Eagles Wake-Up Call: The Top Ten Prospects
The primary motivation for the Eagles’ trade with the Dolphins sending Kiko Alonso and Byron Maxwell packing with a swap of first-round picks seemed apparent: Philadelphia wanted to unload Maxwell’s contract.
But Howie Roseman revealed a secondary motivation last week about wanting to pick higher than No. 13 overall.
“The way we looked at it, we felt like there were 10 players that really stood out to us,” he explained. “…We felt like if we were in position to get one of those top 10 guys, there was tremendous value in that. And to be able to [secure a top 10 position] before draft day and spend more time vetting all those guys would really help us.”
To get an idea of who could be in the Eagles’ top tier of players, we created a consensus top 10 by averaging out the rankings of five draft resources: ESPN’s Scouts Inc., CBS Sports, NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah, Sports Illustrated’s Chris Burke and Rotoworld’s Josh Norris.
Roseman also reiterated the Eagles’ strategy of selecting the best player available instead of drafting for need, so here’s how those rankings could shake out, with some background on each player.
|1||Laremy Tunsil||OT||Ole Miss|
|2||Jalen Ramsey||CB||Florida State|
|T-3||Joey Bosa||DE||Ohio State|
|5||Ezekiel Elliott||RB||Ohio State|
|7||Ronnie Stanley||OT||Notre Dame|
|8||Laquon Treadwell||WR||Ole Miss|
|10||Carson Wentz||QB||North Dakota State|
1. OT Laremy Tunsil, Ole Miss
Height/Weight: 6-5, 310
Analysis (NFL.com): “From a talent and technique standpoint, Tunsil is easily cleanest offensive lineman in the 2016 draft and might be the cleanest prospect period. Tunsil showed signs of rust against Texas A&M in his first game back from a seven-game suspension, and he still kept Myles Garrett in check. Tunsil lacks pure power, but has the body control to be a quality run blocker in space and on levels. Ultimately, his feet, technique and instincts could make him an all-pro and one of the top pass protectors in the NFL.”
2. CB Jalen Ramsey, Florida State
Height/Weight: 6-1, 209
Analysis (NFL.com): “Press cover corner with disruptive length to fluster receivers and the makeup speed/leaping ability to stymie downfield attacks. Ramsey made more plays on the ball from the slot last year, but his ability to jam and trail receivers limited playmaking opportunities this year. Ramsey has all-pro potential and traits, but could use a little more bravado and attitude play in and play out.”
T-3. DE Joey Bosa, Ohio State
Height/Weight: 6-5, 269
Analysis (NFL.com): “Body beautiful college end who has the talent and upside to play with a hand down or standing in the pros. Bosa might not have the pure edge speed to be an elite pass rusher, but his hand usage and ability to generate push as a bull-rusher should make him a very good 4-3 base end or a 3-4 outside linebacker. Bosa has a few more flaws than some may be willing to admit and his upside might be good rather than great, but his traits and growth potential as a player make him a safe selection. Bosa might be at his best with a defensive coordinator willing to move him around the field.”
T-3. OLB Myles Jack, UCLA
Height/Weight: 6-1, 245
Analysis (NFL.com): “Upper echelon explosiveness with the desire, speed and aggression to find his way into play after play. While UCLA asked Jack to do a little bit of everything, an NFL team is more likely to simplify his tasks and set him into attack mode to maximize his outstanding physical traits. If he bounces back from the knee injury, Jack could become a high-end talent early on in his career.”
5. RB Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio State
Height/Weight: 6-0, 225
Analysis (NFL.com): “Elite, three-down running back who has the ability to excel in every facet of the game. Elliott has rare combination of size, athleticism, pass-catching and blocking skills and his competitive nature is always bubbling on the surface. While he’s had to handle a heavy workload over the last two seasons, Elliot should still come out of the gates as one of the most productive young running backs in the league.”
6. DE DeForest Buckner, Oregon
Height/Weight: 6-7, 291
Analysis (NFL.com): “Headed into this season, Buckner was a traits prospect who flashed with quickness, strength and overall athleticism, but he put those traits together in 2015. Buckner has the body type of a classic 3-4 defensive end who can control the point of attack with length and power, but he has above average pass rush potential for that position which figures to push him into the early stages of round one. Buckner has similar power to former teammate Arik Armstead, but is a much better pass rusher and has a chance to become a dominant force in the NFL.”
7. OT Ronnie Stanley, Notre Dame
Height/Weight: 6-6, 312
Analysis (NFL.com): “Three-year starter with the outstanding foot quickness and pass protection talent expected from an early round left tackle prospect. Stanley showed great maturity in acknowledging his weaknesses and returning to school to work on them and improve his game. While Stanley’s core power is still a concern, he showed improved strength and run blocking prowess this year and should be ready to come in and start right away for a team looking to protect a high-end quarterback.”
8. WR Laquon Treadwell, Ole Miss
Height/Weight: 6-2, 221
Analysis (NFL.com): “Like DeAndre Hopkins, both players should be defined by their talent, ball skills and consistency of production over pure speed numbers. Treadwell is at his best when he has a clean, two-way go off the line of scrimmage and he could be a challenging size matchup from the slot. While Ole Miss used him underneath quite a bit, he runs quality downfield routes and has the ball skills needed to become a more vertical receiver than underneath, possession guy.”
9. QB Jared Goff, California
Height/Weight: 6-4, 215
Analysis (NFL.com): “While Goff is a little leaner in the lower body than teams might like, he has good size, an NFL arm, advanced pocket mobility and the field demeanor of a franchise quarterback. His accuracy and decision making will suffer from occasional lapses, but he displays the tools to become a good starting quarterback with time.”
10. QB Carson Wentz, North Dakota State
Height/Weight: 6-5, 237
Analysis (NFL.com): “With a body type that is as prototypical as they come and a background in reading the entire field and working through progressions, Wentz will immediately check a couple of boxes that many college quarterbacks won’t be able to check. While his arm strength is OK, he can still make all the throws and he can make them with accuracy. His ability to escape pressure and pick up first downs with his feet will be yet another check mark in his favor. Wentz is still in a developmental phase after just two years at an FBS program, but has the mental and physical building blocks of a future, franchise quarterback.”
WHAT YOU MISSED
Tim examines some possible moves the Eagles may make in the second wave of free agency.
Howie Roseman spoke with Peter King about how he benefited from his year away from personnel decisions.
Tim takes a look at the Buffalo influence on Jim Schwartz’s defense.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
David Murphy of the Daily News lists rushing the passer as an area in which the Eagles must improve.
Unlike many of their other weaknesses, the Eagles’ pass rush was not a glaring liability, at least not in a nine-iron-through-the-television sense. Nevertheless, in 2015 the Eagles sacked the quarterback less often than all but seven teams, doing so on 5.5 percent of opponents’ pass attempts, which ranked 24th in the NFL. There were some games where they seemed to dominate – wins over the Saints and Patriots come to mind – but those games also make the ones in which their pass rush was absent all the more conspicuous. If pressure can make two all-time great quarterbacks look as bad as Drew Brees and Tom Brady looked against them, how much better did quarterbacks like Carson Palmer, Jameis Winston and Kirk Cousins look due to the lack of pressure they faced?
The big question is how much of that deficiency was attributable to Billy Davis’ 3-4 single high defense, which prioritized stopping the run and, at least theoretically, limiting big plays through the air. The majority of pressure that the Eagles did generate came from the interior of the line, where Cox earned a Pro Bowl nod thanks in large part to his 9 1/2 sacks.
ESPN.com’s Phil Sheridan believes Howie Roseman’s moves are the first step towards a more stable Eagles team.
In a real sense, Roseman is trying to get the Eagles back onto the track they were on in 2012 and 2013. The idea then was the build through the draft, extend young players’ contracts and add only the occasional free agent. Kelly took the Eagles down another track, trying to change the makeup of the roster in one frantic offseason.
To get back to the original track, Roseman had to undo much of Kelly’s handiwork. That meant an offseason at least as topsy-turvy as last year’s. The goal is stability, but it took a little of Kelly-style instability to turn the franchise in that direction.
Our new intern, Asher Dark, is starting this week. You may not see many posts with his name on them initially, but he’ll be helping us out a lot behind the scenes. Asher is a senior at Rutgers.