NFL draft analyst Mike Mayock recently released his first list of position rankings for the 2016 NFL Draft. Yesterday we looked at Mayock's top five quartebacks. Today we'll take a peek at Mayock's top five offensive guards, since that's a big need for Philadelphia. The Eagles arguably need two new starting interior offensive linemen. These are Mayock's top five guards:
1. Cody Whitehair, Kansas State
2. Vadal Alexander, LSU
3. Joshua Garnett, Stanford
4. Christian Westerman, Arizona State
5. Graham Glasgow, Michigan
Whitehair ranks at the top. The Eagles reportedly interviewed him twice at the Senior Bowl. He had a good showing down in Mobile. BGN draft expert Ben Natan thinks Whitehair is a solid player but unspectacular. He's not a fan of the Eagles taking a guard at No. 13. For what it's worth, CBS Sports ranks Whitehair as the No. 37 overall prospect in the draft.
The upside with Whitehair is that he might not be just a guard. Although he's said that's the position he prefers to play, he's also open to the idea of playing tackle. Whitehair started out playing guard and right tackle before moving over to left tackle to finish his college career. The Eagles getting a player who can start at guard in the short-term before moving to right tackle for the long-term would be ideal. That would give Philadelphia a replacement on the right side for when Lane Johnson eventually moves to left tackle in succession of Jason Peters.
Alexander is another player the Eagles spoke with during Senior Bowl week. Here's what Ben had to say about him:
When talking about big, physical offensive linemen, Vadal Alexander comes to mind. He is a behemoth, standing at 6-6 and 345 pounds with long arms. He lumbers around, making it painful to watch him move, but if he gets his hands on a defender, they are toast. I am not sure what he is in the NFL, because his height makes it difficult for him to play inside and I am not sure about his feet on the edge. However, his size and strength combo definitely make him intriguing.
Alexander is another prospect with experience at both guard and tackle. He started 10 games on the outside as a senior in 2015.
The Eagles also talked to Garnett at the Senior Bowl. He won the 2015 Outland Trophy, which goes to the best interior offensive lineman in college football. He's a projected Day 2 pick that measures in at 6-5, 317 pounds. Watch this video of him absolutely destroying a defender.
Philadelphia pretty much needs to take an offensive lineman at some point in the draft after not addressing the position since 2013. They might be able to find a starting guard at some point to pair with another new starting guard in free agency (Jeff Allen, Alex Boone, someone else?).
Who do you like for the Eagles?