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ESPN NFL Mock Draft 2017: Mel Kiper Grade A Edition

How do you like these picks?

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NCAA Football: Villanova at Pittsburgh Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN is back with another 2017 NFL mock draft. This time it’s Mel Kiper’s “Grade A” edition, which means he’s not just projecting the picks where he thinks they’re going to go. Instead, he’s acting as the general manager of each team and trying to do what's in their best interest. Read the entire piece here via ESPN In$ider. Here's how the Philadelphia Eagles' first three draft picks played out.

Round 1 (14): Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State

Round 2 (43): Marcus Maye, S, Florida

Round 3 (99): Tanoh Kpassagnon, DE, Villanova

The Eagles' front seven is solid, but the back end needs help. At corner, they let Nolan Carroll II walk in free agency after he started 16 games, and they brought in former first-round pick Patrick Robinson on a one-year deal. Philadelphia needs a starter with its first pick, and Conley, a consistent two-year starter for the Buckeyes, could be that guy. Maye, whose 2016 season was cut short because of a broken arm, would help on special teams and potentially replace Rodney McLeod or Malcolm Jenkins, who both had down seasons. Kpassagnon would be an upside pick late on Day 2. At 6-foot-7 and 289 pounds, he is massive and had some of the longest arms (35⅝ inches) and biggest hands (10⅝ inches) measured at the combine.

Notable players still on the board when Kiper made his first round pick for the Eagles include: Malik Hooker, Leonard Fournette, John Ross, Kevin King, Charles Harris, and Derek Barnett.

Conley might be a realistic pick for the Eagles if he makes it to No. 14. He’s rumored to be one of five players Philadelphia is targeting in the first round. Conley doesn’t seem to be a perfect fit with what Jim Schwartz values in his corners due to his lack of aggression as a tackler but the Eagles might overlook that weakness due to his cover skills. There’s been talk Conley could be the first corner off the board in this class so there’s no guarantee he’ll make it to No. 14. I still think the Eagles go pass rusher in the first.

The Eagles’ second round pick in this mock is ... what? A safety? Who is coming off injury? And he’s potentially going to replace Malcolm Jenkins or Rodney McLeod? Yeah, I mean, that’s not happening. Not sure what the hell Kiper is thinking with this selection, so I’ll just skip to the third round.

Kpassagnon (pass-N-yo) is an intriguing player due to his size. The Eagles have shown a decent amount of interest in him; they talked to him at the Senior Bowl and the NFL Combine. He also reportedly had a private meeting with Philadelphia defensive line coach Chris Wilson. Schwartz has shown interest in some bigger defensive ends in the past (Ziggy Ansah, Devin Taylor, etc.) so maybe he’s a fit in that sense. But I don’t know if he’s the natural edge rusher the Eagles might be looking for.


Overall, I’m not thrilled with this mock. What do you think of Kiper’s picks?


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