The 2019 NFL Draft will be here before you know it. Mock draft season has already begun and there’s no shortage of opinion as to whom the Philadelphia Eagles might select with the No. 25 overall pick. Let’s take a look at which players the experts have the Eagles taking this week.
The Draft Network (Custom) - Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson
I have doubt that Wilkins will drop this far but the Eagles should be excited to pick him if he falls here. Philadelphia won a Super Bowl in part due to having a stacked defensive line. Howie Roseman should continue to invest in the trenches. Wilkins gives the Eagles another player who can generate interior pressure.
Bleeding Green Nation (Benjamin Solak) - Nasir Adderley, S, Delaware
I took Nasir Adderley over Christian Wilkins at 25, which I’m not sure the Eagles would do were they given the chance, but I think it’s the right move — Adderley is an impact player in Big Nickel packages in Year 1, and an easy plug-and-play replacement for Rodney McLeod’s vacated FS spot in Year 2. Harder to find those in later rounds than it is to find DT rush talent, especially with how much Schwartz rotates his guys.
SB Nation (Dan Kadar) - Dre’Mont Jones, DT, Ohio State
Defensive tackles like Dexter Lawrence of Clemson and Jeffery Simmons of Mississippi State may have a higher ranking than Jones, but both are a little too similar stylistically to standout Eagles lineman Fletcher Cox. Those players all excel at taking on blockers and filling gaps, while Jones specializes in splitting gaps.
The Draft Network (Jon Ledyard) - Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma
Not much is certain at the wide receiver spot in Philadelphia right now, but we do know they have traditionally loved deep threats at the position and they currently don’t have a proven one under roster. If Brown’s foot injury lands him at no. 25, I don’t think the Eagles will hesitate.
NBCSP (Dave Zangaro) - Ed Oliver, DT, Houston
I know, I know. “Oliver is going to be long gone by then.” And, I think you might be right. But in his mock draft, NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein — whom I really trust — had Oliver going at No. 28. It’s possible the NFL is hesitant to make him a top-10 pick. If Oliver is on the board when the Eagles pick, someone in an Eagles shirt should run a 4.4 getting this pick in. Zierlein has Oliver going so late because he “lacks prototype size,” so we’ll start there. Oliver is 6-foot-2, 290 pounds (that 290 might have been a stretch for part of his time at Houston), which is obviously not ideal for a DT in the NFL. It will probably be a big concern for some teams. If you can overlook his lack of weight, Oliver has elite athletic ability and I have a feeling he’s about to go to Indianapolis and crush the on-field drills. His speed, burst and footwork are great. Even if Oliver isn’t on the board at 25, if he’s there around 17, 18, the Eagles should seriously think about trading up to get him.
Bleacher Report (Mike Tanier) - Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama
Josh Jacobs reminds me a little bit of Emmitt Smith. It’s unfair to compare a draft prospect to a Hall of Famer. It’s also ridiculous to compare a committee running back at the college level—Jacobs split time with Damien Harris, Najee Harris, Bo Scarbrough and others during his Crimson Tide career, rushing for just 1,491 yards and 16 touchdowns in three seasons—to the NFL’s all-time rushing leader. But Jacobs has that early-Emmitt rushing style: punishing finishes, sudden cuts, shredded arm tackles and surprising receiving chops, all in a compact frame (5’10”, 216 lbs) that doesn’t look all that fast on tape until you see him streak past a linebacker. And it’s not unusual for Alabama to have several future NFL starting running backs (plus about 40 defenders and, nowadays, two quarterbacks) backed up in its queue and splitting snaps. The Jacobs-Emmitt stuff may just be pre-combine hype getting the better of me. So let’s just say Jacobs is a great replacement for free agent Jay Ajayi who can solve the running back dilemma that limited the Eagles offense last year and that he could be a terror when running downhill against six-man defensive fronts after RPO handoffs. But if he runs a sub-4.5-second 40-yard dash this week, I’m going whole hog on the Emmitt stuff.
PennLive (Daniel Gallen) - Jerry Tillery, DT, Notre Dame
There could be any number of big names here, including Clemson’s star duo of Christian Wilkins and Dexter Lawrence, but defensive linemen should go early and often in the first round. That leaves Tillery available at No. 25. He’s big at 6-foot-7, and he had seven sacks for the Fighting Irish last season.
DraftBlaster - Jaylon Ferguson, DE, Louisiana Tech
The Eagles success started when they started to get constant pressure off the edge early in the season of their Superbowl run. That is what drives the defense, and still is the focus of the team. Ideally, they want to rotate 4 defensive ends all day to make the opposing QB’s day full of stress and pain.
NFL.com (Peter Schrager) - Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi State
Philly struck gold drafting a defensive tackle out of Starkville seven years ago in Fletcher Cox, and could do the same in 2019. Simmons’ draft stock is a curiosity at the moment, coming off the news that he suffered a torn ACL during his pre-draft training. Just how much that -- and a 2016 arrest spawning from a highly publicized video of him getting into a physical altercation with a woman -- impacts his stock is yet to be seen.
NFL.com (Bucky Brooks) - Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson
Lawrence is a rugged nose tackle with the size and strength to erase runs between the guards while also collapsing the pocket with bull rushes on passing downs.
NFL.com (Chad Reuter) - Kelvin Harmon, WR, NC State
The Eagles’ receiving corps could look completely different in 2019 between the loss and gain of free agents -- and potentially picking up a young playmaker like Harmon.
CBS Sports (Ryan Wilson) - Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama
Jay Ajayi and Darren Sproles’ contracts expired after the 2018 season and Jacobs is the best runner in the country. He runs angry, is smooth catching passes out of the backfield, and would give Carson Wentz another weapon.
CBS Sports (R.J. White) - Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama
It appeared the Eagles had found an RB1 with Josh Adams in the second half of the year, but he lost his starting job late in the season and saw just one carry in the team’s playoff run. So if the best running back prospect in this class is available, he should merit serious consideration.
CBS Sports (Jared Dubin) - Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama
It’s still possible that the Eagles check in on Le’Veon Bell but if they decide to pass on him, adding another high-level running back makes a good deal of sense. Philly will presumably still split the snaps between a few guys but last year’s run game was missing something, and Jacobs is the kind of versatile contributor that could take the offense to a new level.
CBS Sports (Pete Prisco) - Christian Wilkins, DL, Clemson
This kid would be a steal in this spot. They could lose Haloti Ngata as a free agent, which means they need more help inside. Wilkins is an athletic, quick tackle.
DraftWire (Luke Easterling) - Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia
While a dynamic running back like Josh Jacobs would be tempting here, the Eagles have far more pressing needs on both sides of the ball, and this year’s running back class is extremely deep. Baker is a battle-tested ball-hawk who would instantly bolster depth where it’s desperately needed.
RB Josh Jacobs - 4
DT Christian Wilkins - 2
DT Ed Oliver - 1
DT Jeffery Simmons - 1
DT Dre’Mont Jones - 1
DT Jerry Tillery - 1
DT Dexter Lawrence - 1
WR Marquise Brown - 1
WR Kelvin Harmon - 1
S Nasir Adderley - 1
DE Jaylon Ferguson - 1
CB Deandre Baker - 1
DT - 7
RB - 4
WR - 2
S - 1
DE - 1
CB - 1
Offense - 6
Defense - 10
- Once again, Jacobs is the most popular pick. Let’s see if it stays that way as free agency opens in just over a week. The Eagles could easily sign a running back.
- Defensive tackle ended up being the most popular position this week but Wilkins was the only repeat pick. Interior defensive line seems like a safe bet for the Eagles’ selection at No. 25, especially with Brandon Graham re-signed.
- I’d be shocked if Oliver fell to No. 25 but I don’t think it’s impossible he could fall a little further than expected and the Eagles could trade up for him. (The same goes for Wilkins.) Oliver has drawn some comparisons to Aaron Donald. You certainly wouldn’t mind sticking that kind of player next to Fletcher Cox.
- Who is your favorite for No. 25?