Let’s take a look at the rumor mill with the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft only two days away.
SECOND ROUND RUNNING BACK?
First up is an interesting collection of draft nuggets from Sporting News’ Eric Galko. Allow me to remind you Galko correctly noted Derek Barnett was one of the five players the Eagles were primarily targeting at No. 14 overall last year. Here’s what he had to say about the team’s 2018 draft plans.
The Eagles would like to trade out of the 32nd overall pick. They like Kolton Miller, but he won’t be available. They will consider running backs Derrius Guice and Sony Michel but would rather move back into Round 2 in order to take them.
The note about the Eagles wanting to trade down is, of course, hardly a surprise. Peter King reported as much on Monday. Not to mention it’s just common sense with the Eagles having no Day 2 picks.
The interesting stuff here is what the Eagles plan to do after potentially trading down. Guice and Michel have both been linked to Philly as potential draft options at No. 32. Perhaps the Eagles won’t need to take them there, though.
That’d be surprising in the case of Guice since there’s thought he might not even make it to the Eagles’ pick. But recent draft buzz does indeed indicate he could fall further than expected, not unlike Dalvin Cook did last year.
Speaking of Cook, we know the Eagles reportedly had interest in trading up for him. The spot the Eagles would’ve taken Cook, had they not been beaten to the punch by the Vikings, will likely be around the pick where they’d hope to select Guice or Michel this year.
The risk in trading down is the Eagles could miss out on both of those guys. As BGN’s Michael Kist has noted, there are some running back needy teams early in the second round.
JASON PETERS’ SUCCESSOR?
The other interesting part of Galko’s rumor is that the Eagles are interested in Kolton Miller. The appeal with the UCLA offensive tackle is that he has a great combination of size and athleticism. The problem is his tape isn’t so kind. Perhaps Eagles offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland really feels like he can sculpt Miller, especially since the rookie wouldn’t be forced into action right away. Jason Peters, Lane Johnson, and potentially Halapoulivaati Vaitai would be ahead of him on the depth chart in 2018. It sounds like you Miller haters won’t have to worry about the Eagles taking him, though, since Galko expects him to be off the board. He even noted elsewhere in his column that a number of teams view Miller as the top tackle in this year’s draft.
Switching gears a little bit, but staying on the topic of the offensive line, NJ.com’s Zach Rosenblatt reports Miller isn’t the only blocker the Eagles have their eye on at No. 32. Apparently the Eagles really like UTEP guard Will Hernandez.
“They love him,’’ said a source with knowledge of the Eagles operation told NJ Advance Media. “I think he’s a guy they would even move up to get, if they had the resources. If he’s there at 32, he won’t be there at 33.’’
The Eagles definitely don’t have the resources to move up. Especially for a guard, which isn’t even an immediate roster need.
Hernandez did make it to the Eagles’ pick in BGN’s Community Mock Draft scenario. Community member JALupowitz made his case for why the Eagles should pick Willy.
I’d personally be surprised if the Eagles took a guard in the first round, especially if he doesn’t have the versatility to play outside at tackle. But I guess crazier things have happened.
Here’s another interior offensive line prospect that might make more sense due to his guard/center versatility.
#Eagles have shown a ton of interest in Arkansas G/C Frank Ragnow, who might have been a top 10ish pick if he didn’t miss all of 2017 with ankle injury. Great value at No. 32.— Eliot Shorr-Parks (@EliotShorrParks) April 24, 2018
There’s been a lot of recent buzz that Ragnow won’t make it to the final pick in the first round. (Apparently 100 picks are going to be made before No. 32 this year). But if he somehow does, that’s another name to keep an eye on. The Eagles did bring in Iowa center/guard James Daniels for a pre-draft visit, so Philly is showing some interest in that area.
Only two more days of draft rumors to go. You’ll miss them when we have nothing to talk about in late June.