NFL draft guru Mike Mayock recently released his first list of position rankings for the 2016 NFL Draft. So far we've looked at his top five quarterbacks and his top five offensive guards. Today we'll look at Mayock's top five offensive tackles, since Eagles fans voted offensive line as the biggest position of need on the roster.
The Eagles currently have two starters at offensive tackle with Jason Peters and Lane Johnson in the fold but Peters is obviously nearing the end of his career. Johnson is set to be the team's future left tackle so the Birds will need to fill the vacancy he's going to leave at right tackle.
1. Laremy Tunsil, Ole Miss
2. Ronnie Stanley, Notre Dame
3. Jack Conklin, Michigan State
4. Taylor Decker, Ohio State
5. Willie Beavers, Western Michigan
Tunsil is the best offensive tackle in this draft class. He's arguably the best player period and it's very possible he could go to the Tennessee Titans at No. 1 overall. Even if that doesn't happen, it's probably safe to say he won't be available to the Eagles at No. 13. Read more about Tunsil here.
Stanley might be a more realistic option for the Eagles. The 21-year-old prospect measures in at 6-5, 315 pounds. Here's what BGN draft expert Ben Natan had to say about Stanley:
Ronnie Stanley, the diplomat. Stanley is outstandingly fun to watch move. His ability to kick and slide on the perimeter is a work of art. He feet move quickly and eloquently, never looking sloppy with any wasted movement or misplaced steps. In pass protection, Stanley perfectly mirrors edge defenders, showing a great understanding of his opponent in space as well his own body. In the running game, those same quick feet and awareness make him an incredibly effective run blocker. Be it in pass protection or run blocking, Stanley does an excellent job positioning his body to wall off defenders. He embodies finesse and technique.
Stanley started 13 games at right tackle in 2013 before starting his last 27 games for Notre Dame at left tackle. For what it's worth, Stanley's NFL comparison is current Eagles right tackle Lane Johnson.
Conklin is a player the Eagles have been connected to in some early mock drafts. The 21-year-old Conklin measures in at 6-6, 325 pounds. Here's a scouting profile on Conklin via CBS Sports:
"Conklin is powerful and quick-minded to read/react in a flash and dominate in tight spaces, but he doesn't have the quick-twitch body control to consistently mirror in space. He's not a top-shelf athlete and will struggle with edge speed at times, but no one is going through him due to his wide base and contact balance. He is always in a ready position and rarely seems surprised, which compensates for his lack of elite quickness in pass protection. Conklin is well-coached, physical and a natural competitor, which makes him NFL ready from Day One."
Conklin's NFL comparison is former Eagles right tackle Jon Runyan. So basically every offensive tackle in this draft is destined to be an Eagles player.
Decker is another player who has been connected to the Eagles in mock drafts. The 21-year-old Ohio State alumnus measures in at 6-7, 315 pounds. He has experience starting at both left tackle and right tackle.
Beavers measures in at 6-4, 325 pounds. He started at left tackle for WMU from 2013 through 2015. More from CBS Sports:
"Beavers is a nice looking prospect with all of the physical tools you look for in a left tackle. He had a good outing against Michigan State and more than held his own against star defensive end Shilique Calhoun. Beavers just has to fine-tune his game and play with better technique. He will come to the NFL with loads of experience after being a three-year starter at Western Michigan"
It would be ideal for the Eagles to draft a player who could play a guard in the short-term before moving out to tackle for the long-term. None of these top prospects have a lot of guard experience. The Eagles might be able to find someone later on. Or the team could just draft one of these players and sit them while waiting for Peters to retire.