Between buzzing rumors, interest shown by the team, scheme fits and needs; I took a shot at predicting the Eagles draft yesterday. Of course, trying to forecast something as wildly unpredictable as the draft is incredibly difficult, it is sometimes worth it to get an idea of the philosophy the team may hold going into this weekend. However, there is the fun exercise of drafting for the team using your own, or in this case my own, evaluations of players and team needs. Using the same parameters as yesterday's mock (board usage and Simulation), I drafted for the Eagles based on my own evaluations.
I'd love to hear your own dream seven round draft in the comments!
Leonard Fournette, Running Back, LSU: With Alshon Jeffrey and Torrey Smith in the fold, the Eagles passing game should take a massive leap in Carson Wentz' second year. The best way to put the cherry on top of this young offense is by adding a lead workhorse in the backfield. Fournette has speed and strength to take over a game and can shoulder the load for 20 carries. He is raw in the passing game, but his skill set perfectly complements the handful of pass catching backs the Eagles have right now. Having Fournette in the backfield gives the Eagles a home run threat to hand off to and take pressure off of the passing game for a long, long time.
Carl Lawson, Edge Defender, Auburn: The Eagles definitely could stand to add young blood to their defensive line. With the team rumored to take Charles Harris in the first round, it is apparent the Eagles feel the same way about their front seven depth. Lawson is a polished pass rusher who has good speed and impressive strength. Injuries have been a concern during his career, but Lawson turned in a mostly healthy and very impressive final season in college to build off of. Picking him in the second would be an instant impact pick for the Eagles as Lawson could rotate into the line and cause problems on third downs.
Ahkello Witherspoon, Cornerback, Colorado: Arguably the most glaring need the Eagles have is in their defensive backfield. With Patrick Robinson, Jalen Mills and a few guys who are better off working at Wawa playing cornerback right now, Philly would be smart to take advantage of this awesome cornerback class. Ahkello Witherspoon is a bit raw and could improve as a run defender, but he is an outstanding athlete with great size and ball skills. Witherspoon is a high upside player and getting him in the third would be a steal.
Isaiah Ford, Wide Receiver, Virginia Tech: Despite additions to the group, the Eagles should still add bodies to their wide receiver group. Ford is not physically outstanding in any way, but he is incredibly polished and very physical at the wide receiver position. He would be a great guy to possibly take over Jordan Matthews' role down the road.
Shaquill Griffin, Cornerback, UCF: You have to double dip at cornerback in this draft class. The Eagles drafting Witherspoon and then doubling down with another high upside player like Griffin would be great. The thing is, the cornerbacks are going to be inexperienced next year no matter who gets picked, so why not pick players who have the most to gain from early playing time? Griffin is a gifted athlete who is incredibly physical but needs to grow into the position more. He may not see the field immediately, but could quickly grab a role early in his career.
Charles Walker, Defensive Lineman, Oklahoma: This is a swing for the fences pick in the third day. Typically, the third day of the draft is a good day to really try to hit on high upside players. Walker has some major medical questions, but when he is on the field he is a dominant, disruptive athlete. Once again, this would be a bit of a risk, but its mostly mitigated by it being a fifth round pick and the reward of getting an athletic and versatile defender is massive.
Avery Gennesy, Tackle, Texas A&M: The impressive four year streak of first round Aggie tackles is likely coming to an end this draft, but Avery Gennesy still has a ton of intrigue as a late round prospect. Gennesy has size, strength and athletic ability to play tackle at a high level. He is incredibly raw, but he comes into a situation where he will not need to start immediately and has a very good staff to coach him up.
Blair Brown, Linebacker, Ohio: I had the Eagles taking Brown in yesterday's mock, but personally I would love having Blair on this team. His only downside is really his size and he could be an eventual replacement for Mychal Kendricks. He definitely has the athletic ability and the smarts to play linebacker in the NFL, it will come down to him overcoming his size.