Mock Draft Roundup: Will A QB Fall To No. 8?
A thirst quencher in the desert of April NFL activity, here’s this week’s roundup of mock drafts from around the web. Only three weeks left until the draft.
Jared Dubin of CBS Sports has North Dakota State quarterback Carson Wentz falling to the Eagles after the Browns pass on him for Florida State defensive back Jalen Ramsey, and the 49ers select California quarterback Jared Goff.
The Eagles, meanwhile, get Wentz, considered in some circles the top player on their board. Yes, they paid Sam Bradford and Chase Daniels bunch of money, but Bradford’s contract does not have a big guarantee beyond this season and they can always let Wentz sit for a year or two behind both of them before giving him the reins to the team.
Bucky Brooks also has the Eagles taking a quarterback, except in his case it’s Goff instead of Wentz.
Despite having a pair of veteran quarterbacks on the roster, the Eagles could target Goff as the franchise quarterback of the future.
Jimmy Kempski agrees with Brooks.
In the last 20 years, the Eagles have drafted in the top 10 three times, and only once (Lane Johnson at pick No. 4 in 2013) since they took Corey Simon sixth overall in 2000. I note that to emphasize how rare it can be for teams to be in a position to draft a quarterback that highly. In my opinion, both Carson Wentz of North Dakota State and Goff are worthy of a top 10 pick.
I like Wentz more than Goff, although Goff has certain traits that are better. He has outstanding pocket presence and a very accurate arm, but lacks what Wentz has in terms of arm strength and mobility.
The Eagles made it fairly clear that they have questions about Bradford as the long-term answer at quarterback when they only re-upped him on a two-year deal. Goff could be that long-term solution to what has been an incredibly unstable quarterback position for the Eagles since the days of Donovan McNabb.
As for round three, Kempski has the Eagles taking Arizona State guard Christian Westerman.
Westerman reminds me a lot of Evan Mathis, in that he is a beast in the weight room, and wins on the football field with athleticism and technique. However, despite his impressive weight room measurables, he is not a player who is often going to move NFL defensive linemen off the line of scrimmage against their will. The Eagles have that on the other side of the line in Brandon Brooks. On the left side, they can add a player here who can do more in the screen game and pulling on outside runs.
NFL.com’s Charley Casserly anticipates the Eagles trading back down to No. 13 to pick up Michigan State offensive tackle Jack Conklin and a second round pick.
Projected trade from Eagles (No. 8). Missed out on Stanley. Eagles get the second-round pick they lost in the Sam Bradford trade back and solidify their OL.
Pete Prisco of CBS Sports slots Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch at No. 8.
Some scouts like him more than Wentz and Goff. He is a big, athletic kid, and the Eagles need a quarterback for the long run.
Mel Kiper has the Eagles taking Oregon defensive lineman DeForest Buckner.
A steal at this point, Buckner would look pretty good on a defensive line with Fletcher Cox. Buckner has the ability to really control an offensive lineman and disrupt offenses, and his versatility makes him useful pretty much anywhere.
Sports Illustrated’s Chris Burke thinks the Eagles will draft Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott.
Elliott is the best player on the board at this point, and that really can be the end of the discussion should Philadelphia add him to its Ryan Mathews/Darren Sproles backfield. Any of the next three selections about to come off the board would work for the Eagles, too, meaning this is a juicy spot for them.
USA Today’s Jonah Tuls thinks it’ll be Florida cornerback Vernon Hargreaves.
I’m sure the Eagles would love to have their quarterback fall into their lap here, but they would most likely have to trade up to get their guy, and with some uncertainty at the cornerback position, Vernon Hargreaves makes a lot of sense here with his playmaking ability.
Steve Palazzolo of Pro Football Focus projects Louisville defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins will end up in Philadelphia.
Building through the defensive line is never a bad idea, and Rankins adds more depth up front for the Eagles to pair with Fletcher Cox and Bennie Logan. Rankins can play head up on blockers or penetrate gaps while his two-year grading is as good as any defensive lineman in the class (second overall in the nation in 2014, 16th in 2015).