I figure doing an offseason mock is a great way to take my mind off of things like the Giants being in the Super Bowl, or the differential equations homework I'm putting off, so here's my entry. Sorry about the length.
Signed: EJ Henderson, Jim Leonhard
As much as I'd like to say the Eagles will sign Curtis Lofton and Tyvon Branch, I can't see them going after any elite free agents this year. That "dream team" stigma last year's spending spree bought them is still hanging over the team, and I think it'll make them shy away from the market. The contracts they signed last year will hamper them financially this year too. Still, they can afford some veteran depth in two positions of weakness. Henderson is still a very solid MLB, basically the opposite of everyone we had at the position last year. He'd be a great mentor to our young LBs, and at 31, he can probably be signed cheap and short term; maybe 6M over 2 years. Hopefully by the time his contract is up, we'll have someone ready to step up and become the MLB of the future. Leonhard would basically serve the same purpose for our safeties. He's a smart, sure tackling veteran (29); again, the opposite of what we currently have at the position. He's had two straight seasons cut short in December by serious injuries, so he's a risk, but that means he'll also come at a low cost.
Edit - Keep in mind these cuts are post draft.
Desean Jackson + 15th overall + 2013 3rd to New England for the 27th overall (New Orleans) + 32nd overall + 64th overall
Asante Samuel to Detroit for the 87th overall (3rd round)
Jamaal Jackson to Carolina for the 136th overall (5th round)
Credit for the first trade goes to fr33thinker, although I've edited it slightly. I think it makes sense for the Eagles to trade Jackson, and to trade down from 15. Trading Jackson is all about accountability. Desean pussy-footed his way through the season because he was afraid to get hurt before striking it rich. That's not the kind of attitude we need on this team. New England makes the trade because the 15th pick gives them a shot at some serious D-Line help like Upshaw, Ingram, or Brockers, and Jackson gives them another one of those diva deep threats Belichick loves.
The Asante trade is the same premise. He seems pretty resigned to being moved at this point, and we really don't need him at 9.5M this year with Asomugha and DRC on the roster. Shame we didn't move him sooner, cause we could've gotten a better haul before the season.
Jamaal is being moved for the opposite reason as Desean and Asante. Jamaal has been nothing but a professional and a team player, even as he lost his starting job to 6th round pick. He's still a starting caliber center, and he deserves to go to a team that will put him in a starting role. Carolina's pretty weak at center, so I don't think a 5th is too much to ask from them.
1st (27th overall, from New Orleans): Mohamed Sanu, WR, Rutgers (6'2, 215, 4.57 40) - Sanu is the next coming of Hakeem Nicks and Miles Austin. Physically, he's a near perfect match for Nicks (6'1, 208, 4.50) and Austin (6'2, 215, 4.47). He has the strength to work the middle of the field and the endzone, to the tune of 109 receptions and 7 touchdowns at Rutgers this year. His speed isn't elite, but his route running makes up for it before the catch, and his strength makes him tough to bring down after it. And he's not a diva; he uses his strength well in the blocking instead of half-assing it like your typical star receiver. As his college coach Greg Schiano said, "He's the guy who does everything."
1st (32nd overall, from New England): Vontaze Burfict, ILB, Arizona State (6'3, 250, 4.67) - This pick hinges on the Eagles picking up a veteran presence at MLB. I think we can all agree that with his physical gifts, Burfict has all the potential in the world. But at this point, he doesn't have the maturity to start in the NFL. Still, I don't think the Eagles should just forget about Burfict. Keep in mind that for his entire life, he's never had an elite, veteran player to look up to, or an experienced coach to keep him in line. I think if put him in a situation where he's surrounded by older veterans like Cole, Jenkins, Asomugha, and the newly signed Henderson, in a defense coached by no-nonsense guys like Castillo and Washburn, there's a good chance he'll settle down and focus his game. There's no doubt this is a high risk pick, but if it works out, we could have an elite MLB for the next decade.
2nd (45th overall, from Arizona): Brandon Thompson, DT, Clemson (6'2, 310, 5.04) - The Eagles didn't take a single D-Lineman in last year's draft, so there's no way Andy can hold off his appetite for these guys any longer than the second round. Dig at Andy aside, the Eagles could use an infusion of youth into their DTs. Jenkins is on the wrong side of 30. Patterson is 28, but his health scare last summer has to have the Eagles wondering about his future. Landri was a great find, but another great year isn't a guarantee (just ask Jamar Chaney). And Dixon is young, but coming off a catastrophic injury that probably worries the Eagles as well. Thompson isn't an elite talent, but he's quick off the block, which should make him appealing to Washburn. He's more of a run stuffer like Dixon than a pass rusher like Jenkins though. As a bonus, he's also a smart guy, making Clemson's honor roll in 2010.
2nd (47th overall): Chase Minnifield, CB, Virginia (6'0, 185, 4.49) - I'm not a fan of Joselio Hanson. With the increasing usage of the nickel defense, a speedy #3 CB is a more important part of the defense than it's ever been. I think Minnifield's the perfect guy to take Hanson's place as that slot CB (admittedly, Boykins may be the better slot CB, but his stock is rising and I'm doubtful he'd be available here). Besides having good speed, he's a great tackler, which is something we need in our secondary. He also returned punts and kicks in college, which is a nice bonus.
2nd (64th overall, from New England): Vinny Curry, DE, Marshall (6'3, 265, 4.74) - The Eagles seem to be interested in adding to their stable of ends this year after not taking one in the last draft. They may not be confident in Brandon Graham's return to form, or concerned about their starting ends both being on the wrong side of 30. Either way, Vinny Curry would be a good addition to the line. He's another guy who's quick off the block, a relentless pass rusher. He can line up on either side, tackles well, and is a great team leader. I don't think he has the ceiling of some other ends in this draft, but his game should translate well and he carries minimal risk.
3rd (79th overall): Kennan Robinson, LB, Texas (6'3, 240, 4.68) - With the emergence of tight ends as an offensive force this year, a guy like Robinson is suddenly going to be a lot more valuable. He's not a great tackler, and he won't be much help against the run, but he's probably the best LB in this draft at covering tight ends. He won't be an every down player at the NFL level, but he'll be invaluable against guys like Graham, Witten, Finley, Davis, and anyone else our friends in the NFC decide draft. He's also a leader, and is known for his work in the film room.
3rd (87th, from Detroit): Ladarius Green, TE, Louisiana-Lafayette (6'6, 237, 4.64) - Did I mention the recent emergence of tight ends? Green is in the same breed as the guys breaking out this year - tall, quick, physical, and most importantly, good hands. This is what separates the Grahams and Gronkowskis from the Celeks; they can make catches away from their body, making more effective use of their freakish size. This makes them great targets in the red zone. A two TE set with Green and Celek could cause major problems for opposing defenses, especially when they've got to watch out for Maclin, Sanu, McCoy, and Vick as well. To be honest, I'd be ok with taking Green in the second round if we had to, because I think he could be the solution to our red zone problems.
4th (104th, from Tampa Bay): David Molk, C, Michigan (6'2, 288, 5.18) - You won't find a more prototypical Howard Mudd lineman than David Molk. Because of his lack of size, he relies on his elite mobility and smarts to dominate opponents; so well in fact that he won the Rimington Trophy as the nation's best collegiate center. His leadership and character are everything coaches love. He seems to me like the ideal replacement for Jamaal Jackson as Kelce's backup (especially considering experts like Dane Brugler put Kelce as his NFL comparison).
4th (111th overall): Joe Adams, WR, Arkansas (5'11, 174, 4.38) - If you've been following JimmyK's and Tommy Lawlor's coverage of the Senior Bowl practices like I have, you've fallen in love with Adams as the heir apparent to Desean Jackson. If not, maybe you remember him from the ridiculous punt return above. Adams has blazing speed and agility. At the very least, he could end up as the punt/kick return specialist we've been lacking. At best, he could be the next Desean Jackson.
5th (136th, from Carolina): Markus Zusevics, OT, Iowa (6'5, 296, 5.08) - Zusevics represents another project for Mudd to work on. He's another smart, mobile lineman that Mudd might be able to mold into his image. Markus has displayed a strong work ethic in his efforts to overcome his smaller stature, and if he carries that into the pros, he and Mudd could work well together.
5th (143rd overall): Bryan Anger, P, California (6'4, 202, 4.86) - Chas Henry was a disappointment, and as much as I love the Henry-Henery punter-kicker combo, I think it's time we go a different direction. I'd like to see the Eagles solidify the position, and Anger seems like he's just the guy to do it. He's the highest rated punter in the draft, and his size and speed mean he won't be a liability in punt coverage (not that that's a huge deal, but it's a nice bonus). If Anger works out, the Eagles won't have to worry about the position for a long time.
6th (175th overall): Russell Wilson, QB, Wisconsin (5'11, 203, 4.69) - Now the other player in the Brandon Thompson photo, Russell Wilson. Russell seems like the perfect project QB for the Eagles. He's a very mobile quarterback with great accuracy and a surprisingly strong arm, who's only limited by his height. Sound like anyone familiar? Nothing could be better for Russell's development than sitting behind his closest NFL comparable, Vick. Like Vick, playing behind Mudd's short O-Line will let him see the field better. Wilson will need to work on his reads and decision making (just like Vick), and he won't be ready for prime time for a few years, but there's no better place for him to develop than with the Eagles.
6th (185th overall, from Denver): Chris Rainey, RB, Florida (5'9, 175, 4.36) - Rainey is possibly the most versatile running back in this draft, a factor as a runner, receiver, and returner. He's small, but he has great speed and mobility - exactly the kind of back the Eagles seem to like. You may be noticing a trend here that I'm taking a lot of players with return potential. I think this is an area the Eagles really need to improve, and taking as many players as possible with return potential is the best way to go about fixing it.
6th (192nd overall, from New England): Asa Jackson, CB, Cal Poly (5'10, 193, 4.40) - Consider Jackson yet another insurance policy on Minnifield, Adams, and Rainey. He has slot corner potential and returned punts in college, so he's basically a backup plan if Minnifield, Adams, and/or Rainey bust. He's clearly a smart kid and a hard worker, as his status as a Cal Poly grad would indicate, so if he translates those attributes to the next level he could eke out a decent career.
QB: Michael Vick, Mike Kafka, Russell Wilson
RB: LeSean McCoy, Dion Lewis, Chris Rainey
FB: Owen Schmitt
TE: Brent Celek, Ladarius Green
LT: Jason Peter, King Dunlap
LG: Evan Mathis, Julian Vandervelde
C: Jason Kelce, David Molk
RG: Danny Watkins, Julian Vandervelde
RT: Todd Herremans, Markus Zusevics
SLB: Moise Fokou, Keenan Robinson
MLB: EJ Henderson, Vontaze Burfict
SS: Jim Leonhard, Jaiquawn Jarrett
K: Alex Henery
P: Bryan Anger
PUP: Jamar Chaney, Colt Anderson (forgot about Colt before)