The 2019 NFL Draft is just days away! Mock draft season is running rampant 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 in our final mock draft roundup of the year.
The Draft Network Simulator (Custom) - Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma
BGN is hearing there’s some real buzz to the Eagles taking a wide receiver with one of their first three selections. It could be as soon as the first round. Consider that former Eagles scout Daniel Jeremiah has Philly taking Brown at No. 25. Also consider that Peter King, who has been very plugged in to Eagles draft info in the past, also connected Brown to the Eagles. Then remember that the Eagles have used more pre-draft visits on wide receivers than any other position. The case for the Eagles taking a receiver early this year involves several factors. First, this year’s class is considered to be a talented group. And while the position isn’t necessarily an immediate need for the Eagles, they could look to trade Nelson Agholor and his $9.4 million salary if they find his replacement. Or they could keep Agholor for one more year and let the rookie contribute as a role player before taking over full time in 2020. Howie Roseman has previously discussed receiver being a position where players especially need time to develop in the NFL. Alshon Jeffery turned 29 and DeSean Jackson turns 33 in December so the Eagles could have their eye on the future. The Eagles upgraded their team speed by acquiring Jackson this offseason and adding Brown would only give Carson Wentz yet another dynamic weapon to work with.
Bleeding Green Nation (Brandon Lee Gowton) - Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson
Christian Wilkins could potentially be a trade-up target for the Eagles, so the thinking here is the team would be sprinting to the podium if he’s still available at No. 25. Philadelphia prioritizes building through the trenches; it’s a strategy that paid off with a Super Bowl win in February 2018. It’s a no-brainer for the Eagles to add one of the best defensive linemen in this year’s draft. Defensive tackle might not *seem* like an immediate need given that the Eagles have Fletcher Cox and Malik Jackson starting at that spot. But the 29-year-old Jackson is coming off a season where he was benched, and Jim Schwartz loves to heavily rotate his defensive linemen in order to keep them fresh. The trio of Cox, Jackson, and Wilkins offers a lot of pass-rush juice. Wilkins finished with the second-highest pressure percentage among this year’s interior defenders, according to Pro Football Focus. Quite simply, Wilkins checks a lot of boxes. He boasts production, athleticism, talent, leadership, durability, versatility … you name it. The Eagles would love to see him fall to them.
Bleeding Green Nation (I Need a Username) - Garrett Bradbury, C, NC State
Championships are built through the trenches. The Super Bowl 52 Lombardi Trophy was certainly won in the trenches. We’ve heard time and time again that building up the offensive and defensive lines are at a level of importance just below finding a franchise QB. Teams always need to be adding talented youth to their pipelines if they want to compete in the foreseeable future. The Eagles already have Hal Vaitai, Jordan Mailata, and Matt Pryor as developmental pieces at tackle. While it’s not certain that any of those guys will ever be ready to start, and truly the Eagles know more than we do in regards to the viability of those players as future starters, early signs indicate that the Eagles are happy with what they have seen from their young offensive tackles. The development of Mailata and return of Jason Peters alone warrants at least one more year without drafting a sure fire blue chipper at that position high in the draft. Even if you disagree with that sentiment, the offensive tackle of your dreams is not on the board here. The Eagles roster does however need more talent at the G/C position. “But we have Kelce on the roster”, you yell at your monitor! Yes, this is true, but the Eagles don’t know how much longer Jason Kelce is going to play professional football. Heck, Jason Kelce doesn’t really know how much longer Jason Kelce is going to play football. Sure, he’s signed through 2021, but don’t let that fool you: retirement in the near future is still very much an option for the king of parade speeches. On top of that, Brandon Brooks is coming off a torn achilles. He could be out for a couple of weeks early in the season and even when he comes back there is a (knock on wood) very real possibility that an injury like that changes the type of player he is forever. I like Seumalo: but who knows if the guy has what it takes to be an above average starter in this league? When you really stop and look at it, the interior O-line is one of the positions with the most question marks next to it for this team. This is especially true after the departure of steady veteran Stephen Wisniewski. The Eagles need to select a player who can not only play, but play well, at one or both of those positions in the upcoming draft. Enter Garrett Bradbury.
SB Nation (Dan Kadar) - Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson
The Eagles could use some help on both lines. An interior offensive lineman like Chris Lindstrom of Boston College could be a target at No. 25. But a run stopper like Lawrence has appeal. The Eagles finished near the bottom of the NFL in rushing last season, and need more talent next to Fletcher Cox. Malik Jackson was a decent signing, but his best days are behind him. In a division with Saquon Barkley and Ezekiel Elliott, this has to be fixed for the Eagles.
ESPN Insider (Todd McShay) - 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.
Rotoworld (Evan Silva) - Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma
The Ringer (Danny Kelly) - Darnell Savage, S, Maryland
Explosive, versatile safety/slot corner hybrid with range, physicality, and an elite closing burst. — Savage is a compact, muscled-up, and supremely athletic defensive back with the versatility and play-recognition skills to play multiple roles in the secondary. The former Terp boasts Earl Thomas-esque field speed when coming downhill and reacts decisively before flying to the ball like a heat-seeking missile. He showed a nose for the ball at Maryland and notched eight interceptions, nine tackles for a loss, and 13 passes defended through the last three seasons. Savage strikes with physicality and force, but at times his aggressiveness can get him out of position. He may lack utility as a single-high safety—he was primarily used in two-high looks and as a slot defender in 2018—but Savage has all the traits to quickly develop into a versatile playmaking defensive back.
The Athletic (Bo Wulf) - Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson
There’s a case to be made that the Eagles’ best-case scenario is adding a true impact pass rusher like Florida State’s Brian Burns or Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver. But the cost to move up for either player is probably a second-round pick and we’re trying to spread the wealth in this perfect world. It sounds like Oklahoma wide receiver Marquise Brown might also cost the Eagles a trade-up if they’re enamored. For all the talk about how deep the defensive line class is this year, I think there’s more depth at defensive tackle than on the edge. There is also a better recent history of edge rushers making an impact at this stage of the draft compared to defensive tackles. Pro-Football-Reference’s Approximate Value is not a perfect stat, and it probably overrates mediocre players who accumulate starts at less important positions, but it helps paint a picture of cross-positional impact. Over the last 10 drafts, edge rushers selected between 21st and 35th overall produced the second-best Approximate Value of any position, behind only offensive tackle. Defensive tackles, meanwhile, ranked 10th of 11 positions for players selected in that range. As for Ferrell, his track record of production at a high level will be attractive to the Eagles. He recorded 27 sacks over the last three seasons, including 11.5 as a redshirt junior in 2018, though he did have the advantage of seeing fewer double teams than some of the draft’s other high-end pass rushers thanks to the depth of talent on Clemson’s defensive line. Ferrell’s 43rd-percentile three-cone time is a minor yellow flag, but his game is much more predicated on polish than untapped athleticism.
NFL.com (Chad Reuter) - Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama
Yes, the Eagles traded for Jordan Howard, but he has only one year left on his deal and giving up a 2020 sixth-round pick (conditions could allow it to flex to a fifth) is not exactly the price one would pay for a top difference-maker. Jacobs is a beast of a runner and could take pressure off of Carson Wentz.
NFL.com (Daniel Jeremiah) - Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma
It would make sense for the Eagles to add a receiver because I don’t think DeSean Jackson’s a long-term solution and they could lose Nelson Agholor next year, as he’s due to hit free agency.
CBS Sports (Cody Benjamin) - Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma
With an extra pick in tow from the move down [Eagles receive No. 130 from the Chargers to move from No. 25 to No. 28], Howie Roseman drafts for value and saves OL, DL and RB depth for later. With Nelson Agholor’s future beyond 2019 up in the air, he gets a potential top-15 talent and DeSean Jackson successor for the post-Carson Wentz extension days.
CBS Sports (Ryan Wilson) - Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, S, Florida
After the 2017 season there were questions about Gardner-Johnson’s tackling ability, but he proved he’s more than capable in ‘18, and his coverage ability makes him an attractive option for the Eagles.
CBS Sports (Will Brinson) - Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi State
Feels like the type of team willing to take a redshirt risk on a potential top-10 player who got hurt during the offseason, for a reduced cost.
Sports Illustrated (Jenny Ventras) - Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma
Brown’s size (5’ 9”, 166 pounds) turns off some evaluators, and the fact that he’s coming off an injury (Lisfranc surgery) adds to the durability concerns, but the Eagles don’t need any help in projecting him: He’s DeSean Jackson.
DraftTek (Broz) - Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson
Although the 2018 Eagles were respectable in Points Per Game Allowed (12th in NFL) and Sacks (8th with 44 sacks), their defense really didn’t scare or intimidate anyone. The Eagles were 23rd in YDS Allowed Per Game and 30th in Pass YDS Allowed...a testament that the defense was often in the infamous “Bend-But-Don’t-Break” mode. In fact, several of the 2018 losses were a result of the defense surrendering 4th quarter leads. If the Eagles want to maximize their Super Bowl window over the next five years, they need to restock their offensive and defensive lines. LT Jason Peters is running on fumes, DE Michael Bennett bolted for New England, and several of the other mainstays are getting up there in years. Not surprisingly, many of the Eagles’ official pre-Draft visits are linemen. One of those official visits in particular was with a guy that would be a perfect fit with the Eagles’ attacking 1-gap 4-3 scheme: Clemson’s Christian Wilkins. Personally, I just don’t see how this guy gets anywhere close to #25. Even with all the QB-needy teams reaching for QBs, and other teams prioritizing needs over BPA, I still don’t see Wilkins making it past the mid-teens. If he DOES make it to the 15-17 range, I’d fully expect Roseman to trade up and grab him, rather than waiting and hoping he slid to 25. I think the 2014 Draft taught Roseman that if “your guy” is within striking distance, you go get him. With 5.5 sacks, 14 TFL, and frequent QB pressures in 2018, Wilkins has the production, upside, and athleticism to be a pass rushing force next to Fletcher Cox for years.
Draft Countdown (Scott Wright) - Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson
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. Instead Philly may look to replenish a once deep defensive line rotation that has been a victim of attrition in recent years. Especially on the interior, where there is little or nothing beyond Fletcher Cox and the recently acquired Malik Jackson. There may not be a more freakish blend of size, strength and athleticism in this class than Lawrence, who at one time was being talked about as a potential #1 overall pick. An immovable object in the middle, Lawrence excels at eating gaps, stuffing the run and occupying multiple blockers. Lawrence isn’t a dynamic pass rusher but uses an outstanding combination of quickness and power to disrupt in the backfield and make plays up front.
NFL Draft Scout (Rob Rang) - Nasir Adderley, S, Delaware
Not every club has the guts to invest a first round pick in an FCS player like Adderley but taken a proven commodity like him at 25 is much tamer than investing the No. 2 overall selection in Carson Wentz or letting a Super Bowl MVP like Nick Foles walk away. Adderley possesses an ideal blend of size, range, tackling ability and ball-skills.
Draft King (Lou Pickney) - Chris Lindstrom, OG, Boston College
This scenario puts the Eagles at the end of a run on interior offensive linemen. But Lindstrom is no slouch, and with his stock rising late, he is looking more and more likely to hear his name called on night one.
Larry Brown Sports (Jason Lisk) - Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson
Dexter Lawrence has the smallest variance of where he is going of anyone outside of the top eight picks. He’s universally in the first round, but in a tight window between picks 19 and 32, which is pretty unusual for someone who is not in the upper half of anyone’s first round. The most likely destinations are the next two spots, where the Eagles and Colts are playoff teams that could add to their long-term defensive line depth. Philadelphia could also look to add Josh Jacobs at running back in this spot. Jacobs could get into the late first round though most teams could be looking at other primary needs.
NBCSP (Dave Zangaro) - Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson
If Wilkins makes it to the Eagles, I’m sure they’d run this pick in. I think there’s a chance he’s there, but not a great chance. But he would be a perfect fit for them. He would be a rotational player behind Fletcher Cox and Malik Jackson to start, but would become a really solid long-term starter. The only thing to worry about is that he’s already 23, but he checks every other box. Productive and disruptive college player at a position of importance, and a solid locker room presence. Sign me up.
NJ.com (Mike Kaye) - Jerry Tillery, DT, Notre Dame
The Eagles decided to pick up a third-round pick after seeing how much talent fell to them at No. 25. The Eagles were patient and waited and received a major asset. Tillery should serve as the top backup in the defensive line rotation. The idea of Fletcher Cox, Malik Jackson and Tillery rotating at defensive tackle should give opposing offensive coordinators nightmares.
Washington Post (John Clayton) - N’Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State
The Eagles’ biggest need is at cornerback, but with Greedy Williams, Murphy and Baker all gone in this scenario, Harry is a nice luxury pick. One of the players he is compared to is the Eagles’ Alshon Jeffery, and he could see some early snaps out of the slot for Philadelphia.
DraftBlaster - Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson
The Eagles have succeeded by first building up their two lines. They went all in to win a SB, but now have to replenish in the trenches with young, cheap talent. Lawrence is simply immovable on the D-line, and could eat up space, allowing the wide 9 defensive ends to attack the QB.
DraftWire (Luke Easterling) - Cody Ford, OT, Oklahoma
There are many different ways the Eagles could go here, but finding an eventual replacement for Jason Peters should be a top priority. While many believe Ford will be relegated to guard at the next level, he has all the tools to be a successful tackle in the NFL. Letting him learn behind a quality veteran like Peters for a season before taking over would make him even more successful down the road.
WR Marquise Brown - 5
DT Dexter Lawrence - 4
DT Christian Wilkins - 3
DT Jeffery Simmons - 2
DT Jerry Tillery - 1
S Darnell Savage - 1
S Chauncey Gardner-Johnson - 1
S Nasir Adderley - 1
WR N’Keal Harry - 1
DE Clelin Ferrell - 1
RB Josh Jacobs - 1
OG Chris Lindstrom - 1
OT Cody Ford - 1
C Garrett Bradbury - 1
DT - 10
WR - 6
S - 3
DE - 1
RB - 1
OG - 1
OT - 1
C - 1
Offense - 10
Defense - 14
- This roundup has defensive line and wide receiver as the top two most popular positions. Based on some educated guessing, I think that lines up with what’s really going to happen if the Eagles stay at No. 25 on Thursday night.
- The late buzz on Hollywood to the Eagles is interesting. It kind of reminds me of how Sony Michel suddenly popped up on Philly’s radar last year around this time. Of course, we never got to see if the Eagles would’ve taken Michel at No. 32 because the Patriots took him at No. 31.
- Some fans have expressed concern over Brown’s Lisfranc injury but Daniel Jeremiah said at least one NFL general manager told him there’s no worry about that. Media reports indicate Brown will be ready for training camp.
- The Eagles really lacked team speed last year. Maybe they feel like they need to overcorrect in that regard by adding Brown despite also re-acquiring DeSean. And/or maybe they feel like they need to do everything they can to get Wentz to succeed.
- I think the Eagles go safety on Day 2 instead of Day 1. Seems like they’ll have some good options at No. 53 or No. 57.
- Who do you want the Eagles to pick?