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2016 NFL Mock Draft: Philadelphia Eagles pick Notre Dame's Ronnie Stanley

With the 8th overall pick in the 2016 Bleeding Green Nation community mock draft, Philadelphia Eagles GM slickpablovick selects ...

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame

Height: 6'6"

Weight: 312 lbs.

Age: 22

"I don't need a ‘C' on my chest to know what role I have on the team. I never needed that growing up, and I don't need it now. I definitely still accept the position I'm in and I'm fully ready to do what I have to do for my team."

- Ronnie Stanley (after coaches wouldn't let him be a captain because he parked in the wrong spot)

^ Obligatory Spider Graph

The Player

Ronnie Stanley is a power forward playing left tackle. The former basketball player is exceptionally athletic, light on his feet, and quick to react to the guy in front of him. His tape was the first to go in because my good friend is a Notre Dame fanatic who recommended him, and after the end of last season it was apparent that Philly needed to address the offensive line early in the draft.

I was shocked to watch Stanley's tape and see that he was consistently rated as only the number two overall offensive lineman (then I watched Laremy Tunsil run block, holy hell that guy might even make DeMarco Murray look decent). But what Tunsil is to run blocking, Stanley is to pass blocking. When the Eagles were sitting at the number thirteen pick, Ronnie Stanley seemed like a pipedream. The majority of mock drafts at the time had him going in the top five.

Fast forward to April 7, 2016. Now the Eagles hold the eighth pick. Due to the elite top end talent in this year's class there is a chance that Ronnie Stanley to the Eagles could become manifest destiny. But is he worth it?

Since Stanley became a full time starter at right tackle in 2013 he has not missed a start for the Fighting Irish. He has no injury history that I could dig up. That kind of durability will be necessary on an offensive line that has constantly needed to be patched up.

His first full year he played opposite an exceptional talent we have all come to know well, the Cowboy's very own Zack Martin. That year Notre Dame only allowed eight sacks the entire season. The following year Stanley took over the duties at left tackle and proceeded to individually only allow one sack all year. This guy rarely makes mistakes. Take into account that he faced off against the likes of Frank Clark, Sheldon Rankins, and Leonard Williams during that span.

The first thing that jumps out at you about Stanley is his athleticism. He has quick and calculated footwork that enables him to mirror opposing defenders, which buys the quarterback more time in pass protection.

He has the ability to chop his feet and cover ground quickly, although he needs to refine a few skills like his drop foot. His energy is constant and there is a certain stickiness when he gets his hands on a defender. His hands are active and powerful, and it helps that he has the longest arms of any projected first round linemen.

Stanley stayed at Notre Dame his senior year to further develop his run blocking skills. He is a terror in space because he can swing his hips and seal lanes for the ball carrier. He runs down the field as if he were running a route. Such fluid movement has always been coveted by the Philadelphia Eagles and it should fit nicely with what Doug Pederson envisions.

Stanley has very quick reactions. Remember when Dallas fans were crying that Jason Peters was so fast off the ball that it almost looked like he was committing false starts? That is how urgently and immediately Ronnie Stanley is as soon as the ball moves. Despite his zippy reflexes, Stanley proves to be a patient and polished player who has a genuine desire to perfect his craft.  In the three games I watched he committed only one penalty. He is intelligent, disciplined, and still has room to improve at the next level.

Player Comparison: Lane Johnson, T, Philadelphia Eagles

The Fit

Jason Peters still has something to give at the left tackle position, but at 34 years old the Eagles need a contingency plan. Lane Johnson is fresh into a five year $56 million dollar contract, making him either an expensive right tackle or a future bargain on the left side. After those two players, Matt Tobin and Dennis Kelly are one snap away from being the only thing between an elite pass rusher and Sam Bradford. Even if Ronnie Stanley does not play at either tackle positions straight off the bat, he is a much needed insurance policy. Think about all the times Jason Peters had to come off the field for a few snaps.

Some draft wiseguys want to knock Stanley's ability to play left tackle, even though he is essentially a prototype for the position. His experience on the right side will be useful in case Lane Johnson does eventually end up taking the blindside. Right now the biggest question mark on the offensive line is at left guard, with newly acquired Stefen Wisniewski's name written in a depth chart made of sand. I cannot give you a yes or a no as to whether drafting Ronnie Stanley would mean competition between the two players for the left guard position. But I can tell you that the Eagles should put their best five linemen on the field. Can Stanley make a temporary transition to guard? His former teammates Zack Martin did it with relative ease. Stanley has the brains and athleticism to pull and run. I wouldn't completely rule it out. But regardless of which guys end up on the offensive line for the first games of the season, it would be extremely rare for all of them to start the next fifteen as well. This is why Ronnie Stanley is a luxury the Eagles can afford. Regardless of which position Stanley plays on the line, he has the potential to be a perennial Pro Bowler.

The Need

Draft a position of need or take the best player available? This is an ancient question that has provoked the thoughts of mankind more than any other inquiry in the history of human consciousness. I know a lot of Eagles fans will be upset that players like Joey Bosa and Vernon Hargreaves are still on the board. But the selection of Ronnie Stanley is the unique and perfect blend of both talent and need. Ronnie Stanley is a blue chip player that any team would welcome to their roster. We have seen the successes of investing in the offensive line. A garbage team like the Dallas Cowboys managed to make DeMarco Murray the offensive player of the year and more recently resurrected the career of Darren McFadden after paving the way to a thousand yard season for him.

At the end of the day, football is a game about scoring more points than the opposing team. As we painfully witnessed last season, it is impossible to pass or run the ball without the proper protections in place. No more seeing running backs getting hit behind the line of scrimmage. No more holding our breath as our quarterback peel himself off the turf. No more bewildered looking offensive linemen searching for where they went wrong. Why make the same mistake again and write off the value of a player who can get the job done? Ronnie Stanley is not a sexy pick, but he is the logical one at this point. If the Eagles were to choose anyone else, the team who eventually lands Stanley will undoubtedly have a steal on their hands. Let us all embrace this glorious selection and vote "Yes" in the poll below.



Make the Eagles Great Again

  • Ronnie Stanley signed with Roc Nation.

  • Watching Notre Dame film brought me to the conclusion that his teammate Will Fuller is going to be an absolute stud.

  • Howie Roseman said there was a huge drop in talent after the top ten picks, Ronnie Stanley is in that elite class.

  • Joey Bosa is an absolute beast and I know I'll get crushed for not picking him. But he doesn't have as much upside as Ronnie Stanley. Connor Barwin is better than him.


2016 BGN Mock Draft Order

1) Titans (ablesser88) - Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss - [Explanation]
2) Browns (EaglesGenius) - Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State - [Explanation]
3) Chargers (StoneColeKiller58) - Jared Goff, QB, Cal - [Explanation]
4) Cowboys (kamjam) - Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State - [Explanation]
5) Jaguars (drc242) - Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida State - [Explanation]
6) Ravens (rohan915) - DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon - [Explanation]
7) 49ers (LAOJoe) - Myles Jack, LB, UCLA - [Explanation]
8) Eagles (slickpablovick) - Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame - [Explanation]
9) Buccaneers (OneBucFan47) -
10) Giants (Paulie97) -
11) Bears (Kiko's Delivery Service) -
12) Saints (kylebruneault) -
13) Dolphins (wildcatlh) -
14) Raiders (Luxury_Used_Vehicles_By_Braman) -
15) Rams (NowWhat?) -
16) Lions (bri g) -
17) Falcons (thealien2696) -
18) Colts (ei78) -
19) Bills (naderg43) -
20) Jets (Quacking_Eagle) -
21) Washington (TheCoxishere) -
22) Texans (jeppsforst) -
23) Vikings (WScott151) -
24) Bengals (burkhart_b) -
25) Steelers (theaction) -
26) Seahawks (tfrank9811) -
27) Packers (3Trace) -
28) Chiefs (jawmo) -
N/A) Patriots - Cheaters
29) Cardinals (big DUB) - 
30) Panthers (zatch2k) -
31) Broncos (JALupowitz) -

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