The time has come, for one and all, to play ball. After you decided the first 19 picks in our annual Fan Mock Draft, the Eagles are finally on the clock and there are options aplenty. No, Marcus Mariota is not still on the board, nor are the likes of Trae Waynes, Brandon Scherff or Breshad Perriman. But Chip Kelly and Ed Marynowitz would have to pretty happy if the board were to fall this way come Thursday night. Let's explore the options.
We start at quarterback, where, in this scenario, the sound and fury surrounding Mariota-to-the-Eagles rumors signified nothing. With Sam Bradford in the fold, no quarterback seems worthy of a first-round selection here, though some believe UCLA's Brett Hundley could be a dark horse to shock the NFL landscape. Vote for Hundley at your own peril, but that would appear unlikely.
Wide receiver is certainly one of the Eagles' "needs" heading into draft weekend, but the position has been plundered in the first 19 picks. Amari Cooper, Kevin White, DeVante Parker, Breshad Perriman, Dorial Green-Beckham and Jaelen Strong have all gone off the board. That's bad news if the Eagles targeted a receiver at No. 20, but it also means the best of the other positions have been pushed down. Southern Cal's Nelson Agholor and Miami's Phillip Dorsett would be the best receivers on the board in this scenario, and both have been linked to the Eagles.
While the receivers flew off the board, only two offensive linemen have been picked in this scenario, leaving the Eagles with some potentially juicy options. Oregon's Jake Fisher seems like an ideal fit, but he'd be competing with the likes of Pittsburgh's T.J. Clemmings, Stanford's Andrus Peat (who, at 6-7, may be considered too big to slide inside to guard), Miami's Ereck Flowers and Florida's D.J. Humphries.
On defense, the two highest-rated players available might not fit the direst of needs for the Eagles. Oregon's Arik Armstead is likely to go higher than No. 20 come Thursday night, but if he's available for the Eagles, Kelly will have a tough decision to make. At 6-7, 292, the former basketball player certainly fits the team's preferred measurable and his experience playing for Kelly and defensive line coach Jerry Azzinaro means he probably fits the scheme as well. But the defensive line perhaps the Eagles' best position group. Would the Eagles use their first-round pick on a luxury?
Then there's Kentucky linebacker Bud Dupree, who at 6-4, 269, blew up the NFL Scouting Combine with top marks in the 40-yard dash (4.56 seconds), the vertical jump (42 inches) and the broad jump (138 inches). The outside linebacker group includes Pro Bowler Connor Barwin, the re-signed Brandon Graham and 2014 first-round pick Marcus Smith, but Dupree could be considered an impact player at a premier position. UCLA's Omawagbe Odighizuwa would be in the conversation here too.
But everyone seems to have the secondary pegged as the Eagles' preferred focus in round one, and the options here are numerous. Connecticut cornerback Byron Jones has been the player linked closest to the Eagles over the past few weeks after Kelly and Marynowitz were on hand for his Pro Day, which followed a truly standout performance at the NFL Scouting Combine. The need at cornerback for the Eagles is obvious and Jones' 6-foot-1, 199-pound frame fits the preferred mold in the secondary. But he's not alone. LSU's Jalen Collins (6-1, 203), Wake Forest's Kevin Johnson (6-0, 188), Washington's Marcus Peters (6-0, 197) and Utah's Eric Rowe (6-1, 205) also fit the bill. Collins and Peters have off-field questions that may preclude them from being picked here, while Johnson's slight upper body could cause pause. Rowe, though, has the versatility to play both safety and cornerback and could fit perfectly in the Eagles' secondary.
Then there's safety, where Alabama's Landon Collins has been the most popular Eagles pick among mock drafters. Collins may indeed be the best safety prospect in the class, but his potential limitations in coverage might not make him an ideal fit for the Eagles. Arizona State's Damarious Randall was recently linked to the Eagles in the first round by The MMQB's Peter King and would fit the versatility bill, as much of a "reach" as some might think the pick would be.
So the choice is up to you. Fill a need at wide receiver or cornerback or take the best players available (for the Eagles) in Armstead or Dupree. These are the choices that decide the future of a franchise, and now it's your turn to make the call. !
- 1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: QB Jameis Winston
- 2. Tennessee Titans: DL Leonard Williams
- 3. Jacksonville Jaguars: LB Dante Fowler, Jr.
- 4. Oakland Raiders: WR Amari Cooper
- 5. Washington Redskins: LB Vic Beasley
- 6. New York Jets: QB Marcus Mariota
- 7. Chicago Bears: WR Kevin White
- 8. Atlanta Falcons: LB Shane Ray
- 9. New York Giants: T/G Brandon Scherff
- 10. St. Louis Rams: WR DeVante Parker
- 11. Minnesota Vikings: CB Trae Waynes
- 12. Cleveland Browns: RB Todd Gurley
- 13. New Orleans Saints: DE Randy Gregory
- 14. Miami Dolphins: WR Breshad Perriman
- 15. San Francisco 49ers: LB Eric Kendricks
- 16. Houston Texans: WR Dorial Green-Beckham
- 17. San Diego Chargers: RB Melvin Gordon
- 18. Kansas City Chiefs: T La'El Collins
- 19. Cleveland Browns: WR Jaelen Strong