It’s time for the final version of my 2014 Philadelphia Eagles mock draft. After a painful extra two weeks of rumors, reports, smokescreens, subterfuge and outright lies, we will finally get answers as to what the Eagles will do.
Well, actually, I decided to do two final versions of my mock draft because I couldn’t decide on doing a straight mock, one with a trade up, or one with them trading down.
Since my bones are telling me that this team is not staying at pick 22, I decided to do both a trade up version and a trade down version.
I know, I know…try to contain your excitement for not just one more mock draft, but two!
It’s very difficult to get a good idea of what the Eagles might do this year. Last year, I became convinced that Dion Jordan was the sure-fire target at pick No. 4 (which he was). However, this year it’s more difficult because they don’t pick until 22nd…and a lot can happen before then.
Up until about two weeks ago, I was mostly in favor of a trade-down for the Eagles due to their lack of picks. It still makes sense from a logical standpoint (get more picks in a supposedly deep draft), but I’ve since begun swaying the other way.
For the past few weeks, I have developed a strong inclination that the Eagles want to trade up in this draft for an impact player. This is based on and supported by the following…
– The Eagles absolutely need an Outside Linebacker
– They missed out on Dion Jordan last year and ended up not drafting any 3-4 style OLBs
– They reportedly attempted to trade for Jordan earlier this offseason
– They have shown a lot of pre-draft interest in OLBs in general
– They have shown a ton of pre-draft interest in Anthony Barr in particular
– The more I researched, the more I came to the conclusion there aren’t any ideal OLB prospects that will be there at pick 22, or who are worth taking at pick 22
– Where the Eagles pick in the first round, there aren’t many attractive prospects at any position slated to be there besides Wide Receiver…which can be had in later rounds
– I’m not convinced they’ll take a CB or Safety at 22
– Howie Roseman indicated he’d be willing to trade up for the “right player”
– Peter King, a pretty reliable source, indicated he’s heard the Eagles want to trade up for a Wide Receiver
– I believe King is half right…they want to trade up, but not for a receiver
– The only player who it can possibly be is Anthony Barr
The only way the Eagles trade up in this draft is for a prime player at a position they highly value. He would have to match everything that Chip Kelly wants in a player: size, athleticism, speed, talent, versatility, football intelligence and above all else, character.
Remember, Kelly wants players who are not only good, but who also have the right attitude and will fit into his program. When you combine that with a significant need at such a premium position, it almost becomes a no-brainer to make a move if possible.
Anthony Barr fits that description.
If you missed it, read this article I wrote back on April 30th about Barr. It describes why he would be a player that is atop the Eagles’ draft board and why they could very well see the value in trading up for him.
This is the conclusion I’ve come to and what I feel strongest about. The Eagles will look to trade up for Barr if he makes it out of the top 10. Unfortunately, that will most likely come at the price of our second round pick.
If that turns out to be the case, I think the Eagles will look to make up for that by trading down later and picking up another mid-round pick or two.
To be clear, I think the Eagles will trade up in Round 1, but only think they should trade back later (the difference between will and should).
That leads me to the first of my two final mocks and it’s the one I favor more…
1. Eagles trade up to select: OLB Anthony Barr, 6′ 5″ 255 lbs, UCLA
Barr is often mocked to the Titans at slot 11 and that’s exactly where the Eagles get him for the price of their second rounder. Tennessee has many holes to fill and could be an eager trade down partner, especially if there’s a QB they like but feel he’s too early to take at 11.
Per the trade value chart, the Eagles would have to give up more than pick 54 to move from 22 to 11, but the chart is merely a guide. If the Titans want to move down and don’t have many offers, a second rounder will get it done.
Last year, Miami only had to give up a second to move from 12th overall to 3rd, and that was way off per any trade value chart.
3. Eagles trade down here with Jacksonville. The Jags have two fourth and three fifth round picks. Though they have many holes to fill as well, they see a player they covet slipping in the third and decide to make a move.
This time we’re using the chart to determine value. The Eagles’ third rounder (pick 86) is worth 160 points. In the fourth and fifth rounds, the Jags have picks 105 (84 pts), 114 (66 pts), 144 (34 pts), 150 (31.4) and 159 (27.8 pts).
We could say the Jags’ two fourth rounders would be just about equal, but I think the Eagles would rather take picks 105, 150 and 159. Perhaps this is where the Eagles throw in Bryce Brown or Brandon Graham as well.
Either way, this would give them a total of two fourths and three fifths to add some more talent and depth.
4. WR Brandon Coleman, 6′ 6″ 225 lbs, Rutgers – Has the size and athleticism Kelly covets and the word is that he gets high marks on the character scale. Only thing stopping the Eagles from taking him here is if he comes off the board in the third round.
4. ILB Jordan Tripp, 6′ 3″ 234 lbs, Montana – Had a hard time deciding between Tripp and Jordan Zumwalt (Barr’s teammate). Zumwalt has a better pedigree, but Tripp’s speed and ability to cover tilt the scales in his favor.
5. DE Taylor Hart, 6′ 6″ 281 lbs, Oregon – Chip drafts his first former player and gets a versatile defensive lineman who can play multiple positions.
5. WR Jeff Janis, 6′ 3″ 219 lbs, Saginaw Valley State – Howie Roseman wasn’t kidding when he said he’d draft “at least” one WR, so he gets two. Another receiver here with size and speed will complete the makeover to a bigger, more physical group at this position.
5. OG Zach Fulton, 6′ 5″ 316 lbs, Tennessee – An opponent of Chip’s during his Oregon days and the Eagles sent OL coach Jeff Stoutland to work him out. Solid depth and future starter at guard.
7. CB Aaron Colvin, 6′ 192 lbs, Oklahoma – Some folks think he’ll go in the fifth round range while others see him going in the seventh because of his injury and the fact he’ll have to sit out 2014. Great value pick here as the Eagles can afford him a red-shirt season.
I have few doubts that the Eagles like all of the above players and that they’d fit into the culture that Chip is building. The only real question is if each player will be available at the slot I have the Eagles taking them because if anything, they could be taken earlier.
If the Eagles cannot land Barr for whatever reason, they will move to Plan B.
There is just nobody I can foresee as the Eagles “coveting” at pick 22 (that should be there). If they make a selection at 22 it’s because they couldn’t find any suitable trade partner. However, I assume they will…
1. Eagles trade out of pick 22. After taking Aaron Donald with their first pick, the Vikings will be one of those early second round teams that want to move back into the first for a QB.
The trade is Brandon Graham and pick 22 for the Vikings’ second (pick 40) and both thirds (picks 72 and 96). Per the value chart, this works out evenly if you count Graham as a mid fourth round value (maybe I’m being a little optimistic, but hey, this is my mock!)
Minnesota has 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?
This leaves the Eagles with two seconds, three thirds and the rest of their current picks.
2. S Deone Bucannon, 6′ 1″ 220 lbs, Washington State – The Eagles will have some other desirable options here but if they’re true to their board, I see Bucannon as the pick.
They have shown a ton of pre-draft interest in him, including a private workout and visit. He has all of the desirable traits Chip looks for in a player and even though Roseman stated the Safety class isn’t that great, they get their enforcer in the secondary.
2. OLB Marcus Smith, 6′ 3″, 251 lbs, Louisville – Another guy the Eagles have shown some interest in, Smith would be viewed as a more versatile Trent Cole with better coverage skills.
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.
3. RB Tre Mason, 5′ 9″ 207 lbs, Auburn – Surprise! If they can get a value at RB such as Mason here, I think they pull the trigger in this situation. Mason would bring a great complimentary style of running to what we have in Shady and Sproles.
Don’t foget that Kelly’s offense is a run-first offense so having two good RBs may be a necessity.
3. OLB/DE Will Clarke, 6′ 6″ 271 lbs, West Virginia – They finally pull the trigger on a pass rusher. When the Eagles had LB coach Bill McGovern working him out, it was as an OLB and he reportedly looked pretty good in drills.
3. WR Brandon Coleman, 6′ 6″ 225 lbs, Rutgers – As stated in my above mock, Coleman could very well go a little earlier than his fourth round projection. They secure him here, 19 slots earlier, in this scenario.
4. ILB Jordan Tripp, 6′ 3″ 234 lbs, Montana – Same as mock draft 1. I think Tripp is a big Eagles target and this is great value.
5. OG Zach Fulton, 6′ 5″ 316 lbs, Tennessee – Same as mock draft 1. I think they’ll address the OL, but not until this round. If Tripp is gone by their pick in the fourth, OL could be fall back option there.
7. CB Bennett Jackson, 6′, 195 lbs, Notre Dame – In case Colvin isn’t available here, Jackson is another developmental option at CB whom we can allow to learn for the first year.
Of either of the above scenarios, I prefer the first one by a wide margin. If they end up trading back, all kinds of things can happen.
Ultimately, I believe Anthony Barr is their true target in this draft. If they land him it will be a major coup for Roseman.