NFL mock draft

2020 NFL mock draft: Eagles fill a glaring need in this 1st round mock

2020 NFL mock draft: Eagles fill a glaring need in this 1st round mock

There's still one college football game remaining, and the NFL draft order isn't even set. Yet, with the offseason already a week old for the Eagles, it's not too early to look ahead.

In Version 1.0 of our first-round mock, we're taking a close look not only at team needs, but also the tendencies of their front offices. And while we're not formally projecting any trades, we identify a spot in the top five that's worth watching.

Of course, we have the Eagles' pick — currently scheduled for No. 21 — though with the combine and free agency still ahead, this is more a rough approximation than it is a prediction.

1. Cincinnati Bengals
QB Joe Burrow, LSU

They'll listen to offers, and EDGE Chase Young is a consideration here as well, but passing on Burrow would be a huge mistake after he produced possibly the greatest season by a college quarterback ever with a 77.6 completion percentage, 5,208 yards, 55 touchdowns and only 6 interceptions.

2. Washington
DE Chase Young, Ohio State

Not only is Young arguably the best prospect in the draft at 6-foot-5, 265 pounds and coming off a 17-sack season. He also fills a need with Washington switching to a 4-3 defense and EDGE Ryan Kerrigan turning 32 in the final year of his contract.

3. Detroit Lions
DL Derrick Brown, Auburn

A case can be made for CB Jeff Okudah here, as Darius Slay's future with the team is up in the air. However, GM Bob Quinn has a history of prioritizing D-linemen, and Detroit's pass rush was abysmal in 2019 — second only to Miami for fewest sacks. 6-foot-5, 318 pounds, Brown can wreak havoc up the middle, but possesses the athleticism to attack the edge as well.

4. New York Giants
LB Isaiah Simmons, Clemson

Wouldn't be surprised to see an offensive tackle creep up here given the premium on the position and Giants' investment in QB Daniel Jones. GM Dave Gettleman often gravitates to physical specimens though, and Simmons' freakish athleticism — 6-foot-4, 230 pounds, 4.4 speed — would benefit the league's 30th-ranked scoring defense, whether he ultimately plays linebacker or safety. This might be a prime trade-down spot too, because...

5. Miami Dolphins
QB Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama

This sets up nicely for the Dolphins, provided nobody jumps ahead of them. If QB Ryan Fitzpatrick returns — he's under contract for another year — there's no pressure to rush Tagovailoa's recovery from a hip injury. And should another team trade up, Justin Herbert is still on the board. No matter what, Miami gets its franchise quarterback.

6. Los Angeles Chargers
OT Andrew Thomas, Georgia

Early indications are Philip Rivers could be back under center in 2020. If not, a veteran replacement seems plausible, as there's a good enough core already in place to return to the playoffs next season. Either way, the Chargers need to protect their quarterback better, so the top offensive lineman on the board is their man.

7. Carolina Panthers
QB Justin Herbert, Oregon

Cam Newton's health is a legit concern right now, yet David Tepper's unwillingness to commit to the former league MVP is notable. New owners often like to put their stamp on the franchise early, and with a new coaching staff in place, a new signal-caller is the logical next step — and Herbert's big arm would complement the Panthers' existing skill players nicely.

8. Arizona Cardinals
WR CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma

What incredibly good fortune the Cardinals have their pick of wide receivers at this stage of the draft. Second-year QB Kyler Murray needs a reliable weapon on the outside. Lamb can handle the volume, finishing his three-year college career with 173 catches, 3,292 yards and 35 touchdowns, not to mention he's a perfect fit for HC Kliff Kingsbury's system. 

9. Jacksonville Jaguars
CB Jeff Okudah, Ohio State

This roster has so many holes, it's difficult to identify the biggest. It probably isn't cornerback, either, but Okudah is the best player remaining here — perhaps even a steal at No. 9 — with the added bonus the Jaguars effectively get to undo the Jalen Ramsey trade. Fortunately, they have another first-round pick, too.

10. Cleveland Browns
OT Jedrick Wills, Alabama

The Browns hired a new coach and GM, but regardless of regime, protecting QB Baker Mayfield will be paramount. Since it's Andrew Berry from the Eagles front office reportedly running the front office along with an offensive coach, you can bank on bolstering the O-line being the first order of business.

11. New York Jets
WR Tee Higgins, Clemson

The NFL's worst offense needs playmakers, so receiver is a no-brainer here. Tiggins is 6-foot-4, 215 pounds — a build GM Joe Douglas seems to prefer — and posted 115 receptions, 2,051 yards and 25 touchdowns over the last two seasons.

12. Las Vegas Raiders
WR Henry Ruggs III, Alabama

Longtime owner Al Davis may be gone, but his old saying "speed kills" lives on in this pick. The Raiders need receivers, and Ruggs runs in the 4.2s. He could flourish in coach Jon Gruden's offense, as venerable deep threat Joey Galloway did with the Buccaneers in the 2000s.

13. Indianapolis Colts
DL Javon Kinlaw, South Carolina

For better or worse, the Colts appear to be stuck with QB Jacoby Brissett for the time being. No sense investing in receivers then. Instead, assembling a great defense is the focus, and plugging the 6-foot-6, 310-pound Kinlaw in the middle would reap immediate benefits.

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
S Grant Delpit, LSU

LB Devin White was such a hit in 2019, the Bucs decide go right back to the LSU well. Tampa's defense is young and improving, but ranked 30th against the pass. Delpit brings a big body (6-foot-3, 200 pounds) and versatility to the secondary.

15. Denver Broncos
WR Jerry Jeudy, Alabama

After winning four of five to start his career, there will be a lot of pressure on QB Drew Lock to cement himself as the franchise quarterback in Denver. GM John Elway can give him some help, especially if Jeudy — arguably the best receiver in the class — somehow slides this far.

16. Atlanta Falcons
DE A.J. Epenesa, Iowa

GM Thomas Dimitroff and HC Dan Quinn bought themselves another year with a stellar finish, but it's only a stay of execution if they don't improve the defense, particularly a pass rush that tied for the second-fewest sacks in the league. The 6-foot-6, 280-pound Epensea registered double digits the last two seasons.

17. Dallas Cowboys
CB C.J. Henderson, Florida

The Cowboys have so many key free agents, it's impossible to say what their needs will be come April. Owner Jerry Jones likes to make a splash though, and Henderson's long arms and 4.3 speed not only project well at the next level, but the pick will make headlines, too.

18. Miami Dolphins (via Pittsburgh)
OT Tristan Wirfs, Iowa

After getting their quarterback at No. 5, it's time to protect him. The Dolphins use the pick they got from the Minkah Fitzpatrick trade to upgrade one of the worst offensive lines in football with Wirfs, who's ready to start from Day 1. And Miami still has one selection left.

19. Las Vegas Raiders (via Chicago)
CB Kristian Fulton, LSU

A former DB himself, this is where GM Mike Mayock's presence is felt. Fulton is somebody a defensive coordinator can man up on the opposition's best receiver and forget about him. If he lasts this long, the Raiders' pick should be in within three minutes of being on the clock. The pick, by the way, comes from the Khalil Mack swap.

20. Jacksonville Jaguars (via LA Rams)
DE Yetur Gross-Matos, Penn State

The Jaguars continue going about writing the wrongs of the Tom Coughlin era, this time using the pick from the Ramsey trade. After wasting Dante Fowler and potentially running off free agent-to-be Yannick Ngakoue, Gross-Matos is another impressive physical specimen (6-foot-6, 264 pounds, 4.4 speed) for the revolving door at end.

21. Philadelphia Eagles
WR Laviska Shenault, Jr., Colorado

Cornerback is certainly on the radar here should Henderson or Fulton drop, or if Paulson Adebo rises. But receiver is obviously a need too, and Shenault can do it all. He's a big, strong target at 6-foot-2, 220 pounds with impressive hands, yet athletic, capable of gaining yards after the catch and lining up outside, in the slot or pretty much anywhere in the formation. And with receivers going quickly, the Eagles may not want to wait for Round 2.

22. Buffalo Bills
DE Curtis Weaver, Boise State

23. New England Patriots
S Xavier McKinney, Alabama

24. New Orleans Saints
CB Trevon Diggs, Alabama

25. Minnesota Vikings
DT Raekwon Davis, Alabama

26. Miami Dolphins (via Houston)
RB D'Andre Swift, Georgia

27. Seattle Seahawks
DT Marvin Wilson, Florida State

28. Baltimore Ravens
LB Kenneth Murray, Oklahoma

29. Tennessee Titans
OLB K'Lavon Chaisson, LSU

30. Green Bay Packers
WR K.J. Hamler, Penn State

31. Kansas City Chiefs
RB J.K. Robbins, Ohio State

32. San Francisco 49ers
CB Paulson Adebo, Stanford

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NFL mock draft 2020 roundup 1.0: An understandably popular position for Eagles

NFL mock draft 2020 roundup 1.0: An understandably popular position for Eagles

The Eagles’ season ended last week with a loss to the Seahawks but at least we now know which pick the Eagles will have in the 2020 draft.

They’ll be at No. 21.

We still have a few months before the draft and a lot can and will change before then, but let’s take a quick look at some mock drafts and see which players are popular picks to end up in Philly.

When we took a way-too-early look after the 2019 draft, most of the mock drafts at the time had the Eagles taking a defensive player in 2020.

Eddie Brown, The San Diego Union-Tribune

Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson

Here’s what they said: The Eagles wide receiver corps is in shambles. The inconsistent Nelson Agholor faces free agency while DeSean Jackson isn’t getting any younger (or healthier). Higgins is a big-play machine with elite size (6-foot-4, 200 pounds) and speed. He has an “above the rim” mentality as a former basketball player and would be a steal this low in the first round.

Chris Trapasso, CBS Sports 

Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson

Here’s what they said: Higgins gives the Eagles the best of both worlds at receiver -- he's tall and speedy down the field. Carson Wentz rejoices.

My take on Higgins: So Higgins is a popular name for the Eagles right now at a position that’s obviously going to be the most talked about for the Birds leading into this draft. That’s totally understandable. The Eagles were relying on Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson and Nelson Agholor in 2019 and all three got hurt and ended up being disasters. To make things worse, the Eagles drafted J.J. Arceaga-Whiteside in the second round and he made almost no impact at all.

The problem here is that the Eagles have really struggled to draft receivers. Look at their history from the last decade:

2019: J.J. Arcega-Whiteside (2nd round)
2017: Mack Hollins (4th round)
2017: Shelton Gibson (5th round)
2015: Nelson Agholor (1st round)
2014: Jordan Matthews (2nd round)
2014: Josh Huff (3rd round)
2012: Marvin McNutt (6th round)
2010: Riley Cooper (5th round)

So there probably isn’t much confidence that if the Eagles take a receiver in the first round, he’s going to be the right guy.

But there’s a lot to like about Higgins. In his sophomore and junior seasons, Higgins had 115 catches for 2,051 yards and 25 touchdowns. He averaged over 17.8 yards per catch. At 6-4, 215, Higgins also has plenty of speed. He’s a pretty well-rounded receiver coming from a school that has produced plenty of good receivers in recent years.

Ryan Wilson, CBS Sports 

Julian Okwara, DL, Notre Dame

Here’s what they said: Brandon Graham and Vinny Curry were the Eagles' two most efficient pass rushers, according to PFF, but Graham is 31 and Curry appears to be headed for free agency. Okwara's season ended in November, and while he wasn't quite as productive as a year ago, he's a high-upside prospect who explodes off the ball. He's listed at 240 but plays much stronger than that, and he'll likely add weight in the weeks leading up to the combine.

My take: It’s never a long shot to think the Eagles might use their first round pick on a lineman but this is an interesting name. The fact that Okwara is in the 240s is kind of concerning. It’s not that the Eagles wouldn’t draft an undersized defensive end, but I’m not sure if they’d do it in the first round. Remember, they used a fourth-round pick on Josh Sweat and basically gave him a redshirt year to get bigger. Hard to imagine they’d want to wait a year to put their first round pick on the field at this position.

Dan Kadar, SB Nation

CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma

Here’s what they said: Throughout much of this season, it was obvious the Eagles needed talent at wide receiver. Lamb has No. 1 potential and averaged an incredible 21.4 yards per reception this season.

My take on Lamb: The 6-2 junior is coming off an impressive college career. In 2019, he had 62 catches for 1,327 yards and 14 touchdowns, while averaging 21.4 yards per reception. There’s a lot to like about Lamb — in fact, there’s too much to like about Lamb. In the other four mock drafts, Lamb doesn’t get past the Raiders with the 12th pick and he’s gone as early as 8 in one of them. Hard to imagine him slipping to 21 unless he has a bad showing at the combine.

WalterFootball.com 

Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU

Here’s what they said: The Eagles are expected to target a receiver early in the 2020 NFL Draft unless they address the position in free agency. Alshon Jeffery can't stay healthy, while DeSean Jackson won't be on the team for very long, so a new No. 1 wideout is needed. Justin Jefferson is tall (6-3, 192), long and athletic. He was dominant throughout 2019, particularly the playoff victory over Oklahoma.

My take on Jefferson: He had a huge junior season catching passes from the likely No. 1 overall pick. As a junior, Jefferson had 102 catches for 1,434 yards and eight touchdowns and averaged 14.1 yards per catch. Jefferson is one of several receivers who will likely go in the first round. He certainly seems like a possibility for the Eagles, who just have to hope they don’t end up with the guy who can’t play. In recent years, it seems like that happens far too often.

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NFL mock draft 2019 roundup 10.0: No consensus pick on draft week

NFL mock draft 2019 roundup 10.0: No consensus pick on draft week

We finally made it! It’s draft week!

By this time in a few days, the internet will be full of completely useless mock drafts. Like, even more useless than they are now. 

But we still have a few days before the draft, so here’s one more look around several mock drafts as we try to figure out which player the Eagles are going to take with their 25th pick on Thursday night. Just a few days before the draft, there’s no consensus yet: 

CBS Sports, Ryan Wilson

Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, S, Florida 

Here’s what they said: After the 2017 season there were questions about Gardner-Johnson's tackling ability, but he proved he's more than capable in '18, and his coverage ability makes him an attractive option for the Eagles.

My take on Gardner-Johnson: The more I have watched of Gardner-Johnson, the more I like him. He’s a fun player and his versatility should make him really attractive to the Eagles. I’m still not completely sold on the idea of taking a safety in the first round because I think there will be better value to take one with one of those second-round picks. But this guy is in the mix to be a late first-rounder and would immediately have a role with the Eagles as a third safety and a starter next season. 

NFL.com, Daniel Jeremiah

Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma 

Here’s what they said: It would make sense for the Eagles to add a receiver because I don't think DeSean Jackson's a long-term solution and they could lose Nelson Agholor next year, as he's due to hit free agency.

My take on Brown: There are few draft guys I respect more than Jeremiah and it is important to note that he once worked for the Eagles. Brown is an exciting player, no doubt. He’s super fast and the DeSean Jackson comparisons aren’t only fair, they’re unavoidable. I’m not sure how perfect of a slot replacement Brown would be for Agholor, but I do think receiver is an underrated need for the Eagles heading into this draft. Nelly is under contract for one more year and their top backup is Mack Hollins. Even if they don’t take a receiver in Round 1, I’d expect one will come to the Eagles not long after. 

NBC Sports Washington, Ben Standig

Chris Lindstrom, OG, Boston College

Here’s what they said: Left tackle Jason Peters turns 37 in January and battled knee injuries in recent seasons. There are also concerns at guard. The Eagles cannot afford to mess up the investment made in quarterback Carson Wentz.

Lindstrom pushed his way into round one consideration during the pre-draft process to the point some teams 10 picks higher are showing interest.

My take on Lindstrom: I think Lindstrom is firmly in play for the Eagles’ pick. It’s not very sexy to take an interior offensive lineman but the Eagles need depth there and Lindstrom is about as solid as they come. He has played some tackle in college, but projects as an interior lineman at the next level. Still, the Eagles won’t ever turn down versatility. 

NFL.com, Chad Reuter

Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama

Here’s what they said: Yes, the Eagles traded for Jordan Howard, but he has only one year left on his deal and giving up a 2020 sixth-round pick (conditions could allow it to flex to a fifth) is not exactly the price one would pay for a top difference-maker. Jacobs is a beast of a runner and could take pressure off of Carson Wentz.

My take on Jacobs: Remember when it seemed like everyone was picking Jacobs to go to the Eagles? That has died down, but I guess he’s still a possibility. My thought is that there will be a better or similarly-valued player at a more preferred position when the Eagles are on the board at 25, though Jacobs is probably still in play. He’s the only running back that might go in the first round and I’m not convinced he will. 

CBS Sports, Pete Prisco

Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson 

Here’s what they said: He's a power player who would be in the rotation with Fletcher Cox and Malik Jackson. Lawrence might end up as a better pro than college player. 

My take on Lawrence: A few months ago, I simply discounted Lawrence as a run-stuffer and not worth a first-round pick. I have softened on that some. I still think his teammate Christian Wilkins or even Notre Dame’s Jerry Tillery would be a better fit in the Eagles’ downhill defensive front, but Lawrence is pretty damn athletic for his size. And for a team that has shown the flexibility to move a defensive end inside for passing downs, Lawrence could be really good on first and second downs. Is it worth taking a two-down lineman in the first round? Maybe not, but Lawrence will probably be a really solid NFL player. 

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