Mock drafts just haven’t been as fun this offseason as they usually are since the Eagles don’t have a single Day 2 pick. A lot of these mocks, like the one we shared earlier today, only go two or three rounds deep.
But not the fine folks over at Rotoworld. Evan Silva and the great Josh Norris teamed up to give a look at the Eagles’ biggest needs and a seven-round mock draft that features six picks for the Eagles.
We’ll start with the needs. Silva has them listed, in order, as: 1) running back, 2) tight end, and 3) slot cornerback. The BGN community doesn’t exactly see eye-to-eye with Silva. From a recent poll on the Eagles’ biggest draft need:
The truth is the Eagles don’t have a pressing need for any starting jobs, unless you’re considering the nickel corner a starter, which is absolutely fair. Still, most of their needs require depth or role players.
In terms of immediacy, I’d probably rank the Eagles’ top three needs as: slot corner, tight end, safety. The nickel spot is undetermined, the depth behind Zach Ertz is uninspiring, and there is currently no proven option behind Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod at safety.
But enough about that. Now for the interesting part: the mock. Norris was all over the Eagles’ draft intentions last year. He had them connected to Derek Barnett, Shelton Gibson, and others. So I’d paid attention to these picks.
Round 1 (32): CB Donte Jackson, LSU - Slot corner is the most immediate need for the Eagles. I could totally see them add a running back or playmaking receiver, but both are luxury choices. The Eagles have a ton of depth at outside corner, yet nothing on the inside. Jackson is super-fast and has two years of starting experience.
Based on comments from Eagles fans, I know everyone doesn’t agree that slot corner is the biggest need. Some people think Jalen Mills could be the answer there. And maybe he can. But if the Eagles were so sold on him in that spot, why did they try to re-sign Patrick Robinson? Why have they been showing so much interest in defensive back prospects who can play nickel corner? Unless it’s a massive #smokescreen, which it’s not, it’s clear the team views it as a need.
Jackson is one of the slot corner types the Eagles have shown interest in. They brought him to Philadelphia for a pre-draft visit. He’s not very big or long but he is very fast and explosive. Spider graph below via Mockdraftable:
No picks :(
No picks :(
Round 4 (130): TE Chris Herndon, Miami - Back in March I reported Herndon would visit the Eagles. After losing Trey Burton, the fit makes so much sense for the Eagles. Herndon is a move tight end. Sure, he can line up inline, but he’s best when used in motion, as an H-back or in the slot. This tight end class is not even close to the talent of last year’s group.
Herndon makes a lot of sense for the Eagles. He has the potential to develop into a nice backup for Zach Ertz. Herndon can start off his career as the No. 3 tight end who mainly contributes on special teams and serves as a role player on offense. Or maybe he can even beat out Richard Rodgers, though it usually takes tight ends time to develop in the NFL.
Round 4 (132): WR Daurice Fountain, Northern Iowa - A non-Combine invite. The Eagles have shown interest in Fountain during the process and he presents top end athleticism and would offer downfield playmaking skills.
Fountain is another player who had a pre-draft visit with the Eagles. He could have a Marcus Johnson-type role as a rookie while he competes for a starting job in the future. Or he could be the replacement to Mack Hollins if Hollins steps up instead.
Round 5 (169): RB Ryan Nall, Oregon State - Evaluations for Nall fall on the third day. He tested like an above average athlete, and some teams view him as a running back, some a fullback and some an H-back. In this spot, he would fill the power/balance role for the Eagles with LeGarrette Blount departed and Jay Ajayi in his final year.
Measuring in at 6-2, 232 pounds, Nall is a pretty big back. The 22-year-old prospect was a fairly productive player as well. He finished his three years at Oregon State with 385 attempts for 2,216 yards (5.8 average) and 24 touchdowns. He also pitched in with 56 receptions for 563 yards and four scores.
The Eagles seem to value having a “power back” on the roster, especially since Doug Pederson utilizes such a diverse run game. They inherited Ryan Mathews in 2016 before signing Blount for 2017. Maybe they look to add another guy with size through the draft. As Tommy Lawlor recently pointed out, that’s what their draft interest indicates, whether it’s Nall or not.
Round 6 (206): LB Jermaine Carter, Maryland - A run and chase linebacker. When a lane is open, he really flies to attack ball carriers in the backfield.
Another player the Eagles hosted on a pre-draft visit. Carter could contribute on special teams and provide competition at backup middle linebacker.
Round 7 (250): TE Nate Wozniak, Minnesota - The Eagles must replace two tight ends. Wozniak is a blocking specialist.
I immediately wanted to make an Apple joke upon reading this dude’s name but unfortunately I’m not clever enough to do that. It would be funny if the Eagles could get another player with the last name “Jobs.”
Anyway, yeah, I’m totally fine with the Eagles adding a blocking tight end late in the seventh round. Wozniak has good size for the job at 6-9, 268 pounds.
How would you grade this mock draft for the Eagles?
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