Draft Daily: Who Will Be Available At No. 20?
One of the more difficult aspects involved with projecting the Eagles’ 20th pick is determining who might still be on the board at that point in the first round.
The draft can obviously unfold in a number of different ways. There will be surprises, unexpected trades, etc.
But let’s assume for a moment that the Eagles do stand pat. Who are some of the realistic options that might still be there?
Earlier this week, I participated in a mock draft for ESPN Radio in the Lehigh Valley. They had reporters in each NFL market make picks for the teams they cover. Here’s what the first 19 picks looked like.
1. Tampa – Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State
2. Tennessee – Leonard Williams, DL, USC
3. Jacksonville – Dante Fowler Jr., OLB, Florida
4. Oakland – Kevin White, WR, West Virginia
5. Washington – Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama
6. Jets – Shane Ray, EDGE, Missouri
7. Chicago – Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon
8. Atlanta – Vic Beasley, EDGE, Clemson
9. Giants- Brandon Scherff, OL, Iowa
10. St. Louis – La’el Collins, OL, LSU
11. Minnesota – Bud Dupree, OLB, Kentucky
12. Cleveland – DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville
13. New Orleans – Randy Gregory, EDGE, Nebraska
14. Miami – Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State
15. San Francisco – Marcus Peters, CB, Washington
16. Houston Texans – Landon Collins, S, Alabama
17. San Diego – Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia
18. Kansas City – Kevin Johnson, CB, Wake Forest
19. Cleveland – Danny Shelton, DT, Washington
You’ll probably notice that Mariota fell to No. 7 in this mock. If that happens, you have to think the Eagles will really explore moving up to grab him.
But again, for the purpose of this exercise, we’ll assume they stay put.
I considered seven different players at No. 20. UConn’s Byron Jones makes a lot of sense. Three corners were already off the board. As we’ve written about previously, Jones is a freak athlete who was a productive outside corner in college. He also has experience at safety and is considered a high-character prospect.
Offensive line was also an option. Pittsburgh’s T.J. Clemmings, Oregon’s Jake Fisher and Florida’s D.J. Humphries were all still available. Fisher is an obvious scheme fit with great athleticism. Clemmings and Humphries are also considered good athletes who could fit the bill.
And of course, there’s wide receiver. The top three guys were off the board in the first 12 picks. But players like Central Florida’s Breshad Perriman and USC’s Nelson Agholor were available. Perriman offers a great size/speed combination and was an explosive downfield threat. Agholor is a smooth, versatile pass-catcher who is dynamic with the ball in his hands.
Finally, a wild card whom we haven’t discussed much: Oregon defensive lineman Arik Armstead. The 6-7, 292 pounder has drawn Calais Campbell comparisons and is obviously familiar with Jerry Azzinaro. This is not an area of need for the Eagles, but perhaps they see big-time upside with Armstead.
So in the end, who did I go with?
Byron Jones. He has upside, fills a need and has been a productive player. The offensive line options were intriguing, but those holes will be easier to fill in later rounds. Perriman is intriguing, but the wide receiver class is deep. And I couldn’t bring myself to taking a defensive lineman.
So what do you think? Who would you have gone with? And is there anyone else who should have been in the conversation?