The Philadelphia Eagles will have to rely on the upcoming draft to fill their needs if there is no CBA agreement by April 28th. They have needs at several positions but most notably at CB and OL. I’d prefer to acquire some help via free agency but that is a wait-and-see situation right now.
Mock drafts are an exercise in futility and beyond the top 3 – 5 picks are almost always wrong. There are always players that get taken much higher or lower than most draft pundits think. Yet, I can’t resist being part of the fun so I’ve decided to put together an Eagles-only mock draft.
This is based on things as they stand right now since any potential free agent pick-ups and/or trades for draft picks would ultimately impact how the Eagles draft. Andy Reid and Co. don’t usually draft players based on positional need. They mostly base their decision on perceived value of a player at a particular point in the draft. For example, suppose you feel the Eagles’ biggest need right now is an offensive lineman and you think they’ll take one with their 1st round pick. Then, when it’s their turn to pick, the top rated OL in the draft is available. If the Eagles didn’t place a 1st round value on that player they will not pick him. Instead, they’ll look at their list of players they gave a 1st round grade to and see who is available from that list. It could be a player at a position we don’t necessarily need to fill but that’s the player they’ll draft. If they can combine need with value, that’s considered the best case scenario. Andy Reid also has a history of drafting for the future as they like to anticipate needs 2 – 3 years down the road.
Currently the Eagles have 8 picks in this year’s draft as outlined below. Here is my 1st stab at projecting how it could turn out. Mark it down because I’m positive this will be
exactly how things unfold completely wrong!
1st Round: CB Jimmy Smith, Colorado, 6′ 2″ 211 lbs. Very good cover skills and excellent blend of size and speed. The Eagles are forced to choose between him, CB Brandon Harris, OT Nate Solder, and OT Derek Sherrod. Smith gets the nod based on his position being of more urgent need and represents excellent value at the #23 pick.
2nd Round: OT/G Clint Boling, Georgia, 6′ 5″ 308 lbs. Versatile would best describe this player. In his college career he has played both tackle spots and at right guard. The Eagles covet versatility along the OL and routinely draft college tackles to play guard in the NFL. Boling fits that bill and would be a great addition to the right side of our line. Other possible selections are OT’s Ben Ijalana and DeMarcus Love.
3rd Round: CB Davon House, New Mexico State, 6′ 1″ 200 lbs. Yes, another CB in the 1st 3 picks. This is kind of reminiscent of last year’s 1st and 3rd round selection of DE’s except this year the focus is CB. After Asante Samuel, who else do we have at the CB position that inspires confidence? Joselio Hanson? He hasn’t been the same since he was suspended in 2009 for violating the league’s steroid policy. Dimitri Patterson? Just say the words “Kenny Britt” and he folds up like a lawn chair. House is another CB with good size, decent speed, good ball skills, and is an aggressive tackler. Other possibilities are CB Johnny Patrick and OLB Bruce Carter.
Round 4 (from Redskins via McNabb trade): S Tyler Sash, Iowa, 6′ 211 lbs. Quintin Mikell has been left out to dry by the Eagles as they did not tender him an offer. He is scheduled to become a free agent and so far it appears the Eagles aren’t bringing him back. I feel they like last year’s 7th round pick Kurt Coleman but will certainly bring in competition. Sash will be drafted for the SS (strong safety) position. He has nice size and tackles well. Plays good “in the box” and has decent ball skills.
Round 4: OG John Moffitt, Wisconsin, 6′ 4″ 319 lbs. After neglecting the OL in last year’s draft, Reid and Roseman make sure to draft some much needed help this time around. Moffitt’s primary position is left guard but has also started numerous games at center. Again, versatility is key here. He is very strong and aggressive, 2 traits that Philly fans will appreciate.
Round 5 (from San Diego): DE Greg Romeus, Pittsburgh, 6′ 5″ 264 lbs. Injuries last season have dropped Romeus’ stock. Going into 2010 he was projected to be a 1st – 2nd round pick but then sustained a back injury that required surgery. He came back from that but then tore his ACL in November. Therefore, he is a risk. But then again, the Eagles don’t mind taking these types of chances in the 5th round. When healthy, he makes for the prototypical LDE that the Eagles like to employ. Good size, speed, and plays the run and pass equally well. Low risk, high reward pick here.
Round 5: OLB Mark Herzlich, Boston College, 6′ 4″ 244 lbs. Another low risk, high reward type pick here. Herzlich was projected to be a 1st or 2nd round pick after a standout junior season in 2008 but instead had to spend 2009 battling bone cancer (Ewings Sarcoma). He came back last year and basically had to rebuild himself. He has all the intangibles Philly fans would love in a linebacker…fiery, intense, team leader, and makes big plays.
Round 7 (no pick in 6th round): RB Noel Devine, West Virgina, 5′ 8″ 179 lbs. Think Darren Sproles with this pick. Devine is a small speedster that would serve primarily as our kick returner while also coming in for certain packages on offense. The knock against him is staying healthy and at his size, that may certainly continue to be a concern.
So there you have it. What do you think? Maybe I should print it out and fax it off to Andy Reid and Howie Roseman…in case they need a good laugh. I fully anticipate things changing dramatically once a new CBA gets hammered out. And of course I will update this mock accordingly if/when that happens. But until then, this is my best guess as to what the Eagles may do.