Is there anything the internet loves more than mock drafts?
No, probably not.
And we are well into mock draft season even though the draft is still more than a couple months away. Heck, we’re still a few weeks away from the combine.
No, there has never been a mock draft that’s right, but they’re fun to look through. Here’s a sampling of the latest picks for the Eagles at No. 25:
Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson
Here’s what they said: If Haloti Ngata, who's due to become a free agent, doesn't return, Lawrence would be a good replacement.
My take on Lawrence: This has been a popular name for the Eagles recently, but I still think a different Clemson defensive lineman, Christian Wilkins, would make more sense for the Eagles. Lawrence is known as a bigger guy and more of a run-stuffer. The Eagles could use that, but I’d imagine they’ll want a more well-rounded type of player who can also get after the passer. Remember, with Fletcher Cox playing at an All-Pro level, it’s extremely important the Eagles find someone who can beat a 1-on-1. And I can’t imagine Ngata is going to return. He didn’t play up to his contract and the Eagles need to get younger there.
Gerald Willis, DT, Miami
Here’s what they said: Willis didn't attend the Senior Bowl but he remains one of the best defensive tackles in a ridiculously deep class of them. His ability to wreak havoc in the backfield will upgrade an Eagles unit that ranked 26th in pressuring the quarterback.
My take on Willis: Willis will be at the combine, so the Eagles might need to sit down and have a chat with him. There are definitely some character concerns after he took a leave of absence in 2017 and transferred from Florida after reported altercations with teammates. On the field, Willis has the traits the Eagles want; he can definitely beat a 1-on-1 and had a good 2018 season with the Hurricanes. One thing we know about Joe Douglas is he likes to draft players who have shown great production at the college level; for Willis, he produced for just one season. Still, if the Eagles look past that, there’s a lot of upside.
Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama
Here’s what they said: The Eagles are not the same offense without a consistent run game. Jacobs is the total package with a lot of tread left on his tires — only 300 total touches in three years at Tuscaloosa.
My take on Jacobs: I agree the Eagles need to solidify the running back position, but it’s hard to imagine them drafting a running back at No. 25. They haven’t drafted a running back in the first round since they took Keith Byars in 1986. They haven’t drafted one in the first two rounds since LeSean McCoy in 2009. So it seems unlikely. As for Jacobs, he is a really good prospect, who had really good production at Alabama. He has good vision, is definitely shifty and has shown some ability to catch out of the backfield. He would fit with the Eagles, but they aren’t likely taking a running back here, especially with needs on both lines.
Greg Little, OT, Mississippi
Here’s what they said: Left tackle Jason Peters turns 37 in January and battled knee injuries in recent seasons. The Eagles cannot afford to mess up the investment made in quarterback Carson Wentz. Little is one of two tackles with a projection planted in round one.
My take on Little: Drafting an offensive tackle in the first round would make plenty of sense. Even if Peters is around this season, they’ll need to find his replacement soon. At 6-5, 325 pounds, Little is someone I could see as someone Jeff Stoutland would really like to get his hands on. Little needs to grow, but he has all the physical traits teams normally look for in tackles.
Johnathan Abram, S, Mississippi State
Here’s what they said: Abram ahead of Deionte Thompson from Alabama? It could happen. Abram is bigger, more physical safety with plenty of dynamic physical traits, and Philadelphia has to build its secondary.
My take on Abram: Safety is a possibility, although history tells us the Eagles are more likely to take a lineman. They simply haven’t taken safeties this high. But there is a need there to some extent, even after Rodney McLeod restructured his contract to return in 2019. There’s no guaranteed McLeod will be back in 2020 and Malcolm Jenkins isn’t getting any younger. And aside from that, the Eagles use three safeties quite a bit. As for Abram, I don’t know much more than what I’ve read, but the Eagles don’t have size as a requirement for their safeties. Just think about McLeod and Avonte Maddox.
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