Eagles Draft Buzz: Secondary Targets
Here is a rundown of the latest Eagles-related post-combine draft buzz.
Todd McShay of ESPN.com thinks Florida offensive tackle D.J. Humphries could make sense for the Eagles:
He’s been getting a lot of buzz recently, and we’ve really liked his movement skills. He has the potential to develop into a starting left tackle in the NFL, but he doesn’t fit for a power running team because he isn’t a drive blocker. There’s also some durability concerns with him. But his workout was very good, with a great 40 (5.12) and short shuttle (4.64) and above-average scores in the bench press (26 reps) and broad jumps (8-8). One measurement concern: His 33⅝-inch arms are problematic for a left tackle prospect.
Team fits: He’d make sense for the Eagles on Day 2, as they’re looking for athleticism at the tackle position over size. The Panthers are another possibility.
McShay is unsure of the pro potential of Washington Swiss-army knife Shaq Thompson:
There are many different opinions on Washington’s Shaq Thompson. We have him as a linebacker, which is where he says he wants to play, and many teams agree. Others project him as an NFL safety while others think his best position might be running back, where he played some for the Huskies. His 4.64 40 time and 33 bench reps were good for a linebacker, but his jumps weren’t great. For teams looking at him as a running back, that 40 time is a bit of a red flag.
Don Banks of SI.com believes that oft-troubled Washington CB and potential Eagles target Marcus Peters is saying all the right things to teams and the media:
Plenty of teams in the top 20 could use the coverage help that Peters can provide, but NFL personnel evaluators are doing their due diligence to determine whether his lost season of 2014 represents a pattern of behavior that can be reversed. Just as [Janoris] Jenkins and [Tyrann] Mathieu have turned into solid NFL contributors after entering the league as poster children for the character-issue debate, Peters believes his time away from the game changed him in fundamental ways, and showed him the error of his ways.
“It humbled me a (whole) lot,” Peters said. “And what has really humbled me is having a child (son, Carson, born last Oct. 18). Me bringing a child into this world has really humbled me a whole lot because now I have to be able to provide for someone other than myself. I have someone that is looking up to me a lot, so I have to be 100 percent mature.”
And to prove his point, Banks mocked Peters to the Eagles in his latest mock draft:
Peters has much about his lost season of 2014 to explain to teams, but his coverage skills are the draft’s finest, and he would instantly upgrade Philly’s struggling pass defense. If Philly opts to not make a move up in pursuit of Marcus Mariota, staying put and landing one of the draft’s two best cornerbacks is a solid fallback. Coach Chip Kelly would rely on his Pac-12 ties to know exactly what he’s getting in Peters.
Peter Schrager of Fox Sports also has the Eagles picking Peters:
Peters had multiple confrontations with a new coaching staff in Washington last year, escalating to the point where he was ultimately removed from the team. He was upfront, honest and regretful in interviews with the media. I’m told he was the same — and actually quite impressive — in interviews with teams during the week, as well. He’s 6-foot, 198 pounds and looks longer than you’d expect. He didn’t run a lights-out 40-yard dash, but he’s a top press corner. Philadelphia could go a variety of ways at 20, but I like Peters with Chip Kelly.
Jason McIntyre of USA Today Sports has the Eagles taking Michigan State CB Trae Waynes, although he doesn’t seem too confident with his projection:
Pointless to try and figure out what Chip Kelly will do; he’s the new Bill Belichick! But just like last year, narrowing down the position isn’t difficult. Waynes ran a 4.35 40 at the Combine.
Eric Edholm of Yahoo Sports believes the Eagles will take LSU CB Jalen Collins at number 20:
Short of landing Nick Foles’ replacement, the Eagles have quite a few other concerns for a team that finished 10-6 last season. Chief among them is a glaring need at cornerback, where Bradley Fletcher was a whipping boy and Cary Williams might not be worth his contract despite playing fairly well at times. Collins’ length and speed fit the Eagles’ ideal at the position.
In his latest mock draft, Pat Kirwan of CBS Sports has the Eagles trading up to the fourth pick and selecting Marcus Mariota:
The Eagles come up for Marcus Mariota and send their first-round pick this year and next year plus RB LeSean McCoy to the Raiders. McCoy has three years left on his contract and the Raiders have plenty of cap space to absorb the contract. If the Eagles have to throw in another player or later round pick to close the deal they should do it. Maybe they recoup some of the compensation by trading Nick Foles. Cleveland and the Jets should be interested in Foles.
Rob Rang of CBS Sports was impressed with what he saw from Mariota and Jameis Winston on Saturday at the combine:
I’ve been one of the fortunate few members of the media allowed into the quarterback workouts each year since 2007, when the NFL first opened its doors to anyone other than league personnel. At no point during that time has the two top quarterbacks each fared as well under the bright lights as Winston and Mariota did today.
After the performances, the happiest men in Lucas Oil Stadium might not be the quarterbacks or even their agents but Tennessee Titans general manager Ruston Webster and coach Ken Whisenhunt, who just saw the value of the No. 2 overall pick of the draft jump considerably with it growing increasingly likely that Winston and Mariota will be the first two selections.
Rang also released a post-combine mock draft and gave the Eagles UCLA QB Brett Hundley:
With Chip Kelly in complete control of the roster, the Eagles are one of the more unpredictable teams. Nick Foles and Mark Sanchez have fared reasonably well in Kelly’s system but neither possesses the preferred athleticism. Hundley is a project in most schemes but perhaps not so much for Kelly. The 6-3, 226-pounder has terrific speed, a big arm and a career 3-to-1 TD-INT (75-25). The drop-off in talent after the top three quarterbacks is significant enough to push Hundley into the first round, even though many clubs view him as a second-round value.
Sheil Kapadia and Tucker Bagley contributed to this post.