Eight games into the Eagles season and there is plenty reason to be thrilled about the team. The offense is humming and the defense is making plays even without Ronald Darby or Sidney Jones on the field yet. Despite dominating their schedule, the team is lacking at a few areas on the roster, due to injury or otherwise. While mock drafts aren’t definitive at this point (or ever, really), they give a great idea of the top talent in college football at this point and where team’s stand from a need point.
Draft order made by Super Bowl odds.
1 - Cleveland Browns- Saquon Barkley, Running Back, Penn State: The Browns are still losing despite having a strong offseason reloading their roster. Why? Because their offense has been stagnant despite a strong offensive line. It is to be seen what the future of the Cleveland’s front office and coaching staff is after another horrific season, maybe they really are committed to being the Sixers of the NFL for a while to accrue top talent. Anyway, Barkley is a game changing talent that will be easy to get the ball and start giving the Browns big plays on offense.
2 - San Fransisco 49ers- Mike McGlinchey, Offensive Tackle, Notre Dame: The 49ers might be the best 0-8 team in NFL history. Not sure how that is provable, but they definitely feel like a team that is outplaying their record and are victims of a tough schedule and a terrible roster. The team is getting encouraging play from a few of their rookies and trading for Jimmy G takes them out of the running for a top quarterback prospect so they could stand to improve their trenches. McGlinchey is an athletic, fundamentally sound tackle who would immediately upgrade their offensive line.
3 - Indianapolis Colts- Bradley Chubb, Edge Defender, NC State: The Colts are bad right now and their future hangs in the balance as no one knows if Andrew Luck will recover from a serious shoulder injury. One thing that is for sure is the need for them to upgrade their defense. Chubb is a physical, high motor player who will not only provide splash plays rushing the passer, but will also change the attitude of a defense.
4 - New York Giants- Connor Williams, Offensive Tackle, Texas: The Giants have been decimated by injuries but their offense wasn't exactly in a good way before then either. Fully healthy, the Giants have the weapons in the passing game to thrive but the protection just was not there for Eli Manning. The Ereck Flowers project needs to end and Connor Williams is a gifted young tackle who could step right in and be an immediate upgrade.
5 - New York Jets- Josh Rosen, Quarterback, UCLA: The Jets are another team who has seriously surprised despite being in a reloading period. Their offense and defense are overachieving due to a commendable job by the coaching staff and breakout play from a lot of young players. What is majorly missing is a franchise quarterback because we know Josh McCown is nothing more than a stopgap. Josh Rosen is a strong armed, gutsy quarterback with all the tools to be a star signal caller in the league. Todd Bowles deserves to stay on with the Jets and start building a contender and Josh Rosen would be a great pick to start putting them in that direction.
6 - Arizona Cardinals- Sam Darnold, Quarterback, USC: The Cardinals need to seriously consider the future after Carson Palmer. Sam Darnold is far from a perfect quarterback prospect, but he has all the tools of a high level NFL signal caller. Arians loves strong armed quarterbacks who don’t fear testing any windows. Darnold is a bit more of a project, but it is hard to not see Arians fall in love with his skill set.
7 - Baltimore Ravens- James Washington, Wide Receiver, Oklahoma State: The Ravens offense has not been explosive since Torrey Smith was there, if we are being honest. Joe Flacco is in desperate need of a guy who can consistently stretch the field and make big plays and who is better in the draft than James Washington? Washington is averaging over 20 yards per catch over his four year career in college, an unheard of mark of efficiency. He has great hands and is a touchdown machine. Joe Flacco will finally be able to start slinging down the field again.
8 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Derwin James, Safety, Florida State: The Buccaneers are among the most disappointing teams in the NFL this season. Despite a handful of talented young players, the team has not put it together on the field. While there are a few options for them in the draft, drafting an impact defender in the secondary will be huge. Derwin James is still regaining his speed coming back from a knee injury, but the junior safety is still a massively talented player. He can play several positions on a defense and the Buccaneers will love his versatility and tone setting attitude.
9 - Chicago Bears- Courtland Sutton, Wide Receiver, SMU: The Bears are trying to see what they have in Mitchell Trubisky this year, but it is hard given the lack of weapons the team has in the passing game. Sutton is a massive target, physical player who can win jump balls and also separate down the field. He would immediately step into the Bears passing game and be their number one target.
10 - Cincinnati Bengals- Quenton Nelson, Offensive Guard, Notre Dame: The Bengals offense has taken a big step back despite talent in key positions. This can be largely attributed to their patchwork offensive line. Quenton Nelson is a physical, nasty player who sets the tone as a blocker in the run and passing game. He would immediately help the Bengals’ struggling run game.
11 - Miami Dolphins - Derrius Guice, Running Back, LSU: After trading away Jay Ajayi, for some stupid reason, the Dolphins have a massive hole in their running game. With Ryan Tannehill coming back next season, they will need to reboot the ground game to keep the offense balanced. Derrius Guice is a very talented running back with size, speed and physicality. He would give the Dolphins a lot of what they will miss in Ajayi and more if they can snag him.
12 - Green Bay Packers- Arden Key, Edge Defender, LSU: The Packers are going to have a top fifteen pick this year and get Aaron Rodgers back next year; a silver lining in an otherwise abysmal season. They could stand to add more juice to their pass rush and Arden Key is an outstanding athlete who would pair with Nick Perry to give the Packers a formidable duo of edge defenders.
13 - Los Angeles Chargers- Minkah Fitzpatrick, Cornerback, Alabama: The Chargers likely have to move on from Jason Verrett. No matter how talented he is, his health just is not dependable. In moving on, they would benefit from adding a young talent to their secondary like Minkah Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick can play several positions in an NFL secondary at a high level but I wouldn’t be surprised if the NFL wants him exclusively at cornerback. With a lot of young impact players on their defense, adding Fitzpatrick could finally put the Chargers defense over the top.
14 - Buffalo Bills-Harold Landry, Edge Defender, Boston College: The Bills are playing well on both sides of the ball despite trading away a lot of talent this year. It will be fun to see what the team can do as the roster is reshaped in Sean McDermott’s image. Harold Landry is a very complete defender with bend, a high motor and good athletic ability. The Bills defense has been solid this year and adding another impact defender will help make them be a bit scarier.
15 - Detroit Lions- Maurice Hurst, Defensive Tackle, Michigan: The Lions draft a local star to boost their defense. Maurice Hurst is a quick twitch interior defender with a high motor. He would fit well in the middle of that defense as a penetrating defensive tackle.
16 - Carolina Panthers-Clelin Ferrell, Edge Defender, Clemson: What the Panthers really need is a new offensive coordinator but in the mean time they can continue to upgrade their defense. Clelin Ferrell is a speedy pass rusher who would thrive on a defensive line with so much talent in the middle. Julius Peppers isn’t going to be a fore forever and the Panthers need to be thinking forward.
17 - Washington- Christian Wilkins, Defensive Tackle, Clemson: I would hate if this actually happened. Christian Wilkins is a dancing bear type of defender who can play various positions at a high level. He would be a huge addition to a defense that already has a handful of talent, especially with Jon Allen coming back next season.
18 - Oakland Raiders- Malik Jefferson, Linebacker, Texas: Oakland’s defense is in need of major help; especially in the middle. Malik Jefferson is a freak athlete who can cover, defend the run and blitz with the best of them. He is a movable chess piece and would immediately upgrade several aspects of the Oakland defense.
19 - Denver Broncos-Ronald Jones, Running Back, USC: While it is tempting to give the Broncos one of the quarterbacks, they might seek a more immediate impact player on offense by drafting Ronald Jones. Jones is a home run threat with the ball in his hands and could take a lot of pressure off of whoever is under center.
20 - Tennessee Titans- Vita Vea, Defensive Lineman, Washington: Vita Vea is another “planet theory” type of player. He is just a massive, athletic human being who looks better suited playing Power Forward than defensive line. The Titans should continue adding young talent to their defense and Vea would upgrade their run defense while bringing big play potential to their pass rush.
21 - Jacksonville Jaguars- Lamar Jackson, Quarterback, Louisville: The Jaguars are winning games in the oldest of old school ways. They are pounding the rock and melting opponents’ faces with their defense. In other words, they are winning in spite of mediocre (at best) quarterback play. Imagine an offense with Lamar Jackson and Leonard Fournette in the same backfield with playmakers like Allen Robinson in the passing game. Yes please.
22 - Browns (From Texans)- Baker Mayfield, Quarterback, Oklahoma: I have no idea how the NFL is going to feel about Mayfield considering his size; but he is enjoying one of the better quarterback seasons in college football history. He is a strong armed, mobile playmaker with a high football IQ and an unshakable confidence. He is the type of leader the Browns need on offense and he could be worth taking a risk on despite his size.
23 - Los Angeles Rams- Tavarus McFadden, Cornerback, Florida State: The Rams are enjoying a renaissance due to an offensive awakening, however their defense could stand to add some talent to it. Tavarus McFadden is a physical, ball hawking cornerback who would add a playmaker to the Ram’s young secondary.
24 - Atlanta Falcons- Orlando Brown, Offensive Lineman, Oklahoma: The Falcons offense has taken a step back this year due to poor play calling and a regressed offensive line. Orlando Brown would be a young player who could take over a right tackle for Ryan Schraeder and give the Falcons two young, talented bookends to their offense.
25 - New Orleans Saints- Calvin Ridley, Wide Receiver, Alabama: The Saints defense has taken a massive step forward this year and they could actually stand to add more players to their offense. Calvin Ridley is an older prospect, but his speed will pair well with Michael Thomas to give the Saints a formidable receiving duo for a long time.
26 - Dallas Cowboys- Joshua Jackson, Cornerback, Iowa: The Cowboys defense is still lacking this season due to injuries and lack of talent. Joshua Jackson is a tall, physical player who would solidify their secondary and give them some consistency back there.
27 - Minnesota Vikings- Tyrell Crosby, Offensive Tackle, Oregon: The Vikings are playing well despite not having either of their top two quarterbacks. Hopefully Teddy Bridgewater is able to return at full strength at some point, but the Vikings should upgrade their offensive line this offseason nevertheless. Crosby is a very athletic player with a physical side, giving the Vikings a talent at tackle they have not had in a while.
28 - Buffalo Bills (from the Chiefs)- Nick Chubb, Running Back, Georgia: The Bills offense needs an influx of youthful playmakers. LeSean McCoy is likely playing his last season in Buffalo and they will need a playmaker in their offensive backfield. Nick Chubb is playing great football right now and the athletic, big-bodied back will help punish offenses and take pressure off of Tyrod Taylor.
29 - Seattle Seahawks- Will Hernandez, Guard, UTEP: The Seahawks finally made a savy move to fix their offensive line by trading for Duane Brown. However that will only partially amend their disastrous group of blockers. Will Hernandez is a smaller school player who has been dominating. Adding him will go a long way to solidifying the Seahawks in the trenches.
30 - Pittsburgh Steelers- Shaun Dion Hamilton, Linebacker, Alabama: It is hard to find a major need on the Steelers roster right now but adding another speedy linebacker next to Ryan Shazier could make their defense even better than it is currently playing. Hamilton is a human missile and he would be just another weapon for that defense to deploy in a variety of ways.
31 - New England Patriots-Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, Edge Defender, Oklahoma: The Patriots have taken a lot of hits to the health of their defense this season and it is showing. Most noticeably, their defensive line is in tatters. Ogbonnia Okoronkwo is an athletic pass rusher who could provide a boost to the group and give them an athlete coming off the edge that they have not had in a while.
32 - Philadelphia Eagles- Martinas Rankin, Offensive Line, Mississippi State: The Eagles are another team where it is hard to find a pressing need, as evidenced by their current record. Jason Peters’ injury made it abundantly clear, however, that the team needs to consider life without the future Hall of Famer. Martinas Rankins is a massive, physical player who could play left or right tackle for the Eagles depending on how they feel about Lane Johnson. Dipping into what looks like a very deep offensive line class will make moving forward from Jason Peters just a bit easier.
Later round players to keep an eye on for the Eagles:
· Richie James, Wide Receiver, MTSU: Richie James is a dynamic athlete who can score in a variety of ways. With the picture at wide receiver a bit unclear going forward, James could be a prospect who could provide a lot in the slot or on the outside of the offense.
· Philip Lindsay, Running Back, Colorado: Lindsay is a guy who will get knocked for size; but he is a thickly built 5’8” and 195 pounds. He would be a good scat back to pair with Jay Ajayi and can add a lot on third down as a pass catcher.
· Jerome Baker, Linebacker, Ohio State: It is unknown how the NFL will view a smaller linebacker like Jerome Baker, but his speed and instincts will allow him to massively outplay his draft spot and the Eagles may need to think about upgrading their linebackers this offseason.
· Armani Watts, Safety, Texas A&M: While the Eagles don’t immediately need another safety, grabbing one in the middle rounds would be a savvy move for the future. Watts is a physical player who has a lot of swagger on the field. He would be a nice depth addition for the team and could eventually step into a starting role.