Eagles Draft Buzz: Mock Roundup
The draft is just a little over a month way. The Eagles and the 31 other NFL teams have entered full scouting mode, trying to figure out all they can about the prospects who will be available on April 30.
Click here to view our updated 2015 pre-draft visit tracker and see who will visit/has visited the NovaCare Complex.
Here is the latest Eagles draft buzz.
Kevin Weidl of ESPN.com looked at who could fill the Eagles’ needs at wide receiver and offensive line in the draft, including Ohio State WR Devin Smith:
Alabama’s Amari Cooper, West Virginia’s Kevin White and Louisville’s DeVante Parker are the top three receivers in this draft, and all will likely be off the board by the time the Eagles pick at No. 20. But Smith makes sense here as a good consolation prize. While he is an elite downfield threat and his best fit is with a vertical passing team, he is a more of well-rounded receiver than he’s given credit for, and he flashes the ability to ruin pursuit angles when he catches a seam as a runner. Philly may be better suited to wait until the second or third rounds to land a receiver, as this class has good depth at the position, but Smith is an intriguing option at No. 20.
Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com has the Eagles going with Virginia OLB Eli Harold:
It’s impossible to predict what Chip Kelly will do, but the Eagles do have a need for another edge rusher.
In his Eagles-only mock, Tommy Lawlor has the Birds taking Pittsburgh offensive tackle T.J. Clemmings in the first round:
Right now Clemmings is a good, but not great player. He does have a lot of upside due to his size, skills and athleticism. Some think he could become a starting left tackle. He showed some limitations at the Senior Bowl. Players were able to get the best of him when they mixed in different moves.
Dane Kadar of SB Nation has the Eagles picking another WR in his latest mock draft, Arizona State’s Jaelen Strong:
There is a strong argument that can be made that Strong has the best hands of any wide receiver in this year’s draft. He attacks the ball in the air and routinely catches away from his frame. He showed several times he’s capable of making difficult one-handed catches. Tracks the ball nicely and knows how to adjust to a bad pass. Isn’t rated higher because he’s not the most sudden and quick receiver. His deep speed is good, but he has to build up to it. Won’t make a lot of defenders miss after the catch, but he’s strong enough to slip off of tackles. Needs to get better and more crisp in and out of his breaks. Works the middle of the field nicely. Has a good feel for his positioning when he’s working down the sideline and will go up after the ball. Does a nice job of recognizing coverages.
Rob Rang of CBS Sports reports that LSU CB and potential first-round target Jalen Collins recently had surgery on his foot:
The specifics of the injury were not immediately available but [Gil] Brandt reported that Collins is expected to be ready by mini camps, which can take place as early as the week after the draft. The short rehabilitation means that Collins’ injury may be something as relatively minor as adding stability to a stress fracture.
The injury, which was almost surely discovered during the intense medical examinations at the Combine, didn’t keep Collins from working out in Indianapolis. The 6-foot-1, 203 pound Collins worked out very well at the Combine, in fact, registering a 4.48 second time in the 40-yard dash and 6.77 second time in the 3 cone drill, leading all cornerbacks tested in Indianapolis in this key drill measuring change of direction and explosion. Collins was less impressive in the short shuttle – his 4.27 second time was middle of the pack among cornerbacks – as was his 36″ vertical jump and 10’3″ broad jump.
Collins enjoyed an impressive positional workout, however, and scouts are intrigued by the combination of size, fluidity and physicality he shows on tape. Collins currently ranks sixth on NFLDraftScout.com’s cornerback rankings for the 2015 NFL Draft but some talent evaluators believe that his upside could help him crack the first round despite the redshirt junior starting just 10 games over his collegiate career.
Greg Gabriel of the National Football Post has the Eagles taking Collins in the first round:
Corner is an area of weakness for the Eagles and Collins gives Philly a tall long corner…the type Kelly likes at the position.
Nate Davis of USA Today has the Eagles selecting Alabama S Landon Collins with the 20th overall pick:
Chip Kelly will have more chances to tweak his offense, specifically at receiver, later in the draft. But he’ll only get one shot at importing blue-chip safety help.
However, Tommy Lawlor doesn’t think that Collins would fit in well in Billy Davis’ scheme:
Cover 3 means the CBs and one S form a deep zone. The other S plays underneath. Seattle does this and wants Earl Thomas as the deep guy. The Eagles would prefer that both of their Safeties be able to drop deep and be equally effective.
The Eagles also like having the versatile Safeties for when they go with the base defense against Nickel looks. Remember the Seattle game? The Eagles stayed base to deal with Marshawn Lynch. That meant that Nate Allen and Malcolm Jenkins were playing the WR in the slot. That strategy works a lot better if you have Safeties that have good man cover skills. Landon Collins would not fit that scenario.
Josh Norris of Rotoworld has the Eagles taking Oregon offensive lineman Jake Fisher:
Fisher has played everywhere during his career: right guard, right tackle and left tackle. Offensive line might be the Eagles top need, and they seem to have a type in terms of athletes at the position. Fisher has the athletic fingerprint which fits, and not just because he went to Oregon. Both NFL teams and colleges have types. Ali Marpet could also be a target in as early as round two.
According to Rich Cimini of ESPN.com, the Jets will fly to Oregon to put Marcus Mariota through a private workout on Saturday. The Jets have the sixth pick in the first round.
Tucker Bagley is a Temple student and an intern at Birds 24/7.