The 2016 NFL Draft is slowly approaching as the 2016 NFL Combine is in full swing. Mock draft season is in full gear and there's no shortage of opinion as to whom the Philadelphia Eagles will be taking with the No. 13 overall pick. With that in mind, let's take a look at what the experts are saying.
FanSpeak (Custom) - Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
Running back is a sneaky need for the Eagles. DeMarco Murray is reportedly unhappy in Philadelphia and doesn't seem to be in the long-term plans. Ryan Mathews is too injury prone to rely on as a workhorse running back. Darren Sproles, who turns 33 in June, is entering the final year of his contract. The Eagles might be able to find better value at the running back position than taking Elliott at No. 13 but they'll have to think about him here. The 20-year-old Zeke is a versatile bad ass runner. Watch tape of him here. The 6-0, 225 pound Elliott ran a 4.47 40-yard-dash.
SB Nation (Dan Kadar) - Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
"The same theory that applies to the 49ers applies to the Eagles – well, at least assuming Sam Bradford isn't back in Philadelphia. Lynch is the final quarterback in the obvious top tier of signal callers. He's a good athlete with size and excels in the short-to-medium range."
NFL.com (Charles Davis) - Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State
"A left tackle in college, if selected, he would be ticketed to start at right tackle."
NFL.com (Bucky Brooks) - Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State
"Jason Peters' age and injury history could prompt the Eagles to spend a top pick on a young offensive tackle with the footwork and lateral quickness to snuff out pass rushers on the edges."
Drafttek - Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame
CBS Sports (Rob Rang) - Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
"Executive vice president Howie Roseman said last week that the Eagles would like to keep incumbent starter Sam Bradford and there have been reports that new head coach Doug Pederson is high on free agent Chase Daniel, who he coached in Kansas City the past three seasons. Should the Eagles address the position with a veteran, help along the line of scrimmage could be the top priority. Until that occurs, however, it is easy to imagine Pederson falling for Lynch's exciting upside."
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."
CBS Sports (Pete Prisco) - Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
"How much longer can they expect to get by without drafting and developing their own passer? Sam Bradford isn't the long-term answer."
Draft Breakdown (Joe Marino) - Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida
"The Eagles were among the bottom five of the NFL last season in passing yards allowed per game. Enter VH3 who is a strong cover man with terrific ball skills."
The Big Lead (Jason McIntyre) - Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State
"The Eagles are in a weird situation, given the secondary needs, the new coach, the new GM, the questions about QB, the dearth of WRs … did I miss anything? For now, OT seems like a safe play."
FOX Sports (Peter Schrager) - Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson
"If this were a better cornerback draft, I'd have the Eagles going with one, here. But it's not, and I don't see one worthy of being in the top 15 after the first two are taken. The Eagles are good up front, but you can never have enough pass rush. Lawson brings it off the edge and was virtually unstoppable this year. He was all over the field in the college football playoff games."
Draft Wire (Jonah Tuls) - Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
"The moves to re-signing both Malcolm Jenkins and Vinny Curry back to long-term deals foreshadow that Philadelphia may not bring back Sam Bradford as their quarterback. In fact, these deals show that they are willing to play with a quarterback on a rookie contract, and a player who could fit this offense really well is Paxton Lynch out of Memphis. If he can learn and adjust quickly to the speed of the game, he has all the natural tools and talent to be a top-level quarterback in this league."
NJ.com (Eliot Shorr-Parks) - Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
"Lynch isn't ready to play in Week 1, but the Eagles aren't looking for a quarterback that can. Lynch has a strong arm, is mobile and has great size -- giving head coach Doug Pederson everything he needs to work with as he develops his own quarterback."
San Diego Union-Tribune (Eddie Brown) - Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota
"This pick is assuming the Eagles will not franchise Sam Bradford. Once again, I’m not really enamored with any of the QB prospects, but each of them has an elite quality and potential which could be developed at the next level. Wentz has the size and arm strength NFL coaches covet in the position, but his slow processing speed is cause for concern. However, he did have a really strong week at the Senior Bowl."
Cleveland.com (Chris Fedor) - Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota
"It's a new era in Philadelphia, with former quarterback Doug Pederson taking over as head coach. Wentz needs a lot of work and will be making an enormous leap in competition after playing in the FCS. But his tools are intriguing and could become successful with proper development."
Here's a summary of the picks:
QB Paxton Lynch (6)
QB Carson Wentz (2)
OT Jack Conklin (2)
OT Taylor Decker (1)
OT Ronnie Stanley (1)
RB Ezekiel Elliott (1)
CB Vernon Hargreaves (1)
DE Shaq Lawson (1)
QB - 8
OT - 4
RB - 1
CB - 1
Offense - 13
Defense - 2
The majority of mock drafters have the Eagles taking a quarterback in the first round, with Lynch to Philadelphia being the most popular pick. The Birds have publicly expressed interest in retaining Sam Bradford but it remains to be seen if they will get a deal done with him before free agency. Even if Bradford does come back, that doesn't rule out the Eagles from drafting a quarterback early on.