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An Early Look At The Mock Drafts

Chris Steuber,'s NFL Draft expert, joined Chris McPherson on Eagles Live! earlier this week to talk about some of the players that he thinks the Eagles might be targeting in the upcoming draft.

Steuber said that the ideal match of need and value for the Eagles would be safety.

"I really do think (this could be the best class of safeties in NFL draft history)," Steuber said. "When you talk about guys like Eric Berry (Tennessee), Taylor Mays (USC), Earl Thomas (Texas), you're talking about ball hawks, intimidators in the secondary, guys who can make a difference."

In Steuber's current mock draft, he has Thomas going at No. 23 overall, one pick before the Eagles.

"Earl Thomas is interesting," Steuber said. "He's only a redshirt sophomore; he's 20-years-old, 6-foot-1, 197 pounds. He had eight interceptions last year. He would be the perfect fit for the Eagles. If he does fall to No. 24, you almost have to go out and get Earl Thomas, he's that good."

So because none of the premier safeties are available in his projection, Steuber tabbed Northwestern defensive end Corey Wootten for the Eagles.

"He's 6-foot-6, 280 pounds, so he's the big defensive end that the Eagles need," Steuber said of Wootten. "In workouts and combines and pro days, he's really going to turn some heads."

In the second round of his mock draft, Steuber projected the Eagles to pick a safety.

"Chad Jones (from LSU), 6-foot-3, 230 pounds," Steuber said. "He's an intimidator.

"He's just a gamer, a guy who could really make a difference in the secondary. I would love to see him in Eagles green, he's that good, and I think he would really help out a lot."

Of course, now is the time when many initial mock drafts are being put together across the NFL universe. Here's a look at three other first-round projections for the Eagles.

Mel Kiper Jr., OLB Navorro Bowman, Penn State - "The Eagles need an athletic OLB, and they get a lot of value by landing Bowman here. Bowman lacks size, but any parsing on measurables can't overcome his great play on film. Could end up as the best at his position in this class."

Bucky Brooks, Taylor Mays, S, USC - Andy Reid underestimated the impact of losing Brian Dawkins in the back end, so he nabs Mays to become the new anchor of the secondary. Carlos Dunlap, DE, Florida - There aren't many players with the combination of size and athleticism that Dunlap possesses. Most that do hear their name called in the top ten. Some inconsistencies along with some maturity questions drop him here, but he's worth the risk for the Eagles at this spot.

-- Posted by Bo Wulf, 12:01 a.m., January 23

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