The 2016 NFL Draft is slowly approaching. Next up in the pre-draft process is the 2016 NFL Combine. 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.
FanSpeak (Custom) - Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota
It seems like Wentz might not even fall to No. 13, but if he does, the Eagles should definitely have some interest. He's arguably the top quarterback prospect in this class.
SB Nation (Dan Kadar) - Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
Count me among the Sam Bradford doubters. Even though he's coming off the best season of his NFL career, he's been too unreliable to give more than a "show me" short contract to this offseason. Instead, the Eagles would be smart in hitting the reset button and build around Lynch, a talented quarterback prospect with good size and athleticism.
ESPN In$ider (Mel Kiper) - Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State
Philadelphia has a need at tackle, and Conklin has been a consistent performer over the past three seasons and will be ready to contribute as a rookie. Adding him could help secure their immediate future at tackle with Lane Johnson signed for the long term.
NFL.com (Chad Reuter) - Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
Even if the Eagles decide to bring back Sam Bradford for one year on a franchise tag, new head coach (and former NFL quarterback) Doug Pederson might want to bring in a young passer such as Lynch to groom.
NFL.com (Lance Zierlein) - Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota
The Eagles are moving on from #TeamChip, but they still need to find a franchise player to lead them to greatness. Wentz wouldn't be ready right away, but his potential is worth the investment for the Eagles.
NFL.com (Daniel Jeremiah) - Vernon Butler, DT, Louisana Tech
The buzz on Butler is building following an outstanding week at the Senior Bowl.
Drafttek - Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota
Despite former head coach Chip Kelly's reputation as an offensive guru, the Eagles' passing game in 2015 was anything but dynamic. The Eagles were 22nd in splash plays through the air (25+ yards) and 21st in average yards per pass attempt. Part of the blame falls on the receivers and O-Line. However, this was also the result of not having a QB that scared the other team, emboldening safeties and linebackers to creep up, causing the playing field to shrink up like a dip in the pool on a chilly day. While far from a sure thing, Carson Wentz oozes potential and packs more than enough heat in his right arm to force defenses to defend the entire field. If you believe the rumors, the Eagles would love to draft one of The Big Three at the QB position.
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 (Matt LaPan) - Jaylon Smith, LB, Notre Dame
Despite a gruesome injury, Smith’s ability in some of the best in this entire draft class. The Eagles take a major chance with this pick, but it will work for them in the long-term. Philadelphia fans might hate the pick now, but in time it will work.
Yahoo! Sports (Eric Edholm) - Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota
The lukewarm response of new head coach Doug Pederson to free agent Sam Bradford, the likely release of high-priced backup Mark Sanchez and talk that the team has kicked around bringing Nick Foles back speaks volumes. This team needs a young quarterback to develop, and Wentz has good potential, size, athleticism, arm talent and poise. But can this big fish in a small pond handle Philly? It's a legit question. Few at this position can.
Here's a summary of the picks:
QB Carson Wentz (4)
QB Paxton Lynch (3)
OT Jack Conklin (1)
DT Vernon Butler (1)
DT A’Shawn Robinson (1)
LB Jaylon Smith (1)
QB - 7
DT - 2
OT - 1
LB - 1
Offense - 8
Defense - 3
For what it's worth, a number of mock drafts have Wentz going as high as No. 2 overall to the Cleveland Browns. He might not be there when the Eagles pick at No. 13. But if he is, the Eagles could have interest. They reportedly interviewed him multiple times at the 2016 Senior Bowl.
The Eagles will get another look at Wentz and more quarterback draft prospects during the 2016 NFL Combine. All quarterbacks are expected to participate in throwing drills, which is good news for the Birds.