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2019 NFL Mock Draft Roundup: Josh Jacobs and Christian Wilkins among most popular Eagles picks

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Who will the Birds take?

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NCAA Football: College Football Playoff National Championship-Clemson vs Alabama Mark Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

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 now that the NFL Combine is over and free agency rumors have begun.

Bleeding Green Nation (Twitter vote) - Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama

There are two types of people in this world. Those that don’t want to pay Le’Veon Bell a projected 4-year, $60M deal or draft a running back in round one. And those that do. If you’re a third type of person that believes one but not the other, you don’t count. Why? That doesn’t make any sense. I don’t believe the Eagles will draft a running back in round one. If they did, it’s because the board fell like this. With no Wilkins or top tier offensive tackle it leaves a diminished group. If not a running back, you’re looking at top talent at the safety position. Is this the year the Eagles grab one? Or do they sign a veteran to be the third in their big dime/nickel packages? What about drafting a falling edge rusher that showed up to the Combine disgruntled and sloppy? Jacobs is the most complete back in the class. Period. Inside, outside, receiving, blocking.. nobody possesses his well-rounded skill set. He can run you over and he can leave you looking for your jockstrap. As the 2018 season unfolded, the Eagles’ running backs had people changing their definition of a “feature back” weekly. Josh Adams isn’t one. Wendell Smallwood and Corey Clement aren’t either. Josh Jacobs? Yes. He’s a lot closer to being one than what the Eagles’ have been trotting out after Jay Ajayi went down.

SB Nation (Dan Kadar) - Jerry Tillery, DT, Notre Dame

Ohio State’s Dre’Mont Jones had an underwhelming showing at Lucas Oil Stadium, and Mississippi State’s Jeffery Simmons might miss the season after tearing his ACL while training. That opens things up for a player like Tillery to rise up. He could line up next to Fletcher Cox and make plays from the inside.

ESPN In$ider (Todd McShay) - Rock Ya-Sin, CB, Temple

We all know the Eagles want to fix the secondary, and while the Philly faithful might be clamoring for Greedy Williams here, I like Ya-Sin’s full skill toolbox. He impressed me at the combine and deserves first-round consideration.

The Draft Network (Kyle Crabbs) - Nasir Adderley, S, Delaware

The Eagles have watched a TON of offensive tackles come off the board in front of them, so it’s going likely we’ll see a replacement for Jason Peters at this point. Instead, they have more exposure to a small school local prospect in Adderley than anyone around...they should know how good he is on the back end. With a thin secondary and Malcolm Jenkins getting long in the tooth, this pick helps reinvigorate the group.

PhillyVoice (Jimmy Kempski) - Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson

Wilkins’ primary position is at defensive tackle, but he also has extensive experience playing on the edge at defensive end, as you’ll see in the following video. Typically, it’s defensive ends who can kick inside to defensive tackle, not the other way around, making Wilkins a unique talent. The Eagles will have a significant need at defensive tackle, assuming the team moves on from Timmy Jernigan this offseason. Wilkins is an athletic, disruptive interior player with some nice versatility. To be clear, Wilkins likely won’t be available at pick 25, but I believe the Eagles could make a modest trade up to attack a need.

NFL.com (Daniel Jeremiah) - Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama

This would be a dream scenario for the Eagles. Jacobs is the best back in the draft.

NFL.com (Chad Reuter) - Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama

If no team is willing to use an earlier pick on a talented running back like Jacobs, the Eagles will reap the benefits from having such a powerful presence in the backfield.

The Ringer (Danny Kelly) - Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama

Physical and elusive dual-threat back who can contribute on the ground or in the passing game; with just 251 career carries in college, he still has plenty of tread left on the tires.

CBS Sports (Ryan Wilson) - Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama

Same as last week. 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 (Will Brinson) - Devin Bush, LB, Michigan

This is a good trade out spot I think, because the Eagles need more picks, but if not they could easily take a defensive piece instead.

Rotoworld (Josh Norris) - Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma

We know the Eagles tried to trade for Robby Anderson last season. They really lacked that downfield playmaker. Enter Brown, who might give off DeSean Jackson vibes.

The Athletic (Bo Wulf) - Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma

The Eagles would love to add an impact defensive lineman in the first round and are a trade-up possibility if someone like Ed Oliver or Christian Wilkins falls to the late teens. They might consider Jachai Polite in this situation, given Howie Roseman’s Florida connections and his affinity for SEC defensive linemen, but the draft is deep enough at defensive line that they can wait to use one or both of their second-round picks to add some “fastballs.” Brown is crazily undersized at 5-9, 166, but he would bring a much-needed speed element to the Eagles offense. With Carson Wentz and the Eagles staring down the barrel of a mega-extension next offseason, the Eagles are probably going to have to find his long-term running mates on the outside through the draft. If DeSean Jackson is Brown’s comp, then he probably belongs in Philadelphia.

DraftTek (Broz) - Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson

If DT Christian Wilkins somehow slips to the Eagles at pick 25 (he won’t), I will squeal like an 11-year-old girl at a One Direction concert. And while I’m not sure that pop culture reference is still relevant, I am sure that if the Eagles want Wilkins wearing Midnight Green this year, they’ll need to trade up about 10 spots to make it happen.

TouchdownWire (Doug Farrar) - Nasir Adderley, FS, Delaware

It’s time for the Eagles to start retooling their secondary, and where better to start than with top-level defender with the potential to play either cornerback or safety? Adderley, a cousin of Hall of Fame defensive back Herb Adderley, brings a compelling combination of athleticism and coverage talent to a defensive backfield that requires an influx of young talent.

Pro Football Focus (Steve Palazzolo) - AJ Brown, WR, Ole Miss

Brown can win either outside or in the slot. He’s also excellent after the catch, as he broke 50 tackles on 188 career catches, good for 7.6 YAC per reception.

DraftBlaster - Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson

The Eagles fought their way into the playoffs, and still have a loaded roster. Their offensive line will need an injection of young talent, but they could very well do that as the draft progresses, and have the luxury of taking on some “projects” that they can develop for a few years. Their defensive line has some older players, and could use some youth at the defensive tackle spot.

PennLive (Daniel Gallen) - Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson

Wilkins seems like a great fit for the Eagles next to star Fletcher Cox, an athletic playmaker who can stop the run and get some pressure on the quarterback. His athletic testing in Indianapolis wasn’t exactly off the charts, but he has four years of production at Clemson on his resume. The combination of his testing and some of the risers exiting the combine could help increase the chance of him being available for the Eagles at No. 25.

Philly Sports Network (Liam Jenkins) - Devin Bush, LB, Michigan

Undoubtedly one of the combine’s biggest winners, the 5’11, 234 lbs, set a scintillating 4.43-second 40-yard dash time which left fans purring. This shouldn’t come as a shock though, as Bush was an absolute menace during his time as a Wolverine. Just like his Father, he was a standout in every sense. Named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year in 2018 with 66 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, and 4.5 sacks, this fiery prospect brings the heat on every snap with some fantastic sideline-to-sideline speed. If the Eagles lose Jordan Hicks, it will be down to Paul Worrilow and Nigel Bradham to keep the LB corps together while Malcolm Jenkins presumably evaporates that 3rd role in nickel formation looks. Bush would be a long-term solution who could start right away as a polished run defender, complimenting Bradham’s skillset and offering some much needed flexibility to a drying linebacker spot.

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.


SUMMARY

RB Josh Jacobs - 5
DT Christian Wilkins - 3
WR Marquise Brown - 2
S Nasir Addereley - 2
LB Devin Bush - 2
DT Jerry Tillery - 1
DT Dexter Lawrence - 1
CB Rock Ya-Sin - 1
CB Deandre Baker - 1
WR AJ Brown - 1

RB - 5
DT - 5
WR - 3
S - 2
CB - 2
LB - 2

Offense - 8
Defense - 11

THOUGHTS

  • Josh Jacobs continues to be the most popular pick. That could soon be changing depending on what the Eagles do at running back in free agency.
  • The Eagles will be fortunate if Christian Wilkins falls to them at No. 25. It’ll probably take a trade up to get him. But at least three mock scenarios this week had him falling to Philly, so, never say never?
  • I’d be very surprised to see the Eagles draft a cornerback or running back in the first round.
  • The Draft Network’s mock has the Eagles landing Dexter Lawrence and Miles Sanders in the second round after getting Adderley in the first. I do not hate that.
  • On the safety note, though, I think it’s more likely the Eagles sign a veteran defensive back the offseason. The safety market is flooded with talent so Philly should be able to find someone to replace Corey Graham’s old role as the No. 3 guy.