It’s April, so the NFL draft is actually happening later this month!
That’s pretty exciting.
Anyway, it’s been a little while since we did a mock draft roundup, so let’s take another stroll around the interwebs to see what we could find.
We’ll start with an interesting proposal for the Eagles to move up from No. 25 to land a top-notch defensive stud:
Trade up to 13: Devin White, ILB, LSU
Here’s what they said: “The Eagles have an extra second-round pick after their trade out of the first round last year, and that means they have the ammo to jump into the high teens this year if they see a key prospect available. And after White slips out of the top 10, he's the perfect guy to move up to grab and plug into the middle of the Eagles defense behind a strong defensive line.”
My take on the move: OK, this is interesting. First, let’s look at the trade up and then look at the player. As far as the trade up, White has the Eagles’ packaging No. 25 and their first second-round pick (No. 53) to move up to 13. Not sure why the Dolphins would do this. Based on the draft value chart, that No. 13 pick is worth 1,150 and the combo of No. 25 and 53 are worth 1,092. Not far off, but traditionally, it takes more to move up. Just last year, the Saints moved from 27 to 14 and it took a fifth-round pick in 2018 and their first-round pick in 2019. So I don’t think a second-round pick would be enough to move from 25 to 13. White then has the Dolphins taking Jeffery Simmons at 25, which would make sense because he's hurt and the Dolphins would add a player at 53 who could help them immediately. But I still don't think the Dolphins get enough back.
As for the player, let me be clear, I really like White. And he would be a really good fit with the Eagles because of his athleticism and speed. And I even think the Eagles should be in the market to trade up this season depending on how the first round falls, but I have a hard time imagining it’ll be for a linebacker. The Eagles haven’t taken a linebacker in the first round since Jerry Robinson out of UCLA back in 1979. In recent years, they’ve put even less resources into the position.
Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama
Here’s what they said: “Jacobs is viewed by most teams I have spoken with as the top running back in this year's draft. He only ranked 144th in the nation in 2018 with 640 rushing yards. On the flip side, a limited college workload means he still has plenty of tread on his tires. The Eagles hit home runs across the board in free agency; they could nail this one if Jacobs slips all the way to 25.”
Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama
Here’s what they said: “They have to improve their running back situation and Jacobs is the best of this year's group. Don't worry about his 40 time. This kid is good.”
Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama
Here’s what they said: “Running back is a big need for the Eagles, and Jacobs' less-than-ideal 40 time (unofficially 4.60 at his pro day, per NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah) has no bearing on his likely success on Sundays.”
My take on Jacobs: He’s probably the only first-round running back this season, but he doesn’t have a ton of potential landing spots. Theoretically, the Eagles would be one. After all, Jacobs would immediately become their feature, do-it-all back. But the Eagles have shown in recent seasons that they’re happy pieces the running back group together, as evidenced by the trade to get Jordan Howard. I still think the second round is a possibility. I wouldn’t completely rule this out — it makes sense — but they haven’t drafted a running back in the first round since the 80s. That’s not a coincidence.
DeAndre Baker, CB, Georgia
Here’s what they said: “The Eagles secondary was hurt by injuries in 2018, so I expect them to target cornerback depth as a major need. Scouts love Baker’s instincts in coverage.”
My take on Baker: Right now, the Eagles have six cornerbacks they’ll want to take into the season: Ronald Darby, Jalen Mills, Rasul Douglas, Sidney Jones, Avonte Maddox, Cre’Von LeBlan. They have a stable full of young, inexpensive talent at corner. They drafted four of the six. It’s hard to imagine adding another one in the first round.
Jerry Tillery, DT, Notre Dame
Here’s what they said: “If Adderley were still available, he’d be the easy choice for the Eagles. With him gone, the safety value at No. 25 is questionable. Deionte Thompson of Alabama seems to be more in the second-round territory, and Chauncey Gardner-Johnson is more of a nickel corner. Tillery can provide the Eagles with good depth up front and can line up everywhere down the line.”
My take on Tillery: I like Tillery. I liked him enough to mock him to the Eagles last week. I like Christian Wilkins from Clemson more, but if Wilkins is gone, I think Tillery might be the best defensive lineman on the board at 25. He’d immediately be a rotational player but eventually could grow into a starter. Even after adding Malik Jackson, the Eagles desperately need more depth at DT.
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