There are 66 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. (You can also check out BGN’s latest mock draft roundup.)
25. Philadelphia Eagles: Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama. Offseason needs: Cornerback, offensive tackle, running back, defensive line. The Eagles obviously need to find some fixes in the secondary, and left tackle Jason Peters’ career is winding down. But it will be hard to pass up on Jacobs, easily the draft’s top running back this year. Jay Ajayi is a free agent the Eagles could let walk, and Philadelphia’s backups are nothing special. Jacobs can be special.
I also had the Eagles select Jacobs in a mock draft scenario I ran through last week. Here’s what I wrote at the time:
I’ll believe the Eagles will take a running back in the first round when I see it but, hey, this was my simulation and I wanted to have some fun with it. Besides, all the top offensive line and defensive line choices were off the board. Jacobs is the No. 1 back in this year’s class. I like that he’s versatile (third down back skills), young (just turned 21 years old), relatively fresh (didn’t have a huge workload at Alabama), and just overall talented. One thing that annoys me when people compare Carson Wentz against Jared Goff and Dak Prescott is that it never gets mentioned how those quarterbacks have fantastic running back talents. It’d be nice to give Wentz a really good back to work with for once.
I don’t disagree that running back is a fungible position. The Eagles obviously won the Super Bowl in 2018 without sinking a lot of premium resources in RB talent.
But I also think Philly has taken “not investing in running backs” a little too far. Case in point: undrafted rookie free agent Josh Adams finished as the team’s leading rusher last season with a mere 511 yards. And then the coaching staff didn’t even trust him to take more than one carry in the playoffs.
It’d just be really nice if the Eagles could make an acquisition that has people feeling good about the running back position ... as opposed to merely hoping the team can get by with a cadre of underwhelming talents. I don’t think that means the Eagles have to take Jacobs at No. 25. I do think it means they need to enter the 2019 season with a situation that doesn’t cause Adams and Wendell Smallwood to be the team’s top two leading rushers.
Jacobs scouting report from The Draft Network:
Josh Jacobs takes the crown of RB1 because of his tremendous blend of physical traits and hungry play style. There is nothing lacking the physical aspect of Jacobs’ game: he is a tightly-strung runner who regularly makes the first tackler miss, or takes the first tackler for a 4 yard ride. He blends multiple moves together seamlessly, in a way you can’t teach — it’s born of instinct, and a wonderfully powerful lower half that stops and starts him on a dime. Jacobs’ play demeanor may be a bit reckless, but you can’t help loving it: he fights for every yard, and then a few more when he’s on the ground. It leads you to believe he can round out the question marks in his game, such as his pass-catching upside as a multi-target player. As a lead blocker, Jacobs shows the same intensity, but it can betray him in pass protection, wherein he sells out on one strike. Despite the fact that he isn’t a ready-made third-down back, Jacobs still profiles as an eventual bellcow at the next level.
Grade the Eagles’ mock draft selection of Josh Jacobs at No. 25
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