Philadelphia Eagles 2012 Mock Draft: What Experts Around the Web Are Saying
This is usually the part of the week where I unleash my latest Philadelphia Eagles seven-round mock draft with a few tweaks from the last mock I did. This week, the pressure rolled all off me and onto the so-called experts.
The Mel Kipers of the world get the most reads from their mock drafts every single year. They are good at analyzing rookie classes and knowing which player fits better for which team. But how well do these experts actually know the Eagles and who actually fits in with out team?
I'll analyze five different Eagles picks from five different "experts" and break down whether or not each player is a good fit for us at No. 15.
Todd McShay/ESPN: Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis
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It's not surprising to see anybody predict Dontari Poe to be drafted by the Eagles at this point. He is the flavor of the week right now. He dominated at the NFL Combine with a sub-5 40-yard dash, along with stellar numbers at every other drill.
He proved just how strong and athletic he is. The problem I have with Poe is, why wasn't he dominant against mediocre competition while at Memphis? In three seasons in college, Poe had just five career sacks while playing in the Conference-USA.
Was Poe unmotivated, or is he still too raw to take this early in the first round? I believe that Jim Washburn could do wonders with Poe this summer and turn him into a dominant defensive tackle. I also believe that Poe could be a complete bust that just doesn't have enough of a mean streak to be a great defensive tackle at the next level.
Either way, he is one of the riskiest picks in the entire draft class.
Mel Kiper/ESPN: Michael Brockers, DT, LSU
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I'd love this pick for the Eagles only if Brockers fell to the 15th pick. I'd also love Justin Blackmon or Trent Richardson here too, but I don't think any of these guys gets out of the top 10.
Michael Brockers is the top-rated defensive tackle and will not get past Carolina at the ninth-overall pick in the draft. He is the exact opposite of Dontari Poe right now. Brockers is stellar on film, but was dreadful at the combine.
He ran a abysmal 5.36 40 and was unimpressive in any other drill. He did add 16 pounds to his frame, which now stands at 322 pounds, which may have slowed him down. Look for him to shed about five pounds for his pro day and improve on some slow times.
When you watch Brockers on film, he is just too good to really focus on slow, bad combine numbers. Too many great NFL players have had bad combines, but looked great in college and went on to be great in the pros as well.
If you doubt Brockers even for a second, watch the tape from the SEC title game. He had six solo tackles, two for a loss, one forced fumble and one pass breakup. He is a lock for the top 10.
Matt Miller/Bleacher Report: Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
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I broke down every single Eagles selection from Matt Miller's seven-round mock draft last week. His first pick for the Eagles was Michael Floyd. I didn't think it was a bad pick then, and it's actually starting to grow on me more and more if things work out a certain way.
If the Eagles sign DeSean Jackson long-term, then it makes more sense to sign Plaxico Burress for red zone help and draft either a linebacker or defensive tackle in the first round. I think Floyd is a great talent, but if the Eagles already have Jackson, Burress and Jeremy Maclin, what would you do with Floyd?
In his final two seasons at Notre Dame, Floyd had 174 receptions, over 2,100 yards receiving and 20 touchdowns. Floyd is a playmaker who just makes plays when the ball is thrown his way. He backed up his big-play ability with a 4.42 40 at the combine.
He is the complete package at wide receiver and has all the physical tools and the proof on film to be just as good as, if not better than, the No. 1-ranked receiver in this year's class, Justin Blackmon.
If the Eagles are in need of a No. 1 receiver, Floyd is a great pick here. If not, it's a waste. We will see what happens with Jackson in the next 30 days or so.
Evan Silva and Josh Norris/Roto World: Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor
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The folks at Roto World do great work with contracts and breaking news. Having said that, in a mock draft where the Eagles hypothetically need a go-to wide receiver and Justin Blackmon, Kendall Wright and Michael Floyd are all on the board, it is laughable to say that the Eagles would take Wright. At least I hope it would.
Michael Floyd ran almost two-tenths of a faster 40 at the combine than Wright did, and he is a much bigger and much more proven target. Justin Blackmon is an absolute beast that has demonstrated big-play ability on every single route from the short screen to the deep ball. Wright is a solid player, but he is the third-best receiver in this class at best.
Wright is another poor showing at his pro day from dropping into the late portion of the first round. Smaller wide receiver don't get selected in the top 20 unless the have really good 40 times.
If Blackmon, Floyd and Wright are all available at the Eagles' 15th-overall pick and they take the receiver who stands under six feet, expect a riot in Philly.
Rob Rang/Cbssports.com: Luke Kuechly, MLB, Boston College
Luke Kuechly is a slam dunk for the Eagles in the first round, expect for two things. One, he won't get out of the top 12. Two, the Eagles will sign a veteran middle linebacker in free agency.
The Eagles are clearly in a win-now mode, and starting a rookie at middle linebacker goes against that theory. It's too important of a position to risk on a rookie who may or may not be ready to be the center of the 4-3 defense.
It's a buyers marker right now for teams in need of a 4-3 inside linebacker. Curtis Lofton and Stephen Tulloch are the two best players that could hit the market. After that, the Eagles will have their choice of David Hawthorne, London Fletcher and Dan Connor.
All would be upgrades at the position over Jamar Chaney right now.
Luke Kuechly was a top-15 or top-20 pick before he dominated at the combine with very fast times across the board and 27 reps on the bench press with his 242-pound frame. He is an elite linebacker prospect that should interest the Carolina Panthers, Seattle Seahawks, Miami Dolphins, Kansas City Chiefs and the Dallas Cowboys before we get to the Eagles' 15th pick.
If they want Kuechly, they will probably have to trade up to the 10th pick. It makes much more sense to sign a middle linebacker in free agency and draft the best player available. I would be surprised if that's not what they do.
Randy Jobst/Bleacher Report: Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State
Butch Dill/Getty Images
It wouldn't be fair for me to criticize everyone else's mock draft without suggesting a pick of my own. I love Fletcher Cox for the Eagles' first-round selection. Michael Brockers is the highest rated defensive tackle, and Dontari Poe may have the highest ceiling, but Cox is the best fit for Philadelphia.
Cox was lined up all over the Bulldogs line last season and demonstrated some great versatility in the process. He is a dynamic pass-rusher who showed just how great of an athlete he is with a 4.79 40 at the combine while also showing off his upper-body strength with 30 reps in the bench press.
Cox would be the perfect fit for Jim Washburn's defensive line scheme. He can move him all around the line and really let him get after the quarterback in his aggressive line scheme to. It's more about attacking the backfield than it is about covering up gaps.
He can line up next to Cullen Jenkins in the middle of the line in pass-rushing situations and really take advantage of one-on-one matchups against much slower interior linemen.