Who Do Philadelphia Eagles Fans Want in the First Round of the 2013 NFL Draft?
With the fourth overall pick in the 2013 NFL draft, new head coach Chip Kelly will look to turn around the team's franchise, just like Andy Reid did when he selected Syracuse quarterback Donovan McNabb with the second overall pick in the 1999 draft.
Kelly has a number of different options with his first-round pick. He could look for a quarterback in Geno Smith. He could go with one of the two left tackles, Luke Joeckel or Eric Fisher. He could nab one of the defensive linemen in Star Lotulelei or Sharrif Floyd. Or he could go for defensive end/linebacker Dion Jordan.
This is an unusual draft class, with no player standing out as a must-grab at pick No. 4. Plus the Eagles don't know how the Kansas City Chiefs, Jacksonville Jaguars and Oakland Raiders will pick before them (or if they even will pick, barring trade options).
The following slides will highlight a number of the top options for the Eagles at pick No. 4, complete with polls for fans to offer their opinion on the potential draft pick.
Geno Smith, Quarterback
There's no denying that the selection of quarterback Geno Smith with the fourth overall pick would be a risky selection.
Smith has been compared to Donovan McNabb (although not as good). He's intelligent, athletic and good at avoiding interceptions, but he's also been known to have wildly inconsistent stretches with his accuracy.
Personally, I'm not interested in Smith. I agree that the Eagles need a quarterback but I think Smith is too risky to take that high in the first round when the team still has many other needs on both sides of the ball.
I would rather use Michael Vick as a stopgap for a year or take a quarterback like E.J. Manuel in the second round.
Luke Joeckel, Offensive Tackle
Luke Joeckel is the consensus best player in the 2013 NFL draft, according to almost every football expert or website out there.
He has everything you'd want in a left tackle. He has tremendous size, elite athletic ability and strength, plus an ability to shut down opposing pass-rushers for four quarters in a row. He would be an immediate contributor, with the ability to play left tackle and move Jason Peters to right tackle (and Todd Herremans to right guard). Or he could start out at right tackle and switch to left tackle in a few seasons.
If the Chiefs don't pick Joeckel, I expect him to be snatched up by the Jaguars with the second overall pick. But if he somehow makes it to No. 4, the Eagles would be crazy to pass him up.
Eric Fisher, Offensive Tackle
Offensive tackle Eric Fisher's draft stock has been rising recently, as reports have surfaced that Fisher has a legitimate chance to be selected as the top overall pick in the draft, ahead of Luke Joeckel.
Fisher has tremendous size and is the type of elite pass protector that could stay in a team's starting lineup for the next decade (or more). He has the prototypical skill set needed to play left tackle, although the Eagles could use him at right tackle for a year or two, allowing veteran Todd Herremans to slide back to his natural position of guard.
If the Eagles use the best player available method and Fisher is still available with the fourth pick, there's a pretty good chance he'll become the newest member of the Eagles.
Star Lotulelei, Defensive Tackle
The news that defensive lineman Star Lotulelei's potential heart condition is not serious will certainly help him in the 2013 draft.
I've seen him projected as high as No. 1 and as low as No. 15, with most mock drafts suggesting him as a top five pick.
Lotulelei has the ability to play nose tackle or defensive end in a 3-4 defense. He is an extremely disruptive, powerful player who can succeed even against double teams.
Put him on the defensive line with Fletcher Cox and you'll have two-thirds of one of the most powerful defensive lines in the National Football League.
Sharrif Floyd, Defensive Tackle
Sharrif Floyd's draft status has really been rising since the end of the college football season.
Floyd has experience in a hybrid 3-4, 4-3 defense but would likely be a defensive end for the Eagles. He has an excellent motor with lightning fast feet. He's a tremendous athlete with exceptional strength.
Floyd could go anywhere from No. 2 to the Jaguars to the eight, nine or 10, but if he's available at pick No. 4, and if the Eagles deem him to be a better fit for their defense than Lotulelei, they could pull the trigger.
Dion Jordan, Defensive End/Linebacker
For starters, Dion Jordan went to Oregon, so Chip Kelly is extremely familiar after coaching him for a number of years.
Jordan may be the most explosive defensive player in the draft. He would be an outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense.
He has elite athleticism, explosive speed and is a dangerous pass-rusher. He's a good tackler and has some skills in coverage. He possesses excellent size too, standing 6'6" and weighing 248 pounds.
If the Eagles could pick up Jordan fourth overall, they'd be able to rotate in players like Brandon Graham, Trent Cole and Connor Barwin at linebacker.