We’re just about two weeks away from the 2019 NFL draft, which means we’re well into lying and smokescreen season.
Don’t believe anything you hear from here on out.
But that never stops mock draft season. Mock draft season has now overtaken spring.
Let’s peruse some recent mocks and evaluate these possible moves from the Eagles’ perspective:
Trade up to 22: Greg Little, OT, Mississippi
Here’s what they said: “The foundation of the Eagles' recent success has been the strength of their O-line, so adding a quality player here helps now and for the future.”
My take on the move: The former NFL GM doesn’t offer up the details of his proposed trade here, so it’s hard to really evaluate it without knowing what the Eagles gave up to move three spots higher. According to the draft value chart, this move is about 60 points. The Eagles’ first fourth-rounder is worth 45 points. Maybe that alone or maybe that and a sixth or future seventh does the trick.
I think it’s very possible the Eagles move up in this draft. To me, there’s value in getting into the late teens/early 20s for a player who might drop. I’m not sure it’s going to be for Little. Casserley has him as the fifth offensive lineman off the board. I’m not sure he’s worth the trade up and I’m not sure the Eagles would be willing to give away something to take him. But I do understand Casserley’s thought process to some extent. The Texans are in need of OL help at 23, so if the Eagles really wanted to get Little in this scenario, they would need to trade up. I’m just not buying that they would want him that bad.
Juan Thornhill, S, Virginia
Here’s what they said: “Thornhill had a quietly effective 2018 campaign and he used the combine as an exclamation point on the season. He ran a 4.42 40, had a 44-inch vertical, and that, coupled with his game film, could see him sneak into Round 1.”
My take on Thornhill: I really like the player and I think the Eagles will be in play for him in the second round. But the first round is a little too rich for my blood. I think there will be better value on the board at higher priority positions. Wilson has Thornhill as the first safety taken, so if the Eagles really think that highly of him, if they think they’re getting the best player at the position, maybe they take him. But is the drop-off from Thornhill to a safety in the second round that great?
Devin Bush, LB, Michigan
Here’s what they said: “LB Jordan Hicks ran the defense well in Philadelphia when he was healthy, but now with his move to Arizona, a new leader is tabbed by the Eagles. Bush can fly around the field to make plays.
My take on Bush: Again, I like the player. Not sure about the value. And in this case, I think Bush is a first round pick and if he’s there at 25, he has fallen further than I originally expected, but you know the deal with linebackers and the Eagles. They just don’t value the position the way some fans (and my coworker Barrett Brooks) value them. Would he be a good fit? Sure. But I still don’t see it happening.
Jeffery Simmons, DL, Mississippi State
Here’s what they said: “Weird spot for the Eagles, who definitely don't NEED help on the defensive line. They're just in a good spot from a roster perspective right now, so why not grab a guy who is a top-10 talent, get a fifth year option on him and don't have to worry about rushing him back to the field. It's like the Sidney Jones plan but for the DL.”
My take on Simmons: This would be a tough sell to a fanbase that has already become prematurely impatient with Sidney Jones to just wait for Simmons to be ready. But there’s some sense to this. Simmons would go much higher if he wasn’t injured, so there’s value. And the Eagles don’t need a starter. But gambling with pick No. 43 is a lot different than gambling with pick No. 25 and the Eagles could use some help with depth at defensive tackle, where they lack depth, in 2019.
Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson
Here’s what they said: “The Eagles would pounce if Ferrell falls this far. Ferrell was the most productive player on the most talented defensive line in college football last season and would have likely been a first-rounder in the 2018 NFL Draft.”
My take on Ferrell: Yeah, I think Ferrell will be long gone. He’s a target to trade up if he falls past 15. But if he’s there at 25, yeah, run the damn pick in.
Trade out of first round
Here’s what they said: “Mock trade: Bengals get No. 25 for No. 42, 198, 2020 2nd. The Bengals aren't done on Thursday, packaging a 2020 second-round pick with No. 42 and one of their many sixth-rounders to go up and get (Daniel) Jones, a franchise quarterback with good accuracy who new coach Zac Taylor can develop from Day 1. With quarterbacks on both offense and defense in the fold, the Bengals spend their remaining Day 2 pick on Howard, an athletic tackle who has plenty of upside to develop into a starter.”
My take on the move: I think it’s more likely the Eagles trade up than down this year. But if there’s one reason a team would want to trade up aggressively, it would be for a quarterback. But why are the Bengals jumping in front these teams? The Colts pick at 26. In this mock, the Cardinals pick at 27 after another trade (but they could have had their pick of QBs earlier), the Chargers at 28, the Seahawks at 29, Packers at 30, Rams at 31, Patriots at 32. Not sure why the Bengals would make that aggressive of a move. And this means the Eagles first pick wouldn’t be until 42. There’s a big difference between 25 and 42, but that 2020 second-rounder is enticing.
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