Welp, I’ve held out from doing a mock draft for as long as I possibly could so I wouldn’t wear you guys out, but now that all my positional rankings have been posted and my final big board is up, it is time!
I will post four total mock drafts before April 27th, two Eagles mock and two first round mocks. One mock will be in a alternate universe where I am the GM(either for each team in the first round or for the Eagles for 7 rounds) and the other two will be prediction mocks(one for the Eagles entire draft, one for the first round for every team).
In this edition of my Philadelphia Eagles mock draft, I make all 8 of their current 2017 NFL Draft selections based on who I would take and who should be available for each pick.
First Round, 14th Overall: Christian McCaffrey RB/Stanford- The Eagles spot in the first round is a very interesting one. Every pick after Myles Garrett is a total crapshot and it’s really hard to say who will be available and who won’t. I won’t do this for each Eagles pick, because it would take far too long to list every player, but here is who I believe will be off the board when the Eagles are on the clock: Myles Garrett, Derek Barnett, Jonathan Allen, Solomon Thomas, Marshon Lattimore, Haason Reddick, Malik Hooker, Leonard Fournette, Reuben Foster, Mike Williams, Gareon Conley. O.J. Howard and Deshone Kizer.
That gives you a better idea of who was available when I selected and which player I clearly should have selected instead.
I choose Christian McCaffrey because of so many reasons. First off, the obvious one, he’s an elite return man. That takes a little of the load off Darren Sproles in 2017 and ensures the Eagles still have an elite return man beyond this season.
On offense, C-Mac is an elite versatile weapon in the making. Think of Devonta Freeman with more speed and better vision as a runner. McCaffrey has outstanding vision and patience, allowing his blocks to set up similar in the way Le’Veon Bell runs. Running backs with really quick feet can get away with this, heavy footed backs like Leonard Fournette cannot. So for an offense that has a very diverse rushing attack, McCaffrey is an ideal primary back, even if he isn’t a 240 pound bulldozer.
Lastly, McCaffrey as a receiver is something that defenses have to prepare for. He has natural hands, runs routes like a wide receiver and his 6.56 3-cone time proved that he has elite quickness. No linebacker or safety is going to be able to match-up against him in the pass game.
Second Round, 43rd Overall: Kevin King CB/Washington- Drafting King here might seem like wishful thinking, but he’s not getting a ton of first round love and his tape is really raw. With all the depth at cornerback, there are a bunch of prospects that could fall anywhere in the range of 25-55.
King needs a ton of work on his technique, but from a physical standpoint he is an elite corner in the making. He’s 6’3, ran outstanding 40 3-cone times at the combine and has a near 40 inch vertical leap. He’s also a very stout run defender so you get the complete package at corner.
Third Round, 99th Overall: Julie’n Davenport OT/Bucknell- This pick is based off my distrust for long-term future of offensive tackle Halapoulivati Vaitai. He’s slow off the snap far too stiff to not be a liability at tackle. I know the coaches are high on him, but this is my draft and I want a more athletic tackle to pair with Lane Johnson long-term.
Davenport is a monster at 6’7, 319 with the frame to add another 10 pound easily. He has 36 1/2 inch arms, 10 1/2 inch hands and run a faster 3-cone time than any of the top tackles at the combine except Garrett Bolles who is about 20 pounds lighter.
I admit his tape is a little inconsistent from a technique standpoint, but if it was solid throughout than he wouldn’t be a late day two pick. He’s a good athlete with a ton of length and a real nasty streak.
Fourth Round, 108th Overall: Amara Darboh WR/Michigan- The Eagles have hinted at drafting a deep threat at wide receiver all offseason. Darboh is a smooth route runner with good size at 6’2, 214. He posted a 4.45 40 at the pro day or just .04 seconds slower than KD Cannon of Baylor, everyone’s favorite deep threat after John Ross.
I believe Darboh is the most under-valued receiver in this draft. He produced against both of Ohio State’s top corners and was a reliable target week to week. I think he is what Chip Kelly thought Nelson Agholor was coming out of USC-quick, good hands, good route runner, deep speed and a good blocker.
Fourth Round, 139th Overall: Larry Ogunjobi DT/Charlotte- For all you Mike Williams fans, consider this-Ogunjobi’s veritcal leap was only a half inch short than Williams. At 305 pounds, he is an impressive athlete. He’s not as versatile as a Chris Wormley or Malik McDowell, but he’s plenty athletic and a much better run defender. Think of him as a more athletic Beau Allen, who may need replaced after that pectoral injury.
Fifth Round, 155th: Damontae Kazee CB/San Diego State- One of my favorite slot corners in this draft. He’s quick, instinctive and isn’t afraid to lay his man out in run support. He’s an ideal slot corner in this defense. He’s outstanding when the ball is in the air and is difficult to separate against in short space.
Sixth Round, 196th: De’Veon Smith RB/Michigan- One of the best backs I saw on tape in terms of getting yards after initial contact. He’s a late round prospect because he lacks speed, but his quick feet helps make up for that lack of burst. The important thing to keep in mind is that he would be the number three back in this offense. With this mock the Eagles would have the elusiveness of McCaffrey, the burst of Wendell Smallwood and the thunder of Smith.
Seventh Round, 232nd: Blair Brown LB/Ohio- This seems really late for Brown, but I keep seeing a lot of 7th round projections for him so I am going to allow this. I have him graded as a 4th round prospect, but I know his lack of length is scaring a lot of people off. Even so, he is a terrific athlete who was always around the ball on tape. At the very least I know I am getting a solid special teamer and probably an eventual linebacker mate for Jordan Hicks once Nigel Bradham leaves or attacks another cabana boy.