But the grind never stops.
There are only 72 days until the 2018 NFL Draft begins on Thursday, April 28. And so we’re going to kill some time with our weekly Mock Draft Monday series from now until then.
Here’s who Dan Kadar has the Eagles picking in his weekly mock draft for SB Nation.
32. Philadelphia Eagles: Mark Andrews, TE, Oklahoma — Trey Burton is a free agent and Brent Celek could be a cap casualty, so tight end could emerge as a need for the Eagles this offseason. If both are gone, a player like Andrews would be a nice addition. While he doesn’t blow a lot of people away as an athlete, he has excellent hands and is fast enough to get up the seam.
Mock drafts are often based on need, and there’s no question tight end is one of the Eagles’ biggest offseason needs. It’s very possible that Zach Ertz is the only player from Philadelphia’s 53-man roster to return in 2018. The only other tight ends on the 90-man roster are unproven fringe guys: Billy Brown, Joshua Perkins, and Adam Zaruba.
So would Andrews make sense for the Eagles? The 6-5, 254 pound tight end sure was productive in college. He finished his three-year playing career with 112 receptions for 1,765 yards (15.8 average) and 22 touchdowns.
The combination of Ertz and Andrews could make life tough on opposing defenses. But I’m not sure this is the direction the Eagles go at No. 32. Not the most efficient use of resources with respect to playing time. And the Birds would still need to add another tight end who fits the Celek mold — someone who can regularly block.
I don’t doubt the Eagles have interest in adding a tight end (or two) through this year’s draft. I don’t think this will be their first-round pick, though.
Scouting report on Andrews via Lance Zierlein of NFL.com:
Draft Projection: Rounds 3-4
Sources Tell Us: “He’s a great big slot receiver. That’s it. He won’t block at all so what do you have other than a big slot who is an average athlete? I gave him a Day 3 grade.” -- AFC regional scout
NFL Comparison: Coby Fleener
Bottom Line: Andrews is a former wideout who plays with a receiver’s mentality in a tight end’s body. He is a pass-catcher with a deft feel for route adjustments and operating in space against zone coverage. Andrews is a big, reliable target who doesn’t need a spacious catch window to haul it in. Despite his size, he lacks the desire and fundamentals as a blocker which will hurt his standing with some teams. He should be able to find early catches and production as a solid pass-catching tight end in the league.
If one mock draft isn’t enough for you, here’s another one from Rotoworld’s Josh Norris. Norris was pretty plugged in to what the Eagles were doing in the 2017 NFL Draft last year, so keep that in mind.
RB Derrius Guice, LSU - It is difficult to find a real need on the Eagles. Linebacker is one spot, due to potential free agents and injuries in 2018. But with LeGarrette Blount a free agent, Jay Ajayi nearing the end of his rookie deal and a tight cap, why not add a great running back talent like Guice?
Running back is an interesting spot for the Eagles. There are a lot of question marks. Do the Eagles try to bring LeGarrette Blount back? Does Jay Ajayi, who is entering the final year of his contract, have a long-term future here if his knees are going to be an issue? Is Corey Clement ready for a bigger role? Is 2017 fourth-round pick Donnel Pumphrey a factor at all? How about Wendell Smallwood? Do the Eagles re-sign a 35-year-old Darren Sproles who is coming off an ACL injury?
With so much uncertainty at this spot, it might not be a bad idea to add a potential long-term solution like Guice.
In three years at LSU, Guice logged 471 rushing attempts for 3,074 yards (6.5 average) and 29 touchdowns. He also had 32 receptions for 250 receiving yards and three scores.
Adding yet another weapon to the Eagles’ offense is tempting. Given how they like to rotate their backs, however, it might not be the most realistic option at No. 32.
Scouting report on Guice via Lance Zierlein of NFL.com:
Draft Projection: Rounds 1-2
Sources Tell Us: “Don’t waste your time on 2017 film because he wasn’t even back up to his top speed until the bowl game. He will be the same player he was in 2016. If you had a grade on him after last year, you should use that.” -- LSU assistant coach
NFL Comparison: Marshawn Lynch
Bottom Line: Evaluating Guice requires settling in for two full seasons of tape study as he was only healthy a fraction of the 2017 season. While Guice has some elusiveness and long speed, much of his success comes from his furious running style and ability to create yardage after contact. Guice’s yards per touch was two yards higher over his first two seasons compared to last year. Like Leonard Fournette the year before, teams may be willing to lock in on his sophomore tape to create their evaluations and grades. Guice’s running style could lead to a shorter career, but he has a chance to make a big splash early.
So what do you think of these picks?