NFL draft analyst Mike Mayock held a conference call with media on Thursday afternoon and touched on a number of interesting topics; a few of which related to the Eagles. Here are some of the most interesting highlights.
Mayock typically isn't keen on making mock drafts (as opposed to ESPN analysts Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay), but he did do a mock draft in preparation for today's call and he has the Eagles taking a cornerback. He also picked this same player for the Eagles in a recent community mock draft he participated in. The cornerback? Kyle Fuller of Virginia Tech. Fuller is definitely a name that makes sense for the Eagles. He also just so happens to be the player that I took for the Eagles in the SB Nation NFL Writer's Mock Draft. Nice to see Mayock catching up to my genius here, huh? Here's what I wrote at the time.
The Eagles’ defense allowed the second-most opponent passing yards per game in 2013. With that said, it’s time to upgrade their much-maligned secondary. Cornerbacks Cary Williams, Bradley Fletcher and newly added Nolan Carroll may be serviceable starters on the outside, but none appear viable as long-term options. Kyle Fuller gives the Eagles a young corner who will provide immediate depth and even contend for a starting job. Fuller’s length and physicality fit exactly what the Eagles like out of their cornerbacks.
Mayock also called Fuller "one of [his] favorite players in the draft," and noted Fuller is his number one ranked cornerback. It looks like Eagles defensive coordinator Bill Davis isn't the only one "all over" Fuller. Mayock did temper his Fuller pick by saying the Eagles could very well take a wide receiver at No. 22.
Eagles GM Howie Roseman brought up the possibility of trading up in the 2014 NFL draft in a media session on Thursday morning. Mayock mentioned two players the Eagles could trade up for: outside linebacker Anthony Barr and safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. Barr is an intriguing possibility. Mayock said he won't get past No. 20. I'm not so sure I see a move to get Clinton-Dix, however. Either way, Mayock stresed the Eagles' need for "impact defensive players."
Drafting a Safety
Howie Roseman also spoke on the state of the 2014 NFL draft safety class and said he's not very impressed by it. Nevertheless, Mayock suggested the Eagles could target a safety in the second round. The names he mentioned were Lamarcus Joyner and Jimmie Ward. The reasoning behind his choice was that the Eagles are looking for a safety "who can play both [safety positions, free and strong.]" Deone Bucannon as an Eagles target was ruled out by Mayock.
(H/t to @EliotShorrParks on these)
• Mayock likes Will Clarke (whom BGN profiled earlier today) and said he's fast-riser on team draft boards.
• He thinks Kelvin Benjamin will be off the board somewhere in the 20s.
• "There is a reason DeSean (Jackson) didn't go in the first-round. It was because he was a pain in the butt in college too."
• Mayock says Manziel and Aaron Murray are the only two QBs who could play right now.
• Mayock sees Cody Latimer as a 2nd or 3rd round talent. He also raved about Martavis Bryant from Clemson.