With the 2017 NFL season coming to an end, mock draft season is about to start heating up. For teams like the Philadelphia Eagles, who will be headed to the 2018 NFL Playoffs, there’s still at least four games to be played. For now, though, it doesn’t hurt to take an early look ahead to the offseason.
ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay released the 1.0 version of his 2018 NFL mock draft on Wednesday. Here’s who he has the Eagles taking with the last pick in the first round (Super Bowl champs, baby!) at No. 32 overall.
Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama - The Eagles have one of the most complete rosters in the NFL, though offensive tackle could be an issue if 35-year-old Jason Peters isn't the same coming back from his knee injury. Another versatile linebacker such as Evans, who has had a strong senior campaign, is a good pick to help bolster an elite defense.
Linebacker is definitely a position of need for the Eagles moving forward. Nigel Bradham is going to be a free agent after this season. Philadelphia could opt to keep Mychal Kendricks around, but it’s worth noting they’d save $4.4 million in cap space by either cutting or trading him. The injury-prone Jordan Hicks is very talented when healthy but he clearly has trouble staying on the field.
Evans is an explosive player who can do everything you need from an inside linebacker. Alabama also used the 6-3, 234 pound defender as an edge rusher at times and he was able to generate pressure in that role.
While Evans could be a nice addition, I’d be surprised if the Eagles took a linebacker in the first round. That doesn’t seem like a position this organization would necessarily value so highly. Philadelphia has stressed that they like to build through the trenches, and with Jason Peters turning 36 in January, offensive tackle is a huge need.
It’s fitting, then, that this week’s SB Nation mock draft had the Eagles taking a blocker.
31. Philadelphia Eagles: Martinas Rankin, OT, Mississippi State - After Jason Peters was lost for the season in October, it was apparent that the Eagles need better depth at offensive tackle. Rankin could assert himself at the Senior Bowl as a first-round pick.
Alright, enough about mocks.
Back to gearing up for the Eagles’ Super Bowl run.