Mock drafts are a lot like aerial shots of games played in domes. Both look good, but they serve absolutely no purpose.
Sure, the shot from the blimp of New Orleans looks cool, but when you stare at it for about five seconds you realize you're not seeing the actual playing field.
A mock draft also looks good until the actual draft gets underway and a team makes an unforeseen trade that blows up everyone's mocks.
There are people out there who think they know who the Eagles will draft in the first round. Before you stop laughing with me, let's go back and check out Andy Reid's first selections over the last five years:
2011: Danny Watkins (G), Baylor University. It made sense for the Eagles to go after an offensive lineman. Did anyone anticipate them drafting a 27-year-old rookie?
2010: Brandon Graham (DE/LB) Michigan. Graham was projected as a solid outside linebacker in the 3-4. The Eagles used him as a defensive end in the 4-3. Oh, and they traded up to get him.
2009: Jeremy Maclin (WR) Missouri. Despite glaring needs in the secondary and linebacker the Eagles went after another receiver. It's not that fans didn't like Maclin, it's just that everyone thought other needs were more pressing.
2008: Trevor Laws (DT) Notre Dame. You think Mel Kiper had that one? The Eagles snagged up that gem in the second round.
2007: Kevin Kolb (QB) Houston. The Eagles traded out of the first round and got a backup quarterback. The Eagles traded with the Cowboys, who picked up linebacker Anthony Spencer. Yep, there was no use for someone like Spencer.
Why is all of this mentioned?
First, I don't want to hear from any wannabe Kipers that you know who the Eagles will draft. And second, I don't want to hear about how ridiculous these picks are. No one knows what Reid will do.
The Eagles are staring down the barrel of the first-round gun, and it's not looking pretty.
With each win the Eagles are slipping further in the muck of non-impactful players who will still demand first-round money.
I'd love to see them draft Arizona State linebacker Vontaze Burfict. He has character issues, which means he could slide in the draft. It also means he's got a couple screws loose, which is the best quality in a linebacker.
Reid has time and money invested into Casey Matthews. He will likely spin us that Matthews really stepped it up at the end of the year and is ready for next year now that he has experience under his belt.
Maybe Reid will shock us and go with the unstable guy capable of knocking someone out even if it means a 15-yard penalty gets called.
Let's see: 15-yard penalty after putting Eli Manning on a stretcher?
Give me the 15-yarder, please.
The Eagles are looking at two mid-round picks here. One comes by way of their record, and the other is from the Kevin Kolb trade.
A safety would make sense here, but again, Reid has time and money invested with young talent at this position in Nate Allen and Jaiquawn Jarrett.
Does it matter that they stink?
With Juqua Parker getting older and the Eagles' love for undersized defensive ends, say hello to Vinny Curry.
Oh, you don't know my cousin Vinny? He's a pretty solid player out of Marshall who is a great fit as a 3-4 outside linebacker. Sounds like Brandon Graham Jr.
With the other pick the Eagles make a trade and pick up additional draft picks.
Does it sound that outlandish?
Didn't think so.
DeSean Jackson who?
That's right, say goodbye to DeSean Jackson. Will anybody miss him?
Surprisingly, Reid will find another great wide receiver via the draft with Nick Toon.
Toon is the anti-Jackson. He's not a speedster, but he's physical, and he does a bunch of things really well.
Toon has dropped on the boards thanks to a Wisconsin offense that doesn't throw the ball too much. Give this kid two or three years, and he will be one of the better draft picks of the 2012 NFL Draft regardless of who gets him.
You can never have enough offensive linemen if you're the Eagles, and they will address that need with Amini Silatolu.
Does anyone really know anything about a random guard from Midwestern State? Well, his draft stock is rising on NFLDraftScout.com, so that's good enough for me.
With the other pick the Eagles will go after a quarterback because Reid loves projects.
Enter Kirk Cousins.
The Michigan State product has a cannon and big-play potential that could could be deadly with this offense down the road or possibly for a game or two if/when Vick goes down.
Charles Mitchell is a safety down at Mississippi State, and I've never heard of him until I took on this assignment.
Mitchell has a ton of flaws, but he can tackle well.
I don't care who is back there at this point as long as they can make a play in the open field and put the fear of God into someone roaming across the secondary.
Mitchell is definitely worth the risk at this point in the draft, so the Eagles might as well go for it.
A linebacker with a history of back problems isn't exactly the most appealing option. But in the sixth round you're not going to find Tom Brady every year.
Galippo has played pretty well as a linebacker at USC, and he's also been a solid contributor on special teams according to the previously mentioned source, NFLDraftScout.com.
Whenever you can land a guy who does multiple things well in the sixth round, you take him.
Chris Rainey from Florida also brings multiple talents—and no, not his ability to stalk and threaten girlfriends.
Rainey can play running back and receiver, and he brings plenty of speed to the table.
And with the final pick in the sixth round, why not go for someone to replace Ronnie Brown?
Ryan Houston and his 245-pound frame would look good in the backfield as a lead blocker for LeSean McCoy and could possibly be useful in short-yardage situations. It's not likely that the University of North Carolina running back would make the roster, but Brown isn't going to be here either.