Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
So Oklahoma offensive tackle Lane Johnson feels there's a decent chance the Eagles take him with that fourth overall pick, according to Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer. But Central Michigan offensive tackle Eric Fisher has been a much more common mock draft pick for Philadelphia, while Texas A&M offensive tackle Luke Joeckel is the highest rated of the three.
Assuming the Eagles don't ignore them all and go with someone like Geno Smith, Sharrif Floyd, Star Lotulelei or Dee Milliner, Philly will very likely have a decision to make regarding which tackle to take when it is on the board next Thursday night.
At least two of those tackles should be available, and there's even an outside chance all three will be. The Chiefs are expected by many to take Joeckel with the top pick, but the Jaguars and Raiders have plenty of other needs in the two and three spot.
From what I've seen, read and heard, I'm more excited about Fisher than either Joeckel or Johnson. And in fact, I think both of those guys are better suited for the Eagles because of their experience on the right side. Joeckel is more of a pure left tackle, and the Chiefs may be willing to move Branden Albert in order to make that happen. But Fisher and Johnson could have smoother starts as pure right tackles, moving Todd Herremans inside and then becoming options for left tackle when Jason Peters' run comes to an end.
Bleacher Report's Eric Stoner on Fisher:
He was one of the breakout performers at the Senior Bowl and possesses an elite combination of length, athleticism, and flexibility. ... Can play in an up-tempo offense with lots of quick-setting from a two-point stance and zone blocking in the run game, or a downblock-heavy, play action/deep-drop offense.
And Stoner on Johnson:
Despite being a little rough around the edges and needing to add more bulk and strength (especially to his lower body), Johnson possesses the kind of elite athleticism and foot speed that NFL teams have coveted in their left tackles for decades. He figures to be the third tackle off the board (behind Luke Joeckel and Eric Fisher) but has the kind of staggering upside that lead many to think that he could end up as the best of the group.
Again, Fisher is the safer pick here. Johnson was a quarterback and a free safety in high school. I think Chip Kelly is probably excited about his athleticism and foot speed, but Stoner points out that Fisher is suited to play in an up-tempo offense, which is critical.
High ceilings based on athletic ability and Combine performances scare me. Johnson isn't as polished as Fisher or Joeckel, and the Eagles can't afford to screw around and flirt with danger this high in the draft. That's why I'm still favoring the higher-rated Fisher over Johnson.
Of course, if the Eagles go with Smith or Floyd or Lotulelei or Milliner or make a trade, this will all be moot. That's the draft for you.