With the 2018 NFL Draft is just hours away, it’s time for one last look at some ESPN mock drafts (along with the SB Nation Mock Draft Database). Mel Kiper and Todd McShay have made their final picks for the first round. You might be surprised to see they’re on the same page when it comes to the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles’ selection at No. 32 overall.
Kiper’s pick (via In$ider):
32. Philadelphia Eagles - Sony Michel, RB, Georgia: The Super Bowl champs have zero pressing needs. It’s good to be king. This is also a perfect spot for a team trying to trade up to draft a player to retain his fifth-year option.
McShay’s pick (via In$ider):
32. Philadelphia Eagles - Sony Michel, RB, Georgia: This pick could go a lot of different ways. I expect Philadelphia to trade back and recoup some picks, especially given the strength of its roster and other teams’ desire to move up potentially for a QB or another player. If not, I think the Eagles will go best available player, which was Michel on my board. Durability issues could bump Michel down.
The Michel buzz has really picked up in the last seven days heading up to this year’s draft. Other mock drafters projecting him to the Eagles include: Philly legend Ray Didinger (who nailed the Derek Barnett pick last year), Daniel Jeremiah of NFL Network, Paul Domowitch of the Philadelphia Daily News, Evan Silva of Rotoworld, etc.
Michel is an obvious fit for the Eagles, who can afford to add more running back talent. He could make an immediate impact in the NFL.
The problem with drafting the 23-year-old Michel is that there are some injury concerns. Late on Wednesday night it was reported that he has a “bone-on-bone” knee situation, which isn’t good. Les Bowen reports some teams believe he has “mild arthritis.”
Taking a running back who might not last beyond his rookie contract hardly seems like a good use of resources at No. 32. Especially when you’re potentially waiting until the fourth round to pick again.
It’s possible the injury concerns are overblown. We’ll see. The fact that they at least might exist is certainly concerning. And it’s probably why the Eagles would prefer to trade down and pick up Michel, as it’s been rumored, if at all.
Interestingly enough, both Kiper and McShay have the Eagles passing on Derrius Guice to pick up Michel. I can’t imagine people would be thrilled if that played out in real life.