Another week, another round of mock drafts. Here’s the latest from around the web.
Despite the Eagles’ week of visits with quarterbacks, Don Banks of SI.com has the Eagles taking Ezekiel Elliott in the first round, with Carson Wentz going off the board just before to the 49ers.
With Jason Peters toward the end of his career, the Eagles certainly have need for an offensive tackle like Notre Dame’s Ronnie Stanley. But Elliott is a tantalizing option who can do everything you ask a running back to do, and do it well. He’d give the Eagles a home run threat in the backfield and help take the pressure off quarterback Sam Bradford. After Todd Gurley’s rookie success last season with the Rams, taking a running back in the top 10 is no longer heresy.
And Banks is not the only one. Pete Schrager of Fox Sports and NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah, as well as CBS’s Rob Rang, Dane Brugler, Will Brinson, and Jared Dubin all believe Elliott will land with the Eagles. Here’s what Schrager and Rang had to say:
Schrager: A game-changer. Just what the Eagles’ offense needs. I was told by an NFL scout that Elliott is the best blocking back to come into the NFL in “over a decade.” Elliott is in the 10-20 range on most mock drafts. Watch. He could go as high as 4.
Rang: Few players offer more immediate impact potential than Elliott, the consensus top back in the draft. After working previously with LeSean McCoy in Philadelphia and Jamaal Charles in Kansas City, new Eagles coach Doug Pederson is used to operating an offense around a star back. Elliott has the well-rounded game to be a star in Pederson’s offense.
Pete Prisco is the lone deviator from his CBS colleagues, positing that the Eagles will select Paxton Lynch with the eighth pick.
I just don’t think they will take a running back, no matter what general manager Howie Roseman had to say about the value. They need a quarterback for the future.
In his five-round mock, NFL.com’s Chad Reuter slots Elliott in the first, and South Carolina wide receiver Pharoh Cooper in the third.
Word is the Eagles are shopping Ryan Mathews, and they already traded DeMarco Murray. It would make sense for the team to look for a new bell-cow back.
Tommy Lawlor put together a seven-round mock, with the Eagles picking Jared Goff at No. 8 and Penn State defensive end Carl Nassib in the third round.
The team doesn’t need a quarterback right now, but the draft is more about the future than the present. When you have a high pick and a quarterback is available, you should take him. Back in 2004, the Chargers had Drew Brees and spent a top-five pick on a quarterback. When they lost Brees, Philip Rivers took over and has provided stability for more than a decade. That’s incredibly valuable. The Packers chose Aaron Rodgers when Brett Favre was still firmly their starter and playing at a high level. They didn’t spend a top 10 pick, but it was a first-round selection.
Taking Goff now would give the Eagles the luxury of developing him for the future. Rodgers sat for three years. Rivers sat for two years. Tony Romo sat for three years. Tom Brady sat for a year. If you have a good starter, the young player can focus on mastering the playbook and getting better at practice. That makes life easier when they finally do get on the field.
Doug Pederson has said he wants his quarterback to be able to make adjustments at the line of scrimmage. Goff did some of that in college. By sitting for a year or more, he would be learning and that would help him to be ready to make pre-snap adjustments at the line.
Source URL: https://www.phillymag.com/birds247/2016/04/02/philadelphia-eagles-mock-draft-ezekiel-elliott/
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