NBA Mock Draft Roundup: Who the Experts Think the Sixers Will Take

D'Angelo Russell (Godofredo Vasquez, USA Today Sports) | Kristaps Porzingis (Twitter) | Emanuel Mudiay (Kevin Jairaj, USA Today Sports)

From left: D’Angelo Russell (Godofredo Vasquez, USA Today Sports) | Kristaps Porzingis (Twitter) | Emmanuel Mudiay (Kevin Jairaj, USA Today Sports)

Now that we’re only a week away from the NBA Draft, we’re beginning to get a little bit better of a feel for what teams will do on draft night.

Maybe.

As we get closer to the big night, misinformation becomes king as teams and agents look to control the process and keep competitors off-balance. Still, it’s worth taking a look at what the various experts around the league think the 76ers will do in the draft. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: King, Mayock Release Mocks

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.

COMING UP

We’ll have a live chat going throughout the draft and will of course have plenty of content, so make yourself at home.

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Post-Combine Mock Drafts

Now that the Combine is in the rear-view mirror, we thought we would take a look at some fresh mock drafts to see how experts’ opinions have shifted. Boy, have they shifted. Some of that can be attributed to improved intel. Part of it is overreaction to what happened in Indianapolis. Mostly, this is just a difficult draft to handicap. With few true standouts, there is little consensus as to who should go where.

Who will be gone when the Eagles are on the clock? You will get a different answer almost everywhere you go.

In his first mock draft, Don Banks of Sports Illustrated had the Eagles selecting Geno Smith. That was before the Eagles restructured Michael Vick‘s deal. Now he has offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland reuniting with Alabama guard Chance Warmack.

The Michael Vick re-signing fairly well convinced me that Chip Kelly is going to make do with what’s already on hand in Philly this year on the quarterback front. But getting a better foundation built in front of an Eagles quarterback is the most pressing issue Kelly faces. Warmack is the best guard prospect to hit the NFL in many years, but Philadelphia could easily turn in the card for Central Michigan offensive tackle Eric Fisher as well.

Banks has made quite a few tweaks to his projections. He has Alabama CB Dee Milliner (originally sixth overall) being selected with the second pick in the draft by Jacksonville. Clearly, Banks was impressed by the 4.37 40-time that Milliner posted in Indy. He also moved Florida defensive lineman Shariff Floyd from 24th all the way up to third. He pushed linebacker Manti Te’o out of the first round following his 4.82 40.

Mel Kiper‘s big board is totally different. He once had Texas A&M defensive end Damontre Moore ranked second overall, and now he’s nowhere to be found in the top 25. Floyd currently owns that No. 2 slot, climbing six spots after impressing at the Combine. Kiper now has offensive tackle Eric Fisher ahead of  Luke Joeckel. In the Eagles’ spot at fourth overall is Oregon defensive end/linebacker Dion Jordan, who was ninth before the Combine.

There had been questions about his ultimate position, but in Indy he showed why he should be considered a potentially dynamic 3-4 OLB. He showed elite speed for his size, and alleviated questions about whether he can cover, even as he profiles as a very good pass-rusher. He went to Oregon with the possibility of playing either offense (tight end) or defense but has emerged as an athletic, long-armed pass-rusher ready to make a difference.

Gil Brandt had Fisher going 18th last month. Now, he has him going to the Eagles at No. 4.

Fisher (6-7 1/4, 306) ran real well and was strong; in short, he looked to be every bit what I thought he was. He’ll be one of those guys who starts at left tackle for a long time. The Eagles could use the offensive line help.

No consensus.  Don’t expect that to change much between now and April 25.

WHAT YOU MISSED

Some thoughts on what the Alex Smith trade means for Nick Foles, Chip Kelly and the Eagles.

Sheil takes an in-depth look at DE/OLB Dion Jordan.

Kelly is a big fan of speed. Who showed off their wheels in Indy?

Kapadia explains why Kelly prefers science over tradition.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

Geoff Mosher believes it’s all over for Nnamdi Asomugha in Philadelphia:

One thing’s almost 100 percent certain: Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique-Rodgers Cromartie aren’t coming back. Asomugha’s agent, Ben Dogra, had said the Eagles are asking Asomugha to take a massive pay cut, but the buzz in Indy was that the Eagles had already made up their minds to move on.

Les Bowen gives his thoughts on Foles’ future now that Smith is in KC.

Reid is the only NFL decision-maker who definitely sees Foles as a viable starting QB, and Reid now has a QB. So what’s the remaining market for Foles, if he is available? In Jacksonville, as we’ve noted, Gus Bradley hired Frank Scelfo, Foles’ University of Arizona quarterbacks coach and closest advisor, to coach the Jags’ QBs. But the immediate goal there is to develop Blaine Gabbert, whom Jacksonville took 10th overall two years ago. The Jags might be interested in Foles next year, if Gabbert flunks what looks to be his final chance to establish himself as a starter, but for now, there is no indication anyone else will quarterback Jacksonville in 2013.

COMING UP

Last day of February! Time to amp up our free agency coverage.