Round 1, Pick 25:
Justin Grasso – Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi State
There are only a handful of teams who have the ability to select an injured player with their first-round pick because their team is complete and competitive. Injuries don’t matter for the Eagles right now. The strategy is taking the best player available. In this case, Jeffery Simmons was the best player available. If I told you the Eagles could have a young Fletcher Cox playing next to peak veteran Fletcher Cox as long as you wait for a year, would you be interested?
Geoffrey Knox – Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson
Rumors have circulated for a while that have connected Dexter Lawrence to the Eagles. That can probably be said about several other prospects at different positions, but Lawrence just seems different. It just doesn’t feel like Philly’s investing in a running back so early (Josh Jacobs). It doesn’t seem like Christian Wilkins will be available past pick 20, but it does feel like Lawrence will be available at pick 25.
Look for Philly to go with this young gun to help spell Fletcher Cox and Malik Jackson from time to time.
Alex DeMarzo – Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson
There is a possibility Christian Wilkins may get swooped up before the Eagles make their first-round selection. A few mock drafts have Wilkins going as top 15 pick. However, if Wilkins happens to still be on the board when the 25th pick rolls around, the Eagles would be crazy not pull the trigger. Wilkins is an absolute monster on the defensive line.
Don’t let his size fool you. Wilkins is an extremely athletic lineman. He possesses the ability to get to the backfield instantaneously. During his final season at Clemson, Wilkins finished with 14 tackles for a loss of yards. Wilkins would be the perfect complement and backup to Fletcher Cox and recently acquired Malik Jackson for the first few seasons.
Jackie Quattro – Nasir Adderly, S, Delaware
Barring from any last minute moves containing Howie Roseman pulling a trade out of his hat trick, the Eagles would see a lot the top names go before their turn to pick. At pick No. 25, I think the Eagles should go with Nasir Adderley, the safety out of University of Delaware. Eagles are getting older at the safety position and could also lose Rodney McLeod next year in free agency, adding Adderley would add a young ball hawk who could slide in the starting position the following year.
Adderley also has experience playing at cornerback which if the team learned anything from last year, they need some extra depth there as well. The biggest knock on Adderley is he struggles with the run defense, but what he brings in the passing defense is what makes him a go-to for the Eagles.
Dominique Smith – Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson
This is a tough one. While there have been some mock drafts that have Clemson’s Christian Wilkins dropping, it just does not seem likely. Assuming Wilkins goes early, the Eagles can still roll the dice on a defensive lineman. Wilkins’ teammate, Dexter Lawrence would be a solid second, to take his place.
Lawrence brings a lot to the table. He is a large, immovable force, yet he is quite athletic for his size. His length makes him a threat at the line of scrimmage. His one downfall is his history with PEDs. That is a controversial subject as it may not have been entirely his fault. So, assuming it is not an issue, the Eagles should definitely take the chance on him, if they can’t get Wilkins.