ESPN NFL Draft insiders Mel Kiper and Todd McShay have teamed up for a 2017 NFL Mock Draft. Instead of alternating picks, however, the two analysts give their own pick for each team. You gotta love mock draft season, baby.
14) Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State - Conley, another riser after the combine, is the veteran of the three Buckeyes defensive backs I have going in the top 14 picks. Philadelphia let Nolan Carroll II walk in free agency after he started 16 games last season, and the Eagles brought in former first-round pick Patrick Robinson on a one-year deal to compete at corner. Coordinator Jim Schwartz's defense is thin on the boundaries.
While I wouldn’t be shocked to see the Eagles draft a corner, and I don’t think Conley is a bad player, I don’t think he’ll be the pick. I don’t think Schwartz would really like his finesse game. For better or worse, Schwartz wants corners who are aggressive and confident. Leodis McKelvin (RIP) and Jalen Mills are examples of this.
I’m also not sure Conley is the best available player on the board here. Kiper has Derek Barnett (at No. 30!), Corey Davis, Reuben Foster, Christian McCaffrey, and John Ross still available when the Eagles pick. Given the rumors about the Eagles targeting a defensive lineman in the first, I’d be surprised to see them pass on Barnett.
So is McShay’s pick any better for the Eagles?
14) Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford - I love this fit. Darren Sproles turns 34 in June, and Philly needs a versatile playmaker out of the backfield. McCaffrey has the skill set to be a really good running back and wide receiver in the NFL. He showed tremendous short-area quickness at the combine (6.57-second three cone), which is readily apparent when watching McCaffrey's route-running.
I really like McCaffrey so I wouldn’t complain about this pick. I really want the Eagles to get a legitimate three-down running back to help out Carson Wentz and the entire offense. But I don’t think McCaffrey will be the pick either. I’d just be very surprised to see the Eagles go running back in the first round. Philadelphia is reportedly one of the teams most high on McCaffrey, so maybe I’m wrong, but I feel pretty confident they won’t take a rusher at No. 14.
Players sill on the board when McShay selected McCaffrey include: Foster, Ross, Conley (at No. 22), Mike Williams, and Dalvin Cook. McShay has Barnett going at No. 8, which is 22 spots higher than Kiper has him going.
TO THE SECOND ROUND!
Kiper has the Eagles going offense after taking Conley in the first.
43) Curtis Samuel, RB/WR - Carson Wentz has already gotten two new receivers in free agency (Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith), but he still lacks weapons. Samuel is a tweener. He's not an every-down back, and he's not big enough to be a full-time receiver (74 catches and 97 rushes last season). So the Eagles could use the electric Samuel in a Darren Sproles-type role -- just get him the ball in space.
This in an intriguing pick. Given how badly the Eagles new offensive playmakers, I can’t turn it down. Philadelphia needs help at both receiver and running back so this would be nice. But the problem is the Eagles would still need a three-down back type. Or maybe they could get another rotational guy in the draft, but that’s not an idea I’m crazy about. But I don’t hate this pick for the Eagles. The more weapons for Wentz, the better. Getting a Sproles replacement would be cool since the veteran is retiring after this year.
How about you, McShay?
43) Jourdan Lewis, CB, Michigan - Kiper gave the Eagles a cornerback in Round 1 (Gareon Conley), but they could wait until Day 2 to upgrade their secondary, given the depth of this class at cornerback. Teams will have to investigate Lewis recently being charged with domestic violence. He has natural cover skills, but off-field concerns and sub-optimal size (5-10¼, 188) could cause him to slide.
McShay did the opposite of Kiper by taking a defensive player in the second round after taking an offensive player in the first.
This might be a little high for Lewis based on some pre-draft projections. BGN’s Ben Natan has him ranked as the No. 15 corner on his board.
Jourdan Lewis, Michigan: Despite his size, Jourdan Lewis has been one of the more productive, efficient defenders in college over the last two seasons. He is a fluid athlete with consistent technique who allowed less that 35% of passes to be completed into his coverage over the last two years. Teams will probably be concerned with his size, but he will make a team happy that decides to overlook that.
CBS Sports also projects him as a third round pick, for what it’s worth.
Then again, this line about Lewis from a NFL.com draft profile sticks out: “Ultra-competitive with an overwhelming drive to succeed.” Now that sounds like a Jim Schwartz corner.
The problem is that Lewis projects as a slot corner and the Eagles don’t necessarily need one of those with Ron Brooks and Patrick Robinson in the fold. More help on the outside is still needed.
So, what do you think about these Eagles picks? Who has the better mock for the Eagles?
Who has the better mock draft for the Eagles?
This poll is closed
Mel Kiper (Conley, Samuel)
Todd McShay (McCaffrey, Lewis)