Doug Pederson comes from the Andy Reid school of thought where bolstering the trenches is paramount. He spent last year's first-round pick on Derek Barnett despite already having Brandon Graham and Vinny Curry, so I don't think it's out of the question that he could opt for a talented defensive tackle to play in a rotation with Fletcher Cox and Timmy Jernigan. Both of those players stayed healthy in 2017, but what if that doesn't happen in 2018? It would be great to have a terrific insurance policy like Maurice Hurst, especially if Michael Bennett can't play because of his legal issues.
Hurst, as you may have heard, was sent home from the combine because of a heart condition. Reports indicate that it doesn't seem too serious, so the Eagles could take him here, as they seem to be in a great position to gamble. We saw them do this with Sidney Jones last year, so I believe they'd try their luck with Hurst.
Having said all of this, I expect the Eagles to trade down, as they don't pick again until No. 130 after this selection.
*** OTHER 2018 NFL DRAFT POSSIBILITIES: ***
1. Derrius Guice/Ronald Jones, RB - If the Eagles move down, they can target the running back they prefer in the second round, as Jay Ajayi is heading for free agency next spring.
2. Mike Gesicki, TE - Another trade-down option for the Eagles, who need to replace Brent Celek.
Rd. 4, Pk. 30
Nyheim Hines, RB, N.C. State
Cris Collinsworth pointed out that the one thing the Eagles are missing offensively is a Darren Sproles-type back, so Philadelphia could spend a mid-round selection on that sort of player if Sproles retires.
Rd. 4, Pk. 32
Tyler Conklin, TE, Central Michigan
Trey Burton signed a big contract with the Bears, so here's a replacement.
Rd. 5, Pk. 19
Greg Senat, OT, Wagner
The Eagles could spend a mid-round pick on an offensive tackle, given that Jason Peters is nearing retirement.
Rd. 5, Pk. 32
Simmie Cobbs Jr., WR, Indiana
The Eagles could stand to add a receiver later in the draft to potentially replace an expiring contract in the future.
Rd. 6, Pk. 32
Chandon Sullivan, CB, Georgia State
The Eagles had to cut Daryl Worley after his arrest, so here's a replacement.
With Gareon Conley's off-the-field issue, I'm not sure there is a corner who Philadelphia would value at No. 14. Thus, the Eagles could change course and add a pass-rusher. Here's an edge rusher they've hosted who could rush across from Brandon Graham.
In 2016, Barnett recorded 56 tackles with 19 for a loss, 13 sacks, two forced fumbles, five passes broken up and one interception. Sources view Barnett as a smooth pass-rusher who has some natural pass-rushing skills for the pros. Barnett can fight his way through blocks and close on the quarterback. The best traits that Barnett illustrates are an ability to sink his hips and dip under tackles to get leverage in chasing down the quarterback.
Barnett racked up 69 tackles with 12.5 for a loss and 10 sacks in 2015. He notched 10 sacks alongside 72 tackles with 20.5 tackles for a loss as a freshman. Barnett (6-3, 259) is a solid run defender with room for improvement.
Rd. 2, Pk. 2
Alvin Kamara, RB, Tennessee
The Eagles grab a feature running back who is a great fit for Doug Pederson.
Kamara is a super-hot prospect in scouting circles and is going to keep rising throughout the leadup to the 2017 NFL Draft. Some sources say they wouldn't be surprised if Kamara ends up getting Thursday night consideration in the middle to back half of the first round because he is such a versatile, explosive play-maker.
The 5-foot-10, 214-pounder has a strong build with impressive speed. He is a dynamic receiver out of the backfield who also gives defenses a lot of problems running routes from the slot. Kamara has soft hands and is a superb route-runner. He also is a dangerous weapon on special teams with returning kicks. In my opinion, Kamara is a lot like Jamaal Charles; a comparison sources have agreed with.
In 2016, Kamara averaged 5.8 yards per carry for 596 yards and nine scores. He also took 40 receptions for 392 yards and four scores, plus was a threat as a punt returner. In 2015, Kamara averaged 6.5 yards per carry for 698 yards with seven touchdowns. He showed his skills in the passing game with 34 receptions for 291 yards with three scores.
Rd. 3, Pk. 3
Chris Godwin, WR, Penn State
Philadelphia could use more long-term receiving talent and has shown interest in Godwin.
Godwin had an electric end to the 2016 season with a tremendous Rose Bowl performance against USC. He made nine catches for 187 yards with two touchdowns - both scores came against Trojans cornerback Adoree' Jackson. The 6-foot-1, 205-pound Godwin is a smooth receiver who has some quickness while not being undersized. The junior totaled 59 receptions for 982 yards with 11 touchdowns in 2016 and decided to skip his senior year on those numbers. After a blazing fast 40 time at the combine, Godwin should end up being a second-day pick.
Rd. 4, Pk. 4
Cameron Sutton, CB, Tennessee
The Eagles could use multiple cornerback upgrades.
In 2016, Sutton recorded eight tackles with one pass breakup and an interception. His season ended during Week 3, when he broke a bone in his ankle. Sutton has decent size, quickness and instincts. He prevents separation, but needs to get better at playing the ball. The 5-foot-11, 188-pounder is a physical defender who plays with a chip on his shoulder.
Sutton totaled 28 tackles, one interception and six passes batted in 2015. He was excellent for the Volunteers in 2014, recording 37 tackles with three interceptions, 13 passes broken up and four tackles for a loss for the year. Sutton was a superb freshman cornerback in 2013 while recording 39 tackles, seven passes broken up and two interceptions that season.
Rd. 4, Pk. 4
Isaiah Ford, WR, Virginia Tech
The Eagles could take multiple wide receivers from this class as there is good mid-round depth.
Ford totaled 79 receptions for 1,094 yards and seven touchdowns in 2016. The 6-foot-1, 194-pounder had a breakout sophomore season with 75 receptions for 1,156 yards with 11 touchdowns. He also contributed as a freshman with 56 catches for 709 yards and six scores.
Rd. 5, Pk. 5
Cole Hikutini, TE, Louisville
The Eagles grab some tight end depth.
Rd. 6, Pk. 6
Jalen Robinette, WR, Air Force
The Eagles could use multiple wide receivers.
Rd. 7, Pk. 7
Malik Golden, SS, Penn State
The Eagles hosted Golden and could use some safety depth.
The Eagles could use a more young talent at offensive tackle given the age of Jason Peters. I think they could draft a right tackle and move Lane Johnson to the left side. Miller is a freaky athlete with right tackle size. He could be a swing tackle backup with left tackle experience before eventually becoming the starting right tackle. <br> <br>
Miller (6-9, 309) had a rough start to 2017, but turned in a decent season for UCLA blocking for Josh Rosen as the Bruins' left tackle. Miller has good length to him, athleticism, and the agility to stay on the edge in the NFL. However, he might be a better fit as a right tackle in the pros, as Miller can have problems with speed rushes to the inside. That caused him to have some up and down performances in college. He played right tackle in 2015 and 2016 before injuries ended those seasons early. Miller only played in five games in 2016.
More of the same here as the rich continue getting richer. Eagles running backs coach Duce Staley seems to be a really big fan of Derrius Guice and the team appears to be showing a lot of interest in the LSU back. Running back may soon be a bigger need for Philadelphia than some realize as Jay Ajayi is set to hit free agency after the 2018 season. Adding Guice would give them some options. There's no question that Guice is a powerful running back who has enough speed to take it the distance, but one area where he may be a bit underrated is as a pass catcher. He did catch a few passes in 2017 for LSU, something he wasn't doing at all in his first two seasons there. Then at the LSU pro day, he was looking smooth catching passes in drills. The Eagles reportedly have a first round grade on Guice, so they may view him as the best player available in an instance like this where he is still on the board. Trading back is also an option here if the Eagles want to get some draft capita back that they lost in trades bringing Carson Wentz and Ronald Darby to Philadelphia. As a result of those trades, the Eagles do not have any second or third round picks to make this year barring a trade back.
The Eagles could use a more young talent at offensive tackle given the age of Jason Peters. Philadelphia could draft a right tackle like Brown, which would let the team move Lane Johnson to the left side. <br> <br>
Brown (6-8, 345) is a massive blocker who was a physical blocker for the Sooners. He opened a lot of holes for Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine in 2016. Brown did the same for others as a starter over the past few seasons. Brown can use his strength and physicality to toss a lot of defenders to the ground as he can be a flat-out bully on the field. However, he needs to improve his pass protection for the NFL. <br> <br>
Some team sources say they don't see Brown as a first-rounder; they think he will be a second-round pick and a starting right tackle at the next level. He also could be a big guard, but his height is less than ideal for throwing lanes on the inside. Brown ran slowly at the combine and put up a meager total on the bench press, but given the weak offensive tackle class, I think he still has a shot at being a late first-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
The Eagles roster is stacked with few holes and needs to address. Areas they could look into are offensive line depth, MLB, TE and CB. These aren't even desperate needs, i suggest offensive line depth due to injuries such as the Jason Peters one last year, same reason for MLB after Jordan Hicks went down last year, TE due to the loss of Trey Burton to the Bears but they even picked up Richard Rogers in free agency.
Finally cornerback because they have a lot of similar build and stature guys at that position. Saying that, they have Sidney Jones playing this year who was a first round talent last year who dropped due to an injury.
Therefore i elected to go with Connor Williams, a Tackle at Texas but most view him as a guard in the NFL. Connor can provide depth at the position and learn from a highly experienced offensive line.
The Eagles may not re-sign Ronald Darby, and if they don't, they will need a replacement. Here is a similar cover corner with great speed and a tremendous ability to run the route and prevent separation. Philadelphia has shown interest in Jackson as well. <br> <br>
Jackson is a bit of a love/hate prospect as some scouts say they see him as a first-rounder and others think he belongs on Day 2 because of playing discipline and size. However, all the scouts say Jackson is extremely fast, so he will be a good matchup corner to line up against speed receivers. The 5-foot-10, 178-pounder is athletic to run the route and prevent separation, but he is a gambler and could stand to play with more discipline for the pros. Scouts tell me that Jackson is talented, but has a ton of issues to work on, and that might include some hard lessons versus pro receivers. Still, he has great speed and serious coverage skills to run the route and prevent separation. Jackson is a track star and is expected to run an eye-popping 40 time that could push him higher. The scouts who like Jackson compare him to Janoris Jenkins, and Jenkins would have been a first-rounder had it not been for off-the-field issues. <br> <br>
Jackson had 49 tackles with 10 passes broken up and an interception in 2017. As a sophomore, he recorded 39 tackles with eight pass breakups and two interceptions.