Eagles Wake Up Call: Mock Draft Roundup
There are plenty of mocks to catch up on since free agency started and the Eagles traded into the No. 8 slot. Let’s take a look:
Cris Collinsworth put together his first-ever mock draft for Pro Football Focus, and has the Eagles taking tackle Ronnie Stanley.
The Eagles traded up with Miami to get into the first eight picks, and it was worth the effort. Stanley has been a rock for the Fighting Irish, and I have seen most of the games because my son Austin played for the team. Stanley will be a 15-year cornerstone at tackle on an offensive line that needs help. You could argue the Eagles need more help inside, but Stanley is one of those key cornerstones you can’t pass on. He is not as athletic as Laremy Tunsil, but a player who will be better than 75 percent of NFL tackles by his second year. Stanley needs to get stronger against bull rushers, but he is quick off the ball and uses his long arms to his full advantage. He also has plenty of quickness to get to the second level and make plays in the screen game. On the negative side, Stanley can look a little awkward sometimes trying to recover when getting beat, but he is NFL-ready today. Eagles left tackle Jason Peters has been one of my favorite players for a long time, but his injury issues are starting to be a concern, and the Eagles are a different team without him. Stanley is not as athletic as Peters, but he has to be the pick here.
Interestingly, Collinsworth has the Rams trading into the top slot to grab Carson Wentz, and sees Jared Goff going second to the Browns.
Pete Prisco of CBS Sports believes the top two quarterbacks will be off the board by the time the Eagles are on the clock as well, and sees them going with Paxton Lynch.
Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis: Sam Bradford isn’t the long-term answer. Chase Daniel isn’t either. The word is they are eying a quarterback, which this move up helps. They can take a player who can learn for a year or so.
Jimmy Kempski agrees with Collinsworth’s assessment that the Eagles will go with Stanley, and predicts they’ll land Penn State’s Christian Hackenberg in the third — though he’s not a big fan of the QB.
Back in November, we published a review of Hackenberg. I watched four of Hackenberg’s games from his library on DraftBreakdown.com. The first three games were against quality defenses (vs. Temple in 2015, and vs. Michigan State and Ohio State in 2014). His performances were so bad in those games, that I actually went to his game log, and picked out his best statistical game in 2014 to see if I could find something positive to say, which happened to be against Boston College.
Unfortunately, there wasn’t anything all that impressive there either.
Having said the above, there’s little doubt Hackenberg has a strong arm, and the ball comes out quickly once he decides to let it rip, with little effort. Hackenberg has also had some excuses made for him, namely that head coach James Franklin’s offense was garbage, as was the offensive line.
Some team will see Hackenberg’s tools and think they can coach him up. With two former quarterbacks and three former/current quarterback coaches on their coaching staff, the Eagles are a logical pick to be that team.
Daniel Jeremiah projects the Eagles will take Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott at 8.
The Eagles need to get more explosive in the backfield and Elliott would be a perfect fit.
Running back value be damned, Elliott is regarded as one of the draft’s 10 best players by NFL evaluators. In dropping DeMarco Murray after one season and moving into the top 10, the Eagles are in a position to pick Elliott. He can do everything you want in a running back and will give Philadelphia a player to build the offense around.
WHAT YOU MISSED
Video: Carson Wentz and Jared Goff take on Gruden’s QB Camp.
The Eagles re-signed Nolan Carroll to a one-year deal.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Kevin Patra of NFL.com highlights one key member of the Eagles Howie Roseman chose to retain.
Since his return from a Chip Kelly-induced sabbatical, Howie Roseman systematically dismantled seemingly every move the former coach made wrestling away football power in 2015.
Most notable among Roseman’s transactions were trading the bloated contracts of Byron Maxwell and DeMarco Murray.
The one thing Howie did keep? Sports science czar Shaun Huls, who has earned credit for many forward-thinking beliefs about nutrition. During Kelly’s stay, the Eagles were lauded for out-of-the-box thinking, including instituting a personalized smoothie regimen.
“Chip brought in a lot of great ideas and great people,” Roseman told TheMMQB.com’s Peter King. “Shaun and sports science are both examples of that.”
Joel Thurman of Arrowhead Pride sat down with Brandon Lee Gowton of Bleeding Green Nation to discuss the advantage Chase Daniel may bring to the Eagles for the 2016 season.
Chase Daniel was a total pro. There was a 100 percent chance he would be ready to play if Alex [Smith] went down in any game. No question about it. When the Chiefs went to the playoffs in 2013 he was the one who organized team t-shirts with a motivational slogan for everyone (printed by his clothing company which … the dude’s a businessman … I mean he’s a business, man.) He was respected by everyone, including the media who went to him when we needed it. He was active on social media which led to fans connecting with him. The advantage here in KC is that Chase played college football just a couple hours away so there was a lot of history there with Mizzou fans. Credit Chase though for getting those Kansas fans on his side, too. Not an easy task.
We’ll continue to keep an eye on free agency, and start shifting heavier focus to the draft.
Asher Dark contributed to this post.