The 2017 NFL Draft is less than three weeks away. Mock draft season is in full gear and there's no shortage of opinion as to whom the Philadelphia Eagles might select with the No. 14 overall pick. Let's take a look at which players the experts are projecting to the Eagles this week.
FanSpeak (Custom) - Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State
I really doubt Lattimore will be available when the Eagles pick at No. 14. He’s pretty good and he’s been going on official pre-draft visits with top five teams. If he’s here, this seems like an easy pick for the Eagles. I’d hope Philadelphia tries to trade up a spot or two or three if he’s on the board that long though.
SB Nation’s NFL Writers Mock Draft (BLG) - Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama
“Put simply, Foster is a beast. The prospect of adding him to a linebacking corps that already features a young, explosive playmaker in Jordan Hicks and a good starter in Nigel Bradham is very exciting. Foster could fit in as a 4-3 WILL, which is perfect for the Eagles with Mychal Kendricks likely to be traded this offseason. He’d give the Eagles defense another intimidator. Though “need” wasn’t the deciding factor behind this pick, it just so happens that Foster’s addition gives the Eagles some much-needed insurance. Hicks, though very talented, has an extensive injury history. Philadelphia needs a backup at middle linebacker if he goes down. It’s also worth noting that Bradham is a free agent after the 2017 season. The veteran linebacker is potentially facing a suspension after some off-field incidents last year. So, linebacker might actually turn out to be a need for the Eagles after all.”
SB Nation (Dan Kadar) - Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
“Don’t be surprised if on draft night McCaffrey is the second running back picked. He offers many of the same things Dalvin Cook does, and he doesn’t have the background questions as the Florida State star. The Eagles need a playmaker this draft, and McCaffrey can do it from the running back spot while also working as wide out and return specialist.”
ESPN In$ider (Mel Kiper) - Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State
“Conley, another riser after the combine, is the veteran of the three Buckeyes defensive backs I have going in the top 14 picks. Philadelphia let Nolan Carroll II walk in free agency after he started 16 games last season, and the Eagles brought in former first-round pick Patrick Robinson on a one-year deal to compete at corner. Coordinator Jim Schwartz's defense is thin on the boundaries.”
ESPN In$ider (Todd McShay) - 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.”
PhillyVoice (Jimmy Kempski) - Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State
If there's a player I can see Eagles targeting in a trade-up scenario this year, it would be Ohio State CB Marshon Lattimore. Lattimore is only a redshirt sophomore who has participated in under 20 games in his career at OSU, partly due to hamstring issues. 2016 was Lattimore's only season as a starter, when he had 41 tackles, four interceptions, and nine pass breakups. Lattimore is a phenomenal athlete, doing a great job of staying in phase with opposing receivers out of tight press coverage.
NFL.com (Daniel Jeremiah) - Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama
“Foster is a tone-setter and would excel in the Eagles' defensive scheme.”
NFL.com (Chad Reuter) - Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State
“Philly desperately needs help in the secondary.”
NFL.com (Charley Casserly) - Tre’Davious White, CB, LSU
“Cornerback was a major problem for the Eagles last season.”
NFL.com (Lance Zierlein) - Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State
“The Eagles need a cornerback, and Conley has good size and the ability to press and cover all over the field. His strong combine performance helped his stock.”
Rotoworld (Josh Norris) - Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State
“Conley is a name drawing more buzz as the process goes along, and I would be surprised if he is not the second corner off the board. He has a bit of experience in the slot but is also physical when playing on the outside.”
CBS Sports (Rob Rang) - Jabrill Peppers, S, Michigan
“Given the dynamic pass-catchers the Eagles face annually in the NFC East, addressing a leaky secondary should be among Philadelphia's top priorities. Peppers is a polarizing prospect in the scouting community based in large part because he recorded just one interception over his career at Michigan. However, he is an instinctive, versatile player with the open-field tackling skills and competitive nature to quickly become a fan favorite.”
CBS Sports (Dane Brugler) - Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
“The Eagles have surrounded second-year quarterback Carson Wentz with weapons on offense, but adding a versatile threat like McCaffrey is something that should frighten the rest of the NFC East."
CBS Sports (Pete Prisco) - Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State
“Their corner situation isn’t good right now. They have to get a starter in this draft.”
CBS Sports (Will Brinson) - Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
“Some team is going to take McCaffrey and turn him into a monster, and I think the offense Doug Pederson runs fits the profile. Carson Wentz would be a huge offseason winner if the Eagles did this.”
CBS Sports (Jared Dubin) - Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
“The Eagles spent a bunch of their free-agent money making their offense more Carson Wentz friendly. Adding a versatile weapon like McCaffrey in the draft amounts to doubling down on that effort. There are few things more important than putting your franchise quarterback in position to succeed.”
CBS Sports (Ryan Wilson) - Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State
“Played in the same secondary with Marshon Lattimore and Malik Hooper and started every game the last two seasons, replacing another first-rounder, Eli Apple, who was drafted by the Giants in 2015. At 6-0, 195 pounds, Conley has been compared to Aqib Talib, which would make him a valuable asset for the Eagles in the rough-and-tumble NFC East.”
CSN Philly (Ray Didinger) - Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State
“His stock has risen with an excellent showing at the combine, which included a 4.44 in the 40. Solid package of size, speed and smarts. Good in press coverage, fluid in turn and transition. Lone weakness is tackling, where he needs to be more consistent. Day 1 starter. What about Dalvin Cook? I still think Cook is the best running back in this class. As a combination runner and receiver, he is a better version of Warrick Dunn, another Florida State back who had a very good career. A month ago, I wrote a piece suggesting the Eagles use the 14th pick on Cook and draft secondary help later. That was all based on film study and my evaluation of him as a player. Since then, I've done more research on Cook's off the field troubles and I've changed my mind. There are just too many red flags for me.”
Pro Football Focus (Steve Palazzolo) - Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford
“The nation’s top defensive player against the run in 2016, Thomas can play early-down defensive end before kicking inside to rush the passer. He has a great feel for reading and shedding blocks in the run game and he’s continued to progress as a pass-rusher where he ranked seventh in the nation in 2016 among interior defensive linemen."
Draft Breakdown (Nicholas McGee) - Ahkello Witherspoon, CB, Colorado
“Length, athleticism and a completion percentage of just 26.5 against him in 2016. Jim Schwartz will love having Witherspoon on his defense.”
Drafttek (Brozer) - Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
“The word in Philly is that the Eagles' top priority in the RD1 is nabbing an elite pass rusher, presumably either Solomon Thomas or Derek Barnett. Plan B would be to grab an elite player at ANY position. It's telling that a good chunk of the team's 30 official pre-Draft visits are players everyone knows will be gone by 14. The thought here is that the Eagles have a sweet spot in mind that they'd like to trade up to, perhaps right around the 10th spot, to ensure themselves a blue-chip prospect. Because trades aren't allowed here, the selection this week is WR Mike Williams...one of the few elite prospects still available. The Eagles have a legit #1 WR in Ashlon Jeffery signed for one year, with the ability to keep him longer if they're interested. Drafting Williams, Corey Davis, or John Ross would give Wentz a receiver he could grow with for years, and also afford the rookie time to develop behind Jeffery (which I think they'll need). Williams was a consistent scoring threat in 2016, grabbing at least one TD in 9 of his last 12 games. He also was a human highlight reel.”
FOX Sports (Dieter Kurtenbach) - Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee
“The Eagles signed Chris Long, but they can't stop there — defensive lines win games and there are plenty of cornerbacks (the Eagles' No. 1 need) in this draft.”
Newsday (Nick Klopsis) - Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama
“The Eagles upgraded at wide receiver by signing Alshon Jeffrey and Torrey Smith. Now they need to bolster the secondary - the unit gave up 12.1 yards per completion last year, and that was before the team cut Leodis McKelvin and let Nolan Carroll sign with the Cowboys in free agency. Marlon Humphrey is a dual-sport athlete who anchored Alabama's 4x400-meter relay team as a freshman and won the 110 meter hurdles (13.67) and the 400 meter hurdles (50.75) at the 2013 World Youth Track & Field Championships as a high school junior. He has good size at 6-0 1/4, 197 pounds and the physicality to match up with bigger receivers on the outside. He could stand to improve his technique, but the physical traits are there for him to become an impact NFL cornerback."
Draft Countdown - Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama
“An argument can be made that Philly doesn’t have a single legitimate, starting-caliber cornerback on their roster but they may have an opportunity to change that with this selection. Washington’s Sidney Jones is out of the first round equation due to an injury suffered during his Pro Day workout, so the top tier of corners in this class now consists of Marshon Lattimore and Gareon Conley of Ohio St. and Marlon Humphrey of Alabama. At least one member of that group should still be available at this point. Humphrey, the son or former Denver Broncos running back Bobby, brings an outstanding blend of size, speed and athleticism to the table. Humphrey is also extremely aggressive, tackles well and seems to embrace the physical aspects of the game. The big knock on Humphrey are his ball skills and awareness, although even with that being an issue he still managed 5 interceptions and 13 pass breakups in his two seasons as a starter. If the Eagles want to add another playmaker for their offense either Dalvin Cook of Florida St. or Christian McCaffrey of Stanford would make sense.”
NJ.com (Eliot Shorr-Parks) - Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama
“This came down to either Humphrey or Washington cornerback Kevin King, and it was very close. King is more versatile, but I have more confidence in Humphrey as a cover cornerback, as well as his ability to play man coverage right away.”
Walter Football - Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee
“There's been some chatter that the Eagles could select a defensive lineman with the No. 14 overall pick, and it makes sense because Connor Barwin left via free agency. They'll need to find someone who can start across from Brandon Graham. Chris Long was signed, but that was just a short-term depth addition. Derek Barnett has been highly productive at Tennessee, but lacks length and explosion. However, there were similar concerns about Graham entering the NFL, and we've all seen how that turned out.”
Sporting News (Eric Galko) - Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama
“After adding two receivers in free agency, the Eagles now assuredly won’t draft a receiver in round one. Cornerback remains their biggest need and they’ll have plenty of options. Humphrey is a top-three cornerback in this class."
CB Gareon Conley - 7
RB Christian McCaffrey - 5
CB Marlon Humphrey - 4
CB Marshon Lattimore - 2
DE Derek Barnett - 2
LB Reuben Foster - 2
DE Solomon Thomas - 1
CB Tre’Davious White - 1
CB Ahkello Witherspoon - 1
WR Mike Williams - 1
S Jabrill Peppers - 1
CB - 15
RB - 5
DE - 3
LB - 2
WR - 1
S - 1
Offense - 6
Defense - 21
- Conley and McCaffrey are the two clear favorites right now with Humphrey trailing right behind them. I don’t think the Eagles will draft any of those players at No. 14. I’m not so sure Conley is a Jim Schwartz cornerback. I’m pretty sure Humphrey is a Schwartz corner, but I don’t know if he’s the best player available at No. 14. And I just don’t think the Eagles will go running back in the first round, though I wouldn’t hate it. Of those three players, I’d say Humphrey could be the most realistic pick. He’s athletic and only 20 years old.
- Defensive lineman is definitely the position to watch still. We’ve heard rumors that’s the direction the Eagles are leaning. The only problem is I’m not sure if the right player will be available. Thomas and Barnett could go well before No. 14.
- If Lattimore falls within trade up range, that’s a move the Eagles definitely need to consider. Although it might be a little concerning if Lattimore falls that far.
- I’m pretty sure the Eagles will not draft Peppers in the first round.
- I’m kind of surprised more people don’t have the Eagles going with wide receivers. I know corner is the more obvious need, but still, only one mock has them going with a pass catcher?
- What do you think of these picks?