For whichever of this winter’s festivities that you celebrate: Happy Holidays! Over at the Natan residence, I am lighting candles on the Menorah for Chanukah’s eight nights! Eight nights usually means a handful of gifts from friends and family, but today I am writing my wish list for the eight players I want to see the Eagles target in the first round. Hopefully Philly can deliver the goods…
- Dalvin Cook, Running Back, Florida State: I have already waxed poetic about the Florida State runner, but I cannot understate how much he would change the offense. Similar to last year’s pining for Ezekiel Elliott, who has done alright in Dallas, a player who touches the ball 20-30 times a game should have special capabilities. Dalvin Cook has breakaway speed and is an excellent pass catch. He is a multi dimensional threat who could take a lot of pressure off of Carson Wentz and give him a great outlet in the passing game.
- Corey Davis, Wide Receiver, Western Michigan: Davis is another player who I have developed a bit of a crush on. The big-bodied pass catcher is the most productive receiver in college football history and his outstanding play has completely turned around the Western Michigan team. Davis can do it all from the receiver position with the ability to win in tight spaces, get open down field and create yards after the catch. Davis is a true number one receiver and the type of player this offense desperately needs.
- Mike Williams, Wide Receiver, Clemson: Mike Williams lost an entire year to a neck injury in the fall of 2015 and after a slow start to the 2016 season, he looked like he would return to being the dominant player he once was. About midway through the year however, Williams flipped a switch and showed exactly the type of talent that made him so sought after before his injury. Williams is a well-built, athletic receiver who can make spectacular catches and fight to make plays on every down. AKA the exact opposite of almost every receiver on the Eagles roster.
- John Ross, Wide Receiver, Washington: Can you tell the Eagles need a wide receiver? John Ross may not have the prototypical size of the previously mentioned wipeouts, but he does have something the Eagles desperately need: Speed. For. Days… Ross is an outstanding deep threat, but his skills don’t end there. He is an incredibly well rounded player whose polish and athletic ability make him a threat to score from wherever on the field.
- Cordrea Tankersly, Cornerback, Clemson: In such a stacked class of cornerbacks, few mention Cordrea Tankersly among the best of the bunch despite the fact that I think he is. The six foot one, 190-pound defender has incredible quickness to go along with ideal NFL size. His skill set makes him incredibly scheme diverse and his ball skills make him a great fit in Philadelphia. On a defense that feels like it is an impact cornerback away, Cordrea Tankersly could make a huge impact on the Eagles sooner than later.
- Teez Tabor, Cornerback, Florida: One of my favorite players in this year’s class is Florida’s heady cornerback, Teez Tabor. Tabor has the NFL size you want from a cornerback, a great athletic skill set and best of all, a no holds barred mentality you want from a defender. Tabor is incredibly physical and loves to get inside the heads of opponents. On top of that, he is a turnover machine who is not afraid to hit. It’s basically like drafting Jalen Mills… except he’s good.
- Carl Lawson, Defensive End, Auburn: A somewhat sneaky need for the Eagles would be a boost to their defensive line. Despite outstanding seasons from Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham, the front four could absolutely use a boost to complement them. I go with Lawson here because I know there is a hope of him being available at the Eagles pick, unlike Myles Garrett or Tim Williams. Lawson is incredibly underrated however, as he is an incredibly athletic edge defender in the best conference in college football and is just finishing an incredibly productive season. Lawson would be a bit more of a luxury pick, but he would still make a big, immediate impact on the team.
- Cam Robinson, Tackle, Alabama: Any way you slice it, the Eagles are still in need of youth on their offensive line. This may not be a sexy pick, but when you consider that only the Vikings had more offensive line combinations this season than Philly, the idea of an impact offensive lineman makes a lot of sense. While obviously there are players I would take before taking Robinson, adding the best tackle in the class to the Eagles line would be a savvy move for the future.