There are 101 days until the 2019 NFL Draft begins on Thursday, April 25. Until the big event gets here, we’re going to kill some time with our weekly Mock Draft Monday series.
25. Philadelphia Eagles: Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama: Maybe this is too reactionary, but the Sunday’s playoff loss to the Saints showed that the Eagles need a true lead running back. Don’t forget that Jay Ajayi, who tore his ACL this season, is a free agent. If there’s a first-round back in the 2019 draft, it is Jacobs.
The Eagles definitely need to address the running back position this offseason. Jay Ajayi and Darren Sproles are set to be free agents. Corey Clement is coming off a relatively disappointing season that was cut short due to injury. Wendell Smallwood isn’t an ideal regular contributor and he’ll be in the last year of his rookie deal. Josh Adams had some flashes but the coaches didn’t trust him to play in the playoffs. Boston Scott and Donnel Pumphrey are totally unproven.
Jacobs, who only turns 21 in February, finished his three-year career at Alabama with 251 carries for 1,491 yards (5.9 average) and 16 rushing touchdowns. As a receiver, Jacobs had 48 catches for 571 yards (11.9 average) and five scores. Jacobs also boasts kick return ability; he scored a touchdown and averaged a solid 31.4 yards per kick return in 2018.
Jacobs is an intriguing prospect for the Eagles. He didn’t have a crazy workload in college and he projects as a three-down back in the NFL.
With that said, I’ll believe the Eagles are taking a first-round running back when I see it happen. It’s been 34 years since Philly last took a rusher that early in the NFL Draft.
Given how the Eagles have prioritized building through the trenches, I’d think they’ll be targeting another lineman in the first round. BGN’s Benjamin Solak feels the same way as he made a pick for the Eagles in his mock draft over at The Draft Network:
25. Christian Wilkins, iDL, Clemson: The storybook run of Philadelphia back through the playoffs was truly something to behold — but like all good things, it finally came to an end. And when it did, we noticed that, while DT Timmy Jernigan came back from a back injury to start meaningful reps, his quality of play decreased. His contract now non-guaranteed due to the non-football injury, and the depth behind him laughable, Jim Schwartz will look to add pass-rush juice with Wilkins, a 3-tech next to Fletcher Cox and a 1-tech stopgap when Cox isn’t on the field. In 2019, Philadelphia can now rush Cox, Wilkins, Michael Bennett, Derek Barnett, Josh Sweat, and Brandon Graham if he’s retained. That’s a whole lotta oomph.
This year’s draft class is loaded with defensive line talent. That’s good news for the Eagles, who certainly could find themselves in need of replenishing a unit that’s been so criticial to their success over the past two seasons.
What do you think of these picks?