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Mock draft round up: Jonesing for a corner

It’s never too early to look to the future

Washington State v Washington Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

Mock drafts are fun, especially during the season when draft order isn’t set, free agents haven’t been signed, and players haven’t been traded or released. We don’t even know what teams really need yet. Except for the Eagles! We know they need a WR, a RB, a CB, a pass rusher wouldn’t hurt, nor would another CB, and you can’t go wrong adding talent at OL... they have quite a few draft needs. So it’s kind of hard to go wrong with a mock draft at this point. Or is it? Mock drafts at this time of year are very inaccurate, they should be taken with a grain of salt. But that doesn’t mean we can’t dream a little. Let’s take a look at some mock drafts that have come out in the past week or so.

Dane Brugler - CBS

Sidney Jones , CB, Washington: The Eagles are very thin at cornerback on the depth chart, especially with Nolan Carroll on a one-year deal. Jones has the instincts and fluidity to blanket receivers.

Dan Kadar - SB Nation

Sidney Jones, CB, Washington

Jones is in this group of really good corners that includes [Alabama’s Marlon] Humphrey, the Florida duo of Quincy Wilson and Teez Tabor, and Ohio State’s Marshon Lattimore and Gareon Conley.

Luke Easterling - USA Today

Sidney Jones, CB, Washington

Last week’s loss to the Packers was a painful reminder how much improvement the Eagles need at corner. This year’s draft has a ton of starting-caliber talent at the position, and Jones has been one of the biggest contributors for one of the nation’s top defensive units.

Hard to argue with this pick, especially since you’d be arguing with multiple people at once. The Eagles definitely need to draft a corner, and in this draft taking two would be justified. Jones would be a terrific pick. He has the total skill set: he’s considered strong in man coverage, very good on the ball, and a willing tackler. He’s got everything you and the Eagles want in a corner.

But there’s a catch. Again, mock drafts at this stage are wildly inaccurate, so you can pretty much take it to the bank that Jones won’t be the pick.

Rob Rang - CBS

Jamal Adams, SS, LSU: While rookie quarterback Carson Wentz earned most of the hype, a big reason for Philadelphia's early success this season was a vastly improved defense. Both, however, have struggled in the Eagles' current three-game losing streak. Adams possesses the range, agility and playmaking ability to warrant comparison to former LSU (and current Arizona Cardinals) star Tyrann Mathieu and is bigger at 6-feet, 211 pounds.

Okay, a few things here. When this mock first came out, it had four players being drafted twice, including Adams two picks later to the Bucs.... who now draft six picks later because the order was wrong too. Whoops.

But that’s not even the biggest error, at least in regards to the Eagles. How can anyone look at the state of the Eagles and their roster and conclude that the best use of a first round pick would be a safety? That’s just ignorant. On top of Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod being a strong safety duo, they both just signed contracts this offseason, so they’re not going anywhere for a few years. It’s simply not a need this early in the draft.

Matt Miller - Bleacher Report

Dalvin Cook could come off the board in the first 10 picks—especially if teams bite on his potential as a three-down back along the lines of Ezekiel Elliott or Le'Veon Bell. As it stands now, he falls to the Philadelphia Eagles. Head coach Doug Pederson had a player like Cook in Kansas City (Jamaal Charles) and knows how important a pass-catching back can be to an offense—and to a young quarterback.

Cook put on some weight this season in an effort to be more of a between-the-tackles back, and it has zapped some of his juice as an outside runner, but that's an easy fix if his NFL team wants him to be more explosive. With three years of film ready for evaluation, Cook looks like one of the safer picks in the 2017 class.

The Eagles will need to add defenders in the draft but cannot bypass the chance to get a Pro Bowl-caliber running back.

Chris Burke - SI

Leonard Fournette

This is from a podcast, so there’s no write up.

Let’s lump these together since they’re the same position but not the same player, and that matters. The Eagles certainly need to draft a running back, and this draft is full of quality running backs. Between these two one fits the profile of what the Eagles want and one doesn’t. Fournette could be a terrific runner, but he lacks something that Cook has: ability to catch the ball. Fournette has 616 carries to 41 receptions, a 15:1 ratio. Cook has 667 carries to 76 receptions, a nearly 9:1 ratio, and has an oustanding 11.4 yards per reception career average. Fournette might turn out to be the better runner, but Cook has the tools to be a more rounded player. The offense the Eagles want to run requires the latter, not the former. It’s nothing against Fournette, but he and Nick Chubb, D’Onta Freeman and others aren’t strong options for the Eagles while guys like Cook and Royce Freeman, and Christian McCaffrey are.

But like Jones, there’s a catch here too (pun not intended), and it’s not just that this is December and the draft is in April. It’s that this is a really strong year for running backs, there are going to be good options available in the 2nd round, and the 3rd will have options too. The Eagles would probably be better off adding a WR or CB in the 1st and then taking a RB in the 2nd.

Don’t read too much into the details of a December mock draft, but do read into that there are going to be plenty of really good options for the Eagles when they pick. Whenever it is that they pick.

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