The 2018 NFL Draft is exactly two weeks away and the time can’t pass quick enough. Thankfully, to help you pass the time, Michael Kist and Benjamin Solak have you covered. They’ve both put together 7-round mock drafts for the Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles and now ask you to tear them to shreds and vote on who came away with the best haul.
The rules are simple. Both fighters used the Inside the Pylon big board on Fanspeak’s mock draft simulator and disabled trades. After that, anything goes. For extra context, the newest episode of BGN Radio’s The Kist & Solak Show discussed all of the picks and logic in further detail. Prepare to be mad online.
PICK YOUR FIGHTER: BENJAMIN SOLAK
ROUND 1 – PICK 32: DALLAS GOEDERT, TE – SOUTH DAKOTA STATE
Opening things up with Goedert was a no-brainer--even with Zach Ertz on the roster. It’s deeper than that.
Firstly, Philadelphia’s in a spot to go BPA at 32--and of course, every team wants to go BPA, but given Philadelphia’s strong starting roster, the entire Draft is a depth-building mission, and especially at 32, they’ll look to add a top-tier talent that’s fallen. Goedert is an excellent example of value that tumbles, given his hamstring injury at the Senior Bowl that kept him out of the spotlight in the pre-Draft process. His testing at his Pro Day, however, was everything you could want: 35” vertical, 10’1 broad, 6.87 3-cone (!!), and 4.06 short shuttle--and Eagles TE coach Justin Peelle was on hand.
Goedert immediately steps in as both WR3 and TE2, providing Philadelphia with personnel versatility unparalleled in the NFL since two guys named Hernandez and Gronkowski played together in New England. A no-huddle Philadelphia offense with Alshon, Agholor, Ertz, Goedert, and (insert RB here) has the versatility to run 99% of the offense. Goedert is the one stone to the two birds of WR and TE depth.
ROUND 4 – PICK 30: FRED WARNER, LB - BYU
I’ve got Mike with this one. He LOVES Warner--rightfully so--and I was able to snag him in the fourth.
Philadelphia’s linebacker situation is currently “Really good starter” tier, a huge divide, and then “Gee golly, I hope they can develop into solid backups” tier. Oh, and Mychal Kendricks just kinda waffles between those two tiers.
Snagging a long-term backup linebacker with starter potential at various spots? That makes a lot of sense for a Philadelphia team that only has Nigel Bradham locked up for the foreseeable future. Warner has the range and closing burst to play the WILL (better than Kendricks, probably), but his coverage ability and play strength is also enough to rock it at SAM. He gives Philadelphia a much greater projection at their current weakest spot on the roster.
ROUND 4 – PICK 32: WILL RICHARDSON, OT – NC STATE
If you don’t call LB the greatest need for Philly, then I think OT is the spot. The future LT is a huge question mark for the Birds--even if you believe in Halapoulivaati Vaitai as a future starter, he’s a low-end guy at best, and Philadelphia needs athletic offensive linemen to run their multifarious scheme.
Enter Will Richardson, an NC State product with elite explosiveness scores at the OT position, and decent to solid agility scores. When you turn to the tape, Richardson is still quite raw in terms of hand placement, fits, and timing. There’s technical work to be done, and Richardson’s draft stock would have benefited from another year in school.As it is, Philadelphia gets him on early Day 3 and hands him to Coach Stoutland. Richardson has as good a chance as any OT in this class to develop into a solid starter, assuming he gets the proper coaching and development. He will have the inside track, come camp 2019, to fill Jason Peters’ enormous shoes.
ROUND 5 – PICK 32: KENTAVIUS STREET, EDGE – NC STATE
Terrible shame: during a workout with the Giants (notable villains), Street tore his ACL and will undoubtedly miss his rookie season. That will knock him down a couple rounds for teams who need instant production--but Philadelphia should not be held up much.
Street is a hybrid defensive lineman who can rush from the 3-tech and the 7-tech, which is excellent for a depth piece, given how much Schwartz likes to rotate players. His tape at NC State was wildly inconsistent, but he flashed an excellent ability to corner and bend (especially at his size) that will really do a number on the slower guards/tackles in the league. Add in the size and strength, and he should threaten smaller, quicker players as well.
It hasn’t all come together for Street--yet. But he’s a dangerous player when he’s on, and a redshirt year with coach Chris Wilson could help him unlock his full ability.
ROUND 6 – PICK 32: DANE CRUIKSHANK, S - ARIZONA
Probably my best value pick of the mock, Dane Cruikshank will likely leave the board in Round 4, not 6--but if he tumbles, Philadelphia would be wise to shore up their safety depth (currently veteran Chris Maragos (off an injury) and preseason phenom Tre Sullivan) with this selection.
Cruikshank possesses the requisite skills in man coverage to handle tight ends and backs, and enough quickness to hang with slot receivers--though I wouldn’t trust him there too much. He’s best, however, as a zone defender near the line of scrimmage, with excellent closing burst and good headiness for backfield action.He immediately takes the field as the 3rd safety in dime sets, and gives you more freedom to move Malcolm Jenkins around the formation. Future starter when Jenkins moves on, as well.
ROUND 7 – PICK 32: DARREL WILLIAMS, RB - LSU
I brought things home with Williams, a physical plodder with surprisingly decent receiving skills. LSU liked to use Williams in short-yardage situations despite having Derrius Guice on the roster, which speaks to Williams’ penchant for picking up smart, tough yardage.
Philadelphia may try to go running back earlier than this, but they shouldn’t force it. There’s always a surplus of role-playing backs, and Philadelphia likes to use that committee and get everyone involved. Williams steps into Blount’s old role, as a fourth-quarter closer and goal-line power back.
PICK YOUR FIGHTER: MICHAEL KIST
ROUND 1 – PICK 32: JAIRE ALEXANDER, CB – LOUISVILLE
The internal debate here, based on who was available, was between the play-making Alexander and the mauler OT Tyrell Crosby from Oregon. I would applaud the addition of Crosby, as it addresses a long-term need.
I’ve pounded the table for over a year about the need for a solution at tackle, as I don’t believe Halapoulivaati Vaitai is anything more than a depth piece and a spot starter. Tackle is also higher in regard to positional value, but when you consider the wide gap on my board between Alexander and any other available prospect, combined with the immediate need to upgrade nickel, Alexander is a slam dunk.
ROUND 4 – PICK 30: NYHEIM HINES, RB – NC STATE
Gentle Ben will tell you that Donnel Pumphrey is going to be the answer as the third back in the committee and the Eagles don’t need to draft a running back. I understand why Ben would root for a running back that is his same height and weight, but I’ve imagined Ben playing football before, and it isn’t pretty.
Therefore, I’m going to go with a former wide receiver turned runner/returner that can bring a versatile skill set paired with legit track speed to add some explosiveness to the Eagles backfield. Hines would be a steal in the 4th and has a home inside my top 10 backs and in the top 100 of my board.
ROUND 4 – PICK 32: WILL RICHARDSON, OT – NC STATE
Consider the scraps left on the board at tackle, and an optimistic view on what Richardson can become as a 3-year projection, I had to agree with Ben that Richardson is a solid pick here. Richardson played left tackle in high school and right tackle in college, meaning he is likely comfortable working from both sides. Fluid, long, and possessing a strong punch, there’s plenty to work with as he develops behind Jason Peters and Lane Johnson. Still, he probably should’ve stayed in school another year to refine some technical deficiencies in his game.
More troubling for Richardson is his off-field decision making. His weight has a history of fluctuating, a DUI in 2015 and he was suspended for two games in 2017 for a marijuana-related issue. The Eagles will have to be sure that Richardson is dedicated to the game and will stay out of trouble before pulling the trigger on his tremendous (take a shot for the upcoming buzzword) upside.
ROUND 5 – PICK 32: DARIUS LEONARD, LB – SOUTH CAROLINA STATE
Leonard started 43 games over his four year college career, 38 of those coming at weakside linebacker, which is where he projects at the next level. While he won’t wow you with his stack and shed ability at the point of attack, Leonard possess very good range to chase down ball-carriers paired with coverage skills that will allow him to stay on the field for passing downs.
Mychal Kendricks is not long for this world, at least not in Philadelphia, and developing a rangy WILL backer behind him should be addressed at some point in the draft. Leonard fits that bill.
ROUND 6 – PICK 32: TROY FUMAGALLI, TE – WISCONSIN
Fumagalli has a nice blend of blocking/receiving skills, though he’s not necessarily dominant in either trait. He has the functional strength and technique to seal block, but isn’t going to be a people mover. He’s a savvy route runner capable of winning with his nuance and understanding of leverage, but he’s never going to be a go-to weapon due to his limited athleticism. What I’m trying to say is, he offers just enough in both areas of the game to function inline as a blocker and contribute down the seam as a receiver and comes at good value in the sixth round.
ROUND 7 – PICK 32: MICHAEL JOSEPH, S – DUBUQUE
Joseph lined up all over for Dubuque and was their “match” corner, shadowing the opposing teams’ best wide receiver. Obviously there is a jump in competition, and the feeling with this pick is to try him at safety to fill the role vacated by Corey Graham over time.His coaches raved about his work ethic in Mobile, and the ball skills are there (15 INT in 31 games), but there’s still a lot of work to be done for him to go from Division-III standout to NFL contributor.
1 - TE Dallas Goedert
4 - LB Fred Warner
4 - OT Will Richardson
5 - EDGE Kentavious Street
6 - S Dane Cruikshank
7 - RB Darrel Williams
1 - CB Jaire Alexander
4 - RB Nyheim Hines
4 - OT Will Richardson
5 - LB Darius Leonard
5 - TE Troy Fumagalli
7 - S Michael Joseph
Vote for who you think had the best mock! (CLICK HERE if you can’t see the poll.)
Who made the better mock draft for the Eagles?
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The @MichaelKistNFL & @BenjaminSolak Show Ep. 24— BGN Radio (@BGN_Radio) April 12, 2018
An #Eagles 7th Round Mock Draft
- Does a new nickel CB push Mills to a safety role?
- Who is the answer at TE?
- Finding a WILL & more!
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