The divisional round of the 2016 NFL playoff schedule is over and there are 101 days until the 2016 NFL Draft starts on April 28, so we're going to kill some time with our regular Mock Draft Monday series from now until then.
Last week SB Nation's Dan Kadar had the Eagles taking an offensive tackle from Ohio State at No. 13 overall. This week's pick is much different:
13. Philadelphia Eagles: Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis - New head coach Doug Pederson may like to start his run as the man in charge with a quarterback of his choosing. Before the offseason process really gets going, Lynch looks like the draft's second best quarterback. He could remind Pederson of a much larger version of Alex Smith.
There's an argument to be made that the Eagles must draft a quarterback at some point. Sam Bradford is going to be a free agent and he might not want to come back. He might want to sign with the 49ers now that Chip Kelly is there. But even if Bradford is back, that still shouldn't prevent the Eagles from drafting a rookie. Bradford didn't play so well that he proved to be the Eagles' undisputed answer at quarterback. The Birds can't put all their eggs in one basket.
Then there's the Pederson factor. Head coaches typically have their own idea of what they want at quarterback. Pederson is a former quarterback so he might have some specific ideas in mind. Bradford may or may not be Pederson's guy. If the Eagles let Bradford walk or tag-and-trade him, drafting a rookie passer is necessary. The Eagles could hope to pair that rookie with a placeholder veteran such as Chase Daniel.
The 21-year-old Lynch measures in at 6-6, 225 pounds. He finished his redshirt junior season with 296 completions on 443 attempts (66.8%) for 3,778 yards (8.5 yards/attempt), 28 touchdowns, and four interceptions. He also ran for 239 yards and two scores. For more on Lynch, read this detailed scouting report from NFL.com. Here's an excerpt:
There's no question that Lynch is one of the most talented quarterbacks in college football. He exhibits rare athleticism and movement skills for a "big" quarterback. He has enough arm talent to make every throw in the book. However, I had some questions about his readiness and potential based on my extensive tape study (Ole Miss, Houston, Temple, South Florida, and Cincinnati) prior to the Birmingham Bowl. Those concerns are heightened after watching him struggle against Auburn. While I still believe he's an intriguing prospect with potential, I see him as a developmental prospect who will need time to grow into the position. If I had to compare him to a current pro, I would cite Ryan Tannehill as an apt comparison. Lynch can function at a high level in executing concepts that are similar to the tactics he runs at Memphis, but he will need time to transition to a pro playbook.
Watch tape on him via Draft Breakdown.
ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper also recently released a mock draft. It's his Version 1.0. Kiper does not have the Eagles taking a quarterback:
"Robert Nkemdiche, DL, Ole Miss - Whether Nkemdiche is a great fit in Philly depends a little bit on what kind of system the new coaching staff will want to run, but with Cedric Thornton an unrestricted free agent, they'd be wise to add another talented piece to the D-line puzzle to take some pressure off Fletcher Cox, who has turned into an absolute star. Nkemdiche has that potential -- he's a top-5 talent, really -- but will need to maintain his focus off the field."
So what do you think of these picks?