Monday, December 29, 2014

Eagles mocks, draft thoughts

Below is a roundup of some recently released mocks, along with my draft thoughts.

Eagles mocks, draft thoughts

Below is a roundup of some recently released mocks, along with my draft thoughts.

And be sure to check out Birds' Eye View and Eagletarian for coverage from Andy Reid's breakfast with reporters at the NFL owners' meetings.

SI.com's Don Banks has the Eagles grabbing Mississippi State defensive tackle Fletcher Cox with the 15th pick:

The DeMeco Ryans trade means the Eagles have their 2012 starting middle linebacker already on their roster. That frees up Philly to look at several positions in the first round, defensive tackle, offensive tackle and safety among them. Cox is the draft's third-rated DT, and while the position isn't an urgent need, you know how Andy Reid loves his big guys up front.

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It would not surprise me if the Eagles went with a defensive tackle in the first round. Derek Landri and Trevor Laws remain free agents, but the Birds could pick a DT, get him on the field right away as part of Jim Washburn's rotation and expand his role in 2013.

Lance Zierlein of TheSidelineView.com has the Eagles going with Michael Brockers:

Brockers may not make it past the Chiefs, but if he does, the Eagles will be salivating. Brockers plays with power against the run and while he's not a great pass rusher, the Eagles need a run stuffer much more than another pass rusher.

Brockers reportedly has a visit scheduled with the Eagles. In terms of finding a defensive tackle who excels against the run, I think the Eagles have that in Antonio Dixon.

Zierlein also mocks the second round, projecting California linebacker Mychal Kendricks and Nebraska linebacker Lavonte David for the Eagles.

Kendricks (5-11, 239) had an outstanding combine, leading all linebackers with a 40 time of 4.47 seconds. Although he's not the biggest guy, Kendricks was productive in college too, earning Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2011. NFL.com's scouting report describes him as a "very solid tackler who punishes running backs when he fills the gap on inside runs."

David (6-1, 233) has trouble shedding blocks, but does a pretty good job in coverage, according NFL.com's scouting report.

Nolan Nawrocki of ProFootballWeekly.com suggests the Eagles could take North Carolina defensive end Quinton Coples:

The Eagles made a run at Julius Peppers several years ago but were unable to land him. Coples is not quite as gifted and brings more issues about his competitiveness, but DL coach Jim Washburn has made his name maximizing underachievers. Coples can be special inside or outside if he plays up to his potential.

Coples (6-6, 284) would give the Eagles some size and length at defensive end. The Birds seem to have their defensive end rotation set with Trent Cole, Jason Babin, Brandon Graham and Darryl Tapp. But if they see value in Coples, they could certainly find a way to use him - either in place of Tapp, or as Nawrocki suggests, on the inside.

Jonathan Bales, a contributor to The Fifth Down blog on the New York Times' Web site, has the Eagles taking Alabama defensive back Dre Kirkpatrick:

Another cornerback? No. Kirkpatrick is being viewed by many as the draft’s top safety.

I guess this one depends on how the Eagles view Kirkpatrick (6-2, 186). Much of what happens at safety depends on the development of second-year player Jaiquawn Jarrett. But the Birds could definitely go cornerback early, with Asante Samuel expected to be traded, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie signed only through 2012 and Nnamdi Asomugha turning 31 before next season.


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Sheil Kapadia Philly.com
About this blog
Sheil Kapadia is in his fifth season writing about the Eagles and the NFL for philly.com. His earliest memories as a sports fan include several trips to Veterans Stadium with his Dad. He's not a beat writer or an Insider, but is here to discuss the NFL 365 days a year. E-mail him at skapadia@philly.com or by clicking here

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