There are 24 days until the 2019 NFL Draft begins on Thursday, April 25. A little over three weeks away! 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.)
Last week, SB Nation’s Dan Kadar had the Eagles going with a defensive tackle in the first round. This week, Kadar has Philadelphia taking a hometown defensive back at No. 25 overall.
25. Philadelphia Eagles: Nasir Adderley, S, Delaware
Offseason needs: Safety, offensive tackle, running back, defensive line
If one of the better defensive tackles drops, that has to be pick for Philadelphia. If not, a safety like Adderley could be attractive. Adderley excels in coverage, with his ability to track the ball and speed to close on a play.
The 21-year-old Adderley measures in around 6-0, 206 pounds. He finished his Blue Hens career with 226 total tackles, 31 passes defensed, 10 interceptions, and 0.5 sacks. That’s really good production when it comes to making plays on the ball.
Adderley’s college tape prompted BGN’s Michael Kist to rank him as the No. 1 safety in this year’s draft.
Range? Check. Physicality? Check. Competitive toughness? Check. Adderley has everything you want from a center-fielder and more. Forget the fact that he plays for the Blue Hens. You’d be hard pressed to find better film from this defensive back class. His ball skills are constantly on display and have led to him picking off opposing quarterbacks nine times in the past two years. That’s even with teams shying away from him in 2018. How did he remain so productive? Diving and circus catch ball skills help. Adderley should test like a plus athlete with his straight-line speed and back-of-the-spoon smooth hips. The biggest question remaining is his ability to cover slot receivers in man coverage. He struggled with this at the Senior Bowl, but individual drills like that favor offense. He has experience in that world having played corner earlier in his career and has enough positive flashes on film to not be concerned. In a class missing rangy free safety types that can handle single-high responsibilities, Adderley stands on the top of the mountain.
Summary: Immediate starter at free safety.
Some may think safety isn’t a need given that the Eagles currently have Malcolm Jenkins, Rodney McLeod, and Andrew Sendejo as their top three players at that position. While the Eagles might be okay with that group in 2019, the outlook beyond this year is much less certain.
Jenkins turns 32 in December and he’s coming off a season where he didn’t miss a single snap. There’s a lot of wear and tear on his body. McLeod, who will be 29 in June, is coming off ACL/MCL injuries and is set to be a free agent after this season.
Something to keep in mind about Sendejo, who turns 32 in September, is that he’s not necessarily a lock to make the Eagles’ roster. The $1.3 million deal the Eagles signed him to is only worth $500,000 guaranteed. That’s less money than Philly gave to Corey Nelson last March before ultimately releasing him in August. As it currently stands, Sendejo’s signing (or L.J. Fort’s signing, depending how you look at it) currently cancels out the Eagles’ ability to receive a fourth-round comp pick in 2020 for Jordan Hicks signing with the Cardinals. Cutting Sendejo would allow the Eagles to potentially get that fourth-round pick in addition to saving $800,000 in cap space.
So, yeah, I don’t think the Eagles would mind adding a talented rookie safety who could be their No. 3 behind Jenkins and McLeod in 2019 before potentially taking over as a full-time starter in 2020. Adderley seems like one of the more realistic options at No. 25.
Should the Eagles draft Nasir Adderley at No. 25?
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