up Michael Vick and Nick Foles for a year, learns Kelly’s offense, and is the ideal system QB. He could go as high as No. 4 to Philly. I think Philly ends up with him if he slips out of the top 10.
Vinnie Iyer of the Sporting News also thinks it’ll be Smith:
We’re sticking with the stance that Chip Kelly isn’t really sold on any of his current Eagles quarterbacks, whether it’s Michael Vick, Nick Foles or old Oregon pupil Dennis Dixon. Kelly can go in many directions with his first Philly draft, but he should want to start with a hand-picked passing prospect.
D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal Constitution thinks it’ll be BYU’s Ziggy Ansah:
He is very raw. He didn’t start playing football until 2010. Some have compared him with Jason Pierre-Paul of the New York Giants.
Matt Smith of NFL.com also goes with Ansah:
There isn’t a lot of tape out there, but you can’t deny what you see when you watch him play. He’s an impact player, and if the Jags can take Jordan at No. 2, the Birds certainly can take Ansah at No. 4. Eric Fisher will get a long look, but ultimately Ansah is a player who can change the game.