Louisville safety Calvin Pryor is 22nd on Mel Kiper’s Big Board.
He’s a first-round lock if I’m picking, but whether he’s the first safety taken is a question of preference. Pryor finished his season with a string of good performances. He displays the ability to cover significant ground in coverage with anticipation and speed, as well as a willingness to come downhill and make plays at the line of scrimmage. And he packs a punch. He gets great reviews on work ethic and growth from his coaches.
Geoff Mosher sees the Eagles going with Ohio state linebacker Ryan Shazier in the first round.
Chip Kelly is big on versatility and needs a dose of explosion in his aging linebacker corps. This is probably the last go-round for DeMeco Ryans and Trent Cole. Kelly and Davis will find where Shazier can best impact the defense in Year 1, then groom him to eventually take over on the inside or outside.
Jared Sherman of CSN likes Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley in that spot.
When I put this mock together I still had wide receivers Brandin Cooks and Kelvin Benjamin available at No. 22. The reason I chose to go with Mosley was simply because I felt he was the best player left on the board.
With DeMeco Ryans’ physical skills fading, especially in coverage, the Eagles need to find his replacement. Too many times in 2013, Ryans was a step late in coverage and allowed teams to move the chains. Mosley, despite what Montana’s Jordie Tripp says, is the best cover linebacker in the draft and is outstanding in almost every facet of playing the position. While he predominantly played inside at Alabama, he is athletic enough to move outside if needed.
Eric Galko of Optimum Scouting has the Eagles selecting Auburn pass rusher Dee Ford at 22.
Replacing Trent Cole for the future may be a high priority for Chip Kelly, and Dee Ford can provide a smooth transition for the future. While pass rusher isn’t a major need, the Eagles have cleared up most of their glaring holes in free agency or from within. If a top cornerback falls, I’d peg the Eagles as a landing spot.
Don Banks of SI.com projects Odell Beckham Jr. to the Birds.
Beckham features both DeSean Jackson’s burst and elusiveness, as well as the added element of being dangerous in the return game. There are defensive needs for a pass-rushing end or cornerback that could take precedent in Philly, but Chip Kelly is running this show, and he likes offense. What better way to turn the page on the Eagles’ Jackson era than by replacing him with a younger and hopefully better version?
The guys over at Walter Football agree.
It’s a close call between Marqise Lee and Odell Beckham, but even though Chip Kelly has shown a penchant for collecting Pac-12 players, the latter might be more of what Kelly is looking for in a wideout.
Robert Davis of Football’s Future has the Eagles taking Oregon State WR Brandin Cooks.
The release of DeSean Jackson leaves the Eagles very thin at wide receiver. Jeremy Maclin is back after missing the entire year, and Riley Cooper is back after a breakout season. But the team needs a player capable of scaring defenses like Jackson, and Cooks can do exactly that. He is electric with the ball in his hands but isn’t just a situational receiver. He can play outside and in the slot, and is built for a lot more use than Jackson was.