Heading into the 2018 NFL Draft, the Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles are blessed with a stacked roster boasting no positions of dire, immediate need. The uber-aggressive executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman has created a hyper-fluid situation, thus projecting the Eagles potential draft targets is no easy task.
Considering the current landscape, I have selected my top prospects for the Eagles from my Top 50 Big Board. Some positions, like wide receiver, would be luxury picks, but that’s what happens when you have a Super Bowl winning roster.
17. DJ Moore, WR – Maryland
Moore helped his stocked by measuring in at 6’ at the NFL Combine, assuaging concerns about his ability to play on the outside after many considered him strictly slot. Dynamic after the catch, he is best utilized as a chess piece that you can move around and feed the ball to with manufactured touches.
18. Ronald Jones, RB – USC
Oft compared to RB Jamal Charles, Jones has home run hitting burst and long speed. Best suited for a zone scheme that will utilize his quick feet and vision, Jones will be terrorizing defenses on outside zone for years to come.
USC RB Ronald Jones II shifts gears like a Miata & possesses surprising balance through contact. Tier 1 RB. pic.twitter.com/FI7GVAlfnb— Michael Kist (@MichaelKistNFL) February 10, 2018
19. Courtland Sutton, WR – SMU
The top X receiver on my board, Sutton measures in at 6’3 3’8” 218 pounds and dropped jaws at the NFL Combine with a 6.57 3-Cone (95th percentile). Extremely fluid for a big man, Sutton’s film shows a developing route runner that is more than just a red zone and 50/50 threat. Bet on his continued progression.
20. Rashaan Evans, LB – Alabama
Evans brings quick mental processing with pop both as a tackler and when he’s taking on blocks. His man coverage skills are cloudy as he mainly carried routes in zone, but he brings upside as a blitzer both inside and on the edge. Plug and play starter that will be the captain of your defense.
22. Dallas Goedert, TE – South Dakota State
In a league that overwhelmingly showed its desire to utilize move tight ends in larger roles during the 2017 NFL Draft, Goedert fits the mold of the modern day tight end. Not often do you find 256 pound tight ends fed touches on screens at the rate that Goedert was for the Jackrabbits. Goedert is the most complete player at his position.
26. Connor Williams, OT – Texas
If teams drop Williams based on his 2017 tape (injured) or his 33” inch arms, it would be a mistake. The top OT in the class, Williams 2016 tape showed the lateral quickness needed to get to his landmarks in pass pro despite his shorter arms. He’s the best technician of the tackle group and boasts a dogged work ethic.
Texas LT Connor Williams in his first game back from injury. Always be teabagging. It's non-negotiable. pic.twitter.com/GTQXrQBNLk— Michael Kist (@MichaelKistNFL) February 20, 2018
27. Sony Michel, RB – Georgia
Underappreciated as a tackle-to-tackle runner, Michel has all the qualities you’re looking for in a breakout candidate as a rookie. With the decisiveness and burst to run through smoke and cornering ability to capture the edge, there isn’t much Michel doesn’t do well. Pair this with an underused but clear skillset as a receiving threat and you could do worse by adding Michel to your stable of backs.
Some late night Sony Michel viewing... pic.twitter.com/3VnHPsFMLa— Michael Kist (@MichaelKistNFL) July 16, 2017
28. Mike Gesicki, TE – Penn State
Improving his stock in every phase of the process, Gesicki opened eyes at the Senior Bowl with his ability to separate with nuance at the top of his routes. He tested like a freak at the NFL Combine, leveraging his basketball/volleyball hops to create an elite athletic profile. Having shown to be more than just a red zone and contested catch maven, Gesicki’s stock is soaring.
32. Justin Reid, S – Stanford
Versatile and incredibly bright, Reid has the football intelligence to see it pre-snap and make game-changing plays. His 4.4 speed and hip fluidity (6.65 3-Cone) matches the tape and confirms Reid as a deep-third/box safety with the chops to roll down and mirror slot receivers.
37. Fred Warner, LB – BYU
There are concerns with Warner’s ability to hold up as a strong-side linebacker, but make no mistake, he’s a weapon as a cover man. He’ll have to train his eyes to play a more traditional role as BYU used him as an apex and slot defender along with his other linebacking responsibilities. Warner will see the field early in his career as a passing down specialist and has the skillset to develop into a full-time starter by year two/three.
BYU LB Fred Warner making big plays in big situations... pic.twitter.com/P6ywMmoYzC— Michael Kist (@MichaelKistNFL) July 19, 2017
46. Leighton Vander Esch, LB – Boise State
Drawing comparisons to Brian Urlacher (calm down), Vander Esch checked box after box with his testing. With prototype size (6’4 ¼” 256lbs) and ideal length (33 7/8” arms), he would be talked about much more if not for the top heavy off ball linebacker class. Concerns about his processing limiting his play speed are valid, but Vander Esch showed the signs of a player on the rise in the second half of the season.
50. Tyrell Crosby, OT – Oregon
I like my linemen to be soul crushing finishers and the first thing that stands out on film with Crosby is that mauling mentality. Development will be needed in terms of run blocking and dealing with speed on the edge, but there’s nothing to suggest he can’t be a capable, out-the-box starting tackle.