So it's that time of year where everybody in the world has got a mock draft. Every other football article is a mock right now and they're all pretty much the same. For that reason, I decided to try something a little bit different. If I'm going to do a mock, I want as many picks to think about as possible so I decided to include what would be a pretty 'shocking' trade if it were to actually happen, but would still kinda make sense for both teams involved. Here it is:
Firstly why this makes some sense for Philly. They get two extra picks in the top 50 this year, which, given the number of holes on the team and the depth available in this draft, can't be understated. They do have to give up one of their top-2 WRs to get there, but Maclin isn't necessarily a great fit in Chip Kelly's system and, if the aforementioned system is similar to what he ran in Oregon, there might not be as much of an emphasis placed on having two standout WRs.
From the Rams perspective, they're in a division with the 3rd and 4th ranked defenses and as such have to play them twice a season. Their two biggest needs this offseason were OT and WR. Bringing in Jake Long has lessened the need for a tackle to an extent, but at #4 they could have the opportunity to draft Eric Fisher and make one of the worst tackle pairings in the league into one of the best. At WR, losing Amendola has meant that they don't have much outside of second year player Brian Quick to catch passes on the outside. Maclin would give them an experienced receiver who has proven that he has what it takes to succeed in the NFL. Why take a risk on a hot-shot college guy when you can get a guy that has shown his ability on the big stage and will only be 25 when the season starts?
As I said, I don't expect this trade to actually happen, but it certainly makes mocking the Eagles draft more fun so I'm gonna roll with it.
I'll give a little more explanation for my picks below, but for those impatient types, the complete list is here:
- 16 - S Kenny Vaccaro, Texas
- 22 - DT Johnathan Hankins, Ohio State
- 35 - OT Kyle Long, Oregon
- 46 - WR Ryan Swope, Texas A&M
- 67 - DT Bennie Logan, LSU
- 101 - QB Matt Scott, Arizona
- 136 - CB Sanders Commings, Georgia
- 210 - OG Matt Summers-Gavin, California
- 212 - S Orhian Johnson, Ohio State
- 218 - OLB Nathan Williams, Ohio State
- 239 - TE Levine Toilolo, Stanford
So, with that out of the way, let me explain my logic.
#16 - S Kenny Vaccaro, Texas The Eagles have done well in free agency to bring in two safeties, Kenny Phillips and Patrick Chung, on cheap deals. Having said that, Phillips's injury history and Chung's benching in New England should suggest that they're not players you can necessarily count on so the position still needs to be addressed. Vaccaro is the consensus top safety in this draft, he's disciplined, able to play the pass (both deep zones and man-coverage in the slot) run and can blitz. Perhaps the biggest reason to draft him, however, is that it means we can finally cut-ties with Coleman.
#22 - DT Johnathan Hankins, Ohio State Cards on the table, I'm an OSU fan, so I might be a little biased. With that caveat in mind, I think Hankins is one of the best DT prospects in the draft. He can play 5-tech, 3-tech, 1-tech, 0-tech and would be an instant starter for the Eagles. He's equally good at penetrating into the backfield or standing up double teams against the run and shows the hustle to make plays along the sidelines if a runner breaks contain. A player that doesn't give up until the whistle, he should be a starter in this league for the next 10 years.
#35 - OT Kyle Long, Oregon The offensive line remains a question mark for the Eagles. Even if they all return from the injuries sustained last season at 100%, Jason Peters will be 32 by the end of the season and Herremans is arguably better suited to play inside (which would have the added benefit of limiting the snaps of Danny Watkins). We don't have to project whether Kyle has the athletic ability to keep up with Chip's high speed practices and up-tempo offense because he's been doing it for a number of years in college.
#46 - WR Ryan Swope, Texas A&M With Maclin making his exit in this trade, I would expect Chip to have an open competition for the starting WR position opposite D-Jax. He's already got Riley Cooper, Arrelious Benn and Marvin McNutt in the battle, but I wouldn't be surprised to see him add a rookie to join the fight. Swope, a former RB, is probably the best blocking WR in the draft. He shows good hands and route running and is a good target on screen passes.
Most people seem to be projecting him as a 4th round pick because (to quote nfl.com) "His height, straight-line speed and acceleration are only average, limiting him to a slot or number three receiver role at the next level. Doesn’t have the elite athleticism to elude NFL-caliber defenders in space". At the combine, he ran a 4.34 (tied with Tavon Austin for second fastest), a 6.76 3-cone drill (6th among WRs) and a 4.25 short shuttle (14th among WRs, 0.02 seconds slower than Denard Robinson). I think that puts his athleticism concerns to rest and I'd be surprised if he gets out of the second round.
#67 - DT Bennie Logan, LSU By this point, the Eagles have a starting DL with Hankins, Cox and Sopoaga, but there's not much in the way of depth. Logan should be able to come into the rotation right away, offering more explosion than Sopoaga in the pass rush and, if he can show the ability to anchor against the run has a chance of unseating Isaac as the starting NT. Should be, at the very least, a solid role player for the Eagles.
#101 - QB Matt Scott, Arizona Chip has said there's an open competition at QB, so it wouldn't surprise me if he adds another rookie to the mix. Scott replaced Foles at Arizona and has shown the ability to make all the throws. More athletic than Nick, but doesn't just take off and run. Keeps his eyes downfield and tries to make plays from the pocket when possible. Might already be gone by now, but if he's still on the board at the top of the 4th round I think he'd be a good pick for the Eagles.
#136 - CB Sanders Commings, Georgia Given the question marks at cornerback for the Eagles, it can't hurt to add another body to the mix. Commings is big, strong in press coverage and not shy about making a tackle. Not a guy that's suited for a lot of zone coverage and many think he's a guy that would be better off making a switch to safety, but he shows a lot of the characteristics I think Kelly is looking for and in the 5th round he's pretty good value.
#210 - OG Matt Summers-Gavin, California This guy played right tackle in college but his relatively short arms mean he's likely to be moved inside in the pros. Very athletic and has good technique but will slide in the draft because of a lack of familiarity with the guard position and multiple knee injuries in college. Projects as a good fit for Kelly's scheme and should be a good backup guard if he can stay healthy.
#212 - S Orhian Johnson, Ohio State Johnson has experience playing FS, SS and CB and was a good contributor on special teams in college. At the moment he projects as emergency depth for a few positions and can provide competition for Colt Anderson as ST specialist in camp.
#218 - OLB Nathan Williams, Ohio State This pick and the previous one may in part have been influenced by the fact I've seen much more of the Ohio State guys than other late-round prospects. With that in mind, though, I think Williams could be a steal at this point in the draft. He's undersized, so might not be a Chip Kelly player, but he's got experience at every 3-4 linebacker spot and shows good instincts in coverage. Knee injuries, small size and a tendency to over-pursue on run plays will see him drop on draft day, but as a late-round utility backup and ST contributor he could be worth a pick.
#239 - TE Levine Toilolo, Stanford At this point in the draft, it's pretty much a crapshoot, so why not shoot your crap at a guy that's 6'8. Uses his full height in the receiving game and has experience lining up in the slot and in the backfield. Tore his ACL in 2010 and still wears a knee brace, so he's a bit of a question mark in the health category, but has the upside to be an interesting pick in the late 7th.
So there you have it. A trade that won't happen and 11 players we probably won't pick, but I had fun writing it and hopefully you enjoyed reading it (on the off-chance that anyone actually did read it).