The 2019 NFL Draft will be here before you know it. Mock draft season is in gear 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.
SB Nation (Dan Kadar) - Jerry Tillery, DL, Notre Dame
If Adderley were still available, he’d be the easy choice for the Eagles. With him gone, the safety value at No. 25 is questionable. Deionte Thompson of Alabama seems to be more in the second-round territory, and Chauncey Gardner-Johnson is more of a nickel corner. Tillery can provide the Eagles with good depth up front and can line up everywhere down the line.
ESPN (Mel Kiper Jr.) - Johnathan Abram, S, Mississippi State
Philadelphia has done a nice job filling holes this offseason. DeSean Jackson can replace Golden Tate. Malik Jackson is an upgrade on Haloti Ngata & Co. at defensive tackle. Vinny Curry will help with Michael Bennett moving on. GM Howie Roseman hasn’t addressed the secondary, however, outside of bringing back Ronald Darby on a one-year deal, which means Philly could target a safety or corner in the first round or with one of its two second-round picks. Abram (5-foot-11, 205 pounds) is my top-ranked safety, a physical tackler who showed off 4.45 40-yard dash speed at the combine.
The Draft Network (Trevor Sikkema) - Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama
The Eagles are becoming the full embodiment of analytics twitter, as they have chosen to just forget about the running back position completely. Though that may be trendy and progressive, I do think that Jacobs would be the right pick for them if he is available at No. 25. Jacobs can do so much more than just run the ball. He’s a willing blocker and a difference makers as a pass catcher. He’s the only running back I can see going in the first round, and this is where he should go.
NFL.com (Peter Schrager) - Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama
Jacobs is viewed by most teams I have spoken with as the top running back in this year’s draft. He only ranked 144th in the nation in 2018 with 640 rushing yards. On the flip side, a limited college workload means he still has plenty of tread on his tires. The Eagles hit home runs across the board in free agency; they could nail this one if Jacobs slips all the way to 25.
NFL.com (Chad Reuter) - Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama
Running back is a big need for the Eagles, and Jacobs’ less-than-ideal 40 time (unofficially 4.60 at his pro day, per NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah) has no bearing on his likely success on Sundays.
CBS Sports (Pete Prisco) - Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama
They have to improve their running back situation and Jacobs is the best of this year’s group. Don’t worry about his 40 time. This kid is good.
CBS Sports (Ryan Wilson) - Johnathan Abram, S, Mississippi State
Abram is a thumper and tone-setter in the middle of the defense.
CBS Sports (R.J. White) - Devin White, LB, LSU
Eagles get No. 13 for No. 25, 53. The Eagles have an extra second-round pick after their trade out of the first round last year, and that means they have the ammo to jump into the high teens this year if they see a key prospect available. And after White slips out of the top 10, he’s the perfect guy to move up to grab and plug into the middle of the Eagles defense behind a strong defensive line.
CBS Sports (Jared Dubin) - Byron Murphy, CB, Washington
The Eagles could always opt for a defensive lineman, of course, but the secondary seems like a bigger need right now.
Bleacher Report (Matt Miller) - Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama
Don’t read into the pro day 40 times for Josh Jacobs—in the low 4.6 range according to scouts who were at the workout—and think he fell in the draft because of it. It was inevitable that running-back-needy teams were going to use free agency to fill their voids, which is why Jacobs was always more likely to be drafted in the 20s. This is the perfect spot for his talents. Jacobs is a power runner with excellent hands and vision. His agility is impressive, too, but he loves contact and will put defenders in the dirt with his legs or shoulders when they get in his way. The Eagles will let him be a workhorse while also taking advantage of his receiving skills.
PennLive (Daniel Gallen) - Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson
The probability of your team drafting a Clemson defensive lineman is pretty good. After all, there are plenty to choose from, including Ferrell and defensive tackles Christian Wilkins and Dexter Lawrence. Wilkins has been a popular pick in past exercises, but after the additions of defensive tackle Malik Jackson and defensive end Vinny Curry, it’s becoming clear the Eagles need future production on the edge. So the lean goes to Ferrell here.
Sports Illustrated (Kalyn Kahler) - Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia
The Eagles secondary was hurt by injuries in 2018, so I expect them to target cornerback depth as a major need. Scouts love Baker’s instincts in coverage.
Yahoo Sports (Eric Edholm) - Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, S, Florida
It’s a total hunch pick from me here. With RB Joshua Jacobs gone, we’re not taking another back here. The Eagles could use a defensive tackle, but would you go safe here with one? Take a gamble on Mississippi State’s Jeffery Simmons and wait until his ACL heals? Or go with a safety who has intriguing skills and versatility, and might be a sound long-term plan at safety? Take the latter.
DraftTek (Broz) - Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson
The only complaint I have about the moves the Eagles made during this Free Agency period, is that all the juicy moves were made BEFORE Free Agency during the “Legal Tampering” period. It felt a little too much like the obnoxious kid we all knew growing up that would get all his presents on Christmas Eve, while everyone else had to wait one more day. The last real “hole” on the Eagles’ roster that seems to be causing public panic is at RB. I’m not too worried though: my gut tells me that at some point over the next month, Howie Roseman will trade a mid-round pick for legit back...not a Top-10 caliber guy, but rather someone who would lead their RB-by-committee approach. As far as their RD1 pick this year, I’m growing more and more certain the Eagles will trade out of this spot. Despite the selection in this CMD, I’m confident that all of the premier D-Linemen will vanish by the mid to late teens. I don’t think the Eagles will select a RB at 25 (history supports this notion), nor do I think the Eagles will select a safety (probably the hardest non-QB position to project from college to pros). I think Philly will likely trade up to the mid teens to grab a sliding pass rusher (Ed Oliver perhaps?) if a deal can be made. If not, I think the team would rather trade back if they have a group of players at lesser positions with similar grades. In this week’s CMD, the unlikely happens: stud DT Christian Wilkins falls right in their laps at #25. At 315 pounds, Wilkins flirts with being a sub-5.0-forty guy, which is a testament to his athleticism. With 5.5 sacks, 14 TFL, and frequent QB pressures in 2018, Wilkins would be the third leg of a Cox-Jackson-Wilkins defensive tackle triumvirate the likes of which the world has never known.
DraftCountdown (Scott Wright) - Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama
As bad as the Eagles pass defense was last year the secondary cupboard is far from bare so they aren’t necessarily locked into taking a cornerback or safety with this pick. Philly hasn’t prioritized the running back position in recent years and it finally caught up to them, manifesting as one of the leagues worst rushing attacks. It’s time to invest in a dynamic lead runner that they can count on rather than their current mishmash of journeymen types. The ridiculously deep Crimson Tide backfield continues to churn out pro prospects, but Damien Harris was supposed to be the latest headliner. That all changed when Jacobs finally got an opportunity. Jacobs is a big, fast, explosive runner and also a terrific pass catcher, making him a perfect weapon for the modern game. . As an added bonus there isn’t a lot of wear on Jacobs tires, with most top running back prospects racking up more carries in a single season than he did for his entire college career. If a running back is going to be selected in the first round this year it’s going to be Jacobs as he’s the consensus “RB1”.
DraftWire (Luke Easterling) - Rock Ya-Sin, CB, Temple
After moving back just two spots and adding another pick in next year’s draft, the Eagles spend this pick on a player they likely would have been happy with at their original slot. Corner is still a huge need for Philly, and with Ya-Sin playing in town for the Owls, they won’t have to look for for a stud prospect.
RB Josh Jacobs - 6
S Johnathan Abram - 2
S Chauncey Gardner-Johnson - 1
CB Byron Murphy - 1
CB Deandre Baker - 1
CB Rock Ya-Sin - 1
DT Jerry Tillery - 1
DT Christian Wilkins - 1
DE Clelin Ferrell - 1
LB Devin White - 1
RB - 6
S - 3
CB - 3
DT - 2
DE - 1
LB - 1
Offense - 6
Defense - 10
- A number of the mocks (but not all of them) projecting Jacobs to the Eagles took place prior to the Jordan Howard trade. It’ll be interesting to see how next week’s mock roundup looks now that Howard is in the fold. The feeling here is that it’s not totally impossible the Eagles would draft Jacobs. It doesn’t seem like the most likely option, though.
- The Eagles are not drafting a box safety at No. 25. That’s not the kind of player they value that highly.
- The Eagles are not drafting a first round corner. It just doesn’t fit unless the player is clearly above everyone remaining on the board.
- The Eagles are not trading up for an off-ball linebacker. Again, it’s just not a position that this front office is going to heavily invest in.
- Tillery and Wilkins are the most realistic picks from this group in terms of who I could see the Eagles actually picking. It fills a need in boosting the defensive tackle rotation and actually makes sense given how the Eagles prioritize the trenches.