NFL Films senior producer Greg Cosell joined the Journey to the Draft crew this week to offer a position-by-position preview. Here are 19 key takeaways ranging from his thoughts on certain prospects to what the Eagles could be looking for at certain positions.
1. Leonard Fournette has been mocked as a top-10 pick throughout the entire draft process. Even if he were available at No. 14, the Eagles would have to drastically change the offense to accommodate his talent.
"Fournette is a little different to me because he is a high-volume runner. You need to run your offense through Leonard Fournette," Cosell said. "I don't think that's the way Doug Pederson wants to play. Hey, who knows, maybe if he's there at 14, all of that changes because Fournette is a little bit of a different cat."
2. What type of running back would fit the Eagles? "I think the Eagles are going to look for a back that is more of a primary-type back, not a foundation back," Cosell said. "A back that in any given week might have 15, 16 carries, but maybe in another week only has eight carries depending on the flow of the game."
3. Joe Mixon's violent off-field incident will impact where he is eventually selected, but Cosell believes that he is the "most complete back in this draft."
4. The Eagles aggressively improved the wide receiver position in free agency by signing Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith. Should those moves impact the way the team handles wide receiver in the draft? Cosell says no. Jeffery is here on a one-year deal, and Smith is looking to bounce back after a couple of down years in San Francisco.
5. John Ross' medical history (torn ACL, torn meniscus, labrum tear) and smaller frame might scare off some teams, but Cosell doesn't think a team would need the wide receiver to be a full-time player.
"I think the league has evolved in such a way that you can have a player like John Ross, who doesn't play 70 snaps a game. He can play 40 or 45 snaps and be valuable in multiple ways," Cosell said. "He's more than that as a receiver. He actually has a pretty good sense of how to run routes. He's very good with his understanding of how to set corners up on his vertical routes. You can use him on jet sweeps. You can use him in any number of ways. He's a multidimensional player that provides that vertical element."
Cosell added that Ross is a "way better prospect" than Will Fuller last year. Fuller was selected No. 21 overall by the Houston Texans.
6. If you frequent mock drafts, the consensus top three wide receivers are Ross, Corey Davis, and Mike Williams in no particular order. Who would be fourth and fifth on Cosell's list? JuJu Smith-Schuster and Ishmael Zamora.
"I know he's had some off-the-field stuff. He's a one-year player at Baylor in an offensive scheme that is really troubling when you project guys to the NFL," Cosell said of Zamora.
"It's hard to overlook 6-3 1/2, 224 (pounds), 4.49 (seconds in the 40-yard dash). I mean physical with the ball in his hands. Moves really well. I really like the kid on tape. Now, you've got to do your due diligence. If he was a totally clean player, I would think he would be talked about as a first-round pick."
7. O.J. Howard is considered by analysts as the top tight end in this year's draft class. Howard was never the focal point of the offense at Alabama, but Cosell expects him to be an instant contributor for the team that selects him.
"I think he'll have an impact because of the way the league has evolved. O.J. Howard is the kind of receiver who can line up split from the formation. That's the way tight ends are being used more and more in the pass game."
8. The offensive line group is not considered strong this year. In fact, Cosell "is more fascinated by the offensive guard position" rather than the tackles. The four prospects who stand out to Cosell are: Forrest Lamp, Dan Feeney, Dorian Johnson, and Isaac Asiata.
9. Dion Dawkins played left tackle at Temple, but projects to guard in the NFL. If Dawkins does move inside, Cosell thinks "he would have a chance to be an All-Pro."
10. When looking at the edge rushers, Cosell projects Charles Harris as a potential fit for defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz's scheme.
"He is explosive off the ball," Cosell said. "He's really good in the stunt game which the Eagles do a lot of."
11. Cosell is a fan of Taco Charlton, but doesn't know if he's on the Eagles' radar.
"I really like Taco Charlton. He may not be, if you're going to do Wide-9, an exact fit," Cosell said. "I think he can be a very good pass rusher. I think because of his size and length he can move inside as well and become a rusher from the d-tackle position."
12. Derek Barnett, who is considered in mocks to be a mid-first-round pick, is, according to Cosell, "a fascinating guy to me because the production is there. I don't think he possesses the ideal traits you look for, so he'll be a little polarizing in draft rooms. The classic productions versus traits."
13. Longtime Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Kyle Williams thrived under Schwartz's tutelage in 2014. Williams provided Cosell with an NFL comparison for Eddie Vanderdoes.
"You look at his body type and he looks like the plumber that comes to your house to fix your sink, but he's really, really quick," Cosell said.
14. Cosell believes that Reuben Foster is one of the "three best prospects" in the entire draft class.
"You have to do your due diligence on Reuben Foster for the off the field, but if you're OK with that, if he's there at 14, I'm drafting him ... I think he fits in any defense and I think if he's there, you take him," Cosell said.
15. One of the players who has helped himself the most in the pre-draft process is Haason Reddick. He earned one of the top practice player awards at the Senior Bowl then turned in an outstanding performance at the Combine. Some mock drafts now have the former Temple star going in the top 10. However, Cosell notes that Reddick will be making the transition from college defensive end to linebacker in the NFL and that makes his evaluation a little bit trickier.
"I love Reddick. I understand why people are excited about him, but I do think any time you make a position change in addition to making the jump from college football to the NFL there's an added layer that has to be accounted for," Cosell said. "He has an explosiveness to his movement that not a lot of linebackers have."
That being said, Cosell thinks Reddick can play any linebacker position in a 4-3 or a 3-4 alignment.
16. "I feel terrible for Sidney Jones because if I had to do a board of corners, he probably would have been my number one. I really liked him on film a lot."
17. What about Jones' teammate at Washington, Kevin King? "I really like Kevin King as a 6-3 corner who moves really, really well. I don't think he's your traditional big corner that gets by because he's big. I think he's pretty smooth."
18. Most analysts grade Ohio State's Marshon Lattimore ahead of his teammate Gareon Conley, but Cosell offers one reason that teams might give the latter a slight edge.
"I'm very intrigued by Gareon Conley because of his ability to play both outside and in the slot and that's so critical in today's NFL with the fact that cumulatively teams play out of their subpackages 68 percent of the snaps last year in the NFL," Cosell said. "Conley has shown the ability, unlike Lattimore, to play in the slot."
19. Cosell offered high praise for his top-ranked safety Jamal Adams.
"I really love Jamal Adams as a football player," Cosell said. "I would make the argument that Jamal Adams is somewhat similar to Eric Berry coming out in 2010 and Berry was a top-five pick. I think Jamal Adams can line up anywhere. I think he fits today's NFL in that he can split out and matchup to tight ends when they're detached from the formation. I think he can play in the box. I think he can play deep. I think he sees things really well. To me, Jamal Adams is the best safety prospect in this draft."