Defense Heavy Mock Draft

Ok folks, here is my version of the 2013 mock draft for the Philadelphia Eagles. I'd like to preface this with a few notes though.

#1: I feel that the blame of 2012's meltdown falls squarely on the feet of two people, Andy Reid and Jim Washburn. Andy's playcalling became totally predictable 5 years ago, so you can imagine how easy it is for teams to gameplan against him now. He tried to change Mike Vick into a pocket passer, which ended in disaster. And his inability to use LeSean McCoy more was an absolute joke. It didn't help that 4 of the 5 starting linemen were on the IR, either. On defense, the failures started with the Wide 9. Yeah, it was cute in 2011. But so was the Wildcat the first year that Miami came out with it. Teams didn't know, intially, how to stop this new scheme. After a few weeks, when some game film has been collected, it became more clear and pretty easy to figure out. The wide 9 was a complete failure last year, and the entire defense suffered. It opened up massive gaps in the run game. The front 4 couldn't get to the QB as expected, which led to the secondary being torched. You give any QB enough time, and they'll tear you apart. Once Jim Washburn was fired in early December, the defense actually got better. Unfortunately, that's when Bryce Brown started some games and fumbled at inopportune times.

#2: As far as who stays and who goes, I'm not going to go up and down the roster and declare how I feel about each and every player. But I will highlight a few. As far as the starting CBs go, Nnamdi is cut and DRC gets the franchise tag. I loved the Nnamdi signing at first, but it has blown up in Philadelphia's face. He just looked lost too many times, and always placed the blame on everybody but himself. DRC is still young and talented, and I feel was one of the victims of last year's poor playcalling (and arguements between Washburn/Castillo and Bowles/Washburn/Reid). Franchise him this year, and let's see what he can do in the new scheme. If not, you let him walk after this season and move on. I keep Maclin, because Chip Kelly's offense is about mismatches and options. No use getting rid of another option. Although I do see Riley Cooper taking a slightly larger role this year. And being that Trent Cole just signed a long term deal, I don't get rid of him just yet.

#3: The starting line, in my opinion, does not need any upgrades. In 2010, the Eagles has a top rated line. Jason Peters should have had MVP consideration for his performance. Evan Mathis was a diamond in the rough. Kelce was a great late round pickup. Herremans is the most versitile player on the line and held RT down like a champ. Of course, the success of this team could depend on how all of these players return from their injuries. Personally, I see (from L to R) Peters, Mathis, Kelce, Herremans, and Kelly as the starting 5. I would not be against Danny Watkins breaking back in at RG, but I would need to see what Jeff Stoutland can do with him first.

Now, onto the mock draft. I think with the switch to a 3-4 scheme, the defense needs more work than the offense. This mock involves 3 trades. The first trade I am making is sending Nick Foles to Kansas City for their 3rd rounder, #63 overall. I don't love this move, personally. But let's face it, Foles is not the guy in Chip Kelly's eyes. Mike Vick has a restructured deal, Dennis Dixon is on board, and it's no secret that Chip has eyeballed a few other QBs who can make plays with their legs. Therefore, Foles isn't a fit. I see Mike Vick getting the start in Week 1, and that doesn't bother me as much as I thought it would a few weeks ago. I don't fault Mike Vick for his "failures" last year. I blame Andy Reid. What I mean by that is Reid tried too hard to fit a square peg into a round hole. You cannot make Vick into a pocket passer, plain and simple. Vick is meant to take off when he sees it. That's why he took so many shots in the backfield, because he felt trapped and confused back there. I think Chip lets Vick be Vick. He manages how many pass attempts he gets, puts more of an empasis on the run game with McCoy and Brown. So we might as well get what we can for Nick Foles now, and Andy Reid would love to take him.

My second trade is the #4 overall to the Tennessee Titans for their first round (#10) and second round (#40) picks. Tennessee needs help on defense, especially in the backfield. They seem to have taken a liking to Dee Milliner, so they would be a good trade target. I like Milliner as well, but I don't think he's the far and away best CB. That is why I'm willing to drop down a bit. And besides, it lets me pick up two studs in the 2nd.

My third trade is our 4th rounder (#98) to the NY Jets for their fifth (#134), sixth (#167), and 2014 fifth. I just happened to pick the Jets as a random trade target, but any team near where they pick works just as well. I don't see anybody that I love in the 4th, but I do see players in the later rounds that I'd like to pick up.

1st Round, #10 overall, Jonathan Banks CB Miss. State

6'1, 185 lbs

2012 Jim Thorpe Award winner (nation's top DB)

4 years, 221 Tackles, 4 Sacks, 15 INTs (3 TDs), 5 FF, 1 Punt Return TD

Link to Jonathan Banks Highlights

This is the guy that is going to replace Nnamdi Asomugha. This was a close choice between Banks and Florida State's Xavier Rhodes, but I gave Banks the edge because of his playmaking ability. Big time playmaker here. He could stand to put on a few pounds. But with the switch to 3-4, I see him playing off the receiver more, and not so much in bump and run coverage. He falls into the "bend but don't break" style. Best of all, he creates turnovers. Tall, long arms, I really like this kid.

2nd Round, #36 overall, Jesse Williams NT Alabama

At 6'4", 320 lbs. he has the perfect combination of size, speed, and strength to be a nose tackle in not only the SEC but the NFL as well. -Bleacher Report

Link to Jesse Williams Highlights

This is not a guy that will make many appearances on the stat sheet, but that's not what his position is designed to do. A true NT will eat up blockers, freeing up space for the other guys around him to make plays. This guy is an absolute beast. He is rumored to be able to bench, wait for it.....SIX HUNDRED POUNDS! Wow! Justin Ernest of Eastern Kentucky set the combine record for bench press back in 1999, when he benched 225 lbs. an astonishing 51 times. It would not shock me at all if this Aussie native breaks that record.

2nd Round, #40 overall, Matt Elam SS Florida

5'10, 202 lbs

3 years, 176 Tackles (23.5 for loss), 6 INTs, 3 FF

Link to Matt Elam Highlights

This is what trading down in the first lands me. Thank god, we have finally found someone to replace Kurt Coleman! I think Coleman will go down as the worst Eagle in history. He tackled like the Black Knight in Monty Python's Holy Grail. As stated by an NFL scout, "Matt Elam is a human highlight reel . It doesn't seem to matter where the man is on the field, he's going to hit someone. He's no slouch in coverage either as he hawked 4 INTs in 2012, his Junior year at Florida. Elam is the type of player who can change the momentum of a game in a single play." I know this comparison has been done to death, but I see some Brian Dawkins in him. Big hitter, high intensity, has a bit more swagger than Dawk though.

3rd Round, #63overall, David Amerson CB NC State

6'3, 194 lbs

3 years, 177 Tackles, 17 INTs (3 for TD's)

Link to David Amerson Highlights from 2011

This is a bonus pick from trading Nick Foles. Another tall CB taken. While not quite the size of Seattle's CBs, I'd like to see the Eagles add size to this position. Amerson's stock took a bit of a dip this year, but it's only in comparison to his spectacular 2011 season. Amerson set a conference record with 11 INTs that season. I see him as a backup plan to DRC, whether we keep him one more year with the earlier mentioned franchise tag, or let him walk this offseason. A combo of Amerson and Banks would give Philadelphia two tall, long armed playmakers for years to come.

3rd Round, #67 overall, Jamie Collins 34 WOLB Southern Mississippi

6'4, 240 lbs

4 years, 314 Tackles (45 for loss), 21 Sacks, 3 INTs (2 for TD's), 7 FF, 2 FR

Link to Jamie Collins vs Nebraska 2012

I'd like to thank mlbsports23 for introducting me to this guy. Check out his article on BGN, Smaller School Prospects to Watch Out For Throughout the Draft Process. I love watching Collins play. He's got an explosive first step, and the ability to shed blockers and make plays. He doesn't give up on plays either, finding a way to get involved even when he's on the other side of the field. I don't see anybody getting in his way of being a day one starter on the week side, oppposite Trent Cole.

5th Round, #129 overall, Duke Williams FS Nevada

6'1, 200 lbs

4 years, 292 Tackles (14.5 for loss), 4 INTs, 22 passes deflected, 5 FF, 2 FR

Link to Duke Williams Highlights

This is my somewhat hidden gem of this draft. What I love about Duke is speed, speed, speed. Watch the first play of the link I put above. You see how fast he breaks on a play on the opposite sideline!? This is our new center fielder. Too many times, Philly got burned on big plays. Not with this guy. I'm convinced that if he went to a bigger name school, he'd be much higher on the draft boards. Fantastic open field tackler. Another high intensity guy, something Philadelphia has seriously lacked on the defensive side in the last few years.
5th Round, #134, Kyle Long LOT Oregon

6'7, 311 lbs

Link to Kyle Long vs Arizona State (2012)

Another trade down pick. I finally pick someone on the offensive side of the ball. I can't give Billy Davis EVERY draft pick. At this point of the draft, I'm starting to look for depth. I'm not going to pretend I know a lot about Kyle. But he's got an NFL frame, played under Chip Kelly, and is the younger brother of Miami's Jake Long. This could be a good backup plan if, for some reason, Jason Peters doesn't return at 100% from his achilles injuries.

6th Round, #167, David Bass 34 SOLB Missouri Western State

6'5, 265 lbs

4 years, 210 Tackles (57 for Loss), 39.5 Sacks

Link to David Bass Highlights

Bass is one of the reasons I trade down in the 4th, and to land Kyle Long. If that trade doesn't happen, I'm perfectly fine taking David Bass in the 4th. Again, credit for this find goes to mlbsports23. A dominant player in Division II football and a Gene Upshaw Award finalist (best lineman, offense or defense, in DII). What remains to be seen is how he will translate to playing against better talent. He can eventually take over for Trent Cole in a year or so. Great technique, good football instincts.
7th Round, #196, Matt Scott QB Arizona

6'3, 197 lbs

2012 Campaign, 3620 yards, 27 TDs/14 INTs, 60.3 Completion %, 506 Rushing Yards, 6 Rushing TDs

Link to Matt Scott vs USC (2012)

Link to 2 TDs in Final Minute of Bowl Game

Scott will likely be the #3 QB, but he does translate well into Kelly's system. He has experience at the read/option, but is more of a thrower than a passer. He mainly fills a hole in the depth chart, and could climb his way to #2 if Dennis Dixon falters.


There you have it. Since this is the internet, I fully expect debate, hair pulling, name calling, all that good stuff. I pretty much whipped this mock together while I was sitting at work, so bash me as much as you like. Thanks for reading!

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