The 2019 NFL Draft is only one week away. The end of the tunnel is in sight. Until then, we still have mock drafts to pass the time.
ESPN’s latest mock features Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay alternating picks for the first three rounds. These analysts are making picks they think teams SHOULD make as opposed to making picks they think teams WILL make.
Here’s a look the Eagles’ haul:
25. Philadelphia Eagles — McShay’s pick: Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi State. Simmons could redshirt in 2019, but in time, he could fill the Tim Jernigan role smack in the middle of that 4-3 Eagles line. He’s a top-15 talent in the class, but a torn ACL means he drops.
53. Philadelphia Eagles (from BAL) — McShay’s pick: Taylor Rapp, S, Washington. We went defensive line in the first round, so now is the time to dive into the secondary. Rapp’s instincts should make an immediate impact on one of the league’s worst passing defenses.
57. Philadelphia Eagles — McShay’s pick: Miles Sanders, RB, Penn State. I love this pick. Sanders will make defenders miss and can contribute in the passing game. A Jordan Howard-Sanders duo would be pretty effective for the Birds.
I’m floored by these selections. How could the Eagles possibly not address their biggest first round need: cornerback? Or a box safety?!
For the uninitiated, that’s just a joke about how ESPN’s mocks have made questionable picks for the Eagles leading up to this year’s NFL Draft. It’s surprising to see some selections that appear to be in the realm of being realistic!
Simmons would be a pretty ballsy pick for the Eagles. He’s very talented but he’s also recovering from an ACL injury. Not to mention there are questions about his character due an incident in his past. While I like the idea of the Eagles landing a player with Simmons’ upside, I’m not crazy about taking injured players. History has shown that the “medical redshirt” pick often doesn’t work out so great in the NFL. The Eagles have experienced this disappointment firsthand with Sidney Jones to this point in his career.
Another issue with taking Simmons is that the Eagles would still need to find immediate impact at defensive tackle elsewhere. A player’s long-term outlook matters more than their short-term outlook when it comes to the draft but there’s still some value in the latter, especially for a team like the Eagles that’s trying hard to compete in 2019. I think the Eagles want to walk away with someone they can count on to contribute this season.
Should the Eagles draft Jeffery Simmons at No. 25?
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The book on Rapp (the rap on Rapp? Rapp’s rap?) is that he’s a physical defender who is only average in coverage. He’s viewed as a “safe” pick. BGN’s Michael Kist has him as his fifth best safety in this year’s class.
Maybe the Eagles like Rapp but I think they’d be looking for a safety who’s stronger in coverage. McShay has the Eagles passing over the likes over Nasir Adderley (No. 59) and Chauncey Gardner-Johnson (No. 63) to take Rapp. I think two those players would be more preferable.
Sanders is a divisive prospect. I know this much from reading the comments here at Bleeding Green Nation on the “The Eagles like Miles Sanders. A lot.” post from Wednesday. This description from Thor Nystrom sums up both side of the argument:
If Sanders hits his ceiling, he’s going to become one of the best backs in this class — perhaps even the very best. If it turns out that this is just sort of who he is, then he’ll be a solid-enough committee guy, eminently replaceable.
Ending up with a replacement level running back in the second round would be a bad use of resources. Perhaps the Eagles are sold on Sanders’ upside. For those who aren’t sold and prefer Darrell Henderson, well, Kiper and McShay don’t even have him being selected in the first three rounds.
This simulation is hardly my dream scenario for the Eagles but it’s an upgrade on previous ESPN mocks. How would you grade this haul?
Grade this the Eagles’ mock draft selections of Jeffery Simmons, Taylor Rapp, and Miles Sanders
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