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NFL mock draft 2017 round up: Christian McCaffrey rising above the pack

Best player available or best fit available?

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Rice v Stanford Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

We’re almost there. The NFL Draft is this week. We have exited the final corner and are down the home stretch. At 14, it’s tough to peg a particular player as the Eagles likely choice, as there are plenty of scenarios that can unfold. But one player seems to be gaining a consensus over the weekend.

Evan Silva, Rotoworld - RB Christian McCaffrey, Stanford

Eagles GM Howie Roseman is well aware of how his bread will be buttered, if it’s to be buttered at all. Roseman desperately needs Carson Wentz to succeed. In free agency, Roseman signed Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith, slapped a second-round restricted tender on reserve tight end Trey Burton, and made multiple moves on the offensive line designed to ensure the Eagles’ front five doesn’t collapse if it loses one player, which happened last year during RT Lane Johnson’s suspension. Roseman’s next logical step is to further bolster Wentz’s supporting cast with a high-percentage pass catcher and upgrade in the running game. Should the Eagles pass on McCaffrey – or not have the opportunity to draft him if he goes earlier than No. 14 – beat writers expect them to consider similarly versatile Joe Mixon in round two.

So the Eagles will draft McCaffrey, unless they don’t, in which case they’ll draft someone else. Got it.

Vinny Iyer, Sporting News - Christian McCaffery

If the Panthers choose not to take McCaffrey at No. 8, the Eagles can start to feel good about getting him. His strong power running combined with gamebreaking ability as a receiver and return man meshes with their offseason theme of supporting Carson Wentz. Pound for pound, McCaffrey offers the most offensive skill in this draft.

Joe Schad, Palm Beach Post - Christian McCaffrey

no write up

Eddie Brown, San Diego Tribune

1 - Christian McCaffrey

2 - CB Quincy Wilson, Florida

3 - CB Cameron Sutton, Tennessee

Christian McCaffrey is the chic pick this week. And for good reason, the Doug Pederson/Andy Reid system demands the primary running back also be a good pass catcher, and McCaffrey is one of, if not the best pass catcher of the top running backs, and a pretty good runner too. From a pure fit standpoint, he’s an ideal one for the Eagles.

But he’s a running back, and taking a running back in the first round is a bad idea, and as Silva notes, the expectation among some is that if Joe Mixon is on the board in the second round the Eagles will take him. A good fit doesn’t make a great pick.

Chad Reuter,

Chad was a good boy who, after doing a six round mock last week, clearly read last week’s installment of the round up and finished the job and did all seven rounds, and even went the extra mile and did a list of priority free agents. Have a cookie Chad.

1 - WR John Ross, Washington

2 - CB Chidobe Awuzie, Colorado

3 - DE Ryan Anderson, Alabama

4 - RB Ryan Hill, Wyoming

4 - DT Ryan Glasgow, Michigan

5 - OT Conor McDermott, UCLA

6 - WR Shelton Gibson, West Virginia

7 - LB Calvin Munson, San Diego State

Cris Collinsworth, Pro Football Focus - CB Tre’Davious White, LSU

I want to give the Eagles a receiver with the speed of John Ross to play alongside Alshon Jeffery, but Philadelphia has to have a cornerback, and White is the next best available. He may drive Jim Schwartz nuts if he refuses to tackle, but Schwartz has no choice — you can’t compete without corners. I love White’s ability to find the ball in the air. Most young corners are afraid to turn their head and look for deep balls, and they end up getting beat. White is rock-solid there. I also don’t see him as a guy that will get a lot of cheap fouls; he keeps his hands to himself. I thought White would run a sub-4.4-second 40-yard dash, but at 4.47, he was a little slower than his run-and-cover style would suggest. White has legitimate coverage skills, though, and should go in the first half of the draft.

“Schwartz has no choice.” I’m picturing Howie Roseman and Joe Douglas meeting with Jim Schwartz and asking him what traits he really wants from his corners and taking detailed notes and then once they leave the meeting they immediately throw away the notes.

In a sense, Collinsworth is right, you take the best player and if it’s White, it’s White. But is the best player on your board one who isn’t a fit? No. For that reason, it’s hard to see White being the pick for the Eagles at 14.

Whoever it is, we’ll find out soon.

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