Eagles Wake-Up Call: Seven-Round Mock Draft
Here’s my stab at a seven-round mock draft for the Eagles:
First round (8 overall): Vernon Hargreaves III, CB, Florida.
I was between Hargreaves and Ezekiel Elliott, and I’m not ruling Elliott out. It seems entirely possible to me that the standout Ohio State back will carry the best overall grade of the remaining prospects if he is still available at No. 8. The Eagles are desperate for a playmaker on offense and Elliott could certainly be that. BPA + instant impact = logical and desirable choice.
But in our view, Elliott’s grade will have to be a few notches higher than his competitors for the Eagles to pull the trigger. It’s hard to ignore the short shelf life frequently tied to the spot. And while Howie Roseman made some valid points when discussing the value of elite running backs, there’s no doubt that it’s easier to find production in unconventional places compared to other positions.
The Eagles have long put a higher value on spots like cornerback, defensive end, quarterback (obviously) and tackle. Hargreaves is arguably the best corner talent in the draft and is expected to go off the board right around the time the Eagles are picking.
Corner is still a position of need in our view. Could be that need and circumstance line up in this case.
Third round (77th overall): Dak Prescott, QB Mississippi St.
I still think the Eagles could make a play to trade up in the first round for one of the top two QBs. My logic goes like this: Jeffrey Lurie knows a franchise quarterback is necessary to become a perennial contender once again; there is no evidence that a franchise quarterback is definitely on the roster; the best chance of landing one is early in the draft; so they’ll be tempted to take their shot.
If they can’t pull it off, I’d imagine they’d be looking for a QB with serious upside later in the draft in hopes that some coaching and a dash of luck could lead to them unearthing a gem. Prescott has drawn some comparisons to Donovan McNabb and has tools to work with. All the former quarterbacks on the coaching staff would likely welcome the challenge of molding Prescott into a legit NFL signal-caller.
Third round (79th overall) Nick Kwiatoski, LB West Virginia
The Eagles have been doing their homework on Kwiatoski this offseason. He could add immediate depth to the linebacking corps, serve as a backup to Jordan Hicks at middle linebacker and contribute on special teams from the jump. The 6-2, 243-pound Bethel Park, PA native led West Virginia in tackles over the last three seasons. He racked up 85 tackles this past year — 11.5 for a loss — along with four sacks in 2015.
Fourth round (100th overall): Tyler Ervin, RB, San Jose State
Asked about potential running back fits for the Eagles in this draft, Greg Cosell mentioned the 5-10, 192-pound Ervin first.
“If you look at Jamaal Charles…the big question about Jamaal Charles coming out was of course his size because he’s not a big guy…And yet in his own way in that offense he became a feature back,” said Cosell. “He may not be a feature back in the way you think of the Adrian Pederson‘s of the world…but if you think along those lines and you start to think, ‘OK, if you don’t want to draft a back at eight but you do want to get a back in this draft, to me you start thinking of guys like Tyler Ervin — a third, fourth-round player who is probably not built a whole lot differently than Jamaal Charles. He was a feature back in college. He ran out of the I-formation…Is he similar to Jamaal Charles? Could he be similar to Jamaal Charles in an offense line this?”
Fifth round (153rd overall): Avery Young, OL, Auburn
Fans might start sweating if the Eagles wait this long to take on offensive lineman. But Roseman seems to think there are quality options throughout this draft, and his work this offseason ensures the Eagles don’t have to force it in the earlier rounds. Young (6-5, 328) played both tackle and guard at the collegiate level. His versatility could be attractive for a team looking for depth at multiple positions.
Fifth round (164th overall) Hassan Ridgeway, DT, Texas
Defensive tackle is considered one of the stronger positions in the draft. It wouldn’t be at all surprising if the Eagles used a higher pick on a DT, but here we have them going with Ridgeway (6-3, 303), who had six tackles for a loss and 3.5 sacks last season.
Sixth round (188th overall) Ron Thompson, DE, Syracuse
Jim Schwartz is going to get himself a pass-rusher at some point. In Thompson (6-3, 253), he gets a developmental player who had seven sacks, 9.5 tackles for a loss and four forced fumbles for the Orange last season.
Seventh round (233rd overall): Pearce Slater, OT, San Diego State
No harm in adding players to the o-line after neglecting the position for so long. Slater (6-7, 329) has the NFL body type that makes him a project worth taking on.
Seventh round (251st overall): Trevor Davis, WR, Cal
Davis (4.42) had the third-fastest 40 time among receivers at the Combine. The former track standout had 40 catches for 672 yards (16.8 avg.) and 686 kick return yards last season while working alongside Jared Goff. The Eagles are looking to add speed to the receiver position, and Davis can help with that effort.
WHAT YOU MISSED
“Howie Roseman has done the best of any front-office executive in investing in home-grown talent.” Weekend Reading.
“Most debatable pick in the top 10.” NFC East Roundup.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Dave Zangaro of CSN Philly on the unique path of new Eagles fullback Ryan Mueller.
Mueller, who was cut from the Chargers’ practice squad last November, desperately wanted to make a return to the NFL, but wanted to have a backup plan too.
And the spring is just too valuable for a landscape business to miss.
So in between training, looking for NFL jobs and preparing for his second Kansas State pro day in as many years, the out-of-work football player formed Mueller Landscape Services, LLC, and got to work. He hired 15-20 high school players from Kansas City, made 3,000 fliers and began to pass them out.
Unbeknownst to him, one of the places Mueller passed out fliers was in his future boss’ neighborhood, a neighborhood just a mile from where Mueller grew up.
Doug Farrar of SI.com has Carson Wentz falling to the Eagles at 8.
O.K.—so the Eagles have Sam Bradford back in the fold, and new coach Doug Pederson seems to believe that backup Chase Daniel could be a starter. That’s all well and good, but given Bradford’s injury history and Daniel’s lack of history actually resembling a starter, all that talk could still lead to the Eagles taking a quarterback here. After the trade with Miami to move up from 13th to eighth in the draft order, Philly has a lot more flexibility. And in this situation, it makes sense for Wentz to sit for a while, get used to a higher level of competition and learn the intricacies of the position. Wentz has the frame, arm, mobility and competitive temperament to do more than either Bradford or Daniel in the long term.
Our Draft Daily series continues, and more.