Eagles Wake-Up Call: Mock Draft Round-Up
The mock drafts come fast and furious these days, my friends. Back in simpler times (2014), draft projections would be at a trickle this time of year. Now, I think Jimmy Kempski is already on version 3.0 of his seven-round mock (and likely has at least three of the picks nailed).
Let’s cast a wide net around these bad boys to see who the analysts are linking to the Eagles at No. 13 (and beyond):
Sports Illustrated’s Chris Burke released a two-round mock draft, and has the Eagles going on the offensive in round one.
13. Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss
Honestly, it’s tough to get a read on the receiver class right now. Do teams wait on the position because of the depth, or do a bunch of prospects fly off the board early because of the talent? For now, lean the former. Treadwell remains the top option—a physically dominant receiver with plus blocking traits.
Josh Norris of Rotoworld just released his third mock draft. (See?) He doesn’t have a quarterback coming off the board until the No. 15 slot (Carson Wentz to the Rams). Norris sees the Eagles passing over a signal-caller for Stanford guard Joshua Garnett.
I’ve been on a few local Philadelphia programs in recent weeks. One question I received was “outside of guard, what position is the biggest need.” It was difficult to answer. To me, that shows how much the Eagles need to upgrade the position, arguably at both guard spots. Garnett can be a powerful blocker and will draw the “good teammate” label.
The guys over at Walter Football have four rounds mocked. They see the Birds taking Memphis QB Paxton Lynch at 13.
In case you haven’t heard it before, new regimes mean new quarterbacks. The Eagles are beginning anew after firing Chip Kelly, and much like his mentor, Andy Reid, Doug Pederson will want to begin his Eagles’ tenure by selecting a quarterback in the first round.
This, of course, depends on whether or not Philadelphia re-signs Sam Bradford. That certainly could happen, and many here expect it to, but Bradford is going to command a huge price tag this offseason, and a team like the 49ers could throw a ton of money his way. There’s also some talk of Pederson liking Nick Foles, but that would just be for a temporary starter or high-quality backup. Signing Foles would have no impact on this pick.
They have the Eagles grabbing Western Michigan OT Willie Beavers and safety Jayron Kearse out of Clemson in the third and UCLA WR Thomas Duarte in the fourth. Walter Football also has a 2017 mock posted, which pisses me off.
USA Today agrees with the Lynch pick.
13. Philadelphia Eagles – Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis: They’ve already been busy extending several players since the season ended. QB Sam Bradford isn’t one of them. Lynch is an intriguing prospect but could use the benefit of a redshirt year to adapt to the pro game. New coach Doug Pederson could help prepare Lynch in 2016 while Mark Sanchez holds down the fort.
Matt Miller of Bleacher Report makes it three in a row for Lynch.
This is a position likely to change in free agency—with Sam Bradford a free agent and new head coach Doug Pederson needing to lay out his philosophy at the position—but don’t rule out a draft pick at quarterback in Round 1. Especially if Paxton Lynch is on the board.
Lynch is a big-armed, tall (6’7”) quarterback with impressive mobility. That ability to rifle the ball while on the move, and even run some read-option, has to be appealing to Pederson coming from the Andy Reid offense and working with Alex Smith. Lynch’s potential is also big, and like Blake Bortles in the 2014 draft, he could be a good quarterback in a few short years.
Mike Mayock released his positional rankings, and has the QBs as follows: Wentz, Cal’s Jared Goff, Lynch, Connor Cook of Michigan State and Dak Prescott of Mississippi State.
For the record- think Goff is most polished QB and love his tape..Ranked Wentz 1 cause think he could be special by year 3….
— Mike Mayock (@MikeMayock) February 10, 2016
WHAT YOU MISSED
Some pertinent afternoon notes, including updates on the ongoing LeSean McCoy situation.
A by-the-numbers examination of what Doug Pederson does well, and what he can fix.
Quarterback is one thing; who’s catching the passes? A closer look at the wide receiver position.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Les Bowen of the Daily News writes that the Eagles’ hire of Greg Lewis as wide receivers coach was a good get.
As an NFL receiver, Lewis had his moments, including an ESPY-award-winning, back-of-the-end-zone catch from Brett Favre as a Minnesota Viking in 2009. But Lewis never established himself as long-term starter and was out of the league by 2011. So far, his coaching career has produced a much more impressive trajectory.
In four seasons since interning with the Eagles during their 2012 training camp, Lewis, who turns 36 on Friday, held four jobs before this one, going from the University of San Diego to San Jose State to Pitt to the New Orleans Saints last year, as an assistant to wideouts coach John Morton. Now he’s in charge of an NFL position grouping, at a position where the Eagles struggled in 2015. Though all of Chip Kelly‘s assistants remained under contract, and seven were retained, the organization allowed receivers coach Bob Bicknell to accompany Kelly to San Francisco.
“I wouldn’t say I’ve moved up quickly. I would just say I’m doing my job wherever I’m at . . . people may recognize it, but I’m not here for accolades or anything like that,” Lewis said. “I just want to help people, receivers, most likely, get better . . . I’ve taken pieces from everybody and tried to implement ’em to what I try to coach receivers to do.”
The latest installment of Stay or Go from CSN Philadelphia’s Dave Zangaro and Reuben Frank, including the fates of Jerome Couplin and Randall Evans.
Roob: I expected Couplin to make a bid for a starting safety spot last year, but he settled into a role as almost exclusively a special teamer, getting only 11 snaps all year on defense before his season ended with an injury. Couplin has all the tools, especially his size, to be an NFL safety. He comes cheap ($616,668 cap hit), and it’s not like the Eagles are loaded with options. I’ll bring him back mainly because there’s no reason not to. I think about Quintin Mikell, who wasn’t a starter until his fifth NFL season. Safeties are hard to find. The Eagles haven’t drafted an elite one since Dawk. Twenty years ago. When you have one who’s cheap, smart and has good size, you keep him around and see what he can do.
Dave: Couplin was primarily a special teams player in 2015 before he got hurt and was placed on IR. He was a good special teamer too. This one is kind of hard to say. The Eagles might elect to stick with some younger players if they draft a couple. But he’s still a relatively cheap option on a team without much safety depth.
Our offseason outlook series continues. Today Josh focuses on the tight end position.