Alright Eagles fans, it’s time for my first Philadelphia Eagles mock draft for the 2012 mock season! Yes, it’s that time of year where everybody tries to be Nostradamus, but ends up looking more like Nostra-dumbass, myself included.
Mocks are particularly futile when it comes to predicting what the Eagles will do, as they almost always surprise us (and usually not in a good way).
But alas, I’ll give it a shot. This mock will only be for the Eagles’ first four rounds because trying to project any late-round prospects at this point is completely useless. The players you can project now through the first four rounds should at least get drafted, as compared to someone you think is a 5th or 6th round pick that ends up becoming a UDFA.
In making my below selections, allow me to explain a few reasonings for my thoughts first:
– The Eagles will not select Luke Kuechly, the middle linebacker from Boston College, in the first round. Almost every mock draft on the face of the earth has him going to the Eagles. That makes it a stone-cold lock that he will not be the pick.
– First and foremost, the Eagles will look to address the middle linebacker position via free agency. Whether it’s by signing someone or working out a trade, I can almost guarantee you they will strongly prefer to add a veteran player here.
– The Eagles will square-away the starting WR positions during free agency as well. Either DeSean Jackson will be re-signed or traded (after being tagged). If he’s traded, they will bring in a veteran receiver to replace him and not count on a draft pick to start opposite Jeremy Maclin.
– The Eagles will sign a veteran quarterback to replace Vince Young as Michael Vick’s backup.
– Under Andy Reid, and especially Howie Roseman, the Eagles have a habit of taking players who participated in the Senior Bowl.
– Make no mistake, this is a do-or-die year for Andy Reid. In the draft, he will want to get as many impact players as possible and not waste time on project players. Therefore, he will be looking for players who can step in and contribute during their rookie year.
Okay, assuming that all plays out, here’s how I foresee the Eagles’ draft going:
1. (Pick 15) DE Vinny Curry, Marshall, 6′ 3″, 265 lbs
Right now, Curry is projected to be a high second-round pick by most draft scouts. My prediction here is based on the fact that I believe his stock will jump significantly after the combine. In his last two seasons at Marshall, Curry posted 23 sacks, 40 tackles for a loss and nine forced fumbles.
We all know the Eagles love their linemen. This pick could also be influenced by the New York Giants winning the Super Bowl. If you recall, Howie Roseman was recently asked what he thought about the Giants’ success when he pointed out two things: great play from their QB and a fierce pass rush.
Even though they have Trent Cole, Jason Babin, and Brandon Graham, they won’t be afraid to spend another high pick on this position. Plus, it’s very possible that Juqua Parker won’t be back, Darryl Tapp could be cut, and Phillip Hunt is a bubble player.
Curry is exactly the type of defensive end the Eagles covet and should fit in with the wide-nine scheme as one of his main attributes is speed. He had an excellent Senior Bowl week and had two sacks in the game.
Under Howie Roseman, the Eagles have selected Senior Bowl participants in the first round in each of their past two drafts.
2. (Pick 46) DT Kendall Reyes, Connecticut, 6′ 4″, 300 lbs
I know, I know…great, another defensive lineman. Would the Eagles actually go DE and DT with their first two picks? You better believe it!
When Roseman made that comment about the Giants and their “fierce pass rush”, plus the Eagles’ love for linemen, this makes perfect sense to me when trying to predict what they will do.
The Eagles’ defensive tackle situation is somewhat unsettled. They have Cullen Jenkins, who had a good season, but is due for a big raise this year and there has been some speculation that he could get cut.
Then there’s Trevor Laws who is a free agent. He’s been mostly a disappointment and I give it a 50-50 chance he’ll be back. Mike Patterson just had offseason brain surgery and Antonio Dixon is coming off of injured reserve.
In fact, DT could just as easily be their first round pick (Brockers or Still) but they may need to trade up to get one of those guys. Reyes is another Senior Bowl player who had a great week of practice and made himself stand out.
He is the kind of DT the Eagles may prefer for Washburn’s wide-nine scheme. He’s quick off the snap and can play inside or out. He’s somewhat like Cullen Jenkins in that he could be viewed by teams as a 4-3 DT or a 3-4 DE.
The Eagles love versatile linemen.
2. (Pick 51) OLB Lavonte David, Nebraska, 6′ 1″, 225 lbs
We finally get to a linebacker! This is the Eagles’ way of compromise; they don’t like spending high picks on the position but when you combine spending a second-rounder along with a good free agent, they will feel it will appease the fans.
David is built like an Eagles linebacker. He also has a few attributes they need in that he excels in coverage and tackles well. He is viewed as a prototypical OLB in a 4-3 defense and should be capable of coming in and contributing right away.
The Eagles will view him as their future strong-side linebacker and have him cover tight ends and running backs, which fits with David’s strengths.
3. (Pick 77) WR Joe Adams, Arkansas, 5′ 10″, 175 lbs
Who needs DeSean Jackson if you can get yourself a Joe Adams? The Eagles will be interested in Adams even if they retain Jackson, and heavily interested in him if they don’t.
Adams is much like Jackson in both size and speed. Like Jackson, he can run in the 4.3 range in the 40 (we’ll see what his combine numbers come in at). He’s built a little more compact than Jackson though, so his body should hold up to the physical pounding a little better.
The main reason the Eagles would spend their third-round pick on him is for his prowess as a punt returner. As a senior, Adams returned four punts for a touchdown and averaged 16.9 yards per return.
Adams didn’t have overly impressive numbers as a wide receiver last season (54 catches, 652 yards, 3 TDs), but his speed and game-breaking ability are what will attract teams. He would be a steal here for the Eagles.
4. (Pick 99) CB Mike Harris, Florida State, 5′ 11″, 195 lbs
With Asante Samuel most likely gone, the Eagles will need to bring in some depth at cornerback. Harris is somewhat of an under-the-radar player who could eventually be a solid starting cornerback in the NFL.
He was a Junior College transfer in 2010 and immediately became the Seminoles’ slot corner before becoming a starter in 2011. He has experience playing multiple positions within the secondary and has a reputation for being an aggressive tackler.
Again, the Eagles love versatility and having a CB who can tackle is a serious need.
4. (Pick 114) OL Brandon Mosley, Auburn, 6′ 5″ 305 lbs
The Eagles’ starting offensive line should be set once they re-sign Evan Mathis. However, they will need some depth since it’s highly likely that Jamaal Jackson will be released, Winston Justice could be released, and King Dunlap will be a free agent.
In Mosley, the Eagles will get a lineman that played both tackle positions in college, but will likely project to guard in the NFL. Either way, he’s a versatile lineman. He also has some athletic ability as he played tight end in high school and defensive end in junior college.