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NFL Mock Draft 2019: Eagles draft an offensive tackle in the first round

How do you feel about this pick?

NCAA Football: Mississippi at Arkansas Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

There are 93 days until the 2019 NFL Draft begins on Thursday, April 25. We’re going to kill some time until then with our weekly Mock Draft Monday series. Yes, I do realize I’m posting this on a Tuesday, but yesterday’s Carson Wentz report threw off BGN’s posting schedule. So, hush!

The latest mock draft from SB Nation’s Dan Kadar has the Eagles taking an offensive tackle with the No. 25 overall pick.

Greg Little, OT, Ole Miss: Jason Peters turns 37 this week, and time is running out on his outstanding career. It would be smart of the Eagles to draft his replacement now and make sure he’s ready to go. Little is a classic left tackle with size and athleticism to mirror speed rushers and the edge.

In general, I’m all for the Eagles investing in the trenches on either side of the ball. We all know it’s those units that have largely contributed to Philly’s success over the past two seasons.

It’ll be pretty interesting to see what the Eagles do at left tackle. There’s thought that Peters might retire but I’m not so sure he will. And I just can’t believe the Eagles will merely cut a guy who once said he is “best friends” with team owner Jeffrey Lurie.

Peters is set to be the 17th highest paid offensive tackle in 2019. That’s not crazily out of whack relative to his performance. Peters ranked 35th out of 85 offensive tackles graded by Pro Football Focus in 2018. He’s clearly not the player he once was but he’s still much better than the alternative, which involves starting Halapoulivaati Vaitai, who ranked 78th.

Perhaps the Eagles feel differently, but the feeling here is that Vaitai isn’t as much of a “left tackle of the future” as he is an ideal swing tackle behind the two starters. Vaitai has obviously proven to be serviceable at times while filling in for Peters but I’m not crazy about the idea of settling at the spot that’ll be protecting Carson Wentz’s blindside.

As for Jordan Mailata, I don’t think the Eagles should really count on him as a sure thing. We’d all love for Mailata to turn into a stud left tackle, and maybe he can, but banking on that to happen seems misguided. The Eagles should prepare for the possibility that the Australian sensation doesn’t work out. He’s a total wild card.

And so I don’t think it’d be the worst idea for the Eagles to draft a potential long-term replacement for Peters in the first round. Standing at 6-5, 325 pounds, Little is certainly no small man for Jeff Stoutland to develop.

Scouting report from The Draft Network:

Greg Little projects as a boom or bust prospect at the NFL level. Little shows flashes of natural athleticism, particularly for his size. Furthermore, Little’s deep pass sets are effective with his length and foot quickness. But Little is super raw in his framing of blocks and footwork, he takes false steps and fails to roll through contact to create forward push with consistency in the run game. Little’s effort is also of concern, he will need to be coached/motivated if he’s going to be a starter.