Here is a post-free agency three-round Philadelphia Eagles mock draft for the 2017 NFL Draft.
The Philadelphia Eagles were one of the more aggressive teams in free agency as they tried to fill some of the glaring holes on their roster. Entering free agency, the Eagles three biggest holes were at cornerback, wide receiver, and running back. The hole at wide receiver was a big one, especially, because the Eagles drafted quarterback Carson Wentz with the second overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, but gave him no weapons.
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Howie Roseman and company were determined to get him the weapons he deserves and they did. First, they signed former San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Torrey Smith. The speedster will help the Eagles vertical passing game, something they lacked in 2016. After signing Smith, the Eagles arguably made the biggest splash in free agency signing the best receiver on the market, former Chicago Bears pass-catcher Alshon Jeffery.
Jeffery will take the Eagles offense to the next level and will give Wentz the No. 1 receiver he needed in his rookie season. Having a player like Jeffery will help Wentz a ton because he can trust him to come down with a 50-50 ball or make a play when the game is on the line.
Philadelphia also added a ton of depth to the offensive line, adding former Tennesee Titans first-round pick Chance Warmack and re-signing their backup offensive lineman Stefen Wisniewski. These four moves are big for the Eagles and will ensure that Wentz has the help to succeed in year two.
They may have filled the wide receiver hole and added depth to the offensive line, but the Eagles still have two big holes at cornerback and running back. Luckily for them, they have the 2017 NFL Draft coming soon. Will they be able to fill those holes? Click along to see if they do in this post-free agency three-round mock draft.
Mar 6, 2017; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes defensive back Gareon Conley participates in workout drills during the 2017 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Cornerback, Ohio State
I have stuck to this pick in every mock draft I have done and I plan on staying with it all the way up to the 2017 NFL Draft. Former Ohio State cornerback Gareon Conley is a player that I feel fits with the Eagles defense and would become their No. 1 cornerback right away. He is great in man and zone coverage and is a cornerback that you can trust, which is something the Eagles haven’t had in a very long time.
One question for Conley was his straight-line speed, but he answered that when he ran a 4.44-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine. Along with his 4.44, Conley had a 37.0-inch vertical, 129.0-inch broad jump, 4.18-second 20-yard shuttle, and a 6.68-second three-cone drill.
He measured in at 6-0 and weighed 195 pounds. Those are solid numbers for a starting cornerback and he added icing on the cake with his 33-inch arms. His length is going to be huge in the NFL and was a big reason why he dominated college football.
His former teammate, cornerback Eli Apple, was drafted with the 10th overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. I feel that Conley is even better than Apple, so this would be a steal for the Eagles. In November, I said that Conley’s hype may gain steam, and it is. The Eagles need to hope that he is still on the board at 14. I think Conley is the second best cornerback in the 2017 NFL Draft, right behind Sidney Jones out of Washington…
Oct 22, 2016; Seattle, WA, USA; Washington Huskies defensive back Sidney Jones (26) in action against the Oregon State Beavers during the first quarter at Husky Stadium. Washington won 41-17. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports
Wait, didn’t I just say that former Washington cornerback Sidney Jones was the best cornerback in the 2017 NFL Draft? So how is he the player I have the Eagles taking in the second round with the 43 overall pick? Well, if you were busy this weekend, you missed Jones tear his Achilles tendon during his pro day, according to Adam Jude of the Seattle Times. The injury was awful to watch and you have to feel bad for the man. He has proven he is the top guy in this draft class and a stupid pro day workout has his NFL future in limbo.
He probably won’t play at all in 2017, so that will impact where he goes in the draft. I can’t see a team taking him in the first round anymore so he is a strong contender for the Eagles in the second round. The hardest part will be knowing that 2017 won’t be a year you have him but the team that stashes him will be happy when he is back and balling again in 2018.
I feel that the Eagles will make another move or two leading up to the draft and one of those moves will be to get a cornerback. If they can find another band-aid for one more year, draft Conley with their first rounder and then draft Jones with their second-rounder, they could have a stud combo of corners for the future of their franchise.
Jones will be a lockdown cornerback in the NFL because of his sticky man coverage skills. He also has the chance to be a household name with his impressive ball skills, so he is the complete package. If the Eagles were able to get him in the second round, they could potentially add a future Pro Bowl cornerback.
Jan 2, 2017; New Orleans , LA, USA; Oklahoma Sooners running back Samaje Perine (32) runs for a touchdown against the Auburn Tigers in the fourth quarter of the 2017 Sugar Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
Running Back, Oklahoma
After adding two starting cornerbacks, the Eagles attack the third round for a new starting running back in this mock draft. It is likely that former Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon will be gone before the third round, but if he were here the Eagles should pull the trigger on the complete back. However, for this mock, he is gone.
So, the Eagles need to look elsewhere but not too far away. Mixon’s teammate at Oklahoma, running back Samaje Perine, could be a perfect fit for the Eagles. They lack a legitimate running back who can carry the load 20 or more times a game and I feel that Perine could fit that mold.
Perine isn’t a burner, only running a 4.65-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine. Speed isn’t his game though because he is a physical runner who can make his money between the tackles. Ideally, the Eagles would get a complete back that can play all three downs, but if they can’t, a bruiser like Perine will do fine.
They already have Darren Sproles to play on third downs and passing situations. They just lack a guy that they can lean on in tight game situations and short yardage situations. That is why Perine fits so well. He will get you the tough yards while Sproles can get you the yards in space.
He reminds me of current Cincinnati Bengals running back Jeremy Hill. Outside of both of them weighing 233 pounds, both running backs can handle a big workload and pick up hidden yardage after contact. Perine would easily become the Eagles starting running back, with Sproles starting as the third down running back.