In my second attempt at a Philadelphia Eagles mock draft, I thought I’d spice it up a bit with a trade to give them a couple of extra picks within the first three rounds. The Eagles currently only have six selections in this draft so chances are they will look to add more.
After talking about ways in which the Eagles could stockpile more picks, I came away convinced that one potential scenario may be the best scenario and hopefully it presents itself in May.
In the best case scenario, a quarterback or two slip out of the top-10 and are still there at pick 22. Teams that bypassed a QB early, could be aggressive in trading back into the first round to get their guy.
The Minnesota Vikings have been aggressive in the past two drafts by trading up from the second round into the end of the first round. Why not make it three years in a row?
The trade: Eagles give up pick No. 22 and Brandon Graham for the Vikings’ second (pick 40) and both thirds (picks 72 and 96).
Per this draft pick value chart, pick 22 is worth 780 points. The combined total points for those three picks from Minny is 846. That’s a 66-point difference, which equates to a mid fourth round pick and is where Graham comes into to play for even compensation (plus it’s a good fit).
That would leave the Eagles with two picks in Round 2, three is Round 3, then one each in Rounds 4, 5 and 7.
WR Allen Robinson, 6′ 3″ 220 lbs, Penn State (Pick No. 40)
With their first pick in the draft, Chip Kelly gets his replacement for DeSean Jackson. Kelly has talked a lot about the key for his wide receivers as being able to beat man coverage, because that’s how teams chose to defend his offense last year.
Well, Robinson fits the bill in that regard and is lauded for his ability to beat press or man coverage due to his physicality and polished route running. His sub-par 40 time (4.6) at the combine not withstanding, he also has excellent run after the catch ability.
Robinson is just 20 years old but had the reputation at Penn State as being a hard worker, vocal leader and a lead-by-example type of player. Plus he’s big and physical, does that sound like a Chip Kelly kind-of guy?
OLB Kyle Van Noy, 6′ 3″ 244 lbs, BYU (Pick No. 54)
In my first mock draft, I had Van Noy pegged as an Eagles target at pick 22. However, his combine performance didn’t turn any heads but also wasn’t that bad either. Prior to the combine he was viewed mostly as a high second-rounder, but could slip a little bit with a few other players quickly rising up draft boards.
Van Noy is not “great” at any one thing, he’s simply “very good” at several things which makes him a highly versatile player. He would primarily be viewed as the eventual replacement for Connor Barwin, but I certainly wouldn’t rule him out for taking over Cole’s spot.
He’s viewed as a smart football player who can rush the passer just as well as he can defend the run and drop in coverage.
His versatility to play multiple positions and the descriptions by his BYU teammates that included being an “unselfish” and “team first guy” as well as being a distinguished leader and role model, are characteristics Kelly will find highly attractive.
S Deone Bucannon, 6′ 1″, 211 lbs, Washington State (Pick No. 72)
This is a tough one because it’s very debatable whether Bucannon will last until this pick. Draft pundits seem to be split right down the middle as to whether he’ll be a second or third round pick.
Billed as one of the most, if not the most, explosive hitter from the safety group in this draft, Bucannon is seen as a physical player with some ball skills. He tested well at the combine but some still view him as struggling in coverage and being over-aggressive.
Kelly is very familiar with Bucannon as he had some good games against him while at Oregon. The Eagles have showed a lot of interest in him to date and he could end up being their guy at pick 54 if they’re worried about him not lasting.
OLB Marcus Smith, 6′ 3″, 251 lbs, Louisville (Pick No. 86)
Another guy the Eagles have shown some interest in, Smith would be viewed as a more versatile Trent Cole. He would make for a good pairing with Van Noy and be the Eagles’ OLBs of the future.
Again, versatility is the key here as Smith was used in a variety of ways all over the Louisville defense. However, he would be more of the pass-rusher after racking up 14.5 sacks and four forced fumbles last year.
LB Jordan Tripp, 6′ 3″, 234 lbs, Montana (Pick No. 96)
The Eagles were reported as having “serious interest” in Tripp, who is viewed as a mid-round prospect mainly due to the fact he played at a small school.
Tripp is listed as an outside linebacker but is mainly projected as either a SAM ‘backer in a 4-3 or a strong ILB in a 3-4. The latter is where I’d mainly view Tripp as being projected for the Eagles and would be the eventual replacement for DeMeco Ryans.
Again, Tripp is another one of those players with high marks on the versatility and character scales that Chip loves so much. He’s an athletic player that is viewed as highly instinctive, always around the ball and a team leader.
OL Austin Wentworth, 6′ 5″ 305 lbs, Fresno State (Pick No. 122)
The Eagles need to add some talent and depth to the offensive line. Eagles QBs were sacked 48 times in 2013, which is probably middle of the road as far as offensive line protection goes.
While this isn’t a dire need, I’m actually debating whether or not it should be seen as more of a need than generally thought. Evan Mathis is apparently unhappy with his contract and neither he nor Todd Herremans are getting any younger.
Wentworth has played the LT, RT and RG positions along the line in college but is projected to play guard in the NFL. Though he didn’t get a combine invite, he tested well at his pro day and posted numbers that would have ranked him in the top 10 of his position group at the combine.
If his athleticism and position versatility isn’t enough for Kelly, this “hook and ladder” play by Wentworth should seal the deal as a Kelly kinda guy…
DL Taylor Hart, 6′ 6″, 290 lbs, Oregon (Pick No. 162)
Kelly finally drafts a former player! Failing to get depth and rotational guys for the DL was my biggest disappointment during free agency so this area absolutely needs to be addressed.
The word on Hart is that he’s a very underrated athlete (ran in the 4.8’s for his 40 times at his pro day) and that he’s…what’s that word that Chip loves again? Oh yeah, versatile.
Hart is seen primarily as a 5-tech DE, but he also played some Nose Tackle and at times as a stand-up OLB. As much as Eagles fans don’t like it, it doesn’t appear they will have any interest in a huge, space-eating type of NT.
Instead, they seem to prefer the athletic type. Hart has the room to add more weight to his 290 lbs frame if the Eagles prefer, and he certainly has the length they like.
Though Hart didn’t post spectacular stats (6 tackles for a loss, 3.5 sacks last year), he’s one of those hard working grinder types that teams love to have as depth and rotational players. He will serve as a backup DE and NT and may prove to have the talent to start if needed.
He’s also slated for a pre-draft visit to Philly so there is some interest here.
CB Bennett Jackson, 6′, 195 lbs, Notre Dame (Pick No. 237)
The word on Jackson is that he’s a good developmental prospect since he’s a former Wide Receiver and has only been playing the corner position for two years. He tested well at the combine and was the top performer amongst his position group in the 3-cone (6.75), broad jump (128 inches) and 20-yard shuttle (4.0 sec).
The best I can tell, it seems that Jackson is mostly projected to be a sixth-round player on average (draftniks have him going between the 5th – 7th rounds). So, it’s very questionable if he’ll still be on the board at this slot.
However, CB Jordan Poyer was widely projected as a third round prospect last year and he was there for the Eagles in the seventh.
In any case, Jackson has the intangibles Kelly looks for (leadership, personality, etc) and with the Cornerback position set for 2014, the Eagles can afford to allow him to learn and develop.
This is how I’d like to see the Eagles attack the draft. Trade back for good value in terms of extra picks and address those positions (if not with those specific players).
The only reason I would take a WR that early is if they get the extra pick(s). But, I think a player like Allen Robinson will ease the pain of losing DeSean Jackson and he also has the potential to be a future stud.
I also really like the idea of doubling-up at the OLB position since free agency was a huge bust.
Some folks may not like the idea of waiting until the seventh round to take a Cornerback, but the addition of Nolan Carroll gives the Eagles some leeway to wait until next year to prominently address the CB position.
Furthermore, I see addressing the front seven, Safety and having OL depth as more pressing needs than Cornerback right now.
Lastly, you’ll notice that most of all of these players above not only have talent, they are also versatile and high character guys that should fit the mold Chip Kelly is looking for to add to the team culture he is trying to build.