This 7-round mock draft is the best case scenario for the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2017 NFL Draft.
We are now one week away from the 2017 NFL Draft, and the Philadelphia Eagles are gearing up to continue their impressive offseason. It started in free agency when they signed former San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Torrey Smith. He may not be a No. 1 wide receiver, but he will help their vertical passing offense.
Howie Roseman and company did not stop at Smith. Philadelphia made one of the bigger splashes in free agency when they signed former Chicago Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery. He will quickly become their No. 1 wide receiver and will take the offense to the next level.
Filling the major hole at wide receiver was obviously a priority for the Eagles this offseason. As quarterback Carson Wentz heads into his second season, he will feel much better about the targets he has in 2017, compared to the lack of pass-catchers in his rookie season.
However, the Eagles still have some major holes on their roster. Luckily for them, the 2017 NFL Draft is coming and will be a great chance for them to improve their roster. Cornerback is their biggest hole and should be their priority in the draft. Although, running back is a close second for the Eagles. Both positions need will be addressed in the draft, which is a good thing considering the two positions are very deep this year.
What would the best case scenario be for the Eagles walking away from the 2017 NFL Draft? Click along to find out and see how much better Philadelphia can be if everything falls their way throughout the draft.
Dec 31, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Ohio State cornerback Gareon Conley (8) intercepts a pass intended for Clemson wide receiver Mike Williams (bottom) during the first quarter in the 2016 CFP semifinal at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Round 1, Pick 25: Gareon Conley, Cornerback – Ohio State University
Ideally, the Philadelphia Eagles will find a trade partner in the 2017 NFL Draft. If they can move back and pick up another second round pick, like they do in this mock draft, it will be huge for the future of their franchise. If they can pick up that extra second round pick while trading back, and still get former Ohio State cornerback Gareon Conley — the Eagles should jump for joy.
Cornerback is the obvious need on the Eagles roster, so they need to address it as soon as possible. If the Eagles do not take a cornerback in the first round, they could potentially derail their 2017 season. They currently have one of the worst, if not the worst, cornerback rooms in the NFL. Conley would be able to come in right away and be their No. 1 cornerback.
I have had him mocked to the Eagles since November, and I feel like he is the perfect fit in the Eagles defense. Conley’s been mentioned as a late first-round pick for almost the entire draft season, but his name has been heating up. He is my favorite cornerback in the draft, and it makes sense that people finally see the ability I have seen.
Taking Conley at 14 makes sense to me, but trading back to get another second rounder and still getting him at 25 would be the best case scenario.
Jan 2, 2017; New Orleans , LA, USA; Oklahoma Sooners running back Joe Mixon (25) runs down the sideline against the Auburn Tigers in the second quarter of the 2017 Sugar Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
Philadelphia gets: Pick 39 New York Jets gets: Pick 43, Pick 139
Round 2, Pick 39: Joe Mixon, RB – Oklahoma
If the Eagles were able to walk away from the 2017 NFL Draft with just Conley and former Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon, I believe they would be happy. That is why the best case scenario for the Eagles is to trade up in the second round and secure an elite running back.
On the field, Mixon is an unbelievable talent. He can be a top-10 pick. However, Mixon has some major red flags off of the field. Everyone knows what he has done and has seen the video. It is horrible and not right, but the NFL is about giving second chances, and Mixon will get his second chance.
If the Eagles do want to get him, I believe they will need to trade up in front of the Carolina Panthers, Cincinnati Bengals, and New Orleans Saints. Those are all teams that make sense for Mixon in the second round, so giving up one of their two fourth-round picks would be ideal.
Mixon would instantly become the Eagles starting running back and give them a real threat out of the backfield. He can do it all, run between the tackles and catch the ball on third down. He reminds me of Le’Veon Bell the way he can impact a game with his hands or his feet. Adding him to the mix with Wentz, Jeffery, and tight end Zach Ertz would give the Eagles a dominant offensive attack.
Nov 5, 2016; Manhattan, KS, USA; Oklahoma State Cowboys wide receiver Jalen McCleskey (1) runs away from Kansas State Wildcats defensive end Jordan Willis (75) at Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium. The Cowboys won 43-37. Mandatory Credit: Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports
Round 2, Pick 57: Jordan Willis, DE – Kansas State
A very popular pick among Eagles mock drafts in the second round has been former Kansas State defensive end, Jordan Willis. The need at defensive end is a questionable one, mainly because the Eagles signed defensive end Vinny Curry to a huge deal before the 2016 season. Curry has struggled to get on the field, but he could earn his paycheck in 2017.
Philly also signed defensive end Chris Long this offseason, so adding a defensive end isn’t a pressing need. But having a solid young defensive end to develop is something the Eagles should think about. If they start with Conley and Mixon, they can go anywhere after that in the draft. That is why Willis makes a ton of sense.
The Eagles met with Willis at the Senior Bowl and held a private workout with him. So there is obvious intrigue there for the Birds. It remains to be seen if they will pull the trigger on him in the second round, but that seems to be where he will fall.
Willis ended his collegiate career with 25.5 sacks, and 11.5 of them came in 2016. He also added 17.5 tackles for a loss this past season, showing his disruptive play in the backfield. He would be a great addition to the Eagles defense.
There are two things I feel strongly about in the 2017 NFL Draft for the Eagles. First, Mychal Kendricks will be a name floated around trade talks during the draft. Second, Sidney Jones is going to be a great draft pick for a team building for the future.
This trade makes a ton of sense for both sides. The New Orleans Saints would add a solid pass rushing linebacker in Kendricks while only moving down 13 spots in the draft. Philadelphia would jump up to add a future cornerstone to their defense.
Had it not been for a torn chilies Jones suffered during his pro day, he was almost a lock to go in the top 10. However, that chilies tear will drive him down in the draft. According to Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller, a general manager told him Jones would fall “mid-Round 3.” If he is on the board in the third round, the Eagles would be crazy not to get aggressive and get him.
Jones will probably sit out the entire 2017 season, but the Eagles are building for the future, and he fits that mold. If you can be patient and let him sit the entire 2017 season, he could come back in 2018 and become a lockdown cornerback in the NFL.
Adding Conley and Jones in the same draft seemed unlikely for any team, but that would be unreal if the Eagles were able to do that. They would go from having a cornerback problem to having one of the best young tandems in the entire NFL.
If the Eagles do trade Kendrick like I have happening in this mock, they will need to replace him. I think a perfect candidate for that is former Florida linebacker Alex Anzalone. Coming out of high school, Anzalone was one of the best linebackers in the country. He went to Florida and never panned out. It had nothing to do with his talent, because he has a ton of talent.
He just failed to stay healthy and stay on the field. Had he been able to remain healthy, Anzalone has the talent to go in the first two rounds. His health is a major concern and will drive him down draft boards. A lot of teams will probably pass on him because there is no trust that he can remain healthy for a full 16-game season, but the Eagles need to take a chance on him — just like they did with linebacker Jordan Hicks.
Hicks had major injury concern too, but that has proven to be a risk that paid off in a big way. If they were able to draft Anzalone in the fourth, and he stays healthy, they will have a perfect replacement for Kendricks.
The Eagles met with Anzalone at the NFL Combine, so they have already shown interest. He would be a great weak side linebacker in the Eagles defense. He comes with some big risks, but the reward could be even bigger.
Sep 24, 2016; Chapel Hill, NC, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels wide receiver Ryan Switzer (3) runs after a catch in the game against the Pittsburgh Panthers at Kenan Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
Round 5, Pick 155: Ryan Switzer, WR – North Carolina
One of my favorite players throughout the NFL Draft season has been North Carolina Tar Heels wide receiver Ryan Switzer. I studied UNC quarterback Mitchell Trubisky extensively this offseason, but instead of becoming impressed with his game, I caught myself watching Switzer dominate college defensive backs.
Switzer has some of the sickest hands I have ever seen. He catches everything, and that is something the Eagles lacked in 2016, wide receivers catching the football. Jordan Matthews is in the last year of his deal, and it looks likely that he could walk after the 2016 season. The Eagles could find his replacement in the 2017 NFL Draft. Switzer has potential to be an elite slot wide receiver in the NFL. He would be a great security blanket for Wentz.
He is fearless coming across the middle and one of the toughest players I have scouted. He plays the game the right way, putting it all on the line for his team. Switzer would become an instant fan favorite because of his passion for the game. I would be shocked to see him here for the Eagles fifth round pick, but this is the best-case scenario mock.
Dec 19, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; North Carolina A&T Aggies running back Tarik Cohen (28) runs the ball for a touchdown against the Alcorn State Braves in the fourth quarter of the 2015 Celebration Bowl at the Georgia Dome. North Carolina A&T defeated Alcorn State 41-34. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
It has been clear the Eagles are building around Wentz and looking to the future, not just 2017. That is why taking another running back in the 2017 NFL Draft makes sense. Darren Sproles isn’t getting younger, and he is owed $4 million this year. If the Eagles take Mixon in the second, trading Sproles makes a ton of sense in my eyes. It would clear up the cap space and allow Mixon to get the touches he deserves.
Philadelphia drafted Wendell Smallwood last season in the fifth round, so if they feel straggly enough about him then taking another running back may not make sense. However, I do not feel strongly about Smallwood. So, adding Tarik Cohen out of North Carolina A&T in the sixth round would be great.
Cohen gets easy separation as a receiver out of the backfield or from the slot and he will likely be used as an updated version of Darren Sproles 2.0.
I love the Sproles comparison for Cohen, and he would fit perfect in the Eagles offense because of that. Sproles thrives as a pass-catcher, and so does Cohen. He would be able to take Sproles’ spot for less money and as a younger option.
Sep 24, 2016; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines cornerback Jeremy Clark (34) is carted off the field after getting injured in the second half against the Penn State Nittany Lions at Michigan Stadium. Michigan 49-10. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Round 7, Pick 230: Jeremy Clark, CB – Michigan
I know what you are thinking: three cornerbacks in this mock draft?! It may seem crazy, but the Eagles were so bad last season at cornerback that taking three new cornerbacks would be ideal. Jeremy Clark is in the same boat as Jones, the corner I have mocked in the third round. He is coming back from a torn ACL, and it will drive him down in the draft.
The worst part for Clark is the question of his speed, which he wasn’t able to answer because of the knee injury. Regardless, Clark is a huge cornerback, standing at 6-3 and weighing it at 220 pounds. Taking him in the seventh round gives you a low risk, but a chance at a substantial reward. I do not think Clark will ever be a No. 1 cornerback in the NFL, but he can help a football team out and add depth to the position.
If one of the Eagles starting cornerbacks would go down, Clark could fill in for a couple of games and do a good enough job to help get them through. If he is still there in the seventh, Philly should scoop him up.
Round 1, Pick 25: Gareon Conley, Cornerback – Ohio State
Round 2, Pick 39: Joe Mixon, Running Back – Oklahoma
Round 2, Pick 57: Jordan Willis, Defensive End – Kansas State
Round 3, Pick 76: Sidney Jones, Cornerback – Washington
Round 4, Pick 118: Alex Anzalone, Linebacker – Florida
Round 5, Pick 155: Ryan Switzer, Wide Receiver – University of North Carolina
Round 6, Pick 194: Tarik Cohen, Running Back – North Carolina A&T
Round 7, Pick 230: Jeremy Clark, Cornerback – Michigan
The Eagles cover all of the necessary bases here while also making several savvy trades early so to be able to make these moves. With an already young core led by Carson Wentz and key additions in free agency, it’s hard to imagine Philadelphia not being in the NFC East mix after a draft such as this.