Philadelphia Eagles mock draft roundup: A few experts think outside the lines
Texas A&M’s Christian Kirk (3) catches a pass as Wake Forest’s Essang Bassey (21) defends during the first half of the Belk Bowl NCAA college football game in Charlotte, N.C., Friday, Dec. 29, 2017. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Earlier this week when we studied a few prominent mock drafts, there was a bit of a theme in regards to the Philadelphia Eagles. Most analysts assumed the Super Bowl champions would use their first round pick, the 32nd overall selection in April’s draft, to add strength to the team’s interior on either the offensive or defensive lines.
But over the past few days, a couple other analysts have gone in a different direction.
So take a peek at our latest Eagles-centric roundup, which looks at the players these mock drafters project to go to the Birds in that No. 32 slot:
Kiper’s take: “The Eagles might part ways with Torrey Smith this offseason, which means a receiver at the end of the first round makes sense. At 5-11, Kirk isn’t a big target, but he can be a weapon in the slot and in the return game. UCLA’s Jordan Lasley is a receiver who could rise into the Day 1 discussion, too.”
My take: This is the second version of Kiper’s mock draft, and in the first, he projected the Eagles to take an offensive tackle out of UCLA. I like the thought this time, though. If Philadelphia does cut Smith, it’ll look to a stable of younger wide receivers — namely 2017 fourth-round pick Mack Hollins and fifth-round pick Shelton Gibson — to compete for expanded roles.
Though Hollins displayed flashes of potential in his rookie year, he’s far from a proven commodity, and the Eagles would welcome another young receiver with playmaking abilities.
I’m not sure if Kirk is the right fit considering how well Nelson Agholor played in the slot this season, but the idea of adding an explosive wideout through the draft is one the Eagles should consider. And Kirk also might stand as an upgrade over Kenjon Barner in the return game.
Davis’ take: “The Eagles’ secondary did an excellent job at tackling — and not permitting big runs after the catch — last season. Jackson adds his talents to the mix, and he can play inside, as well.”
My take: The Eagles are stocked with young talent at cornerback, so this move wouldn’t necessarily fill a need. But Philly’s balanced roster gives the team the luxury of taking risks, stockpiling players at a certain spots or simply drafting the most enticing player regardless of position.
If Jackson, a Sporting News second-team all-American, is available in April and the Eagles think he’ll develop into a top-tier corner in the NFL, they won’t hesitate to draft him.
White’s take: “The Eagles have no Day 2 picks, and it makes sense for them to trade down if they aren’t in love with how the board shakes out by the time No. 32 is on the clock. If they stay put, the athletic Wynn would be a great value in the spot, and he’d give a team without many glaring needs quality depth inside.”
My take: Wynn fits the mold of what the Eagles have looked for in rookie offensive lineman — he has the ability to move quickly into the second level and raked in first-team all-SEC honors at Georgia. Philadelphia has been open about its desire to maintain impressive depth on the offensive line, too.
But if the Eagles take an offensive guard in the first round in April, it might be a sign that they don’t expect Isaac Seumalo, a 2016 third-round pick, to ever develop into a sure-fire starter at the position.
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