I’ve had several questions regarding what my preference would be; not what I think the Eagles would do for the NFL Draft. So, I have spent some time over the past few days trying to have the board fall perfectly (as it never would) and put together a list of players I’d love to see targeted in April.
As a precursor to this, I have the Eagles performing the following moves:
Trading Asante Samuel for a 3rd Round pick, keeping DeSean Jackson and re-signing both Evan Mathis and Derek Landri.
I also completely expect the Eagles to sign a MLB in free agency, so anyone taken at that position in the draft is for competition as a backup.
1st Round – Fletcher Cox, DT Mississippi State (6’4” 290)
2nd Round – Shea McClellin, SLB Boise State (6’3” 248)
2nd Round – Brandon Boykin, CB/KR Georgia (5’9” 183)
3rd Round – Stephen Hill, WR Georgia Tech (6’4” 207)
3rd Round – Cam Johnson, DE Virginia (6’4” 267)
4th Round – Brandon Mosley, OT Auburn (6’5” 305)
4th Round – T.Y. Hilton, WR/RS Florida International (5’10” 183)
5th Round – Mychal Kendricks, MLB Cal (5’11” 242)
6th Round – Tramain Thomas, FS Arkansas (6’ 204)
6th Round – Emil Igwenagu, FB Massachusetts (6’1” 245)
Fletcher Cox is a player I’ve recently really dove into film on and frankly, I’ve fallen in love a bit. Part of that is probably because I’m jilted as I must cheat on Kuechly not being able to draft him – the other part – Fletcher is a damn good player.
This is a pick for the future and Fletcher could play the nose, three-tech and left defensive end for the Birds. He’s got a very good first step, throws some violent hands and is a penetrating lineman. He does so under control though and shows the athleticism to be sudden changing directions to take down ball carriers. Cox is stout against the run and moves down the line very well. He is worth Pick 15 to me and frankly, there aren’t many prospects I’d be excited about getting there right now.
On McClellin, that might seem high for some of you. I see a highly athletic, very large playmaker that drops back into coverage comfortably, but also is really good at taking on blocks and getting to the ball carrier. He possesses plus closing speed for his size and is just someone I’m excited about. As a former fan of Chris Gocong; I think Shea would be what we always wanted there.
Boykin would be a target for two reasons. One, he’s a very good cornerback in the SEC and has been playing the slot where I’d love to upgrade over Joselio Hanson. Second, he holds the SEC record with three kickoff returns over 100 yards and had four return touchdowns in college. The Eagles need that firepower on special teams.
Stephen Hill intrigues the heck out of me. He has great size and makes some circus catches. On the other hand, I’ve seen him drop passes that would make even Andy Reid flip out at a press conference. That’s why I have him in the 3rd Round right now. If he shows up at the NFL Combine and does well in the gauntlet and other drills, he could be a Top 40 pick. For now, I love his upside and size down the line, especially with DeSean Jackson playing diva.
Cam Johnson is another player with a bit of an asterisk on him. Cam has a sickle cell anemia trait. That doesn’t mean he has sickle cell, but he carries the trait and that has hurt him in college in terms of inconsistency. He just gets gassed and it’s not his fault. I’m not sure what his value is. Mike Mayock has said he could be a 2nd Round pick if he checks out. We’ll see. I do know that the best conditions for him are a nice cool climate near sea level. Welcome to Philly Cam.
There is not immediate need at offensive tackle, but I’d like a player to groom behind the Eagles big boys and Mosley is a solid player that has the potential to play either spot. He could also be a guard in a pinch.
I saw some Eagles fans get on Tommy for picking “another small school kid” in T.Y. Hilton. Prepare to get on me too, and maybe check him out while you’re at it. Hilton is a big time playmaker and a great kick and punt returner. He has outstanding speed and could be a great vertical threat out of the slot. I’d love to see him in Philly.
Mychal Kendricks has been a kid I’ve talked about on the boards since the beginning of the season. His measurables won’t blow you away, but he’s an instinctive linebacker who lines up all over the place at Cal. Physical kid who comes up and fills the gap well and while he’ll “catch” the running back at times he is a very solid tackler for the most part. Kendricks was the Pac-12 Player of the Year in 2011. Right now he has a shoulder injury and had to skip the Senior Bowl. It may keep him out of the Combine as well. It’s the only reason I’d see him falling to the 5th Round.
This safety class makes me want to put a finger down my throat and induce. I hope that was blunt enough for you. That said, I’m a big fan of Arkansas Razorback Tramain Thomas. He’s got some good size on him, nice ball skills and will lay the wood. He can get a bit overzealous at times and get sloppy, but that can be coached.
Emil Igwenagu rounds out the class and he’s from UMASS. I’ve gone and done it – a small school player and his name isn’t John Smith – AHHHH!!!! Igwenagu was the team captain for the Minutemen as a fullback. He’s a very athletic 245-pound fullback who is at his best catching the ball out of the backfield and playing in space. I’ve personally been told he looks like a “man child” which is always a good sign as well. The boys are going to need some competition at fullback and while Emil needs to work on his blocking, I’d love an uber athletic 245-pounder out there.