Philadelphia Eagles: Draft Thoughts And Rankings
Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
The NFL Draft is only six days away and I am excited to see who the Philadelphia Eagles will draft. Below are some thoughts on the first round, a number of potential Eagles picks and my wide receiver rankings for this years draft.
1) The Eagles can’t go wrong at 20
In last years draft, Chip Kelly said that they had six players they wanted at pick 22. Not one of those six fell to the Eagles so they decided to trade down and take Marcus Smith at 26 and so far that looks like a bad pick. It could have been different if just one of the six fell to the Eagles at 22.
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This year, I just can’t see that happening. The Eagles should have the opposite problem, they will have a number of options. The Eagles have been mainly meeting with wide receivers and cornerbacks so far.
Looking at who they have met with, there’s a decent chance their first pick will be a receiver such as Jaelen Strong, Nelson Agholor or Breshad Perriman or a cornerback such as Byron Jones, Jalen Collins or Eric Rowe. They may even decide to go with Jake Fisher who can start at right guard.
There is absolutely no chance that none of those players are available at 20. There’s probably a high chance that a number of them are available. The Eagles therefore have no excuse this year, they have to hit on their first round pick.
2) My thoughts on some prospects linked to the Eagles
Adrian Amos: A safety from Penn State, Amos has everything the Eagles want in a safety, he’s versatile enough to cover slot cornerbacks and he excels in coverage. However, this doesn’t mean he will suddenly step in as a day one starter and play well if the Eagles draft him.
Amos isn’t great in run support and has to get much better with his tackling angles and instincts. I would love the Eagles to take him in the 3rd or 4th round and let him develop and maybe he’ll be ready to start next year or towards the end of this year.
Ali Marpet: A guard from small school Hobart & William Smith meant Marpet played in division III and was not challenged. He’s not getting much hype because of this but its not Marpet’s fault that he dominated weak opposition. Marpet also excelled at the senior bowl against better competition.
Marpet had an extremely good combine and showed that he’s a fantastic athlete, I would be happy if the Eagles drafted him in the second round. I think he would be a fantastic right guard and he has extremely high upside because of his athletic potential. Listening to him in interviews, he sounds like a classic Chip Kelly guy to me.
Damarious Randall: A safety from Arizona State, I have no idea why Randall is getting so much hype suddenly. Mike Mayock recently ranked him as his number one safety and there’s reports saying he may go in the first round and even be the first safety selected in the draft.
Randall can cover reasonably well but he is dreadful in run support. He shows a lack of awareness and takes bad angles, frequently giving up long touchdown runs because of this. Watch the Oregon State game and you’ll see what I mean, I do not want him to be the last line of the Eagles defense and I hope we don’t draft him at all as he needs a lot of work.
Eric Rowe: A cornerback from Utah who previously played safety, Rowe is the love of a lot of Eagles fans. While I agree he’s a good prospect, I don’t think he’s good enough to be the pick at 20. He’s an aggressive tackler and an instinctive player but I question whether he is good enough at either cornerback or safety to develop into a very good starter at either position.
Unfortunately, I think he’s too good to be there at pick 52. Rowe does provide the Eagles with cover at both cornerback and safety and we know how highly Chip Kelly values versatility so maybe Rowe will be the pick at 20. If we do pick him at 20 I hope we play him at safety because I think that’s where the Eagles biggest need it.
Out of the players above, here’s how I’d rank them:
3) The Eagles need a number one receiver
The Eagles receiving group is sub-par currently. However, adding a legitimate number one receiver changes this. Jordan Matthews is a solid number two, a below average number one. Josh Huff can be a great number three or four receiver, but he’s not yet good enough to be a number two. Riley Cooper is a bad receiver wherever he’s playing but you get my point.
After looking at this year’s receiving class, here are my top 10 wide receivers:
I understand I am high on Jaelen Strong and I explained my thoughts in detail here. I think the top four are good enough to be the Eagles number one receiver from day one. I would be very happy if Strong or Agholor was the Eagles pick at 20. In my final mock draft I had Agholor as the Eagles pick here.
If the Eagles can’t get one of my top four, Breshad Perriman and Devin Smith have the potential to be a future number one receiver but I think taking them at 20 is too early. If the Eagles want a deep threat, hopefully either Devin Smith, Phillip Dorsett, Sammie Coates or Rashad Greene is available at pick 20.
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