Mock Draft Roundup: Later-Round Options
The day has finally come. At 8 p.m. tonight the 2016 NFL Draft will get underway. We know already that the Eagles will take a quarterback with the second overall pick in the draft, and the expectation is that it will be Carson Wentz.
The Eagles have seven overall picks in the draft: 2nd overall (the quarterback), 79th, 153rd, 164th (from Pittsburgh), 188th, 233rd, and 251st (from Arizona). Let’s check in with the NFL experts from around the net to see who they have the Eagles taking.
NFL.com’s Chad Reuter has the Eagles taking Carson Wentz 2nd overall, as most draft experts do.
Even before the big trade was finalized, I had this pick pegged for Wentz via Philadelphia or San Francisco. He reminds me of a more athletic version of Matt Ryan, certainly worth a No. 2 overall pick for a team looking for a promising young “face of the franchise”.
As for the rest of the draft, Reuter has the Eagles taking Cal running back Daniel Lasco with their third round pick. Here is what CBS Sports had to say about Lasco in their draft profile.
STRENGTHS: Broad shoulders and a good size overall with the frame to potentially handle another 5-10 pounds of muscle without sacrificing his agility and speed. Legitimate NFL athleticism. Good initial quickness to and through the hole, showing the 0-to-60 acceleration to offer big play potential.
Creative runner with light feet and greasy knees to elude defenders in tight quarters. Spins off of contact and keeps his legs churning. Good body control as a receiver, showing the ability to twist his frame to adjust to poorly thrown passes, collect the ball and accelerate in one smooth motion. Alert in pass protection and as a downfield blocker.
WEAKNESSES: Isn’t as powerful as his size suggests. Has an upright, slashing running style which leaves him off-balance and too often falling after absorbing hits from defenders. Can fall in love with his own big play potential and will look to bounce plays outside too often rather than burrowing ahead for the tough yardage. Must do a better job of protecting the football, failing to wrap both arms in traffic.
Has struggled with durability throughout his career, missing five full games in 2015.
IN OUR VIEW: Lasco isn’t a future bell-cow at the NFL level but his experience in a pass-heavy offense, agility and acceleration make him an intriguing complementary threat likely to be available in the late rounds.
Reuter has the Eagles selecting Oklahoma cornerback Zack Sanchez and outside linebacker Eric Striker, also of Oklahoma, in the fifth. Here is what NFL.com had to say about Sanchez.
SOURCES TELL US:“He is fast and talented. I’m always partial to guys who make plays on the ball so I like him. I don’t think he’s tough enough to tackle so he is probably just a true nickel cornerback who you have to play outside so teams can’t run it at him in the slot.” — NFC director of scouting
NFL COMPARISON: Patrick Robinson BOTTOM LINE: Experienced cornerback who has cover experience against current and future NFL receivers. Sanchez is a feast or famine cover man whose instincts run him into interceptions but also into aggressive mistakes that can cost his own team. His lack of size will work against him on draft day, but his ball production will be heavily weighed by teams looking for coverage help from a third cornerback.
STRENGTHS: Solidly-built for the position. Quick set-up off the snap with an assignment sound mindset. Squares well with a balanced base to absorb contact and hold his ground – able to anchor at shallow depth.
Natural lower body flexibility to mirror in short spaces. Very effective on combo blocks, peeling off defenders and picking up rushers. Veteran presence and vision, playing with a high football I.Q. Made all the protection calls and knows how to ID defenders. Two-year team captain with mature leadership traits and intangibles.
WEAKNESSES: Ordinary arm length and physical features might limit his versatility in the NFL. Reliable square blocker, but struggles with defenders on his edge and late to recover. Can get caught lunging with his upper body, falling off blocks and ending up out of the play. Not a rangy blocker and needs to improve his reliability as a puller and at the second level. Room to eliminate the unnecessary penalties and play with more discipline. Only had one major injury in college (knee, Nov. 2013), but also played through numerous minor issues over his career so his medical reports are crucial.
COMPARES TO: Alex Mack, Browns: Like Mack, Martin isn’t a truly explosive athlete but his functional power, awareness and technique could make him the leader of an offensive line for a decade. Also like Mack, an impressive week at the Senior Bowl could help Martin steadily rise up boards as the draft approaches.
As for the fifth round, Schrager sees the Eagles selecting Texas A&M cornerback Brandon Williams and local favorite Penn State defensive tackle Anthony Zettel. Here is what NFL.com had to say about Zettel, who they have rated as a seventh rounder.
Maximum effort defensive lineman who doesnt have optimal length to play at a defensive end spot or the size to play inside. Zettel has some talent and a great motor which is why he’s been as productive as he has over the last two seasons, but his traits and skill set may not translate into a lengthy NFL career.
CBS Sports’ Dane Brugler sees the Eagles taking Auburn tackle Shon Coleman in the third, Sanchez and Florida receiver Demarcus Robinson in the fifth, defensive end Victor Ochi from Stony Brook in the sixth, and linebackers Myke Tavarres and Steven Daniels in the seventh, from Incarnate Word and Florida State respectively.
Here is what NFL.com had to say about Demarcus Robinson.
Immensely talented with elite combination of straight-line speed and quick-twitch athleticism. Robinson flashes game-breaking potential as a deep ball threat and after the catch, but was suspended by two different coaches over a three-year period. While Robinson is likely to test off the charts and has the talent to be a top four receiver in this draft, it is hard to imagine his draft slot equaling his talent due to his character concerns.
For a local spin, Jimmy Kempski has the Eagles taking Duke safety Jeremy Cash in the third, Robinson and Missouri center Evan Boehm in fifth, West Virginia linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski in the sixth, plus North Carolina State cornerback Juston Burris and Cincinnati tackle Parker Ehinger in the seventh.
Here is what CBS Sports had to say about Jeremy Cash.
STRENGTHS: Often lining up near the line of scrimmage as a nickel cornerback, NFL scouts like Cash’s versatility and instincts in coverage, reading and anticipating well to drive on plays in front of him. He isn’t shy lowering his pads and driving through his target as a run defender, playing with nonstop violence and hustle.
WEAKNESSES: He is often so fixated on the ball that he doesn’t see approaching blockers, lacking ideal functional strength to easily stack-and-shed at the point of attack. Broken wrist required surgery in December, which will require medical checks by teams and could limit his ability to impress scouts during the pre-draft period.
IN OUR VIEW: The best NFL prospect on defense for Duke in nearly 30 years, Cash underwent surgery in December on his right wrist, abruptly ending a senior campaign in which he was named the ACC’s Defensive Player of the Year. A native of Miami who initially signed with Ohio State, Cash is money near the line of scrimmage, projecting best as a run-supporting safety or even hybrid linebacker.