Wake-Up Call: ‘Best Draft In Ten Years’

NFL analyst Mike Mayock opened his conference call with reporters Tuesday by offering the following:

“From my perspective, this is the deepest and best draft class I’ve seen in probably 10 years. That’s been reinforced by most of the general managers and scouts that I’ve talked to throughout the league. I had one GM tell me the other day that having a top 20 pick this year is very similar to having a top-10 pick last year,” he said. “I think there is more depth. I think there are certain positions that are stacked.”

Including wide receiver. Mayock lists Clemson’s Sammy Watkins, Marqise Lee of USC, Texas A&M’s Mike Evans, Kelvin Benjamin of Florida State and LSU’s Jarvis Landry as his top five wideouts, but believes there are plenty of options out there.

“It’s the best wide receiver draft I’ve seen in years,” he said.

Mayock sees offensive tackle as another area of strength in this draft (led by Jake Matthews of Texas A&M, Greg Robinson of Auburn, Michigan’s Taylor Lewan,  Zack Martin of Notre Dame and Alabama’s Cyrus Kouandjio), saying that you can go 3-4 rounds deep and still get a starting offensive tackle. On the surface the Eagles are in good shape at the tackle spot with Jason Peters and Lane Johnson serving as the bookends. But Peters is 32 years old and there is no clear heir apparent among the reserves (Michael Bamiro, Allen Barbre, Dennis Kelly and Matt Tobin). If there is a stud tackle to be had and at good value, I don’t think Chip Kelly and Howie Roseman will be shy about pulling the trigger.

Most fans, of course, want to see the Eagles address the defensive side of the ball with the bulk of their picks. Mayock said there is a pass-rushing defensive end/outside linebacker that may fit the bill in the first round.

“The one guy that is kind of interesting, and it might be a little bit high, but Dee Ford of Auburn is kind of that edge rush guy,” said Mayock. “He doesn’t have as much length as you might like and he might be more comparable to Bruce Irvin, who Seattle took at 15 two years ago. He’s a guy with some real edge burst and he’s a guy that would fit what the Eagles do.”


If there is “significant demand” for Riley Cooper, Sheil says the Eagles should move on.

Opinions vary on who the Eagles will select at No. 22. 

Jason Avant was “shocked” by some of what he read in the Wells Report.


Good read over at the Wall Street Journal on Brent Celek‘s offseason training program.

During the off-season, Mr. Celek focuses on flexibility and functional movements. Two to three days a week he attends yoga class or Pure Barre, which combines yoga, Pilates and light weights. “Sometimes I go with my mom and sister,” he says.

He uses the Eagles training facility to get in a light weight workout. “Our training gym is literally next to my house so I can pop over and often find a workout partner,” he says.

He says his new weight program emphasizes performing fewer reps at a higher intensity. He often does squats, pull-ups, dumbbell bench presses and seated rows. “I want to maintain versus add muscle,” he says.

Phil Sheridan takes a closer look at Louisville safety Calvin Pryor.

 Mayock’s top-rated safety is 6-2, 208 pounds. Kiper describes Pryor as a “downhill safety who will fly up to the line of scrimmage and make plays. While he’s got work to do in coverage, he’s instinctive and athletic enough to get better there.”

NFL Network’s Nolan Nawrocki describes Pryor in words that should appeal to Eagles fans: “A big, physical, hammering run defender brings an enforcer mentality to the box and an intimidating, punishing presence to the back end. Is arguably the most violent hitter in this year’s draft class and should make his presence felt readily in the pros.”


I’m heading to Indianapolis for the combine today. We’ll have all angles covered for you.