OUR earliest pick is 21st this year. There is no way to guarantee which Draft prospect will and won’t be available, by the time we get to select. It is mainly for that reason, that I never attempt to predict the Draft. The other reason is BAA.
What is BAA? The Eagles don’t use a “Needs” based Draft philosophy. They instead take a “Best Athlete Available” approach. Meaning, they’ve ranked every player in the draft pool, and will take the highest ranked player on their board, REGARDLESS of his position, whenever an Eagles pick comes up. The Eagles are not alone in this. Most of NFL teams use BAA as their draft strategy these days. The Eagles have made exceptions, but this is generally our M.O.
Understand, this is NOT a mock draft. This Wish List is what the Eagles Draft would look like, if I were the GM. By the way, expect to see me reach once or twice. If a guy is a great fit, you go get him. Period. End of story. Don’t listen to media pundits try to determine where a guy “should be” picked. Just go get your guy. When he becomes a perennial All-Pro, you won’t care that some twit said he should have been drafted in later round. Get. Your. Guy.
Were I the GM, these are the players who would be Drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2020:
Round 1 (#21 overall): LB Kenneth Murray – WR is deep, but there is a scarcity of NFL cailber LB’s in this draft. Murray is a three down MLB with enough size (6’2 240), to handle the run in this division. He has sideline to sideline speed, and is even an effective blitzer. With a defensive line in front of him that will demand a double-teamed DT on nearly every snap, Murray would be free to flow to the football, or could be used to corral scrambling QB’s.
Round 2 (#53 overall): CB Jeff Gladney – At 5’10 191 pounds, he’s not an imposing specimen, but he’s also not ankle-biter. He’s sticky in coverage and attacks the run. The video below will show him giving WR CeeDee Lamb all that he can handle. If things don’t pan out with CB Sidney Jones this year, Gladney is a great insurance policy going forward.
Round 3 (#103 overall): WR Denzel Mims – As deep as this position is, it would be foolish to run right out and get a WR. This guy has been on my (and apparently a LOT of local people’s) radar for a couple of months now. Sporting a straight-forward style that just looks like Philadelphia, he’s a 6’3, 210 pounder, who can run, will block, and make the odd circus catch here and there.
Round 4 (#127 overall): WR/RB Antonio Gibson – Yes, two receivers in a row! The Eagles badly need a kick return threat. Gibson not only fits that bill, but he can also contribute on Offense, and in all four aspects of Special Teams. Odds are slim that the Eagles would keep 6 WR’s, but at 6’ 2, 220 pounds (the NFL site has him erroneously listed at 6’0) , with his ability to effectively carry the football, he might challenge RB Boston Scott for his roster spot. Seriously, watch the video.
Round 4 (#145 overall): DE Marlon Davidson – Huge for the position (6’3, 303 pounds). Can play both inside and outside, but is definitely a DE not a DT. Generally sets his edge well, but still can get pressure on the QB. Watching this video reminded me very much of DE Vinny Curry in 2017.
Round 4 (#146 overall): RG Damien Lewis – This guy is a bully in the run game. Honestly, watch the video (RG #68). It’s easy to score points when the defensive line is too tired, and too beat up to rush the QB, or fill gaps. Also, with RG Brandon Brooks anxiety issue, and his rehabbed arm, it’s not a bad idea to have some insurance.
Round 5 (#168 overall): RB Mike Warren – This is a reach pick. Almost everyone says that he can be had after the Draft, but why gamble? He’s a big RB who plays to his size, has good hands and can be split out wide. The Eagles need a short yardage inside runner, and this guy is one of just a couple of those in this Draft. (A.J. Dillon is big, but runs soft. Sewo Olonilua already makes questionable off the field decisions.) Pull the trigger and get the guy we need. After all it’s just gambling a 5th round pick, not a kidney.
Round 6 (#190 overall): C Zach Shackleford – This is also a reach pick. Many suggest that he can be added as a free agent after the Draft, but as I said: If the guy has what you need, go get ‘im! Shackleford is a battler inside, with intangibles like leadership and football intelligence. He isn’t the biggest or the strongest, or the fastest. Then again, people said those same things about C Jason Kelce didn’t they? In years to come, Shackleford could prove an absolute steal.
As I said, a couple of my guys here are reaches, and that’s okay. The Chargers received no consolation prize for drafting Ryan Leaf where everyone thought he should go. That’s because the idea is to get a guy who contributes. If the player picked contributes regularly, then the pick was a good one.
Adding this draft class of complimentary players to the Eagles roster, would not only patch the holes and provide depth, but also sets up the team for the 2021 Draft.