The NFL Draft is only four days away. We've had time to study all the prospects and see whose stock is rising and whose shine is fading. This is a critical draft for the Eagles. They have Carson Wentz at quarterback. Now, they need to build around him. With that in mind, here is my final mock draft for the Eagles. This is not my fantasy scenario, but rather a look at what could happen. I tried to keep player values as accurate as I could perceive them to be.
First Round (No. 14 overall): WR Corey Davis, Western Michigan
The Eagles added a pair of receivers in free agency, but they want to surround Wentz with young players so they can develop together. The presence of Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith means Davis won't be under the gun to be a significant player right away. As Howie Roseman pointed out, receiver is a position where players need time to develop.
Davis has tremendous potential. He is big (6-3, 209 pounds), athletic, and skilled. He was incredibly productive at Western Michigan. He caught 331 passes, with 52 of them going for touchdowns. Davis averaged 16 yards a catch for his career, so he wasn't just a workhorse receiver. He was a playmaker. Davis was fast enough to be a downfield threat. I think he was at his best after the catch. You could see not only his talent, but his toughness and competitive streak as well. Davis fought for every yard he could. He was a threat to break a big play every time he got his hands on the ball.
In terms of former Eagles, you could compare him to Irving Fryar. In three seasons with the Eagles, Fryar caught 222 passes and 19 touchdowns. You could compare Davis to Texans star DeAndre Hopkins.
It might seem like overkill to spend a first-round pick on a receiver with Jeffery, Smith, Ronald Darby, Nelson Agholor, and Dorial Green-Beckham already in place. The Eagles are committed to giving Wentz weapons this offseason. They want depth and competition at the skill spots. Besides, Davis is a player here for the long term. The future of the other receivers is less certain because of age and contract status. Good teams think big picture when they draft. Davis can become a key player for a long time. He would be a great investment in the future, as well as the present.
Second Round (No. 43 overall): CB Cordrea Tankersley, Clemson
The Eagles need help at cornerback and Tankersley is one of the best press corners in the draft. He could be able to come in and challenge for a starting spot right away. Tankersley started 30 games in his career and played in a couple of National Championship games. He was part of an outstanding defense. In his two years as a starter, Tankersley had nine interceptions, 20 pass deflections, and 9.5 tackles for loss. He ran 4.40 in the 40-yard dash at the Combine, showing the kind of speed a corner needs to keep up with speedy receivers.
Tankersley is more than just size (6-1, 199 pounds) and speed. He has outstanding game tape. He has quick feet and good instincts. Tankersley has good ball skills, which I think is something Jim Schwartz really wants in his corners. You know the ball is getting thrown your way in the NFL. Can you make a play on the ball? Tankersley can. He will hit and tackle, something else Schwartz really wants in a corner. Tankersley played well at Clemson, but still has plenty of untapped potential. He could develop into an outstanding NFL cornerback.
Third Round (No. 99 overall): RB Marlon Mack, South Florida
Mack might be under the radar to casual fans, but NFL scouts and coaches know all about him. He left South Florida after his junior season. You wouldn't know that by looking at his career numbers. Mack ran for 3,609 yards and 32 touchdowns. He caught 65 passes. That's great production. He averaged more than 6 yards a carry for his career. He wasn't just piling up yards with lots of carries. Mack moved the chains and made his share of big plays.
The game tape backs up the numbers. Mack shows lateral explosion and long speed. He has good vision, which is critical for a running back. All the physical talent in the world doesn't help you if you can't find the hole. He has excellent burst. Mack is elusive, with the ability to make defenders miss in traffic or out in space. He isn't a power runner, but will go through some arm tackles. The downside with Mack is that he loves big plays and will run himself into some losses because of that. LeSean McCoy did the same thing when he was an Eagle. When Mack stays north-south, he is a very good runner.
The Eagles could use more speed and big-play ability in the backfield. The 5-11, 213-pound Mack would provide both. The Eagles were able to move the chains in 2016. Now, they want to add chunk plays. Mack had runs of 49, 52, 56, 60, 65, and 85 yards last year. The Eagles would love to put a weapon like that on the field beside Wentz every week.
Fourth Round (No. 108 overall): CB Damontae Kazee, San Diego State
Do not be surprised if the Eagles take a pair of cornerbacks in the draft. That is a position that needs an infusion of youth and talent. Kazee is one of my favorite prospects in the draft and a player who makes a lot of sense for the Eagles. He can line up outside at corner or move inside and play the slot. He picked off 15 passes over the last two seasons, showing great instincts and ball skills. When the ball is in the air, he's going after it. Not every team will love Kazee. He's only 5-10, 184 pounds. He doesn't have long arms. He only ran 4.54 at the Combine. Kazee is a lot more about game tape than measurables.
Despite his size, Kazee is a physical player. He is an aggressive tackler. He mainly played off coverage in college, but showed at the Senior Bowl that he could press and be physical with receivers. He has good feet and is a fluid player. Kazee could also be an excellent special teams player, something that is critical for mid-round prospects.
Fourth Round (No. 139 overall): S John Johnson, Boston College
Another defensive back? You play the board. This draft is loaded with corners and safeties, so go get them this year. The 6-0, 208-pound Johnson began his career at Boston College as a cornerback, but really found his home at safety. The Eagles love versatile defensive backs and that's one of Johnson's strengths. He can play the slot, in the box, or back deep. Johnson has an excellent combination of size and athleticism. He opened some eyes at the Combine with a 37-inch vertical and 6.72 time in the 3-cone drill. That shows explosion and agility. He lacks ideal speed and that's why he's a better safety than a cornerback.
Johnson had a good showing at the Senior Bowl, the Combine, and his Pro Day. He might not be a household name, but he is a good pro prospect. He is a wrap-up tackler and still has good man-cover skills from his time as a cornerback. He was a strong special teams player in college and should excel there in the NFL as well.
Fifth Round (No. 155 overall): DE Keionta Davis, Tennessee-Chattanooga
The Eagles have Brandon Graham, Vinny Curry, and Chris Long as their key pass rushers. They have Marcus Smith, Steven Means, and Alex McCalister as developmental guys behind them. You can never have enough pass rushers, so expect the team to add one in the draft. Davis would make a lot of sense. He did play for an FCS school, but was dominant, piling up 24 sacks over the past two years. One of Davis' best games came against Alabama. He showed he could handle big-boy competition. That game helped him get an invitation to the Senior Bowl and the 6-3, 271-pound Davis had a solid showing in Mobile, Alabama. Davis followed that up with an excellent Pro Day workout. He has passed every test.
Davis can fly off the edge and also is a good power rusher. He has 34-inch arms and did 30 reps in the bench press, showing the kind of upper-body strength you want in a defensive lineman. Davis would be a good fit in the Eagles Wide 9 front. He is a small-school player with big-time talent.
Sixth Round (No. 196 overall): LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin, Tennessee
Linebacker is a tough position to read for the Eagles. Jordan Hicks looks like a future Pro Bowl player. Nigel Bradham is coming off his best season. Mychal Kendricks didn't play a lot, but is still very talented. Najee Goode is back for another season, and Kamu Grugier-Hill was a good special teams player as a rookie. Joe Walker showed excellent potential, but got hurt. As it stands, linebacker isn't an obvious area of need, but I think the Eagles would like to add another talented player to the mix.
At 6-0, 230 pounds, Reeves-Maybin is a physical player and big hitter. He had a shoulder injury that cost him most of the 2016 season. That injury helps push him down to the bottom of the draft. Reeves-Maybin finished his career with 27 tackles for loss so you can see he is a playmaker. He is athletic and could be a good weakside linebacker. He could possibly play in the middle, but I think he's better on the outside.
Seventh Round (No. 232 overall): DT Patrick Ricard, Maine
Fletcher Cox and Tim Jernigan give the Eagles an outstanding pair of defensive tackles. The team could use depth. If they wait until late in the draft, Ricard would be an interesting fit. He played defensive end and tackle for Maine. He was 285 pounds and showed exceptional quickness. Ricard bulked up to 300 pounds for his Pro Day and had a sensational workout. Teams had to come away really impressed by his athleticism. Ricard had a terrific career as well. He finished his career with 47.5 tackles for loss (18 of them sacks). Schwartz loves defensive linemen who can get to the quarterback. Ricard can do that. He also is versatile and has an outstanding combination of size and athleticism.
Tommy Lawlor, goeagles99 on the Discussion Boards, is an amateur football scout and devoted Eagles fan. He is the Editor of IgglesBlitz.com.