The 2016 NFL Draft is still quite a bit off. But that doesn't matter because mock draft season is in full gear and there's no shortage of opinion as to who the Philadelphia Eagles will be taking with the No. 13 overall pick. So with that said, let's take a look at what the experts are saying. There's already a clear favorite for the Birds in the first round.
Bleeding Green Nation (Ben Natan) - Jason Spriggs, OT, Indiana
Uh oh, no quarterback pick at 13 ... Well, the quarterbacks this year all have a ton of flaws and the most talented of them all may have some off field concerns that would make me think twice as a GM. Spriggs may seem like a "safe" pick, but he is a great athlete who can help the Eagles offensive line rebound while also giving the team two young bookends to be staples on the team for years to come.
SB Nation (Dan Kadar) - Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
The Eagles really haven't had a good solution at starting quarterback since Donovan McNabb. Philadelphia took McNabb in Andy Reid's first year in Philadelphia in 1999. New Philadelphia head coach Doug Pederson, a Reid understudy, could follow the same blueprint by taking a quarterback in his first year. Lynch and Carson Wentz of North Dakota State can be debated, but Lynch has a much longer resume to rely upon.
ESPN (Todd McShay) - Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State
At 6-foot-6, 325 pounds, Conklin shows good mobility for his size, along with very consistent awareness, technique and effort. He plays with power and is a finisher in the run game. He's balanced enough to protect a quarterback's blind side. Even after signing Lane Johnson to an extension, the Eagles need to plan for the future at tackle with Jason Peters now 34.
ESPN (Mel Kiper) - 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.
FanSpeak (Custom) - Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State
There are a lot of signs that point to Sam Bradford not being back with the Eagles. Doug Pederson is seemingly interested in drafting a young quarterback who can sit behind a temporary veteran starter. Wentz is arguably the top quarterback in this draft. He's a guy the Eagles can attempt to develop as their next franchise quarterback.
PhillyVoice (Jimmy Kempski) - Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
At 6'6, 230, Lynch obviously has outstanding size to see over the line of scrimmage. In addition to his aforementioned arm strength, he can also throttle it down and throw with touch. Coming from a smaller program like Memphis, and being something of a late riser, many are going to question Lynch's feel for the game. I have no such concerns. It is actually a major strength in his overall game, in my opinion, which again, we detailed in our film breakdown of him in November.
Rotoworld (Josh Norris) - Cody Whitehair, OL, Kansas State
Two straight drafts without an offensive lineman selected. Color me shocked that the Eagles struggled to run the ball or protect their stationary quarterback for stretches of the season. Matt Tobin was a liability as a pass blocker. Whitehair played tackle at Kansas State but I’ve seen many project him as a guard.
USA Today (Nate Davis) - Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
They've already been busy extending several players since the season ended. QB Sam Bradford isn't one of them. Lynch is an intriguing prospect but could use the benefit of a redshirt year to adapt to the pro game. New coach Doug Pederson could help prepare Lynch in 2016 while Mark Sanchez holds down the fort.
NFL.com (Chad Reuter) - A'Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama
Philadelphia is looking for athleticism in their three-man front, and they have multiple free agent five-techniques on the market.
[Ed. note: the Eagles won't be using a three-man front in 2016.]
NFL.com (Lance Zierlein) - Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State
Conklin is a grinder with an ability to help in the run game and passing game. He's not the premium athlete that Lane Johnson was, but he's more pro-ready coming out.
NFL.com (Bucky Brooks) - Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State
The Eagles have neglected the offensive line at the top of the draft for years, but Jason Peters' age and recent injuries could prompt the team to look for a successor on the edge.
NFL.com (Daniel Jeremiah) - Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame
Stanley isn't flashy, but he's a very reliable pass protector.
CBS Sports (Rob Rang) - A'Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama
The Eagles have reportedly prioritized re-signing current defensive end Vinny Curry, whose burst and agility are a terrific fit in new defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz's scheme. Complementing Curry with the blue-collar run-stuffing Robinson would go a long way toward rebuilding the Eagles' defense.
CBS Sports (Dane Brugler) - Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
With the Eagles beginning a new era this offseason and, assuming they move on from Sam Bradford, need a fresh face at quarterback. Lynch is very young in quarterback years, but he checks several boxes to develop into a quality NFL starter.
Draft Breakdown (Bryan Perez) - Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State
The Eagles will address the offensive line in round one, largely because of the aging Jason Peters and the lack of any real backup plan should Peters go down in 2016. Decker can play right away at offensive guard with the long-term plan of kicking outside to tackle, much like the Bears have done with Kyle Long. You can never have enough talent along the offensive line, and while Mackensie Alexander (CB, Clemson) will be tempting here, the best way to improve the play of your quarterback and running game is by adding more beef up front.
Ourlads - Laquon Treadwall, WR, Ole Miss
The Eagles have a series of mediocre receivers that failed to make the big play time and time again in 2015. They need a lead horse. Treadwell is a gamer with the size and ball skills to win most one on one situations.
CSN Philly (Paul Hudrick) - Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
One bad bowl game and everyone soured on Lynch. I don't get it. It's like he's Shane Falco. I've been a big fan of Lynch's all season. I covered his game against Temple. Not his best performance, but I saw enough to think he's a legitimate prospect. Other than great size and athleticism, what stands out to me is his pocket presence. His offensive line at Memphis wasn't exactly littered with NFL talent. He was able to feel pressure, step up in the pocket and keep his eyes downfield. He ran an offense predicated on quick decisions, and he can make every throw.
CSN Philly (Jared Sherman) - Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
Michigan State OT Jack Conklin is tempting here (and safe), but with no QB solution on the horizon, Lynch's physical and mental tools are too good to pass on. He has the size (6-6/230), arm strength, accuracy (much better than Carson Wentz) and sneaky athleticism (watch how much Memphis had him moving) that give me faith that he can be a tremendous NFL QB.
Sports Illustrated (Chris Burke) - Laquon Treadwall, WR, Ole Miss
Honestly, it’s tough to get a read on the receiver class right now. Do teams wait on the position because of the depth, or do a bunch of prospects fly off the board early because of the talent? For now, lean the former. Treadwell remains the top option—a physically dominant receiver with plus blocking traits.
Sporting News (Eric Galko) - Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State
With Sam Bradford potentially on the way out in Philadelphia, much has been made of the Eagles' potential interest in quarterbacks in the 2016 draft. While Carson Wentz is the hot name, Jared Goff would be a better fit for Doug Pederson’s offense.
Regardless, last season’s struggles weren’t entirely on the quarterback position. Their offensive line did them no favors. With Jason Peters on the downslope of his career, it’s time for the Eagles to find a new offensive tackle to pair with Lane Johnson. Decker, who’s been a long-time starter at left tackle for the Buckeyes, could potentially slide inside to left guard for a year or two before taking over at one of the tackle spots.
247 Sports - Laquon Treadwall, WR, Ole Miss
The Eagles have already started their transformation, releasing Riley Cooper and allegedly inquiring about reacquiring quarterback Nick Foles. The Eagles are in the process of resigning their best defensive player in Fletcher Cox, have resigned tight end Zach Ertz and Treadwell instantly upgrades the receiving corps. Treadwell is the best receiver in the draft, a physically dominant player with above average blocking traits. Paired with Jordan Matthews, it gives whoever the quarterback is in 2016 a very formidable option of weapons.
Here's a summary of the picks:
QB Paxton Lynch (6)
WR Laquon Treadwell (3)
OL Jack Conklin (2)
OL Taylor Decker (2)
DL A’Shawn Robinson (2)
OL Jason Springs (1)
DL Robert Nkemdiche (1)
QB Carson Wentz (1)
OL Cody Whitehair (1)
OL Ronnie Stanley (1)
QB - 7
OL - 7
WR - 3
DL - 3
Offense - 17
Defense - 3
There sure are a lot of offensive picks in these mocks, which shouldn't come as a surprise because that's where the Eagles need the most help. Quarterback and offensive line are two of Philadelphia's biggest positions of need right now. With Bradford's future in Philly uncertain, it makes sense that everyone is connecting the Eagles with quarterbacks. Lynch is the most popular name here because draft "experts" believe he'll be available at No. 13 while some of the other QBs in this draft (Wentz, Jared Goff) might be off the board by then.