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NFL Mock Draft Roundup: Vernon Hargreaves to Philadelphia is one of the rare non-Zeke picks

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Check out our (2016 Eagles mock draft central) for more opinions on who could be the #8 pick in April.

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Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The 2016 NFL Draft is less than a 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 been a lot of speculation that the Birds might draft a passer in the first round after working out a number of top quarterbacks this week. Let's take a look at which players the experts are projecting to Philadelphia this week.

FanSpeak (Custom) - Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida

This is a situation where both Carson Wentz and Jared Goff are both off the board. I could have went with Ezekiel Elliott, who I think the Eagles should draft, but everyone else is already doing that. The Birds have a glut of cornerbacks on their roster right now (nine, plus Malcolm Jenkins) but none of them outside of Eric Rowe are particularly awesome. Hargreaves recorded 10 interceptions and 27 passes defensed in his three years at Florida. He can make plays on the ball and give the Eagles a strong starting secondary. I don't think Hargreaves is the most likely pick, but it makes some sense.

SB Nation Writer's Mock (Brandon Lee Gowton) - Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State

"A number of people will say drafting a running back in the first round isn’t a good use of resources, but the truth is Elliott makes a lot of sense for the Eagles. Philadelphia’s offense was abysmal in 2015 and it needs all the help it can get. Elliott provides more value than just merely improving the team’s rushing attack. He’s an excellent blocker. He can also contribute as a receiving weapon. Not to mention that the Eagles have a huge need at running back. It’s hard for them to count on the oft-injured Ryan Mathews and the soon to be 33-year-old Darren Sproles as full-time contributors. Both of those players could be gone after this year. Elliott can be a foundational piece for the Birds moving forward. He’s only 20 years old so the Eagles can get plenty of good years out of him to justify the high pick on a so-called devalued position."

SB Nation (Dan Kadar) - Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State

"There is a reason the Eagles were willing to take on Byron Maxwell's terrible contract, and it's likely because there is a player inside the top 10 they want. Elliott could be the guy. He may not be as good as Todd Gurley last year, but it's very close. He's a plug-and-play three-down running back who should be a star early in his career."

Battle Red Blog (Brett Kollmann) - Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State

"This was a really tough decision for me. Vernon Hargreaves obviously would have filled the immediate need at cornerback, but I see him as more of an off-corner than a press corner. Jim Schwartz tends to prefer more press-oriented coverage schemes, so naturally Hargreaves isn't the best fit here. Elliott, however, is a great fit. Ryan Mathews isn't the worst starting running back in the world, but I do not have a ton of confidence in his ability to stay healthy in the long term. I think Elliott can shoulder the load while Mathews provides some complementary explosive plays here and there. The stronger the run game is in Philly, the easier it will be for Sam Bradford to guide this offense to its full potential."

Pro Football Focus (Sam Monson) - Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State

"When a player’s main criticism is that when he has the ball in his hands he isn’t quite Adrian Peterson, you know he’s pretty good. Elliott might be the most complete running back prospect to come out in years, and could be the best one since Adrian Peterson himself. I broke down his play here, but the bottom line is this is a player who gained more than 1,000 yards last season after contact, averaging 3.6 yards per carry, or the same average that DeMarco Murray managed for the Eagles in total yardage per carry."

FOX Sports (Peter Schrager) - Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State

"A game-changer. Just what the Eagles' offense needs. I was told by an NFL scout that Elliott is the best blocking back to come into the NFL in "over a decade." Elliott is in the 10-20 range on most mock drafts. Watch. He could go as high as 4."

Sports Illustrated (Chris Burke) - Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State

"With Jason Peters toward the end of his career, the Eagles certainly have need for an offensive tackle like Notre Dame’s Ronnie Stanley. But Elliott is a tantalizing option who can do everything you ask a running back to do, and do it well. He’d give the Eagles a home run threat in the backfield and help take the pressure off quarterback Sam Bradford. After Todd Gurley’s rookie success last season with the Rams, taking a running back in the top 10 is no longer heresy."

NFL.com (Chad Rueter) - Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State

"Word is the Eagles are shopping Ryan Mathews, and they already traded DeMarco Murray. It would make sense for the team to look for a new bell-cow back."

NFL.com (Daniel Jeremiah) - Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State

"Elliott would be a perfect fit for Doug Pederson's offense."

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) - Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis

"I just don't think they will take a running back, no matter what general manager Howie Roseman had to say about the value. They need a quarterback for the future."

CBS Sports (Will Brinson) - Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State

"He's a top-10 talent and the Eagles sound willing to invest significant capital in the running back position. Neither Ryan Mathews nor Darren Sproles is an ideal candidate as a feature back. Zeke would make an impact out of the gate."

CBS Sports (Jared Dubin) - Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State

"The Eagles still don't have a clearly above-average quarterback option in-house, but this style of offense has been run well with a workhorse back to make up for that fact. Elliott is easily the best back in this class and can work in all three phases of the game."

Draft Breakdown (Matt LaPan) - Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State

"Even with the rumors surrounding the Eagles plans to move up for Carson Wentz, the move might not make sense. The Eagles need a running back, and find an impact back with tremendous NFL upside. Elliott is a complete player with speed, quickness, pass catching and blocking ability and great instincts. He is a perfect fit for Philadelphia, but they need to ensure nobody jumps them to take Elliott."

Drafttek (Broz) - Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida

"After unexpectedly getting the chance to select Jalen Ramsey in the last mock, the Eagles once again dip into the defensive back talent pool with Vernon Hargreaves III. VH3 is a different animal than the tall, long-striding Ramsey, who looks more like a WR than a corner. Hargreaves' shorter, more-compact frame gives him elite change-of-direction ability and quick-twitch explosiveness to cover short and intermediate routes better than any corner in this draft. Where Hargreaves falls short is in the height department (get it?) and lack of deep speed. The tape where he has to stick to receivers running post or corner routes man-to-man is somewhat concerning. The most glaring example was the Alabama game, where several receivers who won't be drafted anywhere near Hargreaves were able to get past him on deep routes. Once past him, the receivers were either able to outrun him or box him out down the field with their height advantage. Nevertheless, with his elite short- to mid-range coverage skills, more than adequate run support, and superior confidence and ball skills (10 career INTs and 38 passes defensed), Hargreaves could excel on a team that knows how to protect him with deep safety support."

Pro Football Focus (John Breitenbach) - Leonard Floyd, LB, Georgia

"Leonard Floyd is a pass rusher primarily, but has the versatility to play linebacker on base downs. He is fairly effective at shedding offensive lineman, even if that isn’t his greatest strength. Starting at weakside linebacker would keep him clean with enough frequency to make him a viable option at that position. Floyd’s instincts stand out as a run defender. He shows a consistent ability to diagnose at the snap and get to the football, sideline to sideline. Floyd also has the change of direction skills to cover backs on passing plays. The lateral quickness he possesses is also flashed consistently as a pass rusher. Coupled with his explosion off the edge, Floyd’s skillset puts him amongst the pass rushing edge defenders in this class. The Eagles have a solid pair of starting defensive ends in Brandon Graham and Vinny Curry, but they need more depth to give them the rest necessary to attack the quarterback on every snap. Floyd might be considered by some as a reach in the top ten, but he’s the best pure edge rusher in this class in my opinion."

Ourlads - Ronnie Stanley, ND, Notre Dame

N/A

Real Football Network (Pat Kirwan) - Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State

"New HC Doug Pederson will want to run the west coast system he learned from Andy Reid, and a three-down back like Elliott is critical to making it work. "

DenverBroncos.com (Andrew Mason) - Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State

"With DeMarco Murray a Titan and some intriguing -- but inconsistent -- options on the roster, the Eagles go for Elliott."

NJ.com (Matt Lombardo) - Myles Jack, LB, UCLA

"Given the Eagles' relative uncertainty at linebacker after trading Kiko Alonso to the Miami Dolphins, Jim Schwartz adds another weapon in Myles Jack who is talented enough to start right away and play a key role in boosting this unit to a top-10 defense in the NFL."

Pro Football Weekly (Kevin Fishbain) - Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame

"Stanley, Lane Johnson set Eagles for long-term at OT"

Pro Football Weekly (Nate Atkins) - Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State

"Doug Pederson installs a run-first approach with a star."

FanSpeak (Steve Shoup) - Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State

"The Eagles just traded away DeMarco Murray so unless they want to hope that Ryan Mathews stays healthy all year they are in the market for a feature back. Elliott is the best in the draft and he could be an elite weapon similar to Gurley from last year."

CBS Dallas (Kevin Turner) - Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State

"This one hurts, the Cowboys will have to deal with Zeke for the next 5 years as the Eagles roll out a much better RB situation than the one they had last year."

Draft Countdown (Scott Wright) - Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State

"The Eagles sent Byron Maxwell and Kiko Alonso to Miami to move up from #13.  Ridding themselves of two disappointing remnants of the Chip Kelly era was probably a primary motivating factor.  However, if the deal was made with a particular prospect in mind it was more than likely Ohio St. RB Ezekiel Elliott.  Especially since DeMarco Murray was also part of Philly’s offseason purge.  Elliott is the total package, with the ability to run both inside and outside as well as get the job done as a pass catcher and blocker.  Put simply, Elliott is an every-down workhorse who never has to leave the field. Elliott isn’t quite in the same class as Todd Gurley, who is the type of rare talent that may only come along once a decade.  With that said he is pretty damn good and there may be no greater drop-off in the 2016 NFL Draft than the one from Elliott to RB2.  It will be interesting to see if the success Gurley enjoyed as a rookie will revitalize the demand for high-level running back prospects such as Elliott.  Philadelphia could also be tempted by Notre Dame OT Ronnie Stanley as a long-term replacement for Jason Peters, who hasn’t always been the picture of health and is now 34-years-old.  Personally, I would still be thinking about a quarterback but for better or worse the Eagles have hitched their wagon to Sam Bradford and Chase Daniel.  Good luck with that."

NFL.com (Ike Taylor) - Jordan Howard, RB, Indiana

"Explosive enough to be a No. 2 for now, until he gets the playbook down. Then can be a No. 1 with Ryan Mathews."

[Ed. note: lol wtf?]

...

Here's a summary of the picks:

RB Ezekiel Elliott - 19
CB Vernon Hargreaves - 2
OT Ronnie Stanley - 2
QB Paxton Lynch - 1
LB Myles Jack - 1
LB Leonard Floyd - 1
RB Jordan Howard - 1

RB - 20
OT - 2
CB - 2
LB - 2
QB - 1

Offense - 23
Defense - 4

Thoughts:

For the second week in a row, Zeke's name absolutely dominated the mocks. Hargreaves and Stanley used to be close behind him but now the gap is huge.

I can't help but wonder if more mocks would have the Eagles picking up a quarterback if they allowed themselves to do trades.