With just one day remaining until the 2017 NFL Draft, here’s a look at what writers here at Bleeding Green Nation think the Philadelphia Eagles SHOULD do with their No. 14 overall pick in the first round. There’s hardly a consensus!
Brandon Lee Gowton
I think the Eagles should draft an offensive player to help out Carson Wentz. I’d really like to see Dalvin Cook as Philadelphia’s new main running back. I know that’s not necessarily the most ideal use of resources, but shut up. I want to have some fun. The Eagles’ offense has been painful to watch for what feels like too long now. Let’s get some more weapons to help out Wentz. Corey Davis would also be pretty cool. Wouldn’t hate Christian McCaffrey but don’t think he gets to No. 14.
I think the Eagles will draft a defensive end, though, based on all the rumors I’ve followed. Get ready for Charles Harris, baby.
SHOULD DO: Take Reuben Foster. The dude is a football player. I know that sounds cliche, but it's true. And more so, he plays football with ferocity. He's exactly the type of player this team needs. Give me Reuben Foster and I'm a happy man.
WILL DO: Take Charles Harris. #Sadface
I feel like I’ve been making this selection for the last 3 months and I am not gonna waver now. I need OJ Howard on this football team. I don’t care if it’s by trade up and we have to sacrifice a lamb, he belongs here catching TD after TD from Carson Wentz. We can all look in a tiny tunnel and say “hey, there are already 3 TEs on this football team, idiot” or we can broaden our horizons and just get playmakers on this Eagles team. I don’t care what position they play on offense, but if they can do the thing then they should be on this squad. Although optimistic, we don’t what lies ahead with Alshon Jeffery in the future and I want as many insurance policies as possible. Defense may win championship but only if you can f***ing score points. Let’s ride.
Christian McCaffrey, Stanford. McCaffrey has been my guy ever since I first watched him so this is an easy pick for me. I know that taking a running back in the 1st is still seen as questionable by many (it shouldn't be) but if you take McCaffrey you aren't just getting a running back. McCaffrey is a good enough route runner to start in the slot and he is a perfect fit for this offense. You can get him 12-15 touches in the running game and also use him in the slot, he should almost always be on the field. Sadly, I think many NFL teams realize just how valuable a player like McCaffrey is in the modern day NFL and I expect him to go before the Eagles pick. If he is there at 14 though, I would be so happy if the Eagles drafted McCaffrey.
Christian McCaffrey, Stanford. The most valuable player on offense besides the quarterback is theplayer who touches the ball the second most. As a lead running back, McCaffrey will have a massive role in Pederson's offense as a runnerand pass catcher. He is an athletic, versatile player who can provide a home run threat whenever he touches the ball. Concerns about hissize and pro readiness are massively overblown considering his workload at Stanford and the traditional offense he thrived in. The Eagles need to arm Carson Wentz to succeed and a multi dimensional threat at running back would be just the pick to make for that.
The Eagles should take wide receiver Chris Godwin out of Penn State at No. 14. The more I read about Godwin the more I like him, plus he's a local guy. I think his personality will fit really well in the locker room and his penchant for reaching out to veterans for guidance will make him the perfect rookie to train under Torrey Smith and Alshon Jeffery -- even if it's only for one season. He provides the deep threat the Eagles needed (and never got) from Nelson Agholor and could create opportunities for Carson Wentz that he didn't have last season. It pains me not to pick Marshon Lattimore or Gareon Conley -- given that I firmly believe Malcolm Jenkins needs some Buckeye help in the secondary -- but this year's draft class is so deep at safety and defensive back, the Eagles could still get a couple of high-value guys in the second and third rounds.
The Eagles should select TE OJ Howard, Alabama, if given the chance. I have a feeling they won't have the opportunity, but if by some miracle he's available at No. 14, he should be the pick.
I know it's odd to think about the Eagles adding a tight end when they have Zach Ertz, Brent Celek, and Trey Burton all under contract, but Howard will be better than all of them, and we're thinking long-term here with this pick. Howard stands an absurd 6-6 and weighs 242 pounds *before* joining an NFL roster, and he plays like a wide receiver with great blocking skills. He has the speed (4.51 40yard dash) to make the explosive plays a Jimmy Graham-like TE1 should.
With a tight end combo of Howard and Ertz, if the Eagles can lock up Alshon Jeffery long term, they'll have three excellent pass-catchers with tremendous size to make Carson Wentz's life easy for years to come. Worry about filling defensive holes later and pick the best player available in Howard.
It's tough to pick a guy who is definitively going to be there at 14 and not be a reach. There's a lot of guys who could be there, but I can't be sure. Which is why I'm going to cheat a little.
The Eagles shouldn't draft at 14, they should move up. 14 is kind of a no man's land of landing a top tier prospect... maybe one is there, but you can't count on it. It won't cost a ton; in the past five years a team around their draft position has moved up a handful of spots four times, so there should be a seller; and as I've outlined before there are plenty of reasons why they will. Now that we're even closer to the draft, it's even more compelling to me to trade up. There's no risk of mortgaging the future as Carson Wentz is the future. I would compare it to the Falcons trading up for Julio Jones: the QB is in place, go get him another stud to play with for the next decade, even if it's on defense.
They could take any position but RB and I'd be fine with it. There's so many guys that are all good options. After the 2014 debacle, I'm thinking Howie Roseman isn't going to let himself get burned again, and Joe Douglas is no stranger to wheeling and dealing from his days in Baltimore.
When it comes to the first round of the NFL draft, the Eagles suffer from recency bias. In 2011, the Eagles needed help for the offensive line and drafted Danny Watkins at 23. Well, that didn’t work out the greatest so, in 2012, the team resolved to draft the best player rather than by need, traded up, and came away with Fletcher Cox. Hey! That worked well! Let’s do that again! And they did. In 2013 the Eagles’ selected Lane Johnson with the fourth overall pick, widely considered to be the best prospect at that slot in a draft loaded with ten-year tackles. Ok, we’re starting to get the hang of this first round drafting thing. With overconfidence setting in, the Eagles regressed. They got cute, trading back four spots from 22 to 26 only to see their top targets get pilfered one after the other. The result was a stretch pick for Marcus Smith. Grrr. Let’s not get caught like this again next year! And they weren’t. Instead, with Chip Kelly at the helm in 2015, their philosophy shifted and the team attempted to trade up for Marcus Mariota. These attempts ultimately failed but, hey, they got a Nelson Agholor out of the deal. Yes, not good, but we liked it at the time. We HAVE to try the trade up thing again next year. And they did! And it worked! They got Carson Wentz!!! So what will the team do this year? Trade up again, obvs. They have a good track record being aggressive in the first round, so I expect them to move up 3-5 spots and say, “We got our guy.” Who that guy will be, though, is a complete mystery to me.
Corey Davis. Davis has shown on film why he's arguably the top WR in this year's class. He possesses an excellent combination of size, speed, strength, YAC and route running ability. The unfortunate part of the draft evaluation process has been that Davis has been unable to test at the combine/pro-day due to an ankle injury he suffered a few months back. While this is somewhat unfortunate from an athletic testing standpoint, it may ultimately lead to him sliding a few slots down the board. With Alshon on a one year deal, Matthews close to free agency and Torrey Smith coming off of a two year stint of minimal production, it becomes imperative that the Eagles find a reliable long term weapon on the outside for their franchise signal caller.
Here’s a look at how you, the readers, have voted so far. There’s still time to cast your vote so make sure you go do that.