The Eagles’ recent trade for Timmy Jernigan might have changed things.
No one can deny the fact that Timmy Jernigan will make an impact along the interior of the defensive line. He’ll join fellow defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, giving the Philadelphia Eagles a pair of beasts who can disrupt any offensive line. Jernigan is better than anyone the Eagles could have picked in the third round, and his addition may have changed the team’s thought process.
He joins the other teammates who were signed to one-year deals, and most importantly he assures the Eagles can prioritize the cornerback and linebacker position. Signing free agents Chris Long, a defensive end, and cornerback Patrick Robinson brings experience to two areas where veteran leadership was needed.
With less than three weeks until the draft and with the majority of the collegiate pro days done, the pundits have weighed in and ranked every player by position. The dust is starting to settle. We have a mock draft for you to debate.
On Day One, the Eagles select:
One player that seems to have dropped is this mock’s prediction for the Eagles to select at number 14. That’s if executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman doesn’t trade down.
Expect the Eagles to take Reuben Foster, linebacker from the Alabama Crimson Tide. He may be slipping in the overall rankings, and questions may begin to creep up. There were some rough spots at the Combine, but the Eagles have had him in for a visit.
It isn’t unlikely that Foster will be on the board when the Eagles pick, and pairing him with Jordan Hicks will give the Eagles two talented and young linebackers who can chase down running backs and cover bigger receivers. Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz would love to add a weapon like Foster to his arsenal.
On the Day Two, the Eagles find more impact players
Philadelphia will make picks 43 and 99 on day two, and several impactful players will still be available. In this mock, at 43, the Eagles select Sidney Jones, a cornerback from the Washington Huskies. Jones could very easily be a day-one selection, but his achilles injury could force him to slide into the second round. If so, the Eagles will have secured the best linebacker and what might be the best corner available in this draft. The Eagles may need to be patient as Jones rehabs, but by mid-season, Jones could be one of the starting corners.
Roseman could also use some players as capital and move back up after swapping picks with the Baltimore Ravens. Mychal Kendricks is likely to be traded, and there are rumblings that Jordan Matthews and Jason Kelce could be made available on draft day. With that in mind, this mock has Philadelphia selecting running back D’Onta Foreman from the Texas Longhorns.
Foreman ran the 40 in just under 4.5 seconds at his pro day, and at 230 pounds, he’s a big back that can help the Eagles convert third and one. That’s something they struggled with last season. This may require them to trade up, but this would give them the first and second down back they desperately need.
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If you’re keeping score, the Eagles have now addressed linebacker, cornerback and running back.
On Day Three, the focus will be players with some upside.
Our mock gets really interesting on day three. With their first pick on the final day of the draft and with the number 118th overall selection, look for cornerback Rasul Douglas of the West Virginia Mountaineers to have his name called. Douglas is another big corner, who unlike Jones, may need some time to develop. He has tremendous size and potential. Having a veteran like Robinson to learn from may mean the defense could be set at the starting cornerback position.
With pick 139, look for this team to select offensive tackle Erik Magnuson of the Michigan Wolverines. Magnusson gives the offensive line another stud that can play several positions. He’ll provide the team with some depth and have a year to learn before having to make the transition to being one of the starters. Of course, that’s all based on what happens with Kelce and Jason Peters.
Our mock has wide receiver Ryan Switzer of the North Carolina Tar Heels coming off of the board at pick 155. Switzer is a Julian Edelman clone. Although relatively small, his quickness and toughness make him an ideal slot receiver. Something in the air just makes one feel as though depth at the slot receiver position will be needed.
At 194, Philadelphia selects Keionta Davis, a defensive end from the Tennessee-Chattanooga Mockingbirds. Davis is an energetic, powerful edge lineman who can help with the defensive end rotation. Together with free agent Long, “The Birds” would be able to hang their hats on having some depth along the edge of the defensive line.
For their final selection, look for Philadelphia to take Elijah Lee, a linebacker from the Kansas State Wildcats. Lee would provide depth and athleticism to the linebackers, and he could contribute immediately on special teams.
There you have it. Let the debate begin. April 27th is only 17 days away, and excitement is in the air.