The 2019 NFL Draft will be here in less than two weeks! Mock draft season is in full 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.
The Draft Network Simulator (Custom) - Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama
I don’t think Williams will be here on draft night. There’s buzz that he’s going in the top 10. Williams did make it to No. 25 in this simulation, though, and I have a screenshot to prove it:
Williams was the best player available on the board at this pick. He just so happens to fill a huge future need with 37-year-old Jason Peters likely retiring after this season. Let’s not forget that Halapoulivaati Vaitai is also scheduled to be a free agent in 2020. Drafting Williams gives the Eagles more depth in 2019 and a long-term replacement moving forward. Protecting Carson Wentz is key.
SB Nation (Dan Kadar) - Chris Lindstrom, G, Boston College
Lindstrom is the kind of plug-and-play prospect a playoff team like Philadelphia should be after in this draft. Don’t forget, it was just last month that Jason Kelce flirted with retirement before ultimately deciding to re-sign with the Eagles. If Philadelphia is concerned about that happening after this season, Lindstrom is at the least some insurance. Don’t put it past Lindstrom to push for a starting guard job, though.
ESPN In$ider (Todd McShay) - Greedy Williams, CB, LSU
Philly needs some secondary help after the team allowed the third-highest passing yardage in 2018. Williams is what we call a buffet tackler -- he picks and chooses -- but he has length and speed to overcome it and contribute.
ESPN In$ider (Mel Kiper) - Johnathan Abram, S, Mississippi State
Philadelphia was the beneficiary of Baltimore trading up into the first round last year, as the Eagles got an extra 2019 second-rounder. And when you study this roster, you don’t see a ton of holes. GM Howie Roseman has done a nice job this offseason, adding quality veterans at running back (Jordan Howard), defensive line (Malik Jackson and Vinny Curry) and wide receiver (DeSean Jackson) but not committing a ton of long-term money. So if I’m taking Roseman’s job as GM in Philly, give me an heir apparent for Malcolm Jenkins in Abram, a physical and tough tackler who can play in space.
Rotoworld (Josh Norris) - Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, S, Florida
Maybe the Eagles target a building block for the future along the offensive line. I don’t see an edge rusher or linebacker on the board they’d target this high. The likeliest outcome could be trading out. But a versatile safety could be at the top of the wishlist, and CGJ is just that.
Rotoworld (Evan Silva) - Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson
The Draft Network (Kyle Crabbs) - Chase Winovich, DE, Michigan
Eat your heart out, Oakland. Man, WHAT A BUNCH OF SUCKERS! Winovich would have looked great in silver and black, but the Eagles wear black sometimes too so that’s still cool. Philly traded away Michael Bennett, so there’s some vacancy on this defensive line. Winovich is a long term pick, but the’s the kind of player Philly will extend their winning window with by targeting.
The Athletic (Dane Brugler) - Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson
The Eagles currently have a crowded defensive end depth chart, but Howie Roseman is always looking to add talent in the trenches, especially on the edge. Ferrell might not be a quick-twitch speed rusher, but he understands hand tactics and leverage to out-maneuver blockers.
DraftTek (Broz) - Chris Lindstrom, G, Boston College
For this CMD, the team analysts at DraftTek were given the directive to “choose the player you THINK your team will select”, vs. “choose the player you WANT your team to select”. This week’s mock is the perfect time for this exercise as Eagles Analyst, as the options available to me this week will probably be very similar to the options that will be available to Howie & Co. on April 25th. There are no elite D-Linemen available here (unless you put Jerry Tillery in that list, who I consider “good” rather than “elite”). There are some safeties available, some WRs, some O-Linemen, RB Josh Jacobs, and Top 5 talent/medical gamble DT Jeffery Simmons. If the board played out this way for the Eagles, I can almost guarantee you Roseman would burn a 2nd rounder to move up and grab either Christian Wilkins (selected at 14) or Rashan Gary (picked one spot later). Gary’s immense upside is tempting as hell; however, Wilkins’ ceiling is also plenty high, but with a much-lower bust potential. Since no trades are allowed this week, the Eagles select OG Chris Lindstrom (one of the Eagles’ official pre-draft visits). Personally, I’m not a big fan of selecting Guards in the RD1 unless they are projected to have O-Tackle versatility in the NFL. Although Lindstrom did log 11 games at RT at BC, I’m not sure you’d want him on the edge in the NFL unless it was in an emergency situation. Having said that, Lindstrom looks like a guy that could play all three interior O-Line spots, and after enjoying nearly a decade of elite Center play with Jason Kelce, it might be nice to have a highly-athletic heir-apparent on the roster when Kelce retires. The Eagles definitely value athleticism with their interior linemen, and with a 4.91 forty, a 30.5” vertical, and a 7.61 in the three-cone, Lindstrom does not lack in the quickness department. There aren’t too many “Guard Highlight Videos” around, but here’s Lindstrom at work against VA Tech and TheGreatBudFoster’s vaunted defense.
NFL.com (Charley Casserly) - Greg Little, OT, Ole Miss
PROJECTED TRADE WITH RAVENS [up to No. 22 overall] — The foundation of the Eagles’ recent success has been the strength of their O-line, so adding a quality player here helps now and for the future.
CBS Sports (Ryan Wilson) - Juan Thornhill, S, Virginia
Thornhill had a quietly effective 2018 campaign and he used the combine as an exclamation point on the season. He ran a 4.42 40, had a 44-inch vertical, and that, coupled with his game film, could see him sneak into Round 1.
CBS Sports (Pete Prisco) - Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson
He’s a power player who would be in the rotation with Fletcher Cox and Malik Jackson. Lawrence might end up as a better pro than college player.
CBS Sports (Chris Trapasso) - Devin Bush, LB, Michigan
Abram is a tone-setter at safety and has some linebacker to his game. He could blossom into a superstar learning from Malcolm Jenkins for a season or two. [BLG Note: So ... did Trapasso mean to write Johnathan Abram instead of Devin Bush?]
CBS Sports (Jared Dubin) - Johnathan Abram, S, Mississippi State
The Eagles could always opt for a defensive lineman, of course, but the secondary seems like a bigger need right now.
Sports Illustrated (Conor Orr) - Byron Murphy, CB, Washington
Post-Jordan Howard trade, I still think cornerback makes the most sense here. Murphy was fun to watch in the Rose Bowl game against an elite college QB and wide receiver talent.
NJ.com (Zack Rosenblatt) - Cody Ford, OT, Oklahoma
TRADE: Eagles trade first-round pick (No. 25), second-round pick (No. 57) and 2020 fourth-round pick for Steelers’ first-round pick (No. 20) and third-round pick (No. 83). The Eagles have the ammo to move up in the first round if a player they like falls, and Ford would make a lot of sense as a target. He’s capable of stepping in at guard now — which the Eagles might need with Brandon Brooks recovering from an Achilles injury — while also developing to eventually replace Jason Peters at left tackle. The Eagles simply need to plan for the future on the O-Line, though defensive tackle Christian Wilkins would be a viable trade-up target too. From the Steelers’ perspective, they move up from No. 83 to No. 57 and add a pick next year for the price of just moving back five slots in the first round and take a player they might want at No. 20 anyway.
DraftWire (Luke Easterling) - Byron Murphy, CB, Washington
The Eagles have bigger needs than corner, but passing up a complete player like Murphy would be difficult. While he lacks the elite physical tools of other corners in this class, Murphy’s instincts, intelligence and ball skills set him apart.
DT Dexter Lawrence - 2
OG Chris Lindstrom - 2
S Johnathan Abram - 2
CB Byron Murphy - 2
CB Greedy Williams - 1
S Chauncey Gardner-Johnson - 1
S Juan Thornhill - 1
OT Jonah Williams - 1
OT Cody Ford - 1
OT Greg Little - 1
DE Chase Winovich - 1
DE Clelin Ferrell - 1
LB Devin Bush - 1
S - 4
OT - 3
CB - 3
OG - 2
DT - 2
DE - 2
LB - 1
Offense - 5
Defense - 12
- My big takeaway here is that none of the “experts” have a great feel for what the Eagles are actually going to do. These picks are all over the place.
- A number of these picks just don’t feel super realistic to me. They don’t line up with what Philly values with their premium resources. I can’t see the Eagles picking a run-stuffing tackle (Lawrence), a box safety (Abram), a cornerback, or a linebacker at No. 25.
- Ferrell, Gardner-Johnson, and Ford seem like the most realistic picks from this bunch.
- Winovich and Thornhill are typically mocked lower than the first round but there are always some surprise picks on Day 1. Maybe their stock is higher than the media has made it seem.
- Who do you want the Eagles to pick?