Eagles

Hudrick's 2017 NFL mock draft 1.0: Eagles get potential shutdown corner

Hudrick's 2017 NFL mock draft 1.0: Eagles get potential shutdown corner

Super Bowl Sunday is upon us, which means the 2017 NFL draft is right around the corner. The Eagles will either hold the No. 14 or 15 overall pick (the pick will be decided via coin flip) thanks to their trade with the Minnesota Vikings for quarterback Sam Bradford. Here is Paul Hudrick's mock draft 1.0 to get you ready for the 2017 NFL draft, which takes place April 27-29 in Philadelphia.

*Denotes junior
** Denotes redshirt sophomore

1. Cleveland Browns - *DE Myles Garrett, Texas A&M, 6-5/270
Garrett is going to be a disruptive player in the NFL for a long time. He should fit just fine in Gregg Williams' 4-3 scheme.

2. San Francisco 49ers - DE Jonathan Allen, Alabama, 6-3/291
If Allen had come out as a junior last season — like Garrett this year — he likely would've been picked in the teens. Allen gives the 49ers another young, talented piece in their front seven. New GM John Lynch will opt for defense and look to get new head coach Kyle Shanahan a veteran quarterback.

3. Chicago Bears - *QB Mitch Trubisky, North Carolina, 6-3/220
Trubisky has the best arm talent of any quarterback in the draft. Then again, the arm talent of the current Bears’ quarterback has never been questioned. Trubisky’s tools will be too much for the Bears to pass up.

4. Jacksonville Jaguars - *RB Leonard Fournette, LSU, 6-1/235
Fournette has the best strength and speed combo I've seen since Adrian Peterson. He battled a nagging ankle sprain all season, but when he did play, he was scary. He'll add a dynamic playmaker and a physical aspect to the Jaguars' offense.

5. Tennessee Titans - **CB Marshon Lattimore, Ohio State, 6-1/192
Lattimore has elite size and athleticism. Jason McCourty has one year left on his deal and there's not a ton of depth at that position. Lattimore has the potential to become a No. 1 corner.

6. New York Jets - *S Jamal Adams, LSU, 6-1/213
Calvin Pryor has struggled. So has the entire Jets' secondary. Enter Jamal Adams, a special safety with the ability to disrupt against the run and the pass. The best part of his game is his calmness. He dissects plays and plays under control.

7. Los Angeles Chargers - **S Malik Hooker, Ohio State, 6-2/205
Hooker is an elite centerfielder with crazy range and ball skills. He's been compared to future HOF safety Ed Reed. He adds to a Chargers defense that could be a decent unit if healthy. 

8. Carolina Panthers - *DE Derek Barnett, Tennessee, 6-3/265
After Garrett, Barnett is probably the best pure pass rusher in this draft. The Panthers desperately need a strong outside rusher to complement their depth at tackle and linebacker.

9. Cincinnati Bengals - LB Reuben Foster, Alabama, 6-1/228
A pick that just makes a ton of sense. Foster has been (fairly) compared to the Panthers' Luke Kuechly. He forms a scary tandem with Vontaze Burfict playing on the weakside.

10. Buffalo Bills - *QB DeShone Kizer, Notre Dame, 6-4/230
The Tyrod Taylor situation was a mess. So was Rex Ryan's firing. Welcome to Buffalo, DeShone! From watching the three likely first-round quarterbacks, Kizer is the one I actually like the most. I see a lot of Steve McNair in him.

11. New Orleans Saints - *DL Solomon Thomas, Stanford, 6-3/273
You could really project any defensive player to the Saints here. Thomas teams up with last year's first-round pick, Sheldon Rankins, and veteran Cameron Jordan. That has the makings of a solid unit.

12. Cleveland Browns - *QB Deshaun Watson, Clemson, 6-3/215
This would work out pretty well for Cleveland. They'd get arguably the best player in the draft and the best quarterback in college football last season. Watson's intangibles are off the charts. His decision making waned at times during the year, but his National Championship performance was one for the ages.

13. Arizona Cardinals - *WR Mike Williams, Clemson, 6-3/225
Sorry, Eagles fans, but I just don't see a way Williams gets to No. 14 or 15. He could easily go in the top 10. Williams is a perfect fit for Arizona. He can learn under future HOFer Larry Fitzgerald. 

14/15. Indianapolis Colts - DE/OLB Tim Williams, Alabama, 6-4/252
Like the Saints, you could throw any defensive player here and it would be a solid pick. Williams isn't just a pass rusher, either. He's instinctive and disruptive in the run game as well. He's a perfect replacement for the retiring Robert Mathis.

14/15. Philadelphia Eagles - *CB Sidney Jones, Washington, 6-0/181
Jones isn't the sexiest name available, but he's been an outstanding football player for Washington. After starting 25 of 26 games and racking up six interceptions in his freshman and sophomore seasons, teams stayed away from Jones in 2016.

Before the Peach Bowl, Alabama head coach Nick Saban compared Washington's secondary to the Seattle Seahawks' Legion of Boom. If that's the case, Jones was the Huskies' Richard Sherman. Jones lined up on the left and locked down that side of the field. According to PFF, Jones only saw 48 targets, 199th in the nation. Opposing quarterbacks had a rating of 42.2 when targeting him.

He'd fit in Jim Schwartz's scheme. He excels in both man and zone coverage and plays the game with a ton of confidence. He's fluid in his movements and may be the most technically sound corner in this draft. He's got long arms and is extremely physical at the line of scrimmage. Jones can start right away and make an impact in the Eagles' secondary.

Sure, receiver is a huge need as well. At this point, Western Michigan's Corey Davis would be the best on the board. As good as Davis is (I profiled him relentlessly this season), a player like Jones, with the potential to become a shutdown corner, is more valuable. Florida's Teez Tabor will be brought up in this range as well. He's another very good prospect, but Jones is a more consistent player and the one the Eagles should take.

16. Baltimore Ravens - WR Corey Davis, Western Michigan, 6-3/213
If the Eagles take Davis, I wouldn't be surprised. Davis is a precise route runner who is physical and fast. He's been my draft crush all year and worthy of top-10 consideration. A minor ankle procedure will cause him to miss pre-draft workouts, but it shouldn't affect his draft status.

17. Washington Redskins - *WR John Ross, Washington, 5-11/190
The Redskins will likely lose DeSean Jackson and possibly Pierre Garcon this offseason. If they're looking for replacements with similar skills, they could take the lightning fast Ross to pair with last year's first-round pick Josh Doctson.

18. Tennessee Titans - *CB Teez Tabor, Florida, 6-0/201
Tabor has impressed with his ball skills and his swagger, something people have noted as a trait Schwartz will appreciate. I wouldn't fault the Eagles for taking Tabor instead of Jones. I just see Jones as the more reliable of the two. Tabor and Lattimore could be a formidable duo for the Titans.

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - *RB Dalvin Cook, Florida State, 5-11/213
With Doug Martin's future uncertain, Cook is a legitimate playmaker and a three-down back. Martin finished second in the league in rushing in 2015 in Dirk Koetter's offense. Cook should be able to have similar success. 

20. Denver Broncos - *OT Cam Robinson, Alabama, 6-6/310
The Broncos need to establish themselves as a run-first offense and protect whoever is under center. Robinson has been a hotly debated prospect, but I still consider him the No. 1 offensive lineman on the board.

21. Detroit Lions - **CB Marlon Humphrey, Alabama, 6-1/196
Before struggling in the College Football Playoff, many experts considered Humphrey the best corner in the draft. He has world-class speed. He's also got great size and is a physical player.

22. Miami Dolphins - TE O.J. Howard, Alabama, 6-6/251
The run on Alabama players continues. Jarvis Landry is a model of consistency while Devante Parker had a decent sophomore campaign. The Dolphins also saw running back Jay Ajayi emerge as a bell cow back. Howard gives Ryan Tannehill a serious threat at tight end as head coach Adam Gase continues to get more pieces for his offense.

23. New York Giants - *LB Zach Cunningham, Vanderbilt, 6-4/230
For as strong as the Giants' defense was, they were still missing a playmaking linebacker. Cunningham fits that bill. He's likely more of a 4-3 outside linebacker at the next level, but spent his time on the inside at Vandy. With his athleticism, he never has to come off the field.

24. Oakland Raiders - *TE David Njoku, Miami, 6-4/245
Derek Carr has two outside threats in Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree and the team would be wise to bring back free-agent running back Latavius Murray. In Njoku, Carr gets a dynamic tight end who can expose the middle of the defense and stretch the field.

25. Houston Texans - *OT, Ryan Ramczyk, Wisconsin, 6-6/314
Could the Texans use this pick in an attempt to get a quarterback? After watching Brock Osweiler this year, they probably should. But Ramczyk could fill a similar hole as Lane Johnson did for the Eagles. He could start his career at right tackle before taking over on the left for a former All-Pro in Duane Brown.

26. Seattle Seahawks - *OT Garett Bolles, Utah, 6-5/300
The Seahawks just miss out on Ramczyk but get a decent consolation prize in Bolles. While Ramczyk may fit better in the run game, Bolles is very long and athletic. He needs to add some strength, but Bolles has potential.

27. Kansas City Chiefs - *RB Christian McCaffrey, Stanford, 6-0/200
Jamaal Charles has likely played his last game with the Chiefs and perhaps his last game ever. Spencer Ware had a good season, but McCaffrey offers more. Give McCaffrey Charcandrick West's touches, and Ware and McCaffrey could form a nice one-two punch in Andy Reid's offense.

28. Dallas Cowboys - DE Taco Charlton, Michigan, 6-6/272
Charlton is a perfect fit for Rod Marinelli and the Cowboys. Dallas hasn't had a player register double-digit sacks since 2013. Charlton may not reach that mark in 2017, but certainly has the potential to do it in the future.

29. Green Bay Packers - DE Takkarist McKinley, UCLA, 6-2/265
Both Charlton and McKinley could end up going earlier. This a great draft for edge rushers, especially in the first round. What stands out most about McKinley is his length. His hands almost touch the ground in a two-point stance. With Julius Peppers and Nick Perry set to hit free agency, McKinley may be the best player available and fit a need.

30. Pittsburgh Steelers - *DE Charles Harris, Missouri, 6-3/260
Harris played primarily with his hand in the dirt, but I thought some of his better pass rushes came out of a two-point stance. James Harrison isn't immortal (I don't think), so the Steelers need to groom someone on the other side of the promising Bud Dupree. The disappointing Jarvis Jones is also a free agent.

31. Atlanta Falcons - *S Jabrill Peppers, Michigan, 6-1/205
Peppers is a weird prospect because nobody is quite sure where he fits and he only had one career interception. There's clearly talent there, but it's tough to define him as either a safety or linebacker (or a running back?). I bet on Dan Quinn to find a use for Peppers as he continues to build his defense around dynamic athletes.

32. New England Patriots - *DE, Carl Lawson, Auburn, 6-2/253
For as stingy as the Patriots' defense was, they could have used a little more sack production from their outside rushers. Lawson would be an intriguing prospect for Bill Belichick and company. He isn't as physically imposing as Charlton or McKinley, but he was just as disruptive in 2016.

Eagles Milestones: Carson Wentz chasing all kinds of feats

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USA Today Images/AP Images

Eagles Milestones: Carson Wentz chasing all kinds of feats

As we move into Week 11, the Eagles continue to chase several notable milestones, both individually and as a team.

We take a look at Carson Wentz's ongoing streaks, record-setting run defense and Jake Elliott's scoring pace in this week's edition of Eagles Milestone Watch:

• Wentz leads the NFL with 23 touchdown passes on top of the 16 he threw last year. Wentz’s 39 TD passes so far are 19th most in NFL history by a quarterback in his first two seasons but only three out of 11th place. At his current pace, he’ll have 55 career TDs by the end of the year, which would be second most in NFL history after two years behind Dan Marino’s 68.

• The Eagles Sunday night will be seeking their eighth straight game with 100 or more rushing yards gained and fewer than 100 rushing yards allowed. That would be the fourth-longest streak in NFL history and the second-longest in the last 50 years, behind only the Steelers’ 10-game streak in 2001. 

• Elliott has scored 75 points in eight games and is on pace for 140 points in just 15 games this year. The NFL rookie scoring record is 150 points, set in 2014 by Eagles kicker Cody Parkey, who's now with the Dolphins.

• The Eagles have scored 26 or more points in seven straight games. If they score 26 against the Cowboys, they would set a franchise record with eighth consecutive games with at least 26 points and share the 14th-longest streak in NFL history.

• If Wentz throws a touchdown against the Cowboys, this would be his 12th straight game with a TD pass. That would be the third-longest streak in Eagles history, behind two Randall Cunningham streaks — 18 games over the 1987 and 1988 seasons and 13 games in 1990. If Wentz throws at least one TD and one or fewer interceptions, he would have 12 straight games with at least one TD and one or no INTs, which would be the 13th-longest streak in NFL history.

Eagles notes, quotes and tidbits: Zach Ertz's blocking much improved

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USA Today Images

Eagles notes, quotes and tidbits: Zach Ertz's blocking much improved

Zach Ertz's statistical growth is pretty easy to measure. 

In eight games this season, Ertz has 43 catches for 528 yards and six touchdowns. He leads the Eagles in every category and that's even after missing the Denver game with a hamstring injury before the bye. (He'll likely be back this week.)

It's a little harder to measure Ertz's growth as a blocker. But there has been a ton of growth since his arrival in Philadelphia in 2013. He has gone from being a liability as a blocker as a rookie to a decent blocker in a few years. 

How rare are truly complete tight ends? 

"Those guys are hard to find," Eagles tight ends coach Justin Peelle said last week. "Really, you gotta understand that tight ends, in general, are always going to give up size and strength, just because most of them are 250, 260, where most of the defensive ends they're blocking are upwards of 300 pounds. Then it comes down to technique and your strength and things like that. Those guys are really hard to find." 

Coming into the NFL, it was pretty clear Ertz had a ton of natural ability as a pass-catcher and that ability has shown itself. But as a blocker, things didn't come naturally.

It has taken years of work and emphasis from coaches and veteran Brent Celek, who is regarded as a really good blocking tight end. 

"That's always been something that's not his strength," Peele said. "He takes pride in it, he wants to be better. He doesn't want it to be a weakness but it was not a natural thing for him. We worked a lot on his technique, his hands, his understanding of the game. You have to consistently work on it and to his credit, he's embraced it and hasn't shied away from." 

Protect yourself 
The Eagles have allowed 54 quarterback hits this season, which places them 12th in the NFL. On all but one of them, Carson Wentz was the recipient. And Wentz takes some more hits out of the pocket. 

Wentz has been hit more than the Eagles have probably been comfortable with and he's been sacked 23 times. Sure, the offensive line gave up some of them, but Wentz deserves some blame too. There's a fine line between trying to gain extra yards and taking an unnecessary hit. 

Where's that line? 

"No. 1 is protect yourself, whether it's sliding, going down, getting out of bounds. That's the first thing," head coach Doug Pederson said. "I've said this before that unless it's the game-winner in the Super Bowl, protect yourself. That's the line." 

For the most part, Wentz has gotten better at protecting himself this season. There are still times, though, where he'll avoid pressure and leave his coaches and fans holding their breath. 

The conversation isn't going anywhere. 

"It's part of it. It's always a process," Wentz said. "We talk about it, shoot, it seems like every week. Just about where you can improve in every facet of the game and that comes up as well." 

North of the border 
Every once in a while, I take a look through CFL rosters just to see if there are some names I recognize. I'm aware this is unusual. 

But during my perusing, I happened to see plenty of former Eagles on CFL rosters. Some of these names you probably haven't heard for a while. 

Eskimos: Edmonton features two notable former Eagles. Yes, Aaron Grymes and Phillip Hunt are teammates. Grymes was a defensive back who was with the Eagles for the last two preseasons and came pretty close to making the team. After getting cut this year, he went back to the CFL, where he has been an All-Star. And remember Hunt? He was with the Eagles from 2011-13. He played 22 of his 24 career NFL games with the Eagles 

Blue Bombers: Chris Givens has landed with Winnipeg this season. He was Howie Roseman's cheap speed option before the 2016 season but was cut in August. He didn't have much of a role with the Blue Bombers this season, returning nine kicks for 184 yards. 

Tiger Cats: QB Everett Golson was never actually on the Eagles' roster but he did come in for a tryout with the Birds in 2016. The Notre Dame QB is a backup for Hamilton. He completed all four of his passes in 2017 for 25 yards. 

Alouettes: Montreal has a couple former Eagles receivers in T.J. Graham and B.J. Cunningham. Graham was with the Eagles in the 2016 offseason and Cunningham bounced around with the Eagles from 2012-14, playing in two games in 2013. Cunningham has actually become a really good CFL receiver. This season, he had 69 catches for 1,128 yards (8th in the CFL) and four touchdowns. 

Argonauts: Toronto is officially the old Eagles landing spot. Mitchell White, who was with the Eagles this offseason, is back in the CFL. He's there with former Eagles quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson and linebacker Akeem Jordan. Remember Jordan? He spent 2007-12 with the Eagles and played 82 games with 34 starts. Not bad for an undrafted rookie. Bethel-Thompson was actually the first QB Pederson brought in as head coach; he would later bring in one a little better. 

There are just four teams left in the CFL playoffs — the Roughriders play the Argonauts, while the Eskimos play the Stampeders. Winners go to the Grey Cup. 

Quote of the Week I: "If you want to live to see 75, you better shut your a** up." — Lane Johnson to his grandma, a Cowboys fan

Quote of the Week II: "Hey, Santander Bank? I need to make a deposit! A big deposit!" —Chris Long during Tim Jernigan's meeting with the media

Quote of the Week III: "Wentz be here early as hell. Every time I came scooting in on my scooter, Wentz ass be sittin' there in the locker. I'll be like 'damn, what time you get here?' Him and Nelson (Agholor). Nelson be here sweating, Nelson be doing JUGS and things like that." — Ronald Darby on getting to the facility at 5 a.m. to rehab

Random media guide note: Elijah Qualls was a drama major and after his football career is over, he is interested in acting or directing.