For my first 2013 Philadelphia Eagles mock draft, I decided to mix in a couple of trades just to make it interesting. The more I think about it, the more I’m starting to think the Eagles should trade back in this draft to acquire more picks in order to take advantage of the depth of talent.
The problem with trading back is that there may be nobody worth trading up for. However, there could be a few teams out there that will fall in love with a specific player that also fills a team need.
One thing to consider when figuring who might trade up, is what teams have an extra pick in one of the early rounds (aka, trade ammunition).
Teams with extra second-round picks this year are the Bengals and Dolphins. Teams with an extra third-rounder are the Dolphins and 49ers. And of course there is one team, the Rams, who have two first-rounders.
Other things to consider about teams who might trade up are those who think they’re “one guy away” from a championship or those who need a certain skill player (usually a quarterback or wide receiver).
Unfortunately, this draft does not have any top-10 wide receivers or running backs, but there could be a teams in the top-10 who want to jockey for position in order to grab a top QB. There could also be teams looking to add a stud cornerback or lineman to help solidify their foundation.
Things will change dramatically once teams start filling needs and making moves come the free agency period. And, once the combine is over, players will move up and down draft boards so all of this is based on pre-combine numbers and a few guesses as to moves the Eagles could make in free agency.
As far as this mock goes, I’m guessing the following will take place during free agency: the Eagles will trade Nick Foles for a third-round pick (Kansas City?) and they’ll sign two players who would be presumed starters (one being a cornerback).
Luke Joeckel is off the board so the Eagles trade back with Miami to the No. 12 spot.
Miami is loaded with draft picks in having an extra second and third round pick. They are also rumored to have WR Mike Wallace as their top free agent target. Besides wide receiver, their top needs include cornerback and offensive line (especially if they lose Jake Long, Sean Smith, or both).
They could target Dee Milliner (may need to jump ahead of Detroit), Chance Warmack or Eric Fisher (need to jump ahead of Arizona) at this slot and get their guy.
According to Ourlad’s draft value chart, the No. 12 slot is worth 1,200 points while the fourth slot is worth 1,800. The Dolphins have pick Nos 42 and 54 in the second round. Last year, Dallas had to give up the No. 45 pick in order to move up from their slot at No. 14 to the Rams’ slot at No. 6.
That’s the closest thing we have to go by so we get the Dolphins’ No. 42 pick (worth 480 points).
At No. 12, the Eagles select Safety Kenny Vaccaro, 6’ 1” 218 lbs, Texas.
Though he’s not coming out with the same fanfare that Eric Berry or LaRon Landry did, Vaccaro is a complete safety that is good against both the pass and the run. He can cover well or come up and lay the wood.
And according to some scouting reports, he is also a team kind of guy that isn’t afraid to “get dirty” by taking on blocks and playing special teams.
Safety Matt Elam, 5’ 10” 202 lbs, Florida – If this guy is here, the Eagles cannot pass on him because they took Vaccaro in Round 1. Elam would play the strong spot and perfectly compliment Vaccaro at free safety. This would immediately give the Eagles a formidable pair of safeties that would give receivers nightmares.
Bill Davis has preached restoring toughness to the defense. Having a pair of intimidating safeties will go a long way towards that goal…and also fill the area of biggest need on this team.
OT Kyle Long, 6’ 6” 311 lbs, Oregon – Chip Kelly’s first dip into the Oregon well. He gets a player he’s familiar with, and a player who’s familiar with his scheme. Plus, offensive line depth and/or a possible starter is a desperate need.
DE Margus Hunt, 6’ 8” 277 lbs, Southern Methodist – Hunt fits the description of the “long” type of players that Kelly might be looking for on defense. He’s a raw prospect but has tremendous upside and potential. The main idea with drafting him would primarily be to play the 3-technique, though he does possess the athleticism to be the kind of versatile player Kelly wants.
As a senior, Hunt posted eight sacks, 11.5 tackles for a loss, two forced fumbles and three blocked kicks.
CB David Amerson, 6’ 2” 194 lbs, North Carolina State – A former safety, Amerson will bring some more aggressiveness and physicality to the defensive secondary. As a senior, Amerson recorded 48 tackles, five INTs and 12 passes broken up.
OG Brian Winters, 6’ 4” 310 lbs, Kent State – Versatile and tough player that will provide much needed depth to the offensive line.
DT Kwame Geathers, 6’ 5” 355 lbs, Georgia – Under the radar player due to lack of starting experience playing behind John Jenkins, a first round prospect. Geathers has the size, strength and athleticism to develop into a quality starting nose tackle.
CB Mike Edwards, 5′ 10″ 180 lbs, Hawaii – The main reason to take Edwards here is for his prowess as a return man. The Eagles’ return units have been dreadful and they can never seemingly return a kickoff past the 20 yard line.
Edwards averaged 30.4 YPR on 40 kick returns last season and scored three touchdowns.
He’s also viewed as a feisty cornerback that likes to get physical. He recorded 15 PBUs, two INTs and five tackles for a loss.
WR Rodney Smith, 6’ 5” 219 lbs, Florida State – May not last this long but would be a tremendous value pick at this point. Adds size and decent speed to the WR corps and has excellent potential with proper coaching.
OLB Cameron Lawrence, 6’ 2” 233 lbs, Mississippi State – He’s an under-the-radar player who posted good stats his senior season (54 tackles, 10 for a loss, four sacks and two INTs). Was a teammate of Fletcher Cox last season and would start off as a great special-teamer who has the potential to work into the LB rotation at some point.
**My explanation for taking safeties with our first two picks –
I realize there probably won’t be many folks in favor of doing that. However, as a long time Eagles fan, many of my favorite players over the years have been safeties. Brian Dawkins, Wes Hopkins and Andre Waters were all players I admired and loved having on the team.
Those guys brought a sense of Philly pride, which is something this town has been severely lacking for too long.
Frankly, I’m not sure why safeties don’t get more of a priority. Cornerbacks get all the glamour for excelling in pass coverage or making the splashy interception, but it’s the safeties that receivers respect and fear on a defense.
A hard-hitting safety can set the tone for a defense. I once asked Sheldon Brown the question of what gets defenses fired up more…a turnover or a big hit. Brown didn’t hesitate when he said it was the big hits that really got his teammates fired up.
The NFL is a passing league now, obviously, and the rules are certainly slanted in favor of offensive players. In my opinion, a great way to counteract this is to have safeties that not only can cover, but can lay the wood…legally.
This makes receivers have to think about coming across the middle (or anywhere downfield) for fear of getting blown up.
If receivers have to think about where these guys are, they will lose focus on catching the football. There’s a fine line between delivering the big hit and what constitutes a penalty these days, but putting the fear in receivers is worth a penalty here and there in my book.
Furthermore, Philly fans would absolutely love a pair of hard-hitting guys in the secondary. Therefore, don’t scoff at the notion of taking those two guys…I say, embrace it!