The 2014 NFL Draft is now only 4 days away! Mock draft season is fully saturated and there's no shortage of opinion as to whom the Eagles will be taking with the No. 22 overall pick. So with that said, let's take a look at what the experts are saying.
The Eagles need better cornerback play next season and have few good long-term options on the roster. Dennard is a physical cornerback, but he's athletic enough to work on zone plays. Could this be a landing spot for rising wide receiver Cody Latimer?
jhn, BGN Community Mock Draft - Marqise Lee, WR, USC
Chip Kelly would be able to make full use of Marqise Lee's skill set. [...] With Kelly's penchant for shifting receivers and creating mismatches, this plays perfectly for the coach's schemes. With defenses having to also focus on Jeremy Maclin, Darren Sproles and LeSean McCoy, there is good potential to have Lee exploiting a mismatch on the defense.
Tommy Lawlor, PE.com - Marqise Lee, WR, USC
Lee is a player whom I like quite a bit. He isn't huge or blazing fast, but he's a solid all-around prospect. Lee always stood out to me because of what a tough, clutch player he is. He reminds me a bit of Anquan Boldin in that sense. I think Lee would thrive in the Eagles offense. He is very dangerous with the ball in his hands. Teams would fear him on quick screens. Lee is fast enough to be effective down the field. Lee can play in the slot or out wide, so he would fit well with Riley Cooper and Jeremy Maclin.
Mel Kiper Jr., ESPN - Kelvin Benjamin, WR, FSU
In the same way that Rex Ryan can probably take 11 guys off the street and figure out a way to have a league-average defense, you get the sense Chip Kelly could do the same on offense. While DeSean Jackson wasn't a player the Eagles' brass wanted around, defenses will be in better position to slow down Kelly's attack unless the Eagles can add another tool in the passing game. Benjamin is a bit of a project on the technical side, but he's a matchup nightmare from a physical standpoint and gives the Eagles something they really don't have at wide receiver.
Todd McShay, ESPN - Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State
I also considered Anthony Barr and Marqise Lee here, as both would fill need positions and are coming off of very productive careers in the Pac-12 (so there's more of a familiarity there for Chip Kelly). But Gilbert is a good value at this spot who also fills a need. He is not very physical but has an excellent combination of size and speed to go with very good ball skills and playmaking ability. Gilbert might be able to help out in the return game as well.
Kiper-McShay Live Mock Draft, ESPN - Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt
He ran a 4.46 at 6-foot-3 and 210-plus pounds, caught 262 passes in the SEC and couldn't be kept covered when everyone in the stadium knew Vanderbilt wanted to get him the ball. With uncertainty at WR, I'm looking for an immediate contributor.
Mike Mayock, NFL Network - Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech
Kyle Fuller is one of my favorite players in the draft.
Pete Prisco, CBS - Odell Beckham Jr., WR, LSU
I will keep him here this week. He has the tools to be a good contributor in their offense.
Rob Rang, CBS - Odell Beckham Jr., WR, LSU
Chip Kelly's offense is built around speedy playmakers who can defeat opponents one-on-one. After releasing DeSean Jackson, Kelly and general manager Howie Roseman are expected to make finding a similarly gifted athlete a priority in the draft. With one of the draft's best pure athletes slipping to them, replacing Jackson could prove surprisingly easy
Pat Kirwan, CBS - Odell Beckham Jr., WR, LSU
Beckham is a very solid citizen and a polished receiver. If the Eagles decide to hold off on receiver and go defense there are a number of solid defenders left on the board. The Eagles reportedly tried to trade for Dion Jordan and that should indicate their desire for defensive help at pass rusher like Dee Ford.
Will Brinson, CBS - Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech
Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher are on the roster but the secondary still needs improvement. Fuller's a physical player who can help Chip Kelly's defense out of the gate.
Bucky Brooks, NFL.com - Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech
Adding a long, rangy athlete like Fuller would help the Eagles employ aggressive bump-and-run tactics to slow down the elite receivers in the NFC East.
Gayle Saunders, Rotoworld - Cody Latimer, WR, Indiana
Some may say this is too early for Latimer to come off the board, but Latimer gives the Eagles the big bodied target at 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds with speed (4.44 forty) to match. Latimer played in an up-tempo, no-huddle system at Indiana which is a huge plus. Hope he likes shakes.
Eliot Shorr-Parks, NJ.com - Cody Latimer, WR, Indiana
The Eagles have a tough decision to make at No. 22. Barr is gone, there is no pass rusher worthy of the pick, and all of the top secondary players are off the board. If the board sets up like this, the Eagles could choose a wide receiver. Latimer -- one of the biggest, fastest, strongest wide receivers in the draft -- is the selection.
Jared Sherman, CSN Philly - Kelvin Benjamin, WR, FSU
Benjamin will need to work on his craft, as he's far from a completed project. However, with the structure the Eagles have in place, and guys like Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper working their butts off next to him, I believe he can make an immediate impact in 2014.
Chris Steuber, CSN Philly - Marqise Lee, WR, USC
There are many misconceptions about the Eagles’ offense, but the easiest way I can describe Kelly’s masterful scheme is as an extreme hybrid of the West Coast offense, with its concentration on tempo, spacing and getting the ball in the hands of its playmakers. Lee is very familiar with the West Coast concepts and has been successful in the scheme. Plus, Chip Kelly heavily recruited him coming out of high school and just missed landing the former prep star on signing day in 2011. Now, three years later, Kelly finally gets his guy.
Geoff Mosher, CSN Philly - Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech
Long, physical press corner to help restore the toughness in a once-prideful defense.
Once again, the wide receiver position rules supreme in the Eagles mock draft database. However, the top spot goes to a defensive player this time. Virginia Tech cornerback Kyle Fuller seems to fit what the Eagles like out of their cornerbacks and could reasonably be available to No. 22. It's a pick that seems to make a lot of sense.
Up next is a predictable split amongst some of the top wide receivers from this class. One pass catcher who is curiously absent is Brandin Cooks of Oregon State. Cooks was the most popular pick in last week's edition of the Eagles mock draft database. I imagine that has to do with mock drafters thinking he will be gone before the Eagles' pick. Full summary below:
CB Kyle Fuller: 4
WR Marqise Lee: 3
WR Odell Beckham Jr.: 3
WR Kelvin Benjamin: 2
WR Cody Latimer: 2
CB Justin Gilbert: 1
WR Jordan Matthews: 1
CB Darqueze Dennard: 1