THIS is not a Mock Draft. I never try to predict what the Eagles will do in a Draft. Mostly because unless you work in their Scouting department, you haven’t the faintest clue as to what they’ll do. Which is fitting. Because, if they aren’t picking in the top FIVE, they never have much of an idea either.
The Eagles don’t use a “needs based” Draft philosophy. They instead take a “best athlete available” approach. Meaning that, they’ve ranked every player entered in the Draft, and will take the highest ranked player on their board, REGARDLESS of his position, when their pick comes up.
Given the high number of trades before and during the Draft, this allows them more flexibility, and won’t get them jammed up if “their guy” is picked before they can get him. The Eagles are not alone in this. Most of the NFL drafts this way now.
Since I have no way of knowing how the Eagles have ranked each prospects, I approach my Wish List from a “needs based” standpoint. I make a list of what we need, and then try to weave a solid draft out of what should still be there according to the Draft order as of the moment this article is published.
This is (more or less) what the Eagles Draft would look like, if I were the GM. Whether you like it or not, I’d like to hear your thoughts or your ideas.
1st round: No. 25 overall (TRADE this pick, CB Jalen Mills and WR Nelson Agholor to MIA to move up to No 13 overall) DT Christian Wilkins.
Wilkins (6’3 315) spends a lot of time being double-teamed and still manages to be disruptive in the middle of the offense. He’s not a pass rush specialist per se, but placed beside DT Fletcher Cox, in a rotation with DT Malik Jackson that keeps them all fresh, would rob opposing coaches and QB’s of a good night’s rest on the regular.
2nd round: No. 53 overall WR Parris Campbell
You didn’t like the part where I mentioned trading Agholor. Relax. I wouldn’t leave you hanging without a plan to raise you higher than where you started. Trust me. There’s always a plan. Campbell is bigger (6’0″ 205), faster (4.31), more slippery, and comes in as a more competitive blocker. His presence would make WR Alshon Jeffery even more dangerous. Did I mention that he also has kick return experience? Oh! My bad. He also has kick return experience. Which we need. And did I mention that we wouldn’t have to overpay for a Slot in 2020? Like I said. There’s always a plan.
2nd round: No. 57 overall S Darnell Savage
He’s a little smaller (5’11” 198) than Malcolm Jenkins, but Savage has the same heady aggressiveness that you want at this position. Whether FS, SS, or Slot, he can play them all. Again, similar to Jenkins. Savage provides an insurance policy at a level we don’t currently have. Oh yeah. He’s also regional guy with a great name for a jersey and headlines. C’mon, you wouldn’t wear a jersey with SAVAGE on the back? You wouldn’t like to see a SAVAGE hit? You know you like the sound of those.
4th round: No. 127 overall RT Bobby Evans
RT Evans (6’4″ 312) likes to see his opponent on the ground, and seems to enjoy putting them there. In the past, the Eagles have said that they wouldn’t move Lane Johnson to LT. However, if it does become necessary, it’d be nice to have a little Runyan-esque play on the right.
4th round: No. 138 overall RB Alex Barnes
Barnes (6’0″ 226) has a 5th round grade on him. However, he’s a guy who can run it, catch it, pass protect, act as a lead blocker, pick up short yardage, and take direct snaps. All of which you’ll see him do, and do well, in this 12 minute video. So no. I don’t buy him lasting until the 5th. I don’t buy the 4th either, but if he’s still there, we’re idiots not to take him.
5th round: No. 163 overall DE Shareef Miller
Miller (6’4″ 254) does a solid job of playing “the run first” on every down. He sets and wins the edge, but doesn’t do a good job of exploiting it when he wins it. Too often he runs himself out of plays, or doesn’t bend inside when he has the Tackle on his heels. These are things that can be fixed quickly with coaching, and should have been already. (Then again PSU’s coaching staff is now infamous for letting some things go on too long.) Given that Chris Long‘s game is also “set the edge–play the run–rush the passer” Miller could be just the rotational player to fill Long’s (on-field) role.
6th round: No. 198 overall C Ross Pierschbacher
It was necessary (and ironic) to use video of RB [Josh Jacobs], to show Pierschbacher (6’4″ 307), since he had no video of his own. While he’s not the biggest or strongest at his position, he’s really smart, active and he moves well. Remind you of anyone who’s likely to retire soon? He also has experience playing LG and RG, so he’s depth at worst.
So this is how I would restock our shelves. Being a playoff team, and a year removed from a Super Bowl win, we by no means need an overhaul. However, we do have to start making moves not only to sustain our success in the moment, but to ensure it for the future.