NFL draft analysts Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay have teamed up for a new ESPN Insider mock. Instead of alternating, Kiper and McShay each made two selections for every pick in the first two rounds of the 2018 NFL Draft.
The Philadelphia Eagles don’t own any Day 2 picks, which is really a bummer (especially as far as mock draft content goes), but at least Kiper and McShay gave the Birds two different choices at No. 32 overall.
MEL KIPER JR.
Let’s start with Kiper’s pick.
Kiper: Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota State
Zach Ertz and Goedert would form one of the best tight end duos in the league. Philadelphia could also try to beef up its defensive line here.
Goedert is the player Kiper had the Eagles taking in his 3.0 Mock Draft. As I explained at the time, I don’t think the Eagles will go with a tight end in round one. I don’t think it would be the worst pick ever, but I don’t think he’ll be the best option for them there.
Last season, Ertz played 68.8% of the Eagles’ offensive snaps. Brent Celek only played 40.8%. Trey Burton was at 26.5%. Keep in mind the playing time for Celek and Burton was boosted by the fact Ertz missed two games due to injury. Ertz also sat out for a good portion of the Eagles’ meaningless Week 17 game against the Cowboys.
Does it make sense to take a tight end at No. 32 given the playing time available to Goedert? The Eagles could always go heavier on multiple tight ends sets, sure, but by how much? And which wide receiver are you taking off the field to make room for the rookie? Alshon Jeffery is obviously the No. 1 wideout. Mike Wallace figures to serve an important role as a deep threat while Nelson Agholor is a dangerous weapon in the slot.
For what it’s worth, the Eagles are showing interest in Goedert. Philadelphia sent tight end coach Justin Peelle to South Dakota State’s pro day.
Kiper has the Eagles passing on notable players such as Maurice Hurst, Derrius Guice, Connor Williams, Donte Jackson, and Ronald Jones. I think the Eagles would be sprinting to the podium for Hurst. They’d be running for either Guice or Williams. They might even go with Jackson over Goedert.
McShay: Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State
The Eagles have the luxury of drafting for value. This would be a great landing spot for Vander Esch, as Philadelphia could use his versatility.
LVE is a player the Eagles reportedly like a lot. It’s been rumored that Philadelphia’s front office would “love” to pick him at No. 32 but they don’t expect him to make it there.
The Eagles are doing a lot of homework on LVE. In addition to formally interviewing him at the 2018 NFL Combine and bringing him to Philly for a pre-draft visit, the Eagles had linebackers coach Ken Flajole work him out at Boise State’s pro day.
Eagles LB coach Ken Flajole putting Leighton Vander Esch through position drills @BroncoSportsFB Pro Day pic.twitter.com/hRYCEYL0vR— Andrew Groover (@APGroover) April 3, 2018
It’d be interesting to see how LVE fits in on the Eagles’ defense. The oft-injured Jordan Hicks is playing on the last year of his rookie contract, so the Eagles could be hedging their bet there.
McShay has the Eagles passing on the likes of Hurst, Guice, Williams, Jackson, Jones, and Justin Reid.
So, what do you think? Who has the better pick for the Eagles?
Who has the better mock draft for the Eagles?
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Mel Kiper Jr. (Dallas Goedert)
Todd McShay (Leighton Vander Esch)