Eagles Draft Buzz Thread: 4/21

Derik Hamilton/USAT Sports

Derik Hamilton/USAT Sports

Between now and the draft, we’ll have daily threads with the latest mocks, buzz and relevant links. Check back throughout the day for updates.

5:59 p.m.: Apologies for the site issues we’ve had all day. That’s why we haven’t had many updates. The problems appear to be resolved now.

9:50 a.m.: Geoff Mosher of CSN Philly has an Eagles-only mock out. He has them taking Wake Forest CB Kevin Johnson in the first round.

Johnson can step in right away and play the spot opposite Byron Maxwell, giving the Eagles a complete turnaround from the Cary Williams-Bradley Fletcher tandem of the past two seasons. Kelly has Walter Thurmond in the slot and could use Brandon Boykin as potential trade bait. If not Johnson, look for an offensive lineman here.

9:36 a.m.: Peter King of The MMQB continues to draw comparisons between Chip Kelly and Jimmy Johnson.

9:06 a.m.: Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports named Kelly on his list of people who could drastically change the outcome of the draft:

He coached [Marcus] Mariota. He loves Mariota. He’s willing to do whatever he thinks is best for his organization, conventional wisdom and consequences be damned. He simply doesn’t care. He’s capable of pretty much anything and his peers don’t believe for a minute he’ll watch someone else draft Mariota without a fight. No one will explore more options than Kelly, and if he pulls something huge off, few would be surprised. It would be more surprising if he just uses his picks as presently subscribed.

8:43 a.m.: Josh Norris of Rotoworld has updated position-by-position rankings out. He’s got UCF WR Breshad Perriman as the eighth-best WR. It’ll be interesting to see which of the pass-catchers fall and how many go in the first round.

8:22 a.m.: Football Outsiders predicts that Mariota will have a better career than Jameis Winston:

Are Mariota’s numbers a product of the talent that surrounded him and the system in which he played? Mariota’s projection accounts for Oregon having two tackles and a center projected to go in the early rounds of the 2015 and 2016 drafts, but makes no adjustments for Oregon’s unusual pace of play. Questions about Mariota’s ability to adapt to a more standard NFL offense do lend a note of caution to his projection. At the same time, the model also ignores Mariota’s potential off-field strengths. And the two other quarterbacks with top-10 projections who got the most questions about their college production translating to the NFL — [Russell] Wilson and Aaron Rodgers — both turned out well, although the concerns with Wilson and Rodgers were different from those with Mariota.

Simply put, there has not been a quarterback in the last three drafts with Mariota’s chances of being an upper-tier to elite-level quarterback. He is far from a sure thing, but quarterback-hungry teams should not let Mariota slip by.