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ESPN NFL Mock Draft 2018: Mel Kiper Grade A Edition

Do you like this pick for the Eagles?

NCAA Football: Auburn at Louisiana State Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Another day, another mock draft. Yesterday we looked at Todd McShay’s “Grade A” mock for the Philadelphia Eagles. Now Mel Kiper has a mock of his own where he’s projecting what NFL teams SHOULD do, not necessarily what they WILL do.

Here’s who Kiper thinks the Eagles should pick at No. 32 in the 2018 NFL Draft, via ESPN Insider.

Round 1 (32): Derrius Guice, RB, LSU

Philadelphia’s second-round pick goes to the Browns from the Carson Wentz trade (I think GM Howie Roseman & Co. are just fine with that), while its third-round pick is in the Bills’ hands as a result of the Ronald Darby-Jordan Matthews swap from last year.

Hear me out on a running back with the last pick in the first round: A knee injury caused Jay Ajayi to drop in the 2015 draft, and while he impressed after the midseason trade from Miami, I don’t think we can automatically slot him in as the Eagles’ top back for the next five years. Corey Clement, Wendell Smallwood and Donnel Pumphrey are also on the roster, but none are as talented as Guice, who I think can be a much better pass-catcher than the LSU offense allowed him to be. Guice would add to an already-loaded offense.

Evidence suggests Guice is a realistic possibility for the Eagles, assuming he makes it to No. 32. Philadelphia hosted the LSU running back on a pre-draft visit. Eagles assistant head coach/running backs coach Duce Staley is reportedly “a big supporter of Guice.”

In addition, NDT Scouting’s Jon Ledyard told BGN Radio that Howie Roseman has a first-round grade on Guice. Ledyard also said Roseman doesn’t expect Guice to be available at the Eagles’ pick.

And for those who think the Eagles won’t draft a running back in the first round due to positional value, consider Philadelphia tried to trade up ahead of the Vikings for Dalvin Cook early in the second round last year. Cook was ultimately taken at No. 41, so the Eagles were trying to get to No. 40 at least. That’s only eight picks away from where the Birds will be selecting in 2018.

Guice would be a fun addition for the Eagles. He has the potential to be the first real “lead back” Philadelphia has employed since LeSean McCoy. Due to the presence of Ajayi and Clement, there wouldn’t be pressure on him to take over right away. He could be part of a rotation for a season before being more prominently featured in Year 2 and beyond.

Read more about Guice via Michael Kist’s detailed scouting report on him.

In order to pick Guice at No. 32, Kiper had the Eagles passing on the following players of note: Maurice Hurst (33), Ronald Jones (36), Connor Williams (37), Donte Jackson (40), Courtland Sutton (47), and Ronnie Harrison (54). Harrison was McShay’s pick for the Eagles yesterday.

So, Guice to the Eagles at No. 32. What say you?


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