Eagles

Eagles

Sorry, but if you came to find out which wide receiver the Eagles are taking in the first round, you've come to the wrong mock draft.

On the bright side, my crystal ball indicates the Eagles could get two wideouts with their first four picks, so it's not all bad.

Also in this Eagles-only mock, the club shows how much value it places on the secondary and linemen, and even shows a little mid-round love to positions it tends to overlook — running back and linebacker.

Round 1-21: S Grant Delpit, LSU

Numerous reports indicate the Eagles like LSU wide receiver Justin Jefferson at 21, and if he happens to be available here, I can totally see it. Yet I wonder whether a run on the position could take Jefferson off the board earlier (as I mocked last week), or if such readily available intel could compel another suitor to trade up.

So it's best player available, which is very much up for debate — but at 6-foot-2, 203 pounds with 4.4 speed, Delpit is very much in the conversation. The two-time All-American and 2019 Jim Thorpe Award winner for best defensive back in the nation racked up 199 tackles, 7.0 sacks and eight interceptions in three seasons, while scouting reports note his character and leadership.

Going safety in the first round would be out of character for the Eagles. All the best receivers could be gone, though, and just ask yourself: who are the Eagles really trying to convince with the news Jalen Mills is replacing Malcolm Jenkins at safety — us, themselves, or the rest of the NFL?

 

Round 2-53: WR Denzel Mims, Baylor

What if I told you this is such a deep draft at receiver, the Eagles could wait until Day 2 to find a 6-foot-3 player with sub-4.4 speed and three highly productive seasons in a major program? Mims eclipsed 1,000 yards twice over the last three seasons, totaling 182 catches, 2,901 yards and 28 touchdowns during that span.

Not sold on Mims here? Maybe the pick is Brandon Aiyuk, or K.J. Hamler, or Jalen Reagor or Laviska Shenault Jr. Point is, there's no need to reach for a receiver in the first round if the board doesn't fall that way.

Round 3-103: DE Jabari Zuniga, Florida

His college production won't blow anybody away — he had a career-high 6.5 sacks as a redshit junior in 2018 — but Zuniga is one of the most athletic pass rushers in the draft. Plus, a tough senior year can be partially explained away by a high ankle sprain.

At 6-foot-3, 264 pounds with 4.6 speed and impressive strength, Zuniga looks like the prototypical Jim Schwartz defensive end. Wouldn't blame the Eagles for taking a chance on the young man.

Round 4-127: WR K.J. Hill, Ohio State

He isn't overly big or fast, but Hill just flat out catches football. He became Ohio State's all-time leader in receptions with 201 while totaling 2,332 yards and 20 touchdowns.

After running a 4.6 40 at the combine, Hill could slide to Day 3. If he does, it would be a tremendous value for the Eagles, who need somebody to push Greg Ward for the slot receiver job. Hill could win the job as a rookie and would immediately serve as a polished safety valve for Carson Wentz.

Round 4-145: RB Ke'Shawn Vaughn, Vanderbilt

The Eagles need somebody to lighten the load for Miles Sanders, and Boston Scott is only one part of the equation. Vaughn isn't a flashy or explosive runner, but he's no plodder either, twice eclipsing 1,000 yards rushing and nine touchdowns.

Think Jordan Howard replacement, only with better hands. At 5-foot-10, 214 pounds, Vaughn isn't easy to bring down, yet he was also versatile enough to catch 28 passes his senior season.

Round 4-146 CB John Reid, Penn State

There's no way the Eagles make two selections in a row, right? It's probably safe to assume the Eagles dealt one of these along the way and added a pick later in the draft instead. With that in mind, Reid shouldn't be viewed as a reach.

Honestly, Reid might not be a reach even at 146. He's only 5-foot-10, 187 pounds, and he lost a season in 2017 to a knee injury, which might be a concern. Still, he runs reasonably well (sub-4.5) and plays with the toughness, intelligence and competitiveness Schwartz loves.

Round 5-168: LB Justin Strnad, Wake Forest

Nathan Gerry and T.J. Edwards might have the makings of a better-than-advertised linebacker tandem, but what about when the Eagles are in "base" defense, or in the event of an injury? Strnad can compete for the third linebacker job while playing a core-four role on special teams.

Once again, there's an injury concern over a ruptured bicep last season, but that's the part of the draft we're in. Strnad has adequate speed (4.7) for his size (6-3, 238 pounds) and won't be a liability in coverage.

 

Round 6-190: OT Alex Taylor, South Carolina State

After two years of trying to show Jordan Mailata the ropes, it's time for another big project at offensive tackle. Literally big. Taylor is 6-foot-8, 308 pounds, and as a former basketball player, he's nimble for his size.

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