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2018 NFL Mock Draft: Mel Kiper projects Eagles to take first round tight end

Do you like this pick for the Eagles?

NCAA Football: Senior Bowl-South Practice Glenn Andrews-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN insider Mel Kiper is back with a new 2018 NFL mock draft. He’s on Version 3.0 now after releasing Version 1.0 in mid-January and Version 2.0 in late February. Here’s Version 3.0, via In$ider:

Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota State

My best comp for Goedert after watching him closely in 2017? Eagles tight end Zach Ertz. So this pick would mean the Eagles get a ready-made replacement for Trey Burton (and Brent Celek). Philadelphia showed last season that there are plenty of snaps available for multiple tight ends. Goedert is an adequate blocker who will be a threat as a pass-catcher. This is a great situation for him.

In theory, having Ertz and Goedert on the field together sounds great. Defenses already struggle to cover Ertz. Imagine adding another player like him to the Eagles’ offense.

If I’m being honest, though, I don’t think I see the Eagles going tight end at No. 32. I do see them selecting one at least one this year. Doug Pederson even acknowledged the talent in this year’s class. But I don’t think it’s coincidental that the Eagles are doing a lot of homework on Day 2 and Day 3 tight ends. I think that’s where they get their guy(s) instead.

Last season, Ertz played 68.8% of the Eagles’ offensive snaps. Brent Celek only played 40.8%. Trey Burton was at 26.5%. Keep in mind the playing time for Celek and Burton was boosted by the fact Ertz missed two games due to injury. Ertz also sat out for a good portion of the Eagles’ meaningless Week 17 game against the Cowboys.

Does it make sense to take a tight end at No. 32 given the playing time available to Goedert? The Eagles could always go heavier on multiple tight ends sets, sure, but by how much? And which wide receiver are you taking off the field to make room for the rookie? Alshon Jeffery is obviously the No. 1 wideout. Mike Wallace figures to serve an important role as a deep threat while Nelson Agholor is a dangerous weapon in the slot.

Another big red flag is that Goedert’s first name is Dallas. I mean, come on. He basically shouldn’t be on the Eagles’ board. Because Dallas sucks.

Some notable players Kiper has the Eagles passing on include: Maurice Hurst, Derrius Guice, Connor Williams, Mike McGlinchey, Ronald Jones, Courtland Sutton, and Donte Jackson. Some of these options seem better than Goedert at No. 32. The Eagles are stacked on the defensive line but they should be running to the podium for an interior pass rusher like Hurst, for example.

Here’s a scouting report on Goedert from NFL.com:

Draft Projection: Rounds 1-2

NFL Comparison: Zach Ertz

Bottom Line: Goedert is a very talented pass catching tight end with the ability to work all three levels of the field. His ball focus and ability to make the spectacular catch will make him the darling of fans and media throughout the draft process, but, he still has work to do. Goedert dominated a lower level of competition and will have to prove he can uncover and block against bigger, more explosive athletes as a pro. The size, speed and talent is there for him to succeed as a very good combo tight end if he works and plays with a little more urgency.

Spider graph via Mockdraftable:

Highlights video:

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