NFL draft guru (and Washington general manager candidate?) Mike Mayock dropped his top five prospects at every position last month prior to the 2017 NFL Combine. Now Mayock has released an updated version of his top five. There are some significant changes to the Eagles’ biggest positions of need. Let’s take a look.
1. Marshon Lattimore, Ohio State
2. Marlon Humphrey, Alabama
3. Kevin King, Washington
4. Gareon Conley, Ohio State
5. Fabian Moreau, UCLA
Rise: Lattimore (2), Humphrey (3), King (NR), Conley (NR), Moreau (NR)
Fall: Sidney Jones, Washington (1, added to special exceptions), Teez Tabor, Florida (4), Tre'Davious White, LSU (5)
Jones was Mayock’s top corner before the Washington product unfortunately suffered an Achilles injury earlier this month. Jones easily could have been an Eagles target at No. 14, but now he’ll be available later in the draft. He might be an interesting gamble for a team willing to take a shot on him, but there’s no guarantee he’ll be the same player. It’s a tough injury to come back from. When you look at recent examples of teams drafting and stashing injured players, it hasn’t always worked out so well (Jaylon Smith, Marcus Lattimore, etc.) Even if the Eagles did take a shot on Jones, they’d still need to acquire some corners who can actually play this year.
Humphrey is now Mayock’s second overall corner. The 20-year-old Alabama defender has been connected to the Eagles a lot in mock drafts. The Eagles recently hosted him on an official pre-draft visit in Philadelphia.
Mayock’s next three corners after the top two are completely new to his list. Tabor fell off after posting a poor performance at the NFL Combine. His 4.62 40-yard dash could scare some teams off.
As for the new players, King has been getting a lot of hype after his strong Combine outing. Just take a look at that spider graph:
Conley and Moreau have been getting more buzz lately too, which is only confirmed by Mayock’s ranking.
The Eagles desperately need cornerback help. There’s room for two new starters. Philadelphia shouldn’t be locked into a corner at No. 14, but it’s definitely something they’ll consider.
Mayock also included his top five nickel corners. That could be a position to watch still, especially if the Eagles release Ron Brooks.
1. Budda Baker, Washington
2. Chidobe Awuzie, Colorado
3. Jourdan Lewis, Michigan
4. Desmond King, Iowa
5. Damontae Kazee, San Diego State
1. Corey Davis, Western Michigan
2. Mike Williams, Clemson
3. John Ross, Washington
4. Zay Jones, East Carolina
T-5. Cooper Kupp, Eastern Washington
T-5. JuJu Smith-Schuster, USC
Rise: Jones (5), Smith-Schuster (NR)
Fall: Kupp (4)
The Eagles have less of an immediate hole at wide receiver after signing Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith but it’s still a long-term need. The Birds could easily go wide receiver at No. 14.
Mayock’s ranking at this position hasn’t changed too much. Davis is still No. 1 and Ross didn’t move up despite his incredible record-breaking 40-yard dash time at the Combine. The Eagles hosted all of Davis, Ross, and Williams on official pre-draft visits in Philadelphia.
Jones has getting more hype after a strong Combine.
The 24-year-old Kupp, meanwhile, didn’t test so great. There are concerns about his speed after running a 4.62 40-yard dash.
I know it doesn’t make much logical sense but I’m out on JuJu after being scarred by Nelson Agholor. USC offensive players are just rarely ever any good. I’d rather the Eagles just go in a different direction.
1. Leonard Fournette, LSU
2. Christian McCaffrey, Stanford
3. Dalvin Cook, Florida State
4. Alvin Kamara, Tennessee
5. Samaje Perine, Oklahoma
Rise: Fournette (2), McCaffrey (3), Perine (NR)
Fall: Cook (1), Joe Mixon, Oklahoma (5, added to special exceptions)
The Eagles absolutely need a new lead running back. The good news is they should have a number of quality options available to them.
Cook took a big stumble in Mayock’s rankings due to a less than stellar Combine. There’s been talk Cook could fall to the second round. The Eagles had him in for a pre-draft visit, along with Fournette. Fournette’s visit is curious since the Eagles would likely have to trade up to get him, and it’s hard to see that happening.
ESPN’s latest mock draft has McCaffrey to the Eagles at No. 14. As I already wrote, I think there’s like a 99% chance the Eagles don’t take a running back in the first, but McCaffrey’s ability as a pass catcher makes me wonder a little bit more.
Kamara and Perine might be the more realistic options for the Eagles since they won’t be going in the first round.
Mayock took Mixon off his running back board for obvious character concern reasons.
1. Myles Garrett, Texas A&M
2. Solomon Thomas, Stanford
3. Derek Barnett, Tennessee
4. Takkarist McKinley, UCLA
5. Tim Williams, Alabama
Rise: Thomas (4), McKinley (5)Fall: Williams (2)
It’ll be interesting to see how the Eagles address defensive end in this draft class. After cutting Connor Barwin, there’s a need for a new starter. Most assume Vinny Curry will immediately step up into his role, but will that be the case? The team only trusted him to play 40% of the snaps last season despite Barwin’s struggles. There’s also the fact that Curry is often used as an interior rusher on obvious passing downs. The Eagles could easily draft a defensive end at No. 14. This is a regime that values building through the trenches.