Mock Draft: Philadelphia Eagles Best 2010 First Round Draft Prospects

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Mock Draft: Philadelphia Eagles Best 2010 First Round Draft Prospects

The first four rounds of the 2010 NFL draft appear to be loaded with talent to support the Philadelphia Eagles' fans' clamor for a revamping of the defense. The commonplace needs assessment for the Eagles, prioritizes defensive end and free safety atop the need for linebacker, offensive line and running back depth.

The "keystone" position in the Eagles' defense is the left defensive end. That is the only position that will draw attention away from other players in the trenches, which will in-turn elevate their opportunity to make plays and better set up the linebackers while minimizing exposure in the secondary.

Needs and wants aside, Andy Reid among others, is a pretty firm stickler about drafting the best player available. So we should consider more possibilities than just defensive end in the first round. The "best-player-available" draft philosophy is considered the wisest by most draft experts.

Round One - 24th Overall

The best options in round 1 would currently include (not in order of BPA):

  FS - Earl Thomas from Texas
 FS - Taylor Mays from USC
 CB - Kyle Wilson from Boise State
 DE - Brandon Graham from Michigan
 DE - Everson Griffen from USC
 LB - Sean Weatherspoon from Mizzou
 OG - Mike Iupati from Idaho
 C - Maurice Pouncy from Florida
 RB - CJ Spiller from Clemson
 RB - Jahvid Best from California

 

DB - Earl Thomas, Texas

Earl Thomas is one of the longest shots to last until the 24th overall selection. The Eagles may need to move up to secure him. If he is on the board when the Eagles pick, he would most likely be the best player available and I would expect them to draft him. 

Mike Mayock ranks Thomas above Eric Berry from Tennessee (a top five prospect). Thomas is the clear number two free safety in any case and the signing of Marlin Jackson will not likely impugn the Eagles' decision if he is available.

As one of the premier NCAA play makers in 2009, Thomas has the total package to be a complete defensive back. His size and athleticism have led some to speculate that he could be suited to play cornerback in the NFL.

YEAR
2008
2009

TK
71
63

FF
4
1

INT
2
8

TD
0
2

At the scouting combine, Thomas put up 21 reps at 225 pounds and ran a 4.44 second forty yard dash. He measured up at 5'10" and 205 pounds.

Earl Thomas is an NFL ready free safety and a great fit for the Eagles.

 

DB - Taylor Mays, USC 

Taylor Mays is a project and an athletic freak. At nearly 230 pounds, he ran an official 4.41 forty yard dash to some controversy. No question that the man is really fast, but he could be a linebacker conversion project

More importantly, he has never won over the critics regarding his coverage deficiencies. The facts remain the same, his size and speed combination cannot be ignored.

Mays was initially hand timed at a 4.23 and a 4.34 and when his run was later overlain with Jacoby Ford (4.28) and Trindon Holiday (4.34), he finished in between the two. There was an error somewhere and it would appear that Mays ran in the low 4.3 range.

The consensus opinion is that Mays is a liability at free safety, but speculation of a season working under the tutelage of new defensive backs coach, Dick Jauron, has many folks wondering if his freakish athleticism could be refined into an elite NFL safety.

At the conclusion of the 2008 season, Mays was speculated as a clear top ten draft prospect. His stock may not have fallen equally on everyone's draft board, particularly Al Davis'.

Mays was a four year starter at USC, but he never became the big play maker that NFL scouts were hoping to see.

YEAR

TK

FF

INT

TD

2006

62

0

3

0

2007

65

1

1

0

2008

53

0

0

0

2009

88

0

0

1

Mays put up 24 reps at 225 during his combine workout to go along with his freakish speed. He measured up at 6'3" and 230 pounds.

Personally, I see Taylor Mays as an NFL linebacker.

Taylor Mays is a project player and not a great fit for the Eagles.

 

CB - Kyle Wilson, Boise State

Kyle Wilson may be a reach at the 24th overall pick of the draft. There appears to be some good looking cornerback talent that should be available in the middle rounds, but Kyle Wilson is an elite looking prospect that could easily be snatched up by a team in the early going.

Considering the cornerback depth in the draft and the need being second or third tier, I doubt that the Eagles claim Wilson. Nonetheless, the guy is a solid player and certainly worthy of consideration.

Wilson has been impressive throughout his collegiate years and really turned heads at the Senior Bowl. He has demonstrated exceptional awareness to match with his athleticism and I expect him to be an elite player at the NFL level.

He was a four year starter at Boise State and a heck of a play maker.

YEAR
2006
2007
2008
2009

TK
41
41
35
42

FF
1
O
0
0

INT
1
2
5
3

TD
O
0
0
2

Kyle Wilson impressively put up 25 reps of 225 pounds during his combine work out and flashed excellent speed at his pro-day with a 4.42 forty yard dash. He has been rumored as capable of running in the 4.3 range.

Wilson would be a great fit to add top flight youth to the Eagles aging cornerbacks.

 

DE - Brandon Graham, Michigan

Brandon Graham would be an excellent high motor complement to Trent Cole. He had a fantastic career at Michigan and was ever impressive against the top competition at the senior bowl. 

Graham is viewed by some as a defensive end/linebacker tweener which would be better suited for a 3-4 defense. At 6'1" and 261 pounds, Graham is 10 pounds heavier than Trent Cole when he joined the league, 10 pounds heavier than Juqua Parker now and the same size as Dwight Freeney.

Graham also has the frame to put on pounds with some time invested in the weight room.

At Michigan, Graham was both stout against the run and a very effective edge pass rusher. If he can bring the same as a defensive end in the NFL, he is exactly what the Eagles are looking for to complement Trent Cole.

YEAR

TK

FF

INT

TD

2006

3

0

0

0

2007

25

8

0

0

2008

46

10

0

0

2009

64

10

0

0

 Graham dominated in the Senior Bowl earning MVP honors and impressed the scouts all week throughout the workouts. Graham put up 31 reps at 225 pounds and ran a 4.72 forty yard dash at the combine.  

 

DE - Everson Griffen, USC

Griffen is a prototype defensive end with incredible speed and quickness. He plays well against the run and as an edge rusher. He is projected to come off the board before the 24th overall selection, but could slip rather easily.

He doesn't have the motor or consistency that I would like to see at this critical position for the Eagles in 2010, but he has the raw ability and skill to blossom at the NFL level.

YEAR

TK

FF

INT

TD

2007

21

5

0

0

2008

18

4

0

0

2009

43

7

0

0

Griffen put up 32 reps at 225 pounds, but more impressive was his 4.66 second forty yard dash at 6'3" and 273 pounds.

 

LB - Sean Weatherspoon, Missouri

If you want to get some swagger back on the defense, this is the guy. Full of personality and athleticism, Weatherspoon is a dynamic linebacker that would make a fantastic WILL, safety net for MIKE or even a SAM.

Nothing says swagger like the bright white under armor that Weatherspoon sported at the combine.

Weatherspoon had a fantastic career at Missouri, shined at the senior bowl and impressed at the combine. His draft stock has soared as of late. 

YEAR

TK

SK

FF

INT

TD

2006

12

0

0

0

0

2007

124

3

2

0

0

2008

149

5

0

3

2

2009

103

4

1

1

0

Weatherspoon is a bit of a freakish athlete as well. He put up 225 pounds 34 times and a ran respectable 4.68 second forty yard dash. Spoon ran an improved 4.52 at his pro day. He measured up at 6'1" and 239 pounds.

 

OG - Mike Iupati, Idaho

Iupati played left guard at Idaho and is clearly regarded as the best pure guard in the draft with a possible aptitude to slide out to the tackle position. He had a sensational week at the Senior Bowl and did not fail to impress at the combine.

My only issue with Iupati is his admitted difficulty playing on the right side where the Eagles could use the help.

 

C/OG - Maurkice Pouncey, Florida

Pouncey is the unchallenged number one center prospect in the draft. He is the only center that could be worth a first round draft pick. At 24th overall he may be a reach.

Still, Pouncy could play guard or center, both of which are critical positions for the Eagles offensive line in 2010. And the guy is a beast.

 

RB - CJ Spiller, Clemson

It would seem unlikely that the Eagles would take a running back in the first round, but don't rule out the possibility. Spiller is the consensus top dog running back prospect. He is projected to go in the top 15 so the Eagles would more than likely have to trade up which would not be likely unless Spiller slipped down on draft day.

Spiller is a back that could be compared to Brian Westbrook and a perfect fit for the Eagles offense. He was both fundamentally and statistically amazing during his time-share and reign at Clemson.

YEAR 

RSH

AVG

TD

REC

TD

2006

938

7.3

10

210

2

2007

768

5.3

3

271

2

2008

629

5.4

7

436

3

2009

1212

5.6

12

503

4

Spiller is a threat to break away on any given touch.

Spiller was hand timed under 4.3 seconds at his combine workout, but his official time was 4.37 (still plenty fast). He measured up at 5'11" and 196 pounds.

 

RB - Jahvid Best, California

Again, a first round running back doesn't seem likely, but Jahvid Best is my personal favorite player in the draft so I've included him here. He is every bit as dangerous as Spiller and overall a very similar player.

He may be a bit of a reach at 24th overall.

He has a modest injury history prior to 2009 when he suffered a dramatic concussion knockout and back strain that concluded his season early. I believe he will come back from this most recent injury to be the best back in the NFL out of this draft class.

Best is a perfect fit for an Andy Reid offense. He's a quick elusive runner with great hands and skills out of the backfield and he clearly has the ability to break a big play any time he touches the ball.

YR

RSH

AVG

TD

REC

TD

2007

221

7.6

2

74

1

2008*

1580

8.1

15

246

1

2009

867

6.1

12

213

4

Just look at this guy's average per carry.

Best surprised the experts by running the fastest 40 yard dash among running backs at a 4.35. For the record, it did not surprise me. He measured up at 5'10" and 199 pounds.

 

More First Round Options

Players like Nate Allen (FS from South Florida), Jerry Hughes (LB/DE from Texas Christian), Brian Price (DT from UCLA), Jared Odrick (DT/DE from Penn State), Carlos Dunlap (DE from Florida), Sergio Kindle (LB from Texas), Brandon Spikes (LB from Florida), Charles Brown (OT from USC) and Bruce Campbell (OT from Maryland) could all be worthy of the Eagles 24th overall selection, but most likely as a second tier option.

Allen and Hughes (early second round draft projections) would be a reach by a couple of picks, but they would be incredible to have and won't likely last until our second round selection.

Odrick could play defensive end or defensive tackle, but would be better suited in a 3-4 scheme at defensive end rather than the Eagles 4-3.

Dunlap has the off-field issue and underachiever rap. He's a prototype defensive end with excellent measurables all the way around from speed to strength, but he's having a hard time shaking the stigma of being an "on and off again" player.

Sergio Kindle is forecast as a pass rushing 3-4 linebacker and as such, wouldn't be a smart first round investment for the Eagles. He would best fit as a SAM linebacker. Considering our nickel package is on the field close to 70% of the time, it would be wasteful to spend a first round pick on a SAM who plays only 30% of the defensive snaps.

First Round Conclusion

As much as I would love to see the Eagles draft Sean Weatherspoon or Earl Thomas, I would rather see them address what I have called the "keystone" position of left defensive end with either Everson Griffen or to my preference Brandon Graham.

There is however one curve ball to discuss and that is the Eagles' rumored interest in the Vikings defensive end Ray Edwards who is a first round tender and a young but emerging defensive end in the NFL.

Second Round Thoughts

To forecast a bit further, the cover-two strong safety from Georgia, Reshad Jones would be a great look in the second round as would the Big 10 outside linebackers from Penn State and Ohio State, Navarro Bowman and Thadeus Gibson (to play WILL).

The second round is a good opportunity to bolster depth on the offensive line with a Vladimrir Ducasse or Jon Osamoah or a cornerback like Devin McCourty.

Third Round Thoughts

The third round is a tougher juggling act and where the heralded talent begins to thin. The Eagles have two picks and four remaining positions of interest: CB, RB, LB, OL.

AJ Edds from Iowa is thought to be one of the best pure 4-3 strong side linebackers in the draft and Sean Lee from Penn State would be a nice option as well. 

The end of the third round would be a great opportunity to secure an Andy Reid type running back with a little thump like Ben Tate from Auburn or Montario Hardesty from Tennessee.

If the Eagles for some reason had not addressed safety or defensive end by the third round it would be fair to assume that they would not waste much more time. Greg Hardy was a first round prospect in 2008 and has since plummeted to a third round projection. Austin Lane and Alex Carrington, are also good looking defensive end prototypes that could satisfy the need.

Morgan Burnett from Georgia Tech would be an excellent early third round selection to compete for a job at free safety.

There are plenty of interesting offensive lineman to consider in the third round as well, but for my taste, I say hang tight.

One position that will be difficult to draft around in the third is cornerback. I expect a run on corners in the third. There could be some really interesting talent available like Brandon Ghee, Jerome Murphy, Chris Cook, Akwasi Owusu-Ansah and Amari Spievy among others.

Fourth Round Thoughts

If my optimal draft plays out, the Eagles would have a defensive end (Brandon Graham), a safety (Reshad Jones), a linebacker (AJ Edds) and a running back (Ben Tate) as they went into the fourth round. All of the aforementioned are potential impact players at their position for 2010.

For good measure, I would select the impressive AJ Jefferson at cornerback in the fourth round. Jefferson, from Fresno State, caught everyone's attention during his combine workout with the best vertical leap (44") and a 10'6" broad jump. He ran an unofficial 4.43 forty yard dash which was later amended as a 4.49.

He is officially on the radar, but looks to be a steal in the fourth.

Jamar Chaney from Mississippi State would be a great fourth round pick up at linebacker as would Pat Angerer from Iowa or Phillip Dillard from Nebraska. They could all compete for Stewart Bradley's backup or as a starting strong side linebacker.

Dekoda Watson from Florida State, Rennie Curran from Georgia and Arthur Moats from James Madison would be three more tempting fourth round linebackers.

Of course I would love to see the Eagles take a running back like Legarrette Blount in the fourth round, but I just do not see Andy Reid carrying two running backs/fullbacks over 250 pounds on his roster.

Sixth Round Thoughts

In the sixth round I would finally address the offensive line with the steal of the draft.

Tony Washington from Abilene Christian had an incredible combine workout. He looks the part and these kids from Abilene Christian never seem to disappoint.

An alternative would be Jeff Byers, the center from USC.

I will refrain from speculating on the Eagles compensatory picks to be assigned. Most likely, there will be a pair of seventh rounders to come. 

2010 Impact

There is a ton of talent in this draft and it shouldn't surprise anyone to see at least two starters on the field in 2010 from this draft class, especially considering Jeremy Maclin, Lesean McCoy, Victor Harris and Moise Fokou all started games in 2009.

 

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