Dave’s Seven Round Philadelphia Eagles Mock Draft

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October 27, 2012; Columbia, MO, USA; Missouri Tigers defensive lineman Kony Ealy (47) and Missouri Tigers defensive back E.J. Gaines (31) celebrate after scoring a touchdown on a fumble during the fourth quarter at Faurot Field. The Missouri Tigers defeated the Kentucky Wildcats 33-10. Mandatory Credit: Dak Dillon-USA TODAY Sports

Round One, 22nd Overall

The Pick: Kony Ealy, Missouri OLB/DE

When considering this selection, I looked a variety of factors: who was already off the board, what positions the already selected talent played, what positions were still deep enough that spending a first round pick wasn’t mandatory and the overall value of the player in terms of how they could contribute to the team based on what we think the Eagles want. Kony Ealy, a defensive end by nature, becomes the edge rusher of the future for the Eagles by these standards.

I’d imagine that Eagles head coach Chip Kelly loves everything about Kony Ealy if he’s been true to his word about what he’s looking for, even if the Philadelphia Eagles have yet to initiate contact with him in any form. Pre-draft communication is not required to select a player and it’s always possible that the Eagles are throwing signals in the hopes that Ealy drops to their pick, but even I can’t deny that the chance of Ealy ending up being the selection is more a product of this particular board’s layout than a likely pick on May 8th.

If selected, Ealy would project as the primary backup to Trent Cole in 2014, relegating fifth-year linebacker Brandon Graham to a reserve position behind Connor Barwin (or all-but-assuring a transaction that ends up moving Graham elsewhere.) Chip Kelly would aim to turn Ealy into his own version of Dion Jordan, his former standout pass rusher at the University of Oregon that the Eagles were not only hopeful to select fourth overall in 2012, but recently tried to trade for with the Miami Dolphins. While he’d need time to polish and learn the ways of a 3-4 OLB, the reward outweighs potential risks for this athletic defender.