To Kill a Mock(ing) Bird
The draft is almost here and there are numerous avenues to be explored. With no clear cut #1 blue chip players in this years NFL draft, one would be hard pressed to say who is the consensus #1 overall pick. Given the amount of talent in this years draft (no super elite players, but a very DEEP draft in terms of very good players) the Eagles should be one of the teams looking to trade down (assuming the two top tackles are off the board in Joeckel and Fisher). My guess is they will both be gone by the time the Eagles select at #4:
1. KC OT Luke Joeckel
2. Jags OL/DE Dion Jordan
3. Oak OT Eric Fisher
4. Eagles select...
OT Lane Johnson is the best tackle left on the board, and there are plenty of teams who may want to move up to snag him (#7 AZ/ #11 Chargers/ #12 Miami). The Lions are in dire need of OL help so this will drive the price up further (if the Eagles decide to move down). This move will almost guarantee an additional 2nd round pick and perhaps additional picks if Miami wants to be a serious player. So the question is.. is it worth it?
Players left on the board include: DT Shariff Floyd, CB Dee Milliner, DT/DE Star Lotuleile, OG Chance Warmack, OG Johnathan Cooper, OLB Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB Ziggy Ansah, QB Geno Smith (who I still don't like as a 1st round pick, but could fit this this scenario due to the depth/additional 2nd round pick). While I'm not sold on Mingo as an OLB or think DE Ziggy Ansah fits our "scheme", it's still unknown if the Eagles will have enough pieced to run a 3-4 this season, which is why many suspect we will run a hybrid 3-4/4-3 defense. The Eagles are adamant about selecting the "Best Player Available" and under this scenario, they could very well be the best players left on the board.
One of these players will surely be there at pick #12 if the Eagles decide to move this far back in the 1st round. The Eagles could still land QB Geno Smith at pick #12 assuming he gets past both the Bills and the Jets. But with the off season moves of signing Vick to a more friendly contact, Foles is still here and Dixon being familiar with the "Kelly Offense" is QB REALLY the choice we want to make in the 1st round? I doubt it.
What about players who might be draft day trades? QB Foles, DE Vinny Curry, DE Trent Cole, WR Jeremy Maclin (last year of his rookie deal). Could this be a part of a blockbuster deal that could send both Jets 1st round picks the Eagles way? Say, Foles/Maclin/Cole and the #4 for picks #9 and #13 (and compensatory pick from the Bucs next season)? While that may sound far fetched of an idea, it really isn't if you consider the Jets could land CB Milliner with the #4 pick and have an immediate upgrade at both QB and WR (esp with our old OC Marty running the show with the Jets) along with a pass rusher in Cole. Trades often happen with the Eagles on draft day, so don't be surprised if we move some familiar faces in place of draft picks.
Again, nobody knows what will happen or who will be drafted ahead of the Eagles. But if the top two tackles are gone by the time #4 rolls around, and Dion Jordan is also off the board. The Eagles need to think long and hard as to what they want to do. Teams will be ringing the phone off the hook for OT Lane Johnson, so the Eagles need to decide if we can still get a quality DL/OL in the 2nd (while still landing a player they highly covet in the 1st). Only a few more days and we will find out! Exciting times are here again. Stay tuned!
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