NFL Draft: Eagles-Only Mock 1.0
With the NFL Draft approaching, the Eagles have an abundance of different routes they could take. It’s no secret that the organization needs to provide their franchise QB with weapons sooner rather than later. With the top 3 WRs on the board likely out of play (unless they trade up), the Eagles would be looking at the second and third tier of receivers to give the offense some sort of firepower. Luckily, this receiver class is deeper than any other class in recent memory. Fans have been clamoring for the team to double-dip at WR all offseason long but, as I mentioned in this week’s podcast, I just don’t think that’s ever been the plan for the Eagles. Here’s my projection on how the Eagles could realistically approach the draft:
*Trade: Eagles trade #21 and a 5th-round pick to the Ravens for #28 and a 3rd-round pick*
Round 1, Pick #28: Denzel Mims, WR – Baylor
Earlier in the week on ESPN 1660, Mims was interviewed on the Matt Mosley Show about his career at Baylor and the upcoming draft process. He mentioned the teams that have been most interested in him, the Eagles being at the front of the list.
Denzel Mims told @mattmosley that the #Eagles are one of the teams that have shown the most interest in him. I would love if the Eagles picked him at 21 and drafted a player like Devin Duvernay or Van Jefferson later on.
— Justin Bradley (@JustinJBradley) April 3, 2020
Mims has been slowly making his way up the draft boards with his ideal combination of speed and size. He recorded a 4.38 40-time at the combine while showing flashes of an explosive route-runner during the season. At 6’3″, 206 pounds he was used primarily as a vertical threat downfield and a strong, physical target in the red-zone. Mims possesses some of the strongest hands in the class with an impressive catch-radius (if JJAW hasn’t scared you away from that stat) and would contribute to the offense immediately.
Mims isn’t as proven as Lamb, Ruggs or even Justin Jefferson, but he has the highest ceiling of anyone in the draft. He’s a freak athlete and if he can clean up his route-running, Carson Wentz will have his dynamic WR1 for the duration of his career. Mims caught 66 passes for 1,020 yards and 12 TDs last season.
NFL Comparison: Kenny Golladay
Denzel Mims in the first. KJ Hamler in the second.
Idc what else happens. pic.twitter.com/qQNEpf0Zt8
— Victor Williams (@ThePhillyPod) March 25, 2020
Round 2, Pick #53: Jeremy Chinn, S – Southern Illinois
Chinn is the perfect prototype for a defensive back in a Jim Schwartz defense and would be an absolute steal at pick #53. With the Eagles letting Malcolm Jenkins walk and moving Jalen Mills to safety, this would be an ideal time for the team to bring in a safety with Chinn’s kind of skillset.
Chinn can be used all over the field; he can move up in the box as a linebacker as well as play deep coverage in the secondary. He would immediately help the middle of the defense with the Eagles’ lack of LBs while being groomed for that Malcolm Jenkins-type role. Chinn put on a clinic at the combine running a 4.46 40 while recording a 41″ vertical. Chinn has the ball skills and instincts to thrive at the position. That combined with his elite size and speed will make him a force in the NFL in a relatively short amount of time. Chinn recorded at least 3 interceptions and 50+ tackles in all four years at Southern Illinois.
NFL Comparison: Marcus Williams
You wanna talk about ball skills? How about Jeremy Chinn 👀? High pointing this ball AND the toe tap. Nice range too. pic.twitter.com/ufEknaWxME
— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) February 11, 2020
Round 3, Pick #92 (via Ravens): Van Jefferson, WR – Florida
Van Jefferson may not be as talked about as much as the other ‘Jefferson’ in the draft but that doesn’t mean he isn’t an impressive receiver in his own right.
Jefferson has reliable hands and is one of the best route-runners in this class, on par with Jerry Jeudy. He has decent breakaway speed and routinely took college DBs to school, most notably Derek Stingley of LSU. The productive Florida wideout is the son of current Jets WR coach and former WR Shawn Jefferson, who played from 1991-2003. One of the most underrated prospects in this class, Jefferson has the patience and polish of an NFL-ready slot receiver. Jefferson caught 49 passes for 657 yards and 6 TDs last season for the Gators. The one knock against him; he’ll be 24-years-old this summer.
NFL Comparison: Randall Cobb
Watch Van Jefferson stick his foot in the ground and explode into the slant.
Had the DB completely facing the sideline. This is pro-ready stuff here. pic.twitter.com/nAzsXT6dgz
— Victor Williams (@ThePhillyPod) March 29, 2020
Round 3, Pick #103: Logan Wilson, LB – Wyoming
Wilson is just the coverage linebacker that the Eagles need. With the departures of Nigel Bradham and Kamu Grugier-Hill, the team has a strong need at the position.
Logan Wilson has the speed and instincts to read opposing QBs in coverage. A former safety converted linebacker, Wilson’s athleticism makes him one of the better tacklers in this class. Wilson recorded 409 tackles, 10 INTs and 5 forced fumbles in his four years at Wyoming. He’s as pro-ready as they come and would help round-out the Eagles defense in the middle.
Wilson earned the following honors this past year:
- First Team All-America – Pro Football Focus
- Second Team All-America – USA Today
- Third Team All-America – Associated Press
NFL Comparison: Whitney Mercilus
— Mountain West (@MountainWest) September 24, 2016
Round 4, Pick #127: Alton Robinson, Edge – Syracuse
With the chances of the Eagles landing premium edge rusher Yannick Ngakoue less than likely, the team will look to fill that need in the draft. Robinson has all the talent to produce in the NFL. He’s also been training with former stout rusher Robert Mathis leading up to the draft.
Robinson is a twitchy edge rusher with a quick first step off the line. Work needs to be done on his technique but he does have the speed and burst to contribute right away in a rotation with Derek Barnett, Brandon Graham & Josh Sweat. At the combine, he had the 3rd fastest 40-time among 40 defensive linemen. Robinson recorded 14.5 sacks over the last two seasons. If he can put all his tools together, he’ll be rushing opposing QBs on an every-down basis.
NFL Comparison: Cassius Marsh
— Matt Hauswirth (@matthaus_CNY) January 25, 2020
Round 4, Pick#145: John Simpson, IOL – Clemson
With Jason Peters leaving to test free agency and Vatai getting paid in Detroit, the Eagles are suddenly in need of offensive line depth. John Simpson is big and powerful enough to help provide that depth.
Simpson has the ability to create push in the run game, using his frame to get into the second level and create space. He lacks foot quickness so he’s only going to be beneficial in pass protection schemes to start out, but he has the promise of a future starting guard.
NFL Comparison: Jamil Douglas
Two snaps into watching Clemson LG John Simpson. Immediately check the “strength” box off. pic.twitter.com/WTdn3Ajlfn
— Alex Kozora (@Alex_Kozora) January 14, 2020
Round 4, Pick #146: AJ Dillon, RB – Boston College
The Eagles already have their RB of the future in Miles Sanders. With shifty scatback Boston Scott accompanying Sanders in the backfield, the team could use a bruiser to change the pace.
In comes the 6’0″, 250 pound AJ Dillon. He can wear out a defense, agile enough to find holes and difficult to bring down once he breaks into the secondary. Dillon lacks quickness but when it comes to power running and yards after contact, he’s at the top of the classes. During his 3-year tenure at Boston College, Dillon ran for 4,382 yards, 38 touchdowns and acquired a pretty vicious stiff-arm somewhere along the way.
NFL Comparison: Eddie Lacy
If you want a bruising back to pair with Miles Sanders, AJ Dillon is your man. pic.twitter.com/1JW3CwTonY
— Victor Williams (@ThePhillyPod) March 28, 2020
Round 6, Pick #190: Nevelle Clark, CB – UCF
After acquiring Darius Slay & Nickell Robey-Coleman, the Eagles can breathe a bit easier when it comes to the cornerback position. Still, you can never have enough developmental DB depth on the roster, as was evident when Craig James & Marcus Epps got significant playing time last season.
Clarke was a standout cover corner, baiting QBs into throwing interceptions and using his length to break up passes. He doesn’t have the speed to keep up with the top receivers but he has the potential to improve his technique. Over the last two seasons, Clarke produced 24 pass breakups and 4 interceptions.
NFL Comparison: De’Vante Bausby
— Chad Reuter (@chad_reuter) November 5, 2019
Catch the latest episode of The Philly Special Podcast as we break down the possibility of the Eagles trading up, later round WR targets, if the Eagles could go defense in the first round & more: