The 2016 NFL Draft is nearly one month away. Mock draft season is in full gear and there's no shortage of opinion as to whom the Eagles will be selecting with the No. 8 overall pick. There's recently been a lot of speculation that the Eagles might trade up to the top of the order to get a quarterback, but for now we'll assume they're staying put. Let's take a look at which players the experts are projecting to Philadelphia this week.
FanSpeak (Custom) - Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota
There's been a lot of talk about the Eagles trading up to draft Wentz this week. There's buzz about him going to the Cleveland Browns at No. 2 overall, but maybe that's just a #smokescreen. In this case, Wentz was available on the board at No. 8. NFL draft analyst Mike Mayock and Eagles advisor Ron Jaworski are both on the record for saying the Eagles should draft Wentz if he's available when Philadelphia is on the clock. Wentz reportedly really impressed scouts at his pro day this week, for whatever that's worth. The Eagles still need a long-term option at quarterback and maybe Wentz is their guy.
Bleeding Green Nation (Ben Natan) - Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
Listen to Ben's explanation on the latest BGN Radio podcast.
ESPN (Todd McShay) - Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame
"Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame - Jason Peters is 34 years old. It's time for the Eagles to consider teaming Lane Johnson up with a younger tackle on the opposite side. Stanley has experience playing both left and right tackle. With his long arms (35½ inches) and athletic skill set, he has the ideal makeup to eventually develop into a blindside protector at the next level. If he went to Philly, Stanley would get the benefit of not being thrust into left tackle duties from Day 1."
The Eagles Wire (Turron Davenport) - Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
"Elliott would be an immediate starter for the Eagles. He is a the most complete running back in this draft class. Some will balk at the idea of drafting a running back this high. Elliott is a game changer that will produce results that are commensurate with a high draft pick status."
Turron explained his pick in more detail on the latest BGN Radio podcast.
Big Blue View (Alex Sinclair) - Jared Goff, QB, Cal
"New head coach Doug Pederson has been adamant that Sam Bradford can be the team's starter next year. I'm not buying it. Aside from being as hot-and-cold as a flaming Baked Alaska, Bradford just hasn't been healthy. You can twist it any way you like, but Bradford is an injury-prone player that cannot be relied upon. Enter Jared Goff. Pederson was the offensive coordinator in Kansas City and did wondrous things with Alex Smith. Goff is of the same mold, and I have zero doubt about this being the correct choice for the future of the franchise under Pederson."
NFL.com (Charles Davis) - Jared Goff, QB, Cal
"I know that the Eagles have made plenty of recent moves at QB with Sam Bradford and Chase Daniel, but Goff fits new HC Doug Pederson's system very well, and he would be the QB of the near future for the Eagles to build around."
NFL.com (Lance Zierlein) - Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State
"We'll take the more physical of the tackles between Conklin and Ronnie Stanley."
CBS Sports (Rob Rang) - Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
"Few players offer more immediate impact potential than Elliott, the consensus top back in the draft. After working previously with LeSean McCoy in Philadelphia and Jamaal Charles in Kansas City, new Eagles coach Doug Pederson is used to operating an offense around a star back. Elliott has the well-rounded game to be a star in Pederson's offense."
CBS Sports (Dane Brugler) - Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
"With Demarco Murray now in Tennessee and Ryan Matthews also on the trade block, the Eagles are looking for a new identity at running back. Elliott has the talent to be the featured piece of Doug Pederson's offense."
CBS Sports (Pete Prisco) - Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
"New coach Doug Pederson came from the Chiefs where he had Jamaal Charles. This is that same type of player."
CBS Sports (Will Brinson) - Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
"Looking at the teams on the board here it's hard to imagine Zeke getting out of the top 10. He's a worthy candidate with his skills, especially for a team with only Ryan Mathews to lean on."
CBS Sports (Jared Dubin) - Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
"This is our first change from last week's mock. Given Howie Roseman's recent comments about elite running backs, we think Elliott makes a lot of sense here. Ryan Mathews is injury prone and Darren Sproles is 32 -- the Eagles will need a feature back that is going to carry the team's offense into the future. Elliott is a rare talent."
Draft Breakdown (Chris Nicolaou) - Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
"The Eagles are turning over a new leaf and it starts with Ezekiel Elliot. They will build around him for the future."
Pro Football Weekly (Arthur Arkush) - Jared Goff, QB, Cal
"Sam Bradford won't be the starter for long."
Pro Football Weekly (J.C. Talon) - Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
"The reason they traded up in the first place."
Pro Football Weekly (Hub Arkush) - Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame
"Must get better up front before anything else."
Pro Football Weekly (Kevin Fishbain) - Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
"That's a nice way to replace DeMarco Murray."
Pro Football Weekly (Nate Atkins) - Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
"Doug Pederson installs a run-first approach with a star."
Drafttek (Broz) - Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida State
"The Eagles have made some very solid moves in the last two weeks, one of which was moving from the 13th pick up to the 8th in next month's draft. This means that instead of choosing from good prospects, they'll be choosing from elite prospects. With the 8th pick, the primary goal shouldn't be to fill a need; the goal should be to draft a superstar. The popular choice in the media right now is Ezekiel Elliott, however even when you "hit" on a RB, their shelf life is so much shorter than other positions. So while Elliott is a dynamic runner (aided by a dynamic OSU O-Line), Ramsey gets the nod this week for many reasons, not the least of which is the fact that he's one of the Top 3 players in the draft. The Eagles would draft Ramsey as a corner, knowing that as a Plan B he could be a Pro Bowl safety. Vernon Hargreaves has better short range coverage skills than Ramsey, but Ramsey has the deep ball skills, catch-up speed, and limitless upside that Hargreaves simply does not possess. Watch him shift gears at 0:19 on that dude. With a 40 time of 4.41 and a vertical jump of 41.5 ", Ramsey is in play to be the number one overall pick."
Sports Illustrated (Chris Burke) - Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame
"Ezekiel Elliott, right? The Eagles no doubt had someone in mind when they moved up from No. 13 to No. 8 and Elliott is—for my money, at least—a top-five prospect in this class. But Stanley isn’t much further down the list, plus he gives Philadelphia the future long-term starting tackle it needs with Jason Peters’s career winding down."
USA Today (Nate Davis) - Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
"They moved up five spots after swapping first-round choices with the Dolphins, who took CB Byron Maxwell and LB Kiko Alonso off Philly's hands in the deal. Howie Roseman could go in any number of directions for the Eagles, but why not take a highly productive three-down back who could theoretically ease the burden on QB Sam Bradford (or Chase Daniel)?"
NJ.com (Matt Lombardo) - Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame
"Notre Dame left tackle Ronnie Stanley is viewed by many as a generational talent and the second best prospect at the position in this year's draft class. Stanley has the ability to start Day 1 for the Eagles as a rookie."
CSN Philly (Paul Hudrick) - Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame
"I outlined the realistic possibilities for the Eagles at No. 8 when the trade with the Dolphins became official. When I put out my first-round mock draft 2.0, Stanley fell to the Eagles. It's certainly possible that the Ravens will snag Stanley at No. 6, but Ozzie Newsome has had so much success by drafting the best player available (in this case Oregon's DeForest Buckner), regardless of need. In the Eagles' case, Stanley could be both. Really, this is almost a can't-miss situation for the Eagles with the options they'll have. Much more so than picking at 13. If Stanley is gone, Florida corner Vernon Hargearves would be a fine pick. The Eagles could then spend a later pick on an interior lineman. Don't sleep on Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott here, either."
The 700 Level (Andrew Kulp) - Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida
"The Eagles have done an excellent job assembling starting-caliber talent at just about every position, so they truly have the freedom to go best player available here. That being said, the front office must also consider the team's future and who will be most able to make the most impact, especially when choosing number eight. Hargreaves could be the answer to both the best player and biggest need questions. A three-year starter and consensus All-American, Hargreaves has the potential to become a superstar at the next level. Though a tad undersized at 5'10", the Florida product plays with a physicality that lends itself well to defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz's scheme, and with 10 career interceptions, possesses the playmaker instinct as well. Plus, beyond Eric Rowe, the Eagles don't have a clear-cut starter at the position beyond 2016, so cornerback most certainly is an area the club will be looking to upgrade."
Bleacher Report (Luke Easterling) - Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
"With all the recent talk of the NFL devaluing the running back position, we couldn't see a runner going in the top 10 for the second straight year, right? Consider that bubble burst. Ohio State's Ezekiel Elliott might not be quite the rare talent Todd Gurley was coming out of Georgia, but he's not far off. He has an exceptional combination of speed, power, patience and vision, and is easily the top back in this year's class. With the Eagles' new regime turning over the tables—including a trade that sent DeMarco Murray to the Titans—Elliott would make sense as the team's new lead back."
Bleacher Report (Matt Jennings) - Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
"DeMarco Murray’s departure leaves a sizable hole in the Eagles' backfield. Fortunately for them, Ezekiel Elliott is likely to be available when they pick at No. 8. Elliott is widely regarded as the best running back in this year’s draft, and he could be a three-down player for Philadelphia as a rookie. He could fulfill the longing for a feature back that the Eagles have had since trading away LeSean McCoy. NFL analyst Brian Baldinger thinks Elliott could be the best player in the draft. That is probably a stretch, but he is probably the best running back to come out of college in recent years not named Todd Gurley. If he makes it past the Cowboys at No. 4, the Eagles would do well to select him."
The Draft Wire (Jonah Tuls) - Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
"It seems pretty inevitable that Ezekiel Elliott will land somewhere in the NFC East, but the question is which team will be lucky enough to have him fall into their draft slot. In this scenario, it seems highly likely that the Eagles will not hesitate to draft Elliott here as both Doug Pederson and Howie Roseman have emphasized the value of the running back position for this team recently. In addition, Elliott is by far the best available player at this point."
NESN.com (Nicholas Gross) - Jared Goff, QB, California
Newsday (Nick Klopsis) - Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida
"The Eagles moved up to the eighth overall pick in the deal that sent Byron Maxwell and Kiko Alonso to Miami, putting them in better position to land one of the draft's top talents. Now that Maxwell is gone and Nolan Carroll is a free agent, they'll need to find a cornerback opposite 2015 second-rounder Eric Rowe. Florida's Vernon Hargreaves III makes the most sense at No. 8 in this case. Hargreaves has great technique, agility and balance. He excels in both man coverage and zone and displays great ball skills. He may be a little undersized at 5-10 1/2 and 204 pounds, though he plays much bigger than that and has the skill set to be a No. 1 corner. "
San Diego Union-Tribune (Eddie Brown) - DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon
"Buckner can play the run and rush the passer when he puts his mind to it. He finished the regular season with 11 sacks, 14 hits and 39 hurries on the quarterback."
The Baltimore Sun (Mark Selig) - Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame
"The three-year starter is NFL-ready. The Eagles are in need of a plug-and-play lineman to protect injury-prone Sam Bradford and spring an inconsistent running game."
Washington Post (John Harris) - Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
"The Eagles will eventually find that Eric Rowe is a safety and there was a reason that the Bills weren’t concerned about losing Leodis McKelvin. So, it wouldn’t be surprising if Florida CB Vernon Hargreaves III isn’t getting heavy consideration. But, it’s hard to pass on a true, 20-22 carry a game, do-it-all stud running back like Elliott."
[Ed. note: No. Rowe is a cornerback.]
Chron.com (John McClain) - Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
Chron.com (Aaron Wilson) - Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame
Heavy.com (Jonathan Adams) - Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
"The Eagles moved up in the draft thanks to their trade with the Dolphins and will be picking 8th. Philadelphia also traded running back DeMarco Murray clearing the way for the Eagles to select a running back if they so choose. Elliott is the best back in the draft, and the Rams showed last season the benefit of selecting a running back early with the success of Todd Gurley."
Metro (Matt Burke) - Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame
Sporting News (Eric Galko) - Darron Lee, LB, Ohio State
"The bold trade to dump two of last year’s top offseason acquisitions, Kiko Alonso and Byron Maxwell, gives the Eagles a chance at securing one of the top talents in the 2016 class. It also opens two important needs to fill. Cornerback is an option, as Hargreaves and/or Eli Apple should be available at No. 8. But Lee may be Philly’s most-coveted prospect. He offers similar (if not higher) upside as Ryan Shazier, with elite range, quickness and athletic talent to grow into one of the NFL’s better linebackers."
Here's a summary of the picks:
RB Ezekiel Elliott - 19
OT Ronnie Stanley - 9
QB Jared Goff - 4
CB Vernon Hargreaves - 2
QB Carson Wentz - 1
OT Jack Conklin - 1
CB Jalen Ramsey - 1
DE DeForest Buckner - 1
LB Darron Lee - 1
RB - 19
OT - 10
QB - 5
CB - 3
DE - 1
LB - 1
Offense - 34
Defense - 5
The offensive side of the ball continues to dominate mock draft picks for the Eagles. The most common pick is -- you'll never guess -- Ezekiel Elliott! Then it's Ronnie Stanley behind him. The Vernon Hargreaves hype has seemed to die off a little since last week.
Interestingly enough, Cal quarterback Jared Goff finished as the third most popular pick. Some think Goff could be the top quarterback selected from this year's class but others have him behind Carson Wentz. With all the rumors connecting the Eagles to drafting a quarterback, Goff can't be ruled out.
Here's what BGN draft expert Ben Natan wrote in his Goff scouting report. He's not a fan.
In terms of where I think Goff should be drafted, it should be much later than many are making it out to be. He lacks a dominant trait as a quarterback and his mental abilities as a passer do not nearly come close enough to counterbalance his physical shortcomings. I think much of the hype surround Goff has to do with the lack of first round quarterback prospects in this year's class and he is easy to shine a light onto due to his production. He would fit into what the Eagles want on offense, but like the Eagles current starting quarterback, he lacks the traits necessary to take the unit to the next level. If he were somehow to fall to day two, though I have no positive way of guessing how the league feels about him, he would be a good pick. However, spending a premium pick on a quarterback with a lacking arm, middling athletic ability, only above average football IQ and inconsistent poise seems like an incredible waste of recourses.
One of the biggest concerns with Goff is his (lack of) hand size. To the spider graph!