NFL Draft 2017: 5 WRs who make sense for the Philadelphia Eagles in first 2 rounds
With the NFL Draft set to begin April 27 in Philadelphia, we’re spending this week taking a look at players who might make sense for the Eagles in the early rounds. We’ll start today with wide receivers.
John Ross (Washington)
The Eagles addressed their uninspiring wide receiver corps this offseason by signing free agents Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith, but there’d still be room for Ross to make an impact. The speedster from Washington has wide-ranging talents, and he’d be an ideal fit for Philly in the X wide receiver spot, where he could stretch the field and provide a deep-threat option for quarterback Carson Wentz.
Smith, who is likely to slide into that role this season for the Birds, has seen his numbers dip in each of the past three years. The Eagles would probably have to spend their first-round pick (No. 14 overall) to get Ross. If they decide they want him, though, they could bring a dynamic young playmaker into the fold (Ross averaged 15.2 yards per catch in his college career) and add insurance behind Smith.
Mike Williams (Clemson)
The Eagles might not be able to pass up Williams if he’s available when they pick in the first round. While Williams’ skill set is similar to Jeffery’s, many pundits think the 2017 national champion is the best receiver in the draft class, and the 6-foot-4 wideout has the size to be a dangerous target in the red zone.
After its past two seasons, Philadelphia understands what it’s like to play without quality receivers. By drafting Ross or Williams, the Eagles could stock up on wideouts and aim to avoid a similar shortage over the next few years.
Curtis Samuel (Ohio State)
ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper recently projected the Eagles to draft Curtis Samuel with their second-round pick (43rd overall), which would give coach Doug Pederson a shifty playmaker to move around the offense.
Samuel had success in Ohio State’s H-Back role, which is a sort of hybrid slot receiver-running back position. The Eagles could find a spot for Samuel in 2017, but he might be more useful for the Birds in 2018, because prolific backfield pass-catcher Darren Sproles has suggested he could retire at the end of this season and slot receiver Jordan Matthews is set to enter unrestricted free agency.
Chris Godwin (Penn State)
Godwin’s visited with the Eagles on several occasions this offseason, and his versatility is likely appealing to Philadelphia. Godwin posted impressive numbers at the combine and often hauled in difficult catches during his time at Penn State, which has some scouts believing the 6-foot-1 pass-catcher could play in the slot or out wide.
With Jeffery on a one-year contract and Matthews eligible for free agency in 2018, the Eagles might be reshaping their receiving corps again next offseason. Godwin’s talent could help ease any transition.
Cooper Kupp (Eastern Washington)
If the Eagles are committed to re-signing Matthews, they likely wouldn’t want to draft Kupp in the second round. But the record-breaking FCS star appears to project well as an NFL slot receiver, and if the Eagles think they’ll want to move on from Matthews, Kupp could stand as a potential long-term replacement.
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