clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

NFL Draft 2018: Re-evaluating the positions post-Round 1

Responding to runs and taking the best value available

Denver Broncos v Philadelphia Eagle Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images
  • 5 QBs
  • 3 RBs (what?!)
  • 2 WRs
  • 1 TE
  • 6 OL
  • 5 DL
  • 4 LBs
  • 3 CBs
  • 3 SAFs

That’s how you make a first round, folks.

When first glancing over those numbers, you might think the round was pretty even. Maybe a little OL heavy/a little pass-catcher light. But understanding where each position is thick and thin helps us play the strengths of the board on Day 2, making value picks at positions we perhaps would otherwise struggle to target.

Using my War Room-style board (pictured below, linked here), we get a visualization of how the class may play out later today.

Running back

Well that went way left. Rashaad Penny (#27 overall, Seattle Seahawks) in the first round was a super curveball. Sony Michel (#31, New England Patriots) withstanding a bad medical report and still making the top 32 was also a bit of a stunner. Both players going before LSU RB Derrius Guice only adds to the intrigue.

But with Penny off the board, only Georgia’s Nick Chubb, USC Ronald Jones II, and the aforementioned Guice remain as potential feature backs on the board. Penny was already an isolated third-round value on my board. We’ve heard rumbling that NC State’s Nyheim Hines and Auburn’s Kerryon Johnson may sneak into Day 2, but if the Birds want a true bellcow back, they’ll have to spend the newly-acquired #52 overall on one of those three players.

Wide receiver

There were some D.J. Moore (#24 overall, Carolina Panthers) and Courtland Sutton (SMU) rumblings around Philadelphia’s 32nd overall selection, but I didn’t believe those had legs from the jump. Given the incredibly thick tiers available late in the Draft, I wouldn’t expect to see Philly go WR any earlier than Round 4, unless something wild happens.

Tight end

Board fell well for Philadelphia! Hayden Hurst (#25 overall, Baltimore Ravens) wasn’t a desirable target anyway, given his age. Dallas Goedert (South Dakota State) and Mike Gesicki (Penn State) are far more interesting players, and there’s a decent chance one is available around 50.

The tight end class, however, only has sporadic value here and there—overall, it’s not a strong group. If they just want Day 3 depth, they’ll likely have a target or two with their late Round 4 selections (#125, #130). If they want go after Goedert/Gesicki, they may have to move a late-round selection to move up into the 40s and snag the prize.

Offensive tackle

Good deal! Connor Williams (Texas) and Tyrell Crosby (Oregon) are both year one starters that can kick into guard, filling any spot that opens up due to injury in 2018. But by 2019, they’ll be well-groomed to step in to Jason Peters’ massive shoes left behind at left tackle.

That said, the late Day 2/early Day 3 talent at tackle is the strength of the class, so missing out on Williams or Crosby isn’t the worst news in the world, with 9+ names worthy of the 125/130 pair of picks. But offensive tackles matter, so slow-playing the position is never a good call. Williams and Crosby are my favorites for the second-round pick (potentially small trade-up as well).


4 backers in the Top 25? That’s heavy, and that certainly affects Philadelphia.

There are only 3 linebackers I’d feel comfortable taking on Day 2—and one (Shaun Dion-Hamilton, Alabama) has a pretty heavy red flag due to medical concerns. Fred Warner (BYU) and Genard Avery (Memphis) are the other two names, with the desired coverage ability, range, and versatility to fit in Philadelphia’s uncertain linebacking corps.

More than three will go—I know that—but if people start chasing athletes at the position and suddenly linebackers cost a premium, Philadelphia may be forced to overpay for a depth piece they don’t desperately need. If they’re interested in grabbing a linebacker, they should pay very close attention to who’s available at 52, and if they truly believe they’ve got a future starter in their crosshairs, pull the trigger.


There are three very clear tiers that make things easy to understand. The early-second tier will likely start coming off the board quick: Carlton Davis (Auburn), Josh Jackson (Iowa), Isaiah Oliver (Colorado) and Quenton Meeks (Stanford) are all future starters that could replace Ronald Darby on the boundary.

Tier two has some solid nickels (Duke Dawson, Florida; M.J. Stewart, UNC), an Eagles priority visit in Donte Jackson (LSU), and a troubled but talented young man in Holton Hill (Texas). The Eagles currently have no pick around that tier (early 3rd) however, so significant pick movement would be necessary to hit it.

And finally, the bottom tier of mostly nickels rips through the late 3rd and entire 4th round. Nick Nelson (Wisconsin) gets me really excited, and the Birds like Parry Nickerson (Tulane). Philadelphia would be safe, finding a potential starter at nickel in Round 4, by my evaluations. If they want a player to challenge outside, however, they’ll need to attack one of the first two tiers.


Dude! Safety went great!

Ronnie Harrison (Alabama), Jessie Bates III (Wake Forest), and Justin Reid (Stanford) are all still on the board and all potential fits for the Eagles. Reid, in particular, has been a favorite name for the Birds.

But even then, talented safeties pop up throughout all of Day 2, and there are a ton of depth names in the late rounds as well (the position is saturated with prospects). I don’t think Philadelphia should be in any rush to draft the position, which is just plain strong overall—but any of the Top 3 remaining names at 52 is a justifiable pick in terms of value.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Bleeding Green Nation Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your Philadelphia Eagles news from Bleeding Green Nation