Happy Draft Day, everyone. Sheil and I have gotten the recommended 10-12 hours of sleep, have our personalized smoothies in hand and are ready to roll. I’m sure you are, too.
Now that the much-anticipated day is upon us, mocking season is (mercifully) coming to an end. But not before a pair of heavy-hitters weigh in.
Peter King and Mike Mayock both rolled out their predictions Wednesday. Let’s break it down:
— Showing just how strange of a year this is, King and Mayock don’t even agree on the first overall pick. Mayock says it will be Eric Fisher, King goes with Luke Joeckel.
— King predicts the Eagles will take Dion Jordan.
Chip Kelly bypasses the strong tackle market and a need at CB to pick an old friend from Oregon. He’ll fill those other spots later.
His top-5 reads Joeckel, Ziggy Ansah, Sharrif Floyd, Jordan and Dee Milliner.
— Mayock believes the fourth pick will be tackle Lane Johnson.
He’s the freakiest tackle I’ve ever seen in my life. And because of what Chip Kelly does — up-tempo, maximize snaps, throw the bubble screens, throw the tunnel screens — he needs a great athlete at left tackle.
The Mayock top-5: Fisher, Joeckel, Floyd, Johnson, Ansah.
— Mayock believes Geno Smith comes off the board at No. 6 to the Browns. King also thinks Cleveland ends up with the West Virginia quarterback, but after trading back to the 11th spot. Neither see another QB being taken in the first round.
— Star Lotulelei drops to 18 in Mayock’s view, and 26 in King’s mock.
— Tavon Austin is taken by the Bills at No. 8 in Mayock’s draft, while King sees him going to the Jets at 13.
So there you go. Two of the more plugged-in national guys, and they agree on little even with the draft just hours away. I think we are in for a pretty wild ride tonight.
WHAT YOU MISSED
Sheil has his draft cheat sheets ready. You can find offense here and defense here.
Floyd expects the Eagles to run the 4-3 Under.
According to one league source, EJ Manuel could come off the board a lot earlier than the media thinks.
Could Austin really be in the play? We take a look.
Kapadia walks us through three scenarios potentially facing the Eagles when they go on the clock at 4.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Tommy Lawlor has done a mock for all of the Eagles picks. The top three? OT Lane Johnson, tight end Zach Ertz and quarterback Zac Dysert.
I don’t think Kelly needs a great athlete, but he would probably prefer a quarterback who can run enough to make the read-option plays a regular part of the offense. Dysert can run. He ran for 12 touchdowns in his career and gained 108 yards on the ground this past season against Akron.
Dysert’s strength is his passing game. He has a good arm and can make all the throws. His best attribute is his ability to “throw guys open.” This is when a quarterback throws the ball to a covered receiver, but makes such a good throw that the receiver can make the catch.
Pro Football Talk, in their latest mock, says the Eagles will take Jordan at 4.
Just how bad have the Eagles done at drafting quality defensive players of late? Reuben Frank lays it out:
• None of the last 35 players the Eagles have drafted on defense has gone to a Pro Bowl. The last Pro Bowl defender the Eagles drafted was defensive end Trent Cole, back in 2005.
• The Eagles haven’t selected an impact player on defense in the first four rounds of the draft in 11 years, since Lito Sheppard, Sheldon Brown and Michael Lewis in 2002. Since then, they’ve drafted 25 players on defense in rounds one through four. Only one – Mike Patterson – has even become a regular, productive, long-term starter.
We’ll have a live chat going throughout the draft and will of course have plenty of content, so make yourself at home.