Mike Mayock: Quarterback Top Priority For Eagles

Paxton Lynch. (USA Today Sports Images)

Paxton Lynch. (USA Today Sports Images)

During a nearly two-hour NFL Draft conference call Tuesday afternoon, much of which was spent discussing quarterbacks, NFL Network’s Mike Mayock said he believes finding a quarterback should be the Eagles’ No. 1 priority heading into the draft.

“If I’m the Eagles, my priority list is quarterback at No. 1,” Mayock said. “I don’t know what they’re going to do with Sam Bradford, but they’d better figure it out.”

Mayock then spent a good chunk of time talking about the Eagles’ potential interest in Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch.

“If they think there’s a franchise quarterback at No. 13, they’d better take him,” he said. “My belief is that [Jared] Goff and [Carson] Wentz will be gone. The question is, is Paxton Lynch there? And if Paxton Lynch is there at No. 13, if they believe he’s the guy, they’d better take him.

“Even if he doesn’t play one snap this year, I think they have to take a Lynch, or — I don’t know if they’re into a [Connor] Cook or not, but if they think there’s a guy at No. 13 that’s a franchise quarterback, I think everything else flies off the board.”

In 2015, Lynch completed 66.8 percent of his passes, averaging 8.5 yards per attempt and throwing 28 touchdowns to four interceptions.

In a different answer, Mayock was complimentary of Lynch’s physical abilities, and compared him to a Super Bowl winner.

“He’s 6-7, and he reminds me of Joe Flacco coming out of Delaware,” Mayock said. “He’s a great athlete for 6-foot-7. He will surprise you with his athletic ability, he’s got big arms, but he’s a year or two away from playing.”

Mayock then moved on to talk about the rest of the Birds’ needs, including the possibility of trading down from the No. 13 spot to reclaim a stake in the second round if no player catches Howie Roseman‘s eye.

“After [quarterback] — in order of priority, it’s quarterback, then for me it’s offensive line,” Mayock said. “The Eagles need to take two or three offensive linemen in this draft, and then after that they need to take a couple of defensive backs.

“Depending on how the board sets up at No. 13, if there’s nobody there that they’re that wild about, and they can trade down to pick up a second, I’d be all about that. But it all depends on what happens with their board.”

Here are a few other interesting Eagles-related topics that Mayock hit on.

On offensive tackles who could play guard in the NFL:

“Of the tackle group that I think slides inside, most of them I’ve already got listed as guards,” Mayock said. “I think the best one of that is Cody Whitehair, from Kansas State. I think Vadal Alexander, from LSU, is the next one. And I would probably put Germain Ifedi from Texas A&M in that same group. I think all three of them are second round picks, and the Eagles, as you know, don’t have a second round pick.

“If you start looking at some other guys beyond that, you have two third round picks with the Eagles. Rees Odhiambo from Boise State, checkered history with injuries but I think has some talent. You’ve got to do your homework on him on his durability. I think he’s going to kick inside, I think Denver Kirkland from Arkansas […] Dominick Jackson from Alabama, a later-round pick, will kick inside.

“There’s a ton of tackles that kick inside throughout all seven rounds of this draft.”

On mid-to-late round quarterback options:

“Who’s the next Kirk Cousins? Who’s that middle-round guy that can get you to the playoffs, if he needed to start down the road? There’s a group of those guys,” Mayock said. “Kevin Hogan would be one, from Stanford. Brandon Allen, a former fifth-round guy from Arkansas. Dak Prescott, developmental guy from Mississippi State, is another, perhaps, fourth-round pick.”

On his philosophy of when and why teams should draft quarterbacks:

“I’m a big believer that most teams should draft a quarterback every other year,” Mayock said. “I really am, just to try and keep getting looks at different kids, and see if you can get an upgrade at that position, even just as a backup.”