This is my first-ever attempt at a mock draft. Nobody knows what free-agency holds and that makes it even more complicated to figure out what type of draft day trades will be executed. So with that being said, this is going to be a straight mock draft based on the picks the Eagles currently hold.Most people seem to go round-by-round, conventionally filling needs of a particular team. This is not that type of mock draft. This mock draft has been thought out based on the Eagles’ historical draft tendencies. Which types of players they draft. Where they draft certain positions.
Basically, this is one man’s best guess at what type of draft the Eagles will actually execute. This is not my dream scenario or how I would do it if I was in charge. It isn’t even based on the players I personally see as the best fit. It is simply the way it seems the Eagles generally operate on draft day.
Anything you agree or disagree with, anything you would do differently or the same, I encourage you to share your thoughts on players, trades and even give your own mock draft if you’d like. Here is the way I see the 2012 NFL Draft playing out for the Eagles.
1st Round: Brandon Thompson, DT, Clemson: 6’2″ 310
A common misconception about the Eagles is that they draft a lot of offensive linemen early. They have actually only drafted two offensive linemen in the first round in Andy Reid’s 13 years.
They have drafted five defensive linemen though. It’s been six years since the Eagles drafted a defensive tackle with their top pick and Brandon Thompson seems like he fits the mold.
He is generally regarded as a late first-rounder, so they would be drafting him higher than most people expect, which is what they generally do.
Thompson is a good run defender with a lot of power and quickness. He could help inside against the run and he is known as a high-character, high-motor guy, traits the Eagles covet.
2nd Round: Vinny Curry, DE, Marshall: 6’4″ 263
Vinny Curry is the picture of what the Eagles look for in a defensive end. He isn’t very big or fast but he is a hard worker and has been a solid performer in college. He also was one of the most talked about players during Senior Bowl week.Curry is a good player who is just as unlikely to be a bust as he is unlikely to be a star.
He is a decent athlete that gets the most out of his ability. Curry was incredibly disruptive in Conference-USA, totaling 23 sacks and nine forced fumbles in his last two years.
Curry is pegged to be a mid-second rounder right now, but with the combine and the need for pass rushers, he could be gone before the Eagles pick.
2nd Round: Bobby Wagner, ILB, Utah State: 6’1″ 232
Wagner is not an animal like Burfict, but he has decent size and athleticism and is solid in all areas. He can defend equally well against the run and the pass and even though he isn’t a big hitter, he is a very good tackler.
Wagner was one of the most impressive Senior Bowl linebackers and even had an interception in the game.
Also, Wagner was a defensive captain his final two years at Utah State. Another perfect fit for the Eagles’ draft strategy.
3rd Round: Chris Rainey, WR/RB, Florida: 5’9″ 174
Chris Rainey may end up being the fastest player at the Combine. That may push him higher than this point on draft boards, but he is still a running back transitioning to wide receiver who is incredibly small and slight.Rainey may not fit the profile perfectly for what the Eagles look for, but he would fill a huge need as a kick and punt returner. He is also extremely versatile.
Everyone remembers the way the Eagles used Brian Westbrook in his early years. A handful of carries per game, and a handful of catches. He would line up as a single back, in the slot and out wide. Westbrook even ran wide receiver routes.
The one thing missing from LeSean McCoy’s game is diversity in the passing game. Rainey would bring all the elements Westbrook brought but with sub-4.3 speed.
4th Round: Terrell Manning, OLB, North Carolina State: 6’3″ 224
Terrell Manning is taller than most of the linebackers the Eagles have had, but his lack of bulk would fit right in. In fairness, Manning is a good athlete and a play-maker.
He doesn’t have any character issues and is known as a hard worker and a good citizen.
Manning was very busy for the Wolfpack. In his last two seasons he averaged 75.5 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss, 5.0 sacks. 2.0 interceptions and 3.0 forced fumbles.
Manning can be in some trouble against the run, but he is active and can make plays. He is also good in pass coverage and can handle backs and tight ends.
The Eagles may have their fill of smallish linebackers, but none of them have shown a knack for pass coverage.
4th Round: Tony Dye, S, UCLA: 6’0″ 216
What would an Eagles draft be without a huge reach and a huge injury risk? Tony Dye would take care of both.Dye is a good safety prospect whose stock has dropped due to a neck injury that cost him most of last season.
He is not an electrifying, play-making safety. He is a big, strong athlete who showed versatility, playing both safety positions.
Dye is physical enough to make an impact in run support and athletic enough to handle coverage duties in the passing game.
He could also possibly be a special teams ace, maybe helping to pick up the slack that could be left behind by Colt Anderson. Interestingly, he was a big-time high school hockey player in Minnesota.
5th Round: Matt Reynolds, OT, Brigham Young: 6’4″ 305
Reynolds has suffered a variety of injuries but he has played through them and never missed a game.
He is a well-prepared player who shows good ability in both pass protection and run-blocking. He isn’t the biggest or strongest player, but he makes up for it with smarts, instincts and technique.
Reynolds was named three-times All-Academic Mountain West Conference and was a team captain in 2010 and 2011. He is a leader and a respected teammate. Another plus for the Eagles is that he will be 26 in May.
6th Round: Antonio Fenelus, CB, Wisconsin: 5’9″ 190
In the later rounds, the Eagles like to take chances on low-level prospects from big conferences. Antonio Fenelus is from the Big Ten, which certainly fits that bill.
Fenelus is a really good football player. He is tough, a good tackler for the position, he’s hard-nosed and a play-maker. He just happens to be very small.
He has been an All-Big Ten performer and he has made an impact on the field. In his two years as a starter he totaled 107 tackles, eight interceptions and 12 passes defended. He also scored a touchdown in 2010.
Fenelus will probably never develop into anything more than a nickel corner who can cover the slot, and he could be a valuable special teams performer.
6th Round: Kelvin Beachum, OG, Southern Methodist: 6’3″ 306
He was a left tackle at SMU, but he will play guard in the NFL. The Eagles value versatility and they will also value the skill-set he brings to the table.
Beachum is a good pass protector for an interior lineman and he has the strength and power to be a force in the running game. He also has the athleticism to pull outside and get out in front of screens downfield.
He could definitely be an asset and provide good depth across the line.
6th Round: Evan Rodriguez, FB, Temple: 6’3″ 250
Owen Schmitt did an admirable job filling in for Leonard Weaver at fullback, but he hardly got on the field in 2011 and didn’t offer much production. Evan Rodriguez could bring a lot of things to the table that Weaver offered.Rodriguez is a former tight end with great size along with good speed and quickness. He also brings a lot of receiving ability, which fits perfectly in Andy Reid’s offense.
In his three seasons at Temple, Rodriguez caught 70 passes for 882 yards and seven touchdowns.
The Eagles generally take a running back or a fullback late, and Rodriguez would be a perfect choice. It also wouldn’t be the first time Andy Reid selected a local running back.