Philadelphia Eagles Mock Draft: Draft Day Trades Edition
In the 2009 NFL Draft, the Philadelphia Eagles traded up two spots to draft Jeremy Maclin at the 19th overall pick. The Eagles sent the Cleveland Browns their 21st overall pick and a 6th-round pick to the 19th overall selection.
In 2012, the Eagles have the 15th overall selection. They are a team with very few needs if any. They will target a few key players they like in this year's draft and go get them. They have three picks in the first 51 overall selections and nine total draft picks.
This could very well be a draft where the Eagles do a lot of trading up to get five or six players they really covet rather then sitting and waiting with their nine current draft picks.
I have yet to write up a mock draft involving draft day trades. Today, I will conduct my mock draft with an aggressive mindset. I am going to target just a handful of guys and conduct some potential trades that the Eagles could make themselves in less then two weeks.
Let the madness begin.
Round 1, Pick 7: Fletcher Cox DT Mississippi State
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The Eagles send the Jacksonville Jaguars their 15th overall pick in the first round along with their third-round pick (88th overall) and their first sixth-round pick (172nd overall). The Jaguars will look at who is there at pick number seven and probably won't be 100 percent sold on anybody.
They can still get a terrific player with the 15th pick including Quinton Coples, Luke Kuechly, Mark Barron, Kendall Wright and Dontari Poe.
The Eagles should have, and most likely have, been targeting Fletcher Cox for a long time. He is an athletic defensive tackle at just under 300 pounds. He ran the 40 at 4.79 seconds at the combine. He is an extraordinary pass rusher, which is what the Eagles need at defensive tackle.
Cox is one of the most versatile defensive linemen in the draft as well.
He can play both end and tackle, which gives the Eagles some extra depth at defensive end which could eliminate the need for the Eagles to draft an end with five capable players already on the roster.
Cullen Jenkins is a similar player who can play end as well.
With Cox, the Eagles get one of the best pass rushers in the draft. He will fit in well in the their defensive line rotation and could rack up anywhere from five to 10 sacks in his first season.
Keep in mind he won't see many double teams on a line that also consist of Trent Cole, Jason Babin, Cullen Jenkins, Antonio Dixon and Mike Patterson. Plus we don't know how good or bad Brandon Graham will be now that he is finally fully recovered from his ACL injury from 2010.
One final note on the Eagles trading up for the seventh overall pick: If Ryan Tannehill is still on the board and Miami is expecting to select him with their eighth overall pick they would have to send an extra pick or two to swap with the Eagles to ensure they get Tannehill. The Eagles have already worked out Tannehill and Miami would have to be worried that the Eagles would select him there.
That is the beauty of working out as many first round prospects you can regardless of whether you have any interest in taking the player or not.
Round 1, Pick 23: Coby Fleener TE Stanford
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The Eagles send both of their second-round picks to get back into the first round. The price may seem high, but trading into the first round without exchanging a first-round pick of your own isn't cheap.
The reward is worth it for the Eagles. They get a red zone target who offers a lot between the 20s as well.
The Lions are a team that need a lot of help on the offensive line and the secondary. Right now they are barely a playoff team. One first-round draft pick isn't going to make or break the Lions going forward. This draft class is deep enough to warrant them to trade out of the first round and add two extra second-round picks in the process.
The Eagles have three needs they need to address in this year's draft.They need to get a kick returner, an inside pass rusher and a red zone target.
Cox was the inside pass rusher and Fleener is the red zone target.
Fleener is the most polished tight end in the draft. He is a solid blocker and an outstanding receiver. He lined up as a traditional tight end, in the slot and out wide. He averaged just under 20 yards per reception which shows his ability as a deep threat, and he also had 10 touchdowns in 2011 which proves he is a reliable red zone target.
The Eagles could go after a Stephon Hill or Ruben Randle at this pick and still get a red zone target. On paper at least.
I don't buy either player as an immediate help in the red zone. Hill is a project player who comes from an option offense at Georgia Tech. Randle hasn't shown he is a willing blocker and isn't as physical a receiver as you would like from a bigger receiver in the first round.
Round 3, Pick 82: Chris Rainey RB/KR Florida
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Asante Samuel has to be sick of all these trade rumors that have surrounded him since the lockout ended last summer. Now he finally can settle in with his no team and move on. The Eagles send Asante Samuel to the Tennessee Titans in exchange for their third-round pick.
This may seem high for Chris Rainey, but a player as fast and explosive as Rainey is who can play all over the offense and special teams will be a very coveted player come draft day. Rainey is a dangerous outside runner, a receiver in the slot or out of the backfield, a return man and punter's worse nightmare (six blocked punts in college).
Some people will call for a power back here, but LeSean McCoy is a capable inside runner. He did have 17 rushing touchdowns in 2011 didn't he? Dion Lewis is also a tough runner inside. The Eagles will be looking for a speed back that can create some big plays as a runner and receiver out of the backfield.
The Eagles finally get someone capable of getting past the 20 on kickoffs. Rainey's speed and vision will make him a great return man at the next level.
Round 4, Pick 114: Omar Bolden CB Arizona State
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In the 2008 NFL Draft the Eagles took a chance on a Jack Ikegwuonu in the fourth round. He was thought of as a 1st-round pick until he tore his ACL. He barely saw the field in less than two years with the Eagles. He was cut during the 2009 season.
It's always a low risk, high reward type situation when you draft a top 20 player that suffered a major injury. If he can come back to where he was before the injury, then it is the steal of the draft.
If not, you waste a mid-round draft pick.
In 2012, the Eagles might take another shot at this tactic. Omar Bolden tore his ACL last April. He has had a full year to recover from his surgery and should be getting close to wear he once was.
The Eagles have depth at cornerback with Nnamdi Asomugha, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Joselio Hanson, Brandon Hughes and Curtis Marsh. Bolden can spend the 2011 season slowly getting a feel for the speed of the game.
It usually takes a full season back from an ACL injury before you get back to where you once were. Tom Brady and Donovan McNabb both took a full season after the surgery to get their game back and we will probably see Brandon Graham get back to his 2010 form this year.
Like with Ikegwuonu, this is a low risk, high reward type of a move. If Bolden never gets back to form we waste our 114th overall pick. If he is a success then the Eagles get a 2nd round caliber player late in the fourth round. It's worth the risk.
Round 5, Pick 153: Miles Burris LB San Diego State
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Miles Burris is starting to become one of my favorite linebacker prospects.
He is a very athletic player who actually looks faster on film then he did at his pro day when he clocked in at 4.67 in the 40 and 6.80 in the 3-cone drill.
Burris has great explosion off the line when he is used as a blitzer and great lateral agility when chasing down running backs. He isn't reliable in coverage yet, and he lacks the physicality you would want in a 4-3 linebacker. That will push him late into the fifth or sixth round on day three of the draft.
He plays hard and is incredibly athletic. He has the potential to be a really good outside linebacker at the next level. It will take him a couple seasons to develop, but he can be a great contributor on specials teams in the mean time.
At the very least the Eagles get a good player for Bobby April's special teams.
Round 6, Pick 175: Marvin McNutt WR Iowa
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There will be a few players that are projected to go in the fifth round that will still be on the board early in the sixth round. In this scenario the Eagles send their two late sixth round draft picks to move up earlier in the sixth round.
Marvin McNutt will get passed over by several times on day three. He doesn't play as fast as he was timed at the combine. He won't wow people with his speed and some scouts wonder if he can separate from defenders.
Numbers speak volumes for McNutt. He played in a very conservative offense at Iowa with an inexperienced quarterback in 2011 and was surrounded by mediocre players. He was the guy that every defense knew they had to stop in order to beat Iowa. He still managed to catch 78 passes for 1,269 yards and 12 touchdowns.
He is a very polished receiver with long arms and great hands. When scouting receivers it's more important for the receiver to run crisp routes and consistently catch the ball. What good is a 4.30 40 if you cant catch the football in traffic?