Draft Debate: Three Targets At No. 22

Marqis Lee
As we count down to Thursday, Tim and Sheil give their takes on how the Eagles will approach the 2014 draft.

Today’s question: Who are the three players most likely to be selected by the Eagles at 22?

McManus: We’re taking trades out of the equation for this exercise. I’m assuming that Anthony Barr and Odell Beckham Jr. are already off the board.




1) Marqise Lee, WR, USC

Following a November shootout between Oregon and USC in 2012 (which the Ducks won 62-51), Chip Kelly had this to say about the Trojans receiver (per the OC Register).

"Marqise Lee may be the best receiver I've had the opportunity to coach against."

That quote has been rattling around in my head during the build-up to this draft. Lee (6-0, 192) had 12 catches for 157 yards and two touchdowns in that game. The year prior against the Ducks, he posted eight catches for 187 yards. In his short time on this level, Kelly has gravitated towards players that have had success against him in the past (Zach Ertz, Matt Barkley, Darren Sproles, etc.) and Lee definitely fits into that category. He  had 118 catches for over 1,700 yards and 14 touchdowns as a sophomore. Last season he was hampered by a knee injury and ended with 57 grabs for 791 yards and six scores. That dip may be enough to push Lee into the latter half of the first round. Hard to see Kelly passing on him if he's there.

2) Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech

Fuller (6-0, 190) has the size and length (32 7/8 inch arms) that Kelly looks for in an outside corner. The former Hokie has been described as a physical player and a sound tackler who puts in the work in the classroom. And he's versatile. Fuller can play inside and out and is a special teams contributor as well.

He's not exactly a turnover machine, posting six picks in four seasons at Virginia Tech, but he's about as good as anyone in the country at breaking up passes and could be a sound, sturdy cornerback for Billy Davis long-term.

3) C.J. Mosley, inside linebacker, Alabama

Mosley (6-2, 234) is the reigning SEC Defensive Player of the Year and took home the Butkus Award as the nation's top linebacker. He is considered a cerebral player with a strong work ethic and high character who possesses the skills to be a three-down 'backer on this level. The Eagles could use linebacker depth immediately and need to start thinking about an eventual replacement for the quarterback of the defense, DeMeco Ryans. 

***

Kapadia: Damn you, McManus. I knew I should have gone first on this question. We have some similarities, but rather than make our audience read the same information twice in a row, I'll try to play off your thoughts with some other notes.

1) Marqise Lee, WR, USC

I agree with everything you said above. As far as "man draft crushes" go, Lee is mine. I know the measurables don't jump off the page and he had issues with drops last year, but when I watch Lee, I see a superstar at the next level (full breakdown here). He's polished, can make plays after the catch, is physical and has good short-area quickness. Lee can line up on the inside or outside and be productive in a variety of roles

I've had to answer the question in other public forums, so if you want to know who I have as the Eagles' most likely first-round option at No. 22, it's Lee.

2) Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech

I look at Fuller and say: "That's pretty much exactly what the Eagles want in a cornerback." One question is whether he'll be there at No. 22. And the other is: What kind of positional value do the Eagles put on cornerbacks?

They seem pretty content with Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher. They've had a chance to make a splash at this position and have not done so. We know the last regime believed in investing big dollars at the CB position. This regime might be different. My sense is the issues in coverage last year were more on the linebackers and safeties than the corners.

If the Eagles don't put a premium on the position, maybe they pass on Fuller. But I still think he's the most likely defensive player at No. 22.

3) Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State

I go a different route with my third pick. First of all, I believe that the Eagles' preference is to go non-WR in the first round and take advantage of the depth later on.

Having said that, the board is the board. And Cooks (full breakdown here) strikes me as the type of player Kelly will fall in love with. Many are quick to make the DeSean Jackson comparison with Cooks. While both are 5-10 and fast (Cooks ran a 4.33), they are different types of receivers.

Cooks may very well be best-suited for the slot. He's aggressive when the ball's in the air, was productive in the red zone, can make plays in the screen game and is a vertical threat. Get the ball in his hands and let him go to work.

Cooks is another guy who could be gone by the time the Eagles pick, but if he's still available at No. 22, expect the Eagles to give him a serious consideration.

Be respectful of our online community and contribute to an engaging conversation. We reserve the right to ban impersonators and remove comments that contain personal attacks, threats, or profanity, or are flat-out offensive. By posting here, you are permitting Philadelphia magazine and Metro Corp. to edit and republish your comment in all media.

  • Tom W

    1) Barr
    2) Mosley
    3) ODB
    4) Latimer
    5) Atta-Boy

  • Tom W

    Updated my eagles-centric draft board. Doesn’t include players who don’t fit measurables or scheme based on chip preferences gained over time (fat short oguard, slow wr, short te, short arm defender, short corner, etc). Not everyone is going to agree on grades but that is fine. Tried to include everyone eagles have spoken with, interviewed or worked out privately. Doesn’t include everyone at every pro day obv. About 150-165 players. Most boards 150-200 except for pats which are much leaner.

    • Richard Colton

      Couple of surprises here from you – didn’t expect you to be that high on Juwan James. And you like Buchanan over Pryor.

      • Tom W

        Yea got tired of having Pryor that high when I thought Buchanan fit our team better and has more upside. James could possibly go in first to dolphins but liked what I saw from in the few games I watch last week … Bumped down Benjamin lee nikolas savage ford Hubbard etc. Moved up latimer a touch bc he honestly is my fourth favorite wr and love attaboy Marcus and KVn and dontae and Christian

        • travis papa

          Buchanan is the best Safety in the draft and I think might be the 1st safety taken when the dust settles. Haha and Pryor are good but I think are being driven by the media same with lattimores meteoric rise.

    • Joe from Easton

      You have D-Lawrence off of this because of character issues or just not a scheme fit to you?

      • Tom W

        My last cut was him and Chrichton. Lawrence mainly bc of suspensions and Chrichton bc I don’t think he is athletic enough to play olb

        • Joe from Easton

          Fair enough. I’ve been high on Lawrence hoping he slides and the Eagles have a good enough organization to get his ass in gear. I wouldn’t take him before round 3, but he’s a 2nd round talent in a vacuum.

    • Eagles1018

      Just looking at your board layout is awe inspiring. Props. I’ll dig into this later

    • willissez

      Big gap between TEs, if Ebron drops I wonder how seriously the look at him (assuming Barr and his peers are gone).

      • Tom W

        yep.. definitely a first rounder dunno where though …. think you gotta take him if he falls to 22.

    • ohitsdom

      Not a big fan of Latimer, he’s 2A in my book. Good stuff though!

      • Tom W

        Personal bias but I really like him so I bumped him. size speed blocking deep speed hands catcher …beat up on roby and dennard.

    • gman

      Where is Bridgewater?

      • Tom W

        Dont see Chip being interested .. not the strongest arm and certainly not the most accurate.

    • grump

      Why is Manziel so high on the draft board?

      • Tom W

        late first…. don’t think that is high at all considering he is going to get drafted in the top 5.

    • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

      very well done Tom. Planned to do one at work on Wed., but I’ll just use your template (agree with ~85-90% anyway).
      thanks for sharing!

    • Adam

      Awesome chart dude. Just glancing over it, only thing I really disagree with is I think Ford is a 1st rounder and I wouldn’t draft McCullers in the 4th (or at all really)

    • mtn_green

      Wow that’s awesome, great amount of work. I could argue minorly about players but it didn’t put in the work and everything I know is from sheil, Tim, tommy, Jimmy and BGN. Same sources you have, other than draft tape. I’d be fine if Howie just used your draft board.

    • Mr.Fox

      i know there are a bunch of WR’s but you should probably add Jared Abbrederis … 6’2″ 190 lbs – not a burner, but possibly the best route runner in the draft… killed it against CB Roby.

    • Mike Roman

      I made a board of top 150, not necessarily Eagles-centric. I did add notes of players that they met with, went to see Pro Days, etc. I’m going to compare your board to mine. I F’N love the draft!!!!

  • Joe from Easton

    Defense:
    1) Mosley
    2) Barr
    3) Fuller

    Offense: (I don’t want a WR in the first round honestly, but…)
    1) ODB
    2) A-Rob
    3) Latimer/Lee

  • Andy

    How does C.J. Mosely compare to Luke Kuechly coming out?

    • Ian Farley

      Not on the same level but I would argue they are close. In the eagles system Mosely would’nt post the same type of numbers but would be equally effective as a blitzer and coverage backer. he would be strongly dependent on the eagles adding a 2 gap Nose Tackle to eat blockers and free him up much like San Fran does with Willis and Bowman.

      I just worry mosely would sit out the early in the season. as we know the eagles love Ryans as a leader on this team and Kendricks is an up and coming player. But Mosely and Kendricks as a pair going forward would be right up there in the list of top MLB pairings

      • Joe from Easton

        I would agree with you on everything here. I’ve been stressing in my discussions with friends that I would love to see a true two-gap NT. I think it would upgrade the entire defensive unit tremendously. I think having Mosley sit behind Ryans would be a heckuva luxury when thinking about 2015 and beyond.

        • Joe from Easton

          Maybe even by week 8 or 9 you would start to see him come in for passing downs.

          • Ian Farley

            I really like a few NT’s that are available 3rd round and beyond. Just space eaters. Its underrated what they can bring and they won’t cost higher than a 3rd to get one that can contribute early.

            Demeco played more defensive snaps than any LB last year in the league i believe. That shouldn’t happen. you would see Mosely and Kendricks on the field on passing downs somewhere toward the middle of the season.

    • Javi Echie

      Better comparison would be Demeco and not just because if the Alabama ties. Mosley’s speed and coverage skills are no comparison to Kuechly. He is a really good MLB but not on the level of Luke.

      • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

        agree, I think Mosley reads/understands the position as well but not quite the physical skillset. Still would love to have him

        • Javi Echie

          Oh I agree Rob I’d love to add the kid to our defense and it is just unfair to compare him to Kuechly who is already a stud

        • travis papa

          Everyone questioned kuechly size speed and coverage abilities until the combine. He ran a great 40 and Mosley came in only .07 slower. Mosley has bigger hands and longer arms kuechly is an inch taller same weight. They are similar athletes. I think kuechly was the better player coming out and will always be better but I think Mosley could be excellent in our defense and in coverage.

      • JofreyRice

        wow, didn’t see that at all. Fantastic coverage player. Sometimes he looked about as fast and smooth as a safety. I see more Navorro Bowman than Demeco.

    • Ian Farley

      i dug into this comparison more and its not really close haha.

      Keuchly tested higher in every measurable and was an inch taller and 10lbs heavier. They both have great instincts for the position and were very pro ready. keuchly was viewed as a once in a generation type player where mosely is a sure starter initially and pro bowl potential.

      so i would say they dont compare at all. But Mosely would be an ideal fit in the defensive scheme and would play more like a Lawrence Timmons role for the eagles.

      Keuchly Mosely Timmons
      6’3 243 6’2 234 6’1 234
      4.58 40y 4.67 4.66
      4.12 20y shuttle 4.40 4.3
      6.92 3 cone 7.30 6.92
      38in vert 35in 38in
      123in broad 118in 123in

  • willissez

    Well if Sheil is driving the Lee bandwagon then I guess I’m a passenger. If he had come out a year earlier instead of playing through the injury I think it would be a lot more crowded.

  • Glenn

    I think this article is spot on. Marqise Lee would look great in midnight green.

  • Mike J

    The more I read, hear and see the more I think we’re going to get a really, really good player at #22 that’ll contribute right away.
    I don’t think we need to move up…especially w/so few picks in this deep draft.

  • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

    Sheil/Tim:

    do you think it matters at all to Kelly et. al. that, of all the players you listed, none would immediately come in and see a lot of “starting” snaps?
    I know it’s not a necessity for 1st rd picks to come in and play right away (regardless of what WIP callers have to say about it), but the WRs would probably be sitting behind Maclin and Cooper; Mosley would not “commandeer” the defense from ILB out of the gate unless Demeco is traded/cut, and Fuller is behind Fletch, Sconces, and Boykin on the depth chart if drafted Thurs.

    • Richard Colton

      Lee probably comes in and is the 3rd receiver day one. That’s a fair amount of playing time – either in the slot himself or on the outside when Maclin lines up in the slot.

      Old Dirty is our top return guy day one too if he’s the pick, but like Tim/Sheil – I’m increasingly convinced he’ll be gone by 18.

      • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

        yea, WR is the one where some of these “versatile” guys come in day 1 and play some slot action. A more typical outside guy would have to play ST as well, and maybe lead to an increase in Maclin seeing snaps out of the slot. (as an aside, I don’t see Kelly drafting those outside-only WRs, if only because of what he put DJax through last year learning all WR positions. Suggests he wants guys that can go anywhere, anytime).

        Again, though, I’m curious what action they’d see when factoring in (1) learning the NFL and Chip’s playbook, which simple system aside is difficult for a WR, and (2) Sproles and Ertz both seeing time in the slot. Aside from LJ, who started day 1, Chip really eased the other draft picks into their roles.

        Not that I have any personal issue with a late 1st rd pick seeing limited time. Just putting one more dish on the table, with nothing else to discuss for 72 hrs.

      • Andy124

        I know some won’t agree because of Trent’s run defense, but I think Barr could take the day 1 starting spot if he fell to us. (Does he have that tri-mester handi-cap like Ertz? That would change my mind pretty quickly). I could also see a round 1 saftey beating out WolffAllen should the team go that way, not that I expect them to.

        But yeah, point well made by both of yous. Not exactly a lot of positions screaming for a rookie to come in and start. That’s one heckuva 1-year difference.

        • Warhound

          I think that the late draft may have eliminated that trimester problem.

    • Richard Colton

      Also Rob, Tommy L did a post on this a month or so back. It’s hard to imagine that anyone they take, outside of maybe a Safety, begins the season as a starter. I’m looking at Tom’s (very good) chart – and I don’t see one.

    • SoCalEaglesFan

      I think either Lee or Cooks would be starting over Cooper by the 1st game. Maybe even a 2nd round WR would take Cooper’s starting job. Let’s not forget that the only reason Cooper started last year to begin with was injury to others. He made the most of it, but let’s not make Cooper into something he’s not.

      Agree about the defensive prospects. They won’t likely play much this year.

      • cliff henny

        probably be so many different packages this year, be tough to tell who’s a starter and who’s high volume backup. last year’s offense was so limited, either 3 wide 1 TE or 2 and 2, that’s it. with sproles and Ertz hopefully rounding into form, who knows what formations Kelly will have. can picture 3TEs 2 RBs, or 4 wide. think 2nd difference will be pace. bet tempo picks up greatly too. should be fun. all I know is DC looking at ’13s tape are wasting their time

        • dnabrice

          I really hope Chip makes all the ’13 tape worthless. That would be awesome.

    • cliff henny

      really no one drafted (outside kicker/UDFA) should be a starter till next year. most will be in reduced sub-packages. why they should take highest of high ceiling guys who can at least do one thing at a pro level while coaches have year to round out game. I wouldn’t blink if Eagles went 1st rd 3rd wr, 2nd rd LOLB rush specialist, then rest were straight backups for ILB, G, TE, RB and CB with none planning on seeing major minutes if everyone stay healthy.

  • Max Lightfoot

    Just to be different, I hope we get Xavier Su’a-Filo – not to replace Mathis but we need O-line depth. After all, Chip’s offense is a run-first one.

    • botto

      this is very true. we need some one like this guy since we are run heavy it makes sense.

    • Guest

      Assuming they don’t end up trading Mathis a player like Filo would probably start over Herremans right away anyway. Guard might be one of those spots a top pick could start right away.

  • phillylove21

    Its kinda odd how lately certain rumors turns into reality.. Are we moving up in the first round to draft a receiver or are we moving up to 13-15 to get manziel before Dallas do? Rumor: eagles like manziel.. Is this a coincidence if we move up and he’s on the board? I’m just playing but im saying..

  • Rick H

    Just some player observations if the Eagles have the chance to draft them at # 22. (No particular order & if they are there). I would have no problem with any of these 3 cornerbacks Dennard/Gilbert/Fuller.
    Mosley would be a great choice because you can plug him in Trent Coles position. He can play any linebacker position.
    Of course Barr but if the Eagles could make a trade for Jordan I would definitely take him first.
    Donald d tackle but he won’t be there. I say that despite his size. This kid simply lives in the back field.Eagles d line needs that kind of pressure. Eagles will also get a DT in round 4 or later and the same with D end. No one wows me to pick in early rounds.
    Dix,Pryor and Buchaneon. However I would really like the Eagles to take J. Ward in 2nd.
    Offense I like Cooks,Beckham,Lee in that order but I believe the Eagles brass know better then me and take Lee. The Eagles also take another WR anywhere from rd 3 through the end of the draft and possible three all together.
    Offensive guys I like Niklas TE he is huge and is a good blocker and fairly athletic,
    I see the Eagles having interest in RB’s Tre Mason and Charles Sims in round 4 or later.
    I can also see the Eagles going with O line in rd 2. Could be a tackle or guard and there are some very good ones.
    Last but no least. The team that does the best job of signings UDFA this year will reap huge benefits. This draft is as deep in a number of positions then has been in years.

    • botto

      i agree with the UDFA and think this is where having Chip will really pay. he knows whats up.

    • Fly High

      Dennard and Cooks on the tops of your list. Chip prefers size, so while we might end up with Cooks, I do not think there is a chance with Dennard.

  • dislikedisqus

    I like Cooks. Slot is just about the only place where the Eagles don’t have a competent or better player.

  • Ark87

    I like Mosley and think he is worthy of going in the first half of the first round, but I don’t see him as a fit for what we are looking for in an ILB. He doesn’t have ideal length (meh height, but good arm length, he’d be fine but not ideal) or athleticism. Ranking in the 24th percentile among other ILB’s in agility measurements, and eventually clocked at 40 time at his pro day which would put him right around the 80th percentile in speed. http://mockdraftable.com/player_embed/4558/

    I don’t think Chip is chained to measuables, but I do think he would be reluctant to make concessions in the first round. Playing with great intangibles in a dominant defense at the college level…Id’ like the pick but I’m not convinced the Eagles would make the pick.

    Tommy Lawlor put up a good article about the ILB’s, how important they are in the 3-4 (very) and what the Eagles are looking at. The pattern seems to be that everyone we are looking at is a great athlete. http://igglesblitz.com/2014/05/the-importance-ilb/

  • Matt

    “Target” should be considered profanity on draft day. Drafting for need is the easiest way to set yourself back and handicap your team for years. Guard is NOT a position of need but in two seasons, when a 2nd or 3rd round guard drafted this year should be ready to play, Herremans and even Mathis could be gone. Fill needs in free agency with proven commodities, and elevate the talent base of the team through the draft.

  • Scott J

    After looking at that picture, I don’t want #13 from Fresno State.