Free Agency has slowed down tremendously and through the addition of safeties Malcom Jenkins, Nate Allen, and Chris Marogos, linebacker Brian Brahman and cornerback Nolan Carroll, the Eagles have added depth and competition to some areas of need on defense while boosting the special teams unit. The Eagles also added offensive weapon, Darren Sproles through trade and signed Mark “Sanchize” Sanchez to compete with Matt Barkley for the back up position. This approach puts Philadelphia in a position where they don’t have to reach at a need and can go with what they think is the best talent available. This mock draft is an analysis of not only the current holes on the roster, but also of how the picks fall with my board and Chip’s philosophy. I do believe that the Eagles will do something in order to acquire more picks, but as it stands…
1.22- Kyle Fuller (CB, Virginia Tech): Despite adding Nolan Carroll, the Eagles add one of the best corners in the draft to upgrade a below average corner group. Fuller is a very physical corner who has great instincts and closes on the ball very well. Not only can he contribute as a pass defender, he also can play the run like a linebacker. Chip will love his physicality, length and overall coverage ability and his addition will allow Brandon Boykin to stay in the slot where he thrives.
2.54- Marcus Smith (OLB, Louisville): A position of need that was not upgraded was getting another edge rusher. As much as we all love Trent Cole, he is not getting any younger and you can never have too many pass rushers. A former quarterback, Smith is an incredible athlete as a pass rusher and is very intelligent. He has an ideal frame but needs to add weight to be more effective in the run game. He has shown, in college, the ability defend the run very well and defend the pass, but adding some more strength would be ideal. Best of all, he is dynamic coming off the edge and creating pressure from anywhere along the front seven. The team will love his versatility and he will make an impact even in a limited role as he is groomed behind Cole and Barwin.
3.86- Deonne Buccannon (S, Washington State): Sensing a trend? Despite some offensive shakeups, it is still clear that this team’s biggest need is defending the pass. Buccannon is a very rangy safety who can do a great job of diagnosing and using his closing speed to make plays over the top. Not only is he a smart coverage safety, but he can lay the wood in a pretty serious way. While he is inconsistent, and can miss tackles, especially in the run game, he has an ideal size and mentality when going in for the hit. If the Eagles were able to land Buccannon here, he could compete for the starting job immediately. Having he, Jenkins, Wolff and Allen would give the Eagles lots of youth and athleticism on the back end of their defense and a solid competition.
4.122- Josh Huff (WR, Oregon): Ladies and Gentlemen, the Jaccpocalypse is officially over. Desean Jackson is out and the Eagles find themselves in a position where they have a receiver need in one of the deepest receiver classes in recent memory. Though a guy like Huff has a much higher grade from me, I feel like receivers will see a huge fall in this class due to value. Huff, who probably knows Chip very well, will be a valuable weapon at receiver. He has great hands, attacks the ball (unlike someone we knew), fights for extra yards and is overall a very dynamic player from all over the field. Not to mention a very good blocker. Huff’s value most likely comes in the slot where his sure handed ability combined with his overall speed makes him a great person to step in Jackson and Avant’s absence. With newly added Darren Sproles possibly seeing more snaps at receiver, an overall pass catching corps of Maclin, Cooper, Sproles, Huff, Ertz, Celek and Shady out of the backfield makes for one hell of a passing offense. Desean who?
5.162- Justin Ellis (DT, LATech): Quietly, the Eagles had one of the better front three rotations in the NFL last year. Cox, Thorton, Logan, Curry and Geathers made a a very good overall impact to the defense and form one of the strongest units on the team. However, a few games showed that a deeper, more run stopping oriented line is necessary to winning the close games and Ellis can bring just that. He is a monster at 6’1″ and 334 pounds with freakish strength and a stalwart anchor. He will make an impact from anywhere in the interior in a rotational role but his best fit is at the nose as he can eat space and disrupt a team’s running game. His run defense and Bennie Logan’s pass rushing ability make for a very good rotation at nose tackle.
7.237- Wesley Johnson (OL, Vanderbilt): Possibly one of my favorites in the draft and a guy who I have highly rated, but think falls due to lack of prototypical size, Johnson just gets it done. He went up against some of the best pass rushers in college football and used incredibly sound mechanics and phenomenal quickness to mitigate the defenders impact. While I don’t think he translates to an NFL tackle, I think he could be a very good guard in this scheme down the line. His intelligence, mechanical soundness and foot quickness fits the type of player that the O-line currently possesses.