The 2018 NFL Draft is nearly a month 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. 32 overall pick. Let’s take a look at which players the experts have the Eagles taking this week.
SB Nation (Dan Kadar) - Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville
Although Philadelphia added Daryl Worley, he’s not a great slot replacement for the departed Patrick Robinson. Alexander would be. He’s a fluid athlete in coverage, and is more than willing to be aggressive and lay a hit.
NDT Scouting (Jon Ledyard) - Sony Michel, RB, Georgia
Michel is as well-rounded and refined as any back in the class, and Doug Pederson’s offense could really use a back with his talents. Michel has the power to run inside and the explosiveness to gain the edge, as well as the elusiveness to make things happen in the open field as a receiver.
NDT Scouting (Scott Bischoff) - James Daniels, C, Iowa
Daniels is NFL ready and should compete to start quickly for the Eagles. He can play at center or guard, but his long-term home is at the center position. This is a “rich get richer” pick as Daniels is an excellent player and a player that should have a long career.
PhillyVoice (Jimmy Kempski) - Justin Reid, S, Stanford
The Eagles presently have no depth at safety behind the quality starting duo of Jenkins and Rodney McLeod. They could certainly still re-sign Corey Graham, who was a quality addition last offseason, but even if they do, they need a young safety to develop behind Jenkins and McLeod. Next offseason, the Eagles would save a little over $5 million if they choose to move on from McLeod, so they would be wise to have a player ready to take over for him if they decided to go that route. Having two safeties as versatile as Jenkins and Reid would allow the Eagles to get more creative on defense. Finding safeties that can do as much as Jenkins is very hard. In addition to serving as a short-term potential replacement for McLeod, Reid could serve as the long-term replacement for Jenkins, whenever his career winds down. As far as his role in 2018, Reid would give the Eagles more opportunities to use three-safety sets, something they started to do a lot more of in 2017. He would make a lot of sense at pick No. 32.
The Ringer (Danny Kelly) - Derrius Guice, RB, LSU
The Eagles benefitted from a running back committee in 2017, but LeGarrette Blount’s gone, Jay Ajayi’s under contract for just one more year, and Corey Clement may not be a carry-the-load type of feature back. The defending Super Bowl champs could go in any number of directions here, but adding a tackle-breaking creator like Guice to an already talent-packed offense just feels unfair.
Sports Illustrated (Albert Breer) - Isaiah Oliver, CB, Colorado
The Eagles are another team whose balanced roster gives them the chance to pluck the best available guy, and not pass on a corner with Oliver’s potential in this spot.
Newsday (Nick Klopsis) - Mark Andrews, TE, Oklahoma
The Eagles already have Zach Ertz as their top tight end, but after letting Trey Burton leave in free agency, they don’t have much behind him. Mark Andrews can be a mismatch in the Eagles’ offense. The 6-5 1/8, 256-pounder can line up in-line or in the slot, is big enough to be a red-zone target and has the speed and agility to do damage after the catch. He could pair with Ertz to boost the Eagles’ two-TE sets. Previous picks: Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame (1.0); Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma (2.0).
NFL.com (Bucky Brooks) - Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota State
If the Eagles stick to their “BPA” philosophy (best player available), they could take the dynamic tight end to pair with Zach Ertz to create an explosive “12” personnel package.
NFL.com (Charles Davis) - Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa
Just a one-year starter, but what a year it was! Jackson led the FBS with 8 interceptions, displaying excellent instincts and ball skills. He struggled a bit at the NFL Scouting Combine, but he has good size and length to make plays on the ball late in routes.
NFL.com (Chad Reuter) - Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame
The Eagles are looking to improve their offensive line, and McGlinchey will help.
CBS Sports (Pete Prisco) - Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma
They can afford to take a player who can sit for a year or two. Once Brown gets with an NFL strength coach, he will develop into a long-time starter.
CBS Sports (Chris Trapasso) - James Washington, WR, Oklahoma State
What a fun addition for Carson Wentz. Washington is faster on the field than on the track and routinely finds the football in tight coverage.
CBS Sports (R.J. White) - Justin Reid, S, Stanford
With two potential tackle options coming off the board right before their pick, the Eagles pivot to taking Reid, a safety they’ve reportedly had a lot of interest in. Corey Graham is a free agent, so Reid can come in and immediately fill the third safety role for the Philadelphia defense while giving them a long-term plan when Malcolm Jenkins or Rodney McLeod get too old or expensive to keep.
CBS Sports (Ryan Wilson) - Derrius Guice, RB, LSU
With LeGarrette Blount now in Detroit and Darren Sproles not expected to return, Guice, who has drawn comparisons to Marshawn Lynch, would seem like a natural fit. Yes, Jay Ajayi and Super Bowl hero Corey Clement return (along with Wendell Smallwood) but as Blount proved in 2017, you can never have too many talented backs in a game where injuries can derail a season.
CBS Sports (Tom Fornelli) - Isaiah Oliver, CB, Colorado
Oliver would have an excellent chance to step in and be a starter for the Eagles on Day 1.
DraftTek (Broz) - Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan
This week, the Eagles select Michigan DT Maurice Hurst. There will be some that say that drafting a D-Lineman in the first round is a mistake. “We have more pressing needs elsewhere” or “We already have good depth there” will be common complaints. Show me a team that uses the Draft to plug “needs”, and I’ll show you a bad team that’s playing golf in January instead of football. Does anyone care now that Tight End wasn’t a need in 2013 when Zach Ertz was drafted? The Eagles’ D-Line is talented, but age is quietly becoming a factor. The player Maurice Hurst draws the most comparisons to is Aaron Donald, partially due to his size, but also because of his dominant inside pass rush. Despite his weight, Hurst is plenty strong, possesses long arms, and is adept at blowing up running plays on his way to the QB. Like a 280-pound Judo master, Hurst uses angles and leverage to make much larger men look foolish. He often gives them a genuine “What the what?” moment as he sends them hurtling backwards into the QB, or simply races past them to destroy the play in the backfield. With 24 TFL and 10 sacks over the last two years, the idea of the lightning-quick Hurst lining up next to a beast like Fletcher Cox might even be enough to make a curmudgeon like Jim Schwartz smile a little.
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.
NFL Draft Scout (Dane Brugler) - D.J. Moore, WR, Maryland
When you win the Super Bowl, you can draft luxury players in the first round. And that is what Moore would be in Philadelphia, providing a dynamic inside-outside threat.
DraftWire (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.
Sporting News (Eric Galko) - Kolton Miller, OT, UCLA
With Jason Peters needing a replacement for the long term (though they do like Halapoulivaati Vaitai), the Eagles would be wise to snag a swing tackle like Miller who can offer depth. He then could start at left or right tackle, depending on Lane Johnson’s preference, if/when Peters moves on.
S Justin Reid - 2
RB Derrius Guice - 2
CB Isaiah Oliver - 2
CB Jaire Alexander - 1
CB Josh Jackson - 1
RB Sony Michel - 1
TE Mark Andrews - 1
TE Dallas Goedert - 1
OT Mike McGlinchey - 1
OT Orlando Brown - 1
OT Connor Williams - 1
OT Kolton Miller - 1
WR James Washington - 1
WR D.J. Moore - 1
DT Maurice Hurst - 1
S Ronnie Harrison - 1
C James Daniels - 1
OT - 4
CB - 4
S - 3
RB - 3
TE - 2
WR - 2
DT - 1
C - 1
Offense - 12
Defense - 8
- There are 17 different players listed here.
- People are still mocking cornerbacks to the Eagles for some reason. A nickel corner who can also return kicks/punts isn’t out of the question, but stop mocking outside corners to them, people.
- Just a (logical) guess on my part but I think the Eagles are going to draft Justin Reid if he’s there at No. 32. He can contribute as a role player until eventually taking over for Malcolm Jenkins or Rodney McLeod.
- I don’t think I see a tight end being drafted at No. 32. I think they’ll take one at some point, perhaps even if they traded down to the second round.