Here’s the roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles this week, including several mock draft projections.
ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. has the Eagles taking Florida State WR Kelvin Benjamin in the first round:
I consider Benjamin a bit of a project, with his route running and consistency in need of development, but I can think of worse ideas than giving Chip Kelly the developmental keys to a player who stands a full 6-5 and at 240 pounds runs like guys 30 pounds lighter. The Eagles have Jeremy Maclin coming off a serious knee injury, and Riley Cooper remains, but minus DeSean Jackson they could use another matchup threat, and where it was speed for Jackson, it’s size for Benjamin. Sometimes, there’s not much you can do with him.
In the second round, Kiper projects Lindenwood CB Pierre Desir to the Birds:
If Attaochu was available here, I could see that fit, but the pass-rushing help beyond him sees a value drop-off at this slot and Philly instead adds some length and depth at corner with the intriguing small-college star.
Chris Burke of SI.com has the Eagles taking Oregon State WR Brandin Cooks:
DeSean Jackson is over in Washington after an ugly falling out with the Eagles. Chip Kelly wastes little time finding his replacement in the dynamic Cooks, a burner capable of doing it all from the receiver position. Cooks is the type of player who should thrive within Kelly’s system.
ESPN.com’s Todd McShay has the Eagles going with USC WR Marqise Lee in the first round:
Lee would give the Eagles’ receiving corps a shot in the arm. Right now it’s Jeremy Maclin (who is coming off of a torn ACL), Riley Cooper and a few question marks. Lee isn’t the burner that DeSean Jackson was for this offense, and he struggled with drops in 2013 much more so than he did his first two seasons, but he has good field speed and is a threat after the catch. Lee did some serious damage to Chip Kelly’s Oregon teams in 2011 and 2012, with a combined 20 catches for 344 yards and three touchdowns.
In the second round, McShay projects Florida State safety Terrence Brooks:
Brooks is something of a reach for the Eagles here, but they need a safety and Brooks brings good playmaking ability.
Bucky Brooks of NFL.com thinks Fresno State WR Davante Adams makes sense for the Eagles in the second round:
The loss of DeSean Jackson has garnered the headlines, but it’s the void created by the departure of veteran Jason Avant that could have the greatest impact Nick Foles’ efficiency from the pocket. Avant routinely made key catches over the middle of the field in critical situations. Chip Kelly could peg Adams to slide into Avant’s role as the versatile No. 3 receiver.
Rob Rang of CBSSports.com mocks Ohio State CB Bradley Roby to the Eagles:
Chip Kelly is, of course, most known for offense but during his tenure at Oregon, his Ducks featured terrific cornerback play, as well. The Eagles took a significant step in improving upon their 30th ranked pass defense by landing former New Orleans Saints’ safety Malcolm Jenkins but more help is needed. Roby struggles a bit with consistency but the tools are there to warrant top 20 consideration.
Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com thinks it’ll be LSU WR Odell Beckham Jr.:
With Desean Jackson gone, they have to get speed outside.
Pat Kirwan of CBSSports.com goes with Beckham also:
Beckham is a very solid citizen and a polished receiver. If the Eagles decide to hold off on a receiver and go defense there are a number of solid defenders left on the board. The Eagles reportedly tried to trade for Dion Jordan and that should indicate their desire for defensive help at pass rusher.
Greg Gabriel of the National Football Post thinks it’ll be Cooks:
The Eagles cut DeSean Jackson a few weeks ago. Cooks is a similar athlete with speed and run-after-the-catch skills. Chip Kelly is very familiar with his talent.
Evan Silva of Rotoworld mocks Michigan State CB Darqueze Dennard to the Birds:
Dennard’s shorts-and-t-shirt measurables aren’t on par with Justin Gilbert or Kyle Fuller’s, but his game tape is more impressive than both, and his skill set will appeal to the Eagles. Second-year DC Billy Davis combines blitz-heavy concepts with press coverage on the perimeter. Dennard is the premier press-man corner in this year’s draft. He would be a Week 1 starter in Philadelphia.
SI.com’s Don Banks goes with Beckham:
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?