The 2019 NFL Draft is just a little over two weeks away and that means we’re stuck in a time where we’re inundated with endless mock drafts. ESPN put out two mocks in one post last week but now they’re back with an entirely new one.
This version is a little different because it’s Todd McShay’s “best-case” edition, which means he’s not making picks based on what he thinks IS going to happen. He’s making the picks based on what he thinks SHOULD happen.
Here’s who McShay has the Philadelphia Eagles taking with their first three selections:
Round 1 (25): Greedy Williams, CB, LSU
Round 2 (53): Elgton Jenkins, C, Mississippi State
Round 2 (57): Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama
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. Thompson is rangy, with good ball skills on the back end. Jenkins would provide some depth behind Jason Kelce at center, though he has the versatility to play other positions.
Drafting a first-round corner just doesn’t make a ton of sense to me.
The justification of the perceived need is poor. Volume stats like “[opponent] passing yardage” lack context. A metric such as opponent yards per pass attempt is more useful. If you go by that one, the Eagles ranked tied for 13th in the league last year. That figure lines up more with the Eagles’ pass defense DVOA ranking (15th) and their Pro Football Focus coverage grade ranking (15th).
The Eagles’ pass defense was far from elite last year but it also wasn’t among the worst units in the league. There were struggles at times, for sure, but the defense really stepped up late in the game. On the whole, it was an average unit.
Painting the Eagles’ secondary as this awful unit that desperately needs an immediate fusion of young talent just seems to ignore the scope of that position. There are already a lot of young players at that spot. Look back at what Howie Roseman said about the team’s cadre of corners earlier this offseason:
“We’ve used a lot of draft picks at that position and you have to give your young players a chance to grow. You really have to give everyone the chance to grow into their roles. We’re all looking forward to them taking their next step, those young guys.”
Maybe Roseman is playing four-dimensional chess and using that quote as a smokescreen. I tend to think it’s an honest assessment.
Is Williams so good that he’s really the best-case scenario for the Eagles at No. 25? Daniel Jeremiah has the LSU corner as his No. 32 overall prospect. The Draft Network and CBS Sports both have Williams at No. 25 overall.
McShay has the Eagles notably passing on the following prospects to take Williams: Jerry Tillery, Cody Ford, Garrett Bradbury, Chris Lindstrom, Dexter Lawrence, N’Keal Harry, Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, and Nasir Adderley.
Moving on to Jenkins and Thompson, I do think interior offensive line and safety are positions the Eagles do want to address in this year’s draft. But I also think it’s weird to call this an “A grade” draft for the Eagles without giving them a defensive lineman at some point. It feels like the class is too deep and the need is too great for them to not at take at least one in the first two days.
What say you? Is this really an “A” worthy mock for the Eagles?
Grade Todd McShay’s "best-case" mock draft for the Eagles
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