So what are the Eagles thinking in relation to the draft?
Not much (if any) faith can be placed in mock drafts. Too many things can happen between now and the end of April (like the achilles injury to first round prospect Sidney Jones. Trades also factor in and are too difficult to predict, but even though mock drafts can be void of facts, they can be enjoyable.
Here’s an attempt at the Philadelphia Eagles‘ mock draft, all seven rounds and eight picks. Let’s, first, mention a few things.
Will anyone be released or traded prior to the draft?
With the signings of Alshon Jeffery, Torrey Smith and Chance Warmack, the Eagles still need cap room. Between now and the end of the draft, the expectation is that the following players will be released or traded. Executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman has proven to be a gunslinger, so some of these players will change teams on draft day as part of trades to move up.
Backup quarterback Chase Daniel, center Jason Kelce, linebacker Mychal Kendricks and running back Ryan Mathews will move on, and that will create $19.6 million in cap space, per Spotrac. That should also create roster openings.
What will the depth chart look like going into the draft?
We know the who the quarterback is, but there probably won’t be a backup. Someone like Nick Foles could be signed, but the Eagles should draft someone they can develop as well.
The skill positions:
The running back position is wide open. Wendell Smallwood could be the presumptive starter, but a primary option doesn’t appear to be on the roster. Darren Sproles will continue to be used situationally and will continue to be a matchup problem for opposing defenses.
The wide receiver position is set now, with Jeffery, Jordan Matthews and Smith as the presumptive starters. An additional receiver figures to be added via the draft, so Nelson Agholor and Dorial Green-Beckham better start working harder.
The offensive line:
The front four:
The defensive line has three starters, Vinny Curry, Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham. Destiny Vaeao and Beau Allen will rotate in at the other interior spot. Marcus Smith is now the rotational end. Can he become what he was believed to be when drafted? Fans and coaches are hoping so, but figure the line to be addressed in the draft.
There are two starting linebackers if Kendricks is gone, Jordan Hicks and Nigel Bradham. This team needs a third because it’s not known if Kamu Grugier-Hill or Joe Walker can start. Outside linebacker needs to be addressed in the draft.
With that, let’s begin.
The Eagles, in our mock draft, with the 14th pick select…..
With the 14th pick, the Eagles select Dalvin Cook, RB Florida State Seminoles. Cook has been compared to Edgerrin James, and if Cook is anywhere near the player James was, this offense will be a juggernaut.
At pick 43…
At 43, it’s time to address the cornerback position. Expect the Eagles to select Cordrea Tankersley, CB Clemson Tigers. The Eagles may need to move up a few slots to get him, but this is a pick where the Eagles can use Kendricks or Daniel to trade up and get a fantastic player that fits.
At 74, the Eagles will select Chris Godwin, WR Penn State Nittany Lions. Just check out what Godwin did to Adoree’ Jackson at the Rose Bowl. At 6’1 and 209 pounds, he has 4.42 speed. Godwin could make Green-Beckham expendable.
The fourth round…
Moving in to the fourth round, the Eagles have two picks. If Jones’ injury has caused him to slide this far, the Eagles should select him with one of the two picks. It’s not likely he falls this far, so at 119 the Eagles select Elijah Lee, an outside linebacker from the Kansas State Wildcats. Lee has speed and will compete for the starting spot if Kendricks leaves.
At 139, it’s back to corner. Here the Eagles select Ahkello Witherspoon, cornerback from the Colorado Buffaloes. He’s another big and fast corner to pair with Tankersley. The Eagles solidify their defensive weakness with these two selections. It’s a testament to the depth in this draft that a player like Witherspoon could be available at this spot.
Late in the draft, the Eagles choose
Now it’s a crapshoot as the mock draft moves into rounds 5-7. At pick 155, the Eagles select Eddie Vanderdoes, a defensive lineman from the UCLA Bruins. Vanderdoes slides due to his injury history but gives the Eagles another quality body to help with the potential loss of Bennie Logan. The Eagles will select Julie’n Davenport, offensive tackle from Bucknell at pick 194. Davenport is a project but with time and effort could become the right tackle after Johnson moves over to left tackle when Peters leaves.
For their final selection, at 230, the Eagles select Seth Russell, quarterback from the Baylor Bears. Russell can throw, but will be a developmental player who could eventually become Wentz’s primary backup.
There are just under seven weeks to draft weekend. The draft is in Philly, so there will be a lot of anticipation. Roseman will certainly give the “draftniks” something to cheer about and the Philadelphia natives something to “boo” about.