Mock Draft Roundup: Hargreaves To Philly?
As the draft steadily approaches, here are the latest mock drafts from around the web.
Several CBS Sports analysts think the Eagles will draft Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott, including Rob Rang, Dane Brugler, Pete Prisco, Will Brinson, and Jared Dubin. Here is what Dubin has to say about the pick:
This is our first change from last week’s mock. Given Howie Roseman’s recent comments about elite running backs, we think Elliott makes a lot of sense here. Ryan Mathews is injury prone and Darren Sproles is 32 — the Eagles will need a feature back that is going to carry the team’s offense into the future. Elliott is a rare talent.
NFL.com’s Charles Davis opts out of the Elliott hype train, predicting California quarterback Jared Goff instead.
I know that the Eagles have made plenty of recent moves at QB with Sam Bradford and Chase Daniel, but Goff fits new HC Doug Pederson’s system very well, and he would be the QB of the near future for the Eagles to build around.
NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein expects the Eagles to select Michigan State offensive tackle Jack Conklin.
We’ll take the more physical of the tackles between Conklin and Ronnie Stanley.
Chris Burke of SI.com, as part of a mock draft that includes a Rams-Ravens trade that would land the Rams Goff, has the Eagles picking Notre Dame offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley at No. 8.
Ezekiel Elliott, right? The Eagles no doubt had someone in mind when they moved up from No. 13 to No. 8 and Elliott is—for my money, at least—a top-five prospect in this class. But Stanley isn’t much further down the list, plus he gives Philadelphia the future long-term starting tackle it needs with Jason Peters’s career winding down.
ESPN’s Todd McShay agrees with Burke.
Jason Peters is 34 years old. It’s time for the Eagles to consider teaming Lane Johnson up with a younger tackle on the opposite side. Stanley has experience playing both left and right tackle. With his long arms (35½ inches) and athletic skill set, he has the ideal makeup to eventually develop into a blindside protector at the next level. If he went to Philly, Stanley would get the benefit of not being thrust into left tackle duties from Day 1.
Newsday.com’s Nick Klopsis has the Eagles going defense.
The Eagles moved up to the eighth overall pick in the deal that sent Byron Maxwell and Kiko Alonso to Miami, putting them in better position to land one of the draft’s top talents. Now that Maxwell is gone and Nolan Carroll is a free agent, they’ll need to find a cornerback opposite 2015 second-rounder Eric Rowe. Florida’s Vernon Hargreaves III makes the most sense at No. 8 in this case. Hargreaves has great technique, agility and balance. He excels in both man coverage and zone and displays great ball skills. He may be a little undersized at 5-10 1/2 and 204 pounds, though he plays much bigger than that and has the skill set to be a No. 1 corner.
CSN Philly’s Andrew Kulp also has the Eagles taking Hargreaves.
The Eagles have done an excellent job assembling starting-caliber talent at just about every position, so they truly have the freedom to go best player available here. That being said, the front office must also consider the team’s future and who will be most able to make the most impact, especially when choosing number eight.
Hargreaves could be the answer to both the best player and biggest need questions. A three-year starter and consensus All-American, Hargreaves has the potential to become a superstar at the next level. Though a tad undersized at 5’10”, the Florida product plays with a physicality that lends itself well to defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz’s scheme, and with 10 career interceptions, possesses the playmaker instinct as well. Plus, beyond Eric Rowe, the Eagles don’t have a clear-cut starter at the position beyond 2016, so cornerback most certainly is an area the club will be looking to upgrade.
Eric Galko of Sporting News throws out a new name, slotting Ohio State outside linebacker Darron Lee at No. 8.
The bold trade to dump two of last year’s top offseason acquisitions, Kiko Alonso and Byron Maxwell, gives the Eagles a chance at securing one of the top talents in the 2016 class. It also opens two important needs to fill.
Cornerback is an option, as Hargreaves and/or Eli Apple should be available at No. 8. But Lee may be Philly’s most-coveted prospect. He offers similar (if not higher) upside as Ryan Shazier, with elite range, quickness and athletic talent to grow into one of the NFL’s better linebackers.