ESPN’s latest 2017 NFL mock draft is here. Draft analysts Mel Kiper and Todd McShay have teamed up to do a mock draft where they alternate picks over the draft’s first three rounds. Here’s a look at the results as far as the Philadelphia Eagles are concerned, via ESPN In$ider.
14. Philadelphia Eagles (from Vikings)
McShay's pick: Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State
The Eagles need to leave this draft with multiple cornerbacks after losing two starters in free agency. Conley has great ball skills and tested really well at the combine (4.44 seconds in the 40).
If Conley makes it No. 14, which doesn’t seem to be a sure thing, you have to think the Eagles are going to be interested in him. He’s rumored to be one of five players Philadelphia realistically wants in the first round. Joe Douglas had a lot of praise for Conley this week. The Eagles’ vice president of player personnel said Conley has unbelievable talent and speed. There’s little doubt Conley would upgrade a depleted Eagles secondary. He has his flaws in run support, but the Eagles might be willing to overlook those due to his coverage talent.
For more on Conley, check out BGN’s scouting report on him.
Though he is a bit bigger, Gareon Conley is similar to Robert Alford coming out as a draft prospect. Both are incredibly gifted athletes who win with their athletic ability and polished coverage ability, but lack physicality and could use a kick in the pants in the run game.
Despite a lack of physicality, it is easy to understand why teams would love Conley as a prospect. The size, speed and coverage ability is tantalizing. He schematically would fit well in Philadelphia, though I wonder how Jim Schwartz would feel about his lack of physicality. Overall, even with his shortcomings, Conley is the modern NFL cornerback and, even in a deep class, has the skill set to be a top twenty pick and an immediate starter in the NFL.
Notable players the Eagles passed on at No. 14: Malik Hooker, Charles Harris, Kevin King, John Ross, Dalvin Cook, Marlon Humphrey.
43. Philadelphia Eagles
Kiper's pick: Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan
The Eagles would love for a 4-3 end to drop here. Charlton's 4.92 40-yard dash at the combine raised red flags, but this is good value.
Charlton has gotten a lot of buzz as a first round prospect so this could potentially be a nice value pick for the Eagles that also addresses a position of need. Jim Schwartz has shown an interest in bigger defensive ends in the past and the 6-6, 273 pound Charlton clearly has good size. Hard to argue with this pick. You can’t tell me having a player (nick)named Taco wouldn’t be awesome. (Highlights video music NSFW).
Kiper's pick: James Conner, RB, Pitt
In a deep running back class, Conner might be the wild card. He played too heavy last season but looked good at the combine at 233 pounds.
Conner is a player who seems to be popular with Philadelphia fans. The Pitt running back is also reportedly popular with the team itself. Conner ran for 3,733 yards and 52 touchdowns on 668 attempts. He also caught 30 passes for 412 yards and four scores.
BGN’s Jonny Page isn’t so high on Conner. BGN’s Ben Natan, meanwhile, like his potential.
James Conner enjoyed a great season after recovering from Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Conner is a big back with a lot of power, but he also showed he had some wiggle and third down ability this season. If he stays healthy, nothing should keep him from being a future NFL starter.
Perhaps the third round might be too high for Conner due to limited athleticism.
This ESPN mock does a great job of filling the Eagles’ needs with all three picks. Philadelphia improved their defense by picking up a corner and a pass rusher and they got a new offensive piece as well.
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