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NFL Mock Draft Roundup 2018: How free agency changed the Eagles’ outlook

Who will the Birds pick in April?

NFL: Combine Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The 2018 NFL Draft is fast approaching. Now that the first wave of free agency is over, 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. 32 overall pick. Let’s take a look at which players the experts have the Eagles taking this week.

SB Nation (Dan Kadar) - Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma

Maybe the people are right. Nothing elicited more feedback than slotting Brown in the teens in last week’s mock draft. But as bad of a combine as Brown had, he still has plenty of good tape as a blind side protector. While he may drop out of the first round completely, tackles can get overdrafted.

NFL.com (Bucky Brooks) - Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville

The Eagles’ secondary could use an energetic defensive playmaker capable of covering outside or in the slot. Alexander is a firecracker with toughness, ball skills and outstanding instincts.

NFL.com (Lance Zierlein) - Ronald Jones, RB, USC

The Eagles would love to add a slasher with big-play talent at running back, and that is exactly what Jones would provide.

CBS Sports (Will Brinson) - Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota State

Losing Trey Burton in free agency means the Eagles would like to get some more depth at the position.

CBS Sports (Jared Dubin) - Isaiah Oliver, CB, Colorado

The Eagles built on the strength of their front seven by trading for Michael Bennett, but they lost corner Patrick Robinson to New Orleans. Oliver slides in and replaces his role in the defense.

CBS Sports (Pete Prisco) - Isaiah Oliver, CB, Colorado

They have solid corners, but Patrick Robinson is likely leaving via free agency. Oliver would join Sidney Jones, who missed last season, as two new corners.

CBS Sports (Chris Trapasso) - James Washington, WR, Oklahoma State

Not an offensive tackle? Ehhh let’s change it up. Washington is an immediate replacement and younger upgrade from the soon-to-be officially traded Torrey Smith.

NFL Draft Scout (Rob Rang) - Ronnie Harrison, S, Alabama

The Super Bowl champs boast one of the more complete rosters in the NFL but could use an intimidator in the back end. Harrison remains better against the run than the pass at this point, but he could be afforded a “redshirt” year with veterans Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod already in place in Philadelphia.

The Draft Wire (Luke Easterling) - Connor Williams, OT, Texas

Protecting Carson Wentz should be the top priority for the Super Bowl champs moving forward, especially with veteran Jason Peters coming off a season-ending injury and playing in the twilight of his career. Williams would be a perfect fit to learn behind Peters for a year or so before taking over as the starting left tackle.

NBC Sports Philadelphia (Paul Hudrick) - Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU

The first thing to notice about Sutton is his size, but I see more potential in his game. His 4.54 40 was strong, but more impressively, he finished in the top four in the three-cone drill, and 20- and 60-yard shuttle. That shows he has more quickness and explosiveness to his game. The idea of pairing Sutton on the outside with Alshon Jeffery gives Carson Wentz two big outside targets for years to come. The Torrey Smith trade also leaves the Eagles a little light at wideout. Despite recording 195 receptions with 3,220 yards and 31 TDs during his career, there’s still a rawness to his game. At 32 and coming off a championship, this is the type of player you take: a good prospect that could develop into something bigger.


SUMMARY

CB Isaiah Oliver - 2
CB Jaire Alexander - 1
OT Connor Williams - 1
OT Orlando Brown - 1
WR Courtland Sutton - 1
WR James Washington - 1
RB Ronald Jones - 1
TE Dallas Goedert - 1
S Ronnie Harrison - 1

CB - 3
OT - 2
WR - 2
RB - 1
TE - 1
S - 1

Offense - 6
Defense - 4

THOUGHTS

  • No one has a clue as to what the Eagles are going to do at No. 32.
  • How is cornerback ending up as the Eagles’ most popular pick? Pay more attention, people. The Eagles lost Patrick Robinson, yes, but they still have a ton of young corners. Plus Philly isn’t drafting a slot corner in the first round unless they can also play safety.
  • Tight end is obviously a big need with Trey Burton and Brent Celek gone. Do the Eagles draft one at No. 32? Not impossible.
  • I don’t think Connor Williams falls to No. 32 but he’d be an ideal pick for Philly if he does make it there.