As we've done for the past eight(ish) years, the NFL bloggers here at SB Nation have gotten together to do a mock draft. The setup is simple, each writer plays GM for his team and makes the pick. There are no trades. The draft goes two rounds deep.
The Eagles' first round pick was published a few weeks ago. With the No. 20 overall pick, I ended up supporting Duck Bias by selecting Oregon's Jake Fisher for Philadelphia. Now the Eagles' second round pick has been revealed. It's funny because I ended up taking a player at No. 52 whom I consider a viable option for the Eagles in the first round: Connecticut cornerback Byron Jones. My explanation:
"Considering Byron Jones could arguably be in play for the Eagles at pick No. 20, getting him at No. 52 overall is a no-brainer.
The Eagles are showing a ton of interest in Jones. Chip Kelly chose to personally attend Connecticut’s pro day, along with Eagles defensive coordinator Bill Davis and two high-ranking player personnel executives. This seems especially significant considering this group chose to attend UConn’s pro day instead of FSU’s, which was being held on the same day.
Jones seems to fit exactly what the Eagles like in their cornerbacks. He has great size, he’s versatile (former safety), he's long, and he's extremely athletic. Kelly highly values character, and Jones is a team captain, so that’s just another box to check off.
The Eagles still have a big need at cornerback despite signing Byron Maxwell in free agency. Brandon Boykin, Nolan Carroll and Walter Thurmond are all expected to be in the running to start opposite of Maxwell in 2015, but none of them are under contract beyond the season. Jones wouldn’t necessarily need to start right away, but he could give Philadelphia a long-term fixture on the outside."
SB Nation draft guru Dan Kadar didn't love my Fisher pick but he really likes this one. I redeemed myself.
"This is a pick I wouldn’t be able to fault too much if it happened in the first round of the draft. To get Jones -- an athletic freak -- in the second round is a coup. From a physical standpoint, Jones has every tool you want in a high-end developmental corner. He has a bit of work to do on his game, but that’s expected after he missed parts of last season. His character intangibles, though, are off the charts. After spending some time with him at the NFL Combine, it’s easy to tell Jones is genuinely a good person. He’s interned in a politician’s office in Washington, D.C. What did he do in his free time while there? He stayed in shape by practicing with the George Washington University women’s basketball team. Indeed, Jones checks all the boxes. By drafting him at No. 52, the Eagles should be the box checked for an "A" pick."
When it comes to the real draft, the Eagles might just have to draft Jones at No. 20 if they want him because he might not last until the second round. Former Eagles scout and NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah thinks Jones could be a first round pick. It's worth noting that Jones is one of 26 prospects attending the big event in Chicago.
So what do you think of my haul from this year's mock draft? Would you be happy if the Eagles drafted both Fisher and Jones? Maybe you could argue the Eagles could get Jones in the first and Fisher in the second?