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2015 NFL Mock Draft: Mel Kiper Grade A Edition

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Check out our (2015 Eagles mock draft central) for more opinions on who could be the #20 pick in April.

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. released a new 2015 NFL mock draft this week. It's a little different than his typical mock drafts. Kiper calls this edition his "Grade: A" mock draft (In$ider required). These are the rules, as explained by Kiper:

"1. At each slot, I make a pick in the best interest of only the team with the pick. I won't pass on a player at No. 4 just because I like the team better at No. 5.

2. No trades unless they're already done. I note team needs, and I try to address them, but like the draft, value can supersede need.

3. Again: I'm not projecting. It's more a look at where I see value up and down the board."

Kiper seemingly aims to make the best pick for each team given their circumstance. Here's how the Eagles' first three draft picks played out:

"Top needs: S, G, CB, WR

Round 1 (20) S Landon Collins, Alabama
Round 2 (52) WR Tyler Lockett, Kansas St.
Round 3 (84) G Ty Sambrailo, Colorado St.


Analysis: You're going to get mixed reviews on Collins, but there won't be much debate about whether he's the top safety in the draft. The concern will be that he's not as good when he's in coverage away from the line of scrimmage, but if you're looking for a safety who can essentially act as an extra linebacker when you need one, Collins is a great get at this point on the board. He'll be able to line up on tight ends and in the slot, tackles extremely well for the position and is ready to help a defense right now. You just can't expect him to chase burners around 30 yards downfield, and he has only so-so hands for the position. Still, I'm taking him thinking my defense just got better. Lockett is one of the more underrated WRs in the draft. While he's not a big target, he's an outstanding route-runner who always gets open and is fearless when it comes to blocking. I think my head coach will like him. Sambrailo is an athletic offensive lineman who has a chance to be useful in this offense for that reason. I'm not certain he'll become a good starter, but he's worth a bet at No. 84."

Kiper (along with Todd McShay) have mocked Collins to the Eagles like a billion times at this point. Kiper even recognizes Collins' coverage limitations. Based on what we know about the Eagles, it just doesn't seem likely that they want a safety who can act as an extra linebacker. Bill Davis talks about having a mirrored defense. The Eagles have targeted defensive backs who can play both cornerback and safety. Those are players who can play in coverage. With in that mind, Collins just does not seem like a good fit. The Eagles need a safety but that doesn't mean they need to take Colins.

Speaking of needs, the Eagles pick up a new pass catcher in the second round. Lockett only goes about 5-10, 182 pounds but he has some speed.

Lockett was very productive in college. He finished his career at Kansas State with 249 receptions for 3,710 yards (14.9 average) and 29 touchdowns. He also rushed for 192 yards on 22 attempts. He scored four touchdowns on 77 kickoff returns and two touchdowns on 32 punt returns. Lockett would figure to be a slot receiver/returner for the Eagles.

Ty Sambralio is a 6-6, 311 pound offensive lineman. He played at tackle in college but Kiper is projecting him as a guard for the Eagles. This NFL.com draft profile indicates Sambralio has good feet and mobility but needs to be more powerful.

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So what do you think of these picks?