Philadelphia Eagles 2013 NFL Mock Draft, Week 2: 7 Rounds
Philadelphia Eagles Seven Round Mock Draft
New Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly has finally tipped his hand on what personality this Eagles squad will have.
The NFL Free Agency signing period began last week and the Eagles dove right in, adding to their roster. The type of players Kelly would target was a big question mark, since very few knew his plans for the type of team that he wanted. However, that plan continued to take shape through the FA activity that has been going on for almost a week.
The Eagles signed mostly defensive help with one FA set to contribute on the offensive side of the ball. A trade was also made to bring another WR into the stable. All of the signings share a common attribute, players that have something to prove. Their stories are indeed different, but the chips on their shoulders are driving them all toward the same goal: produce consistently and contribute to their new team. Competition is the word that is defining what Kelly is looking for in training camp, and probably throughout the season.
The FA signings, league-wide, have begun to slow down. While there are still plenty of serviceable FAs to be signed, the focus begins to shift totally to the NFL Draft next month. As anticipated, the FA period affects the draft need of every team. The thoughts and opinions that went in my previous mock draft have changed and so will some of the picks. With less holes to fill on the roster this puts the Eagles brass in more of a position to select the best player available with their picks.
First Round: Dee Milliner, Cornerback, Alabama
With the additions, through FA, of CBs Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher, the Eagles may have a new pair of starting-caliber replacements to man both CB positions. However, competition is the keyword for Eagles head coach Chip Kelly. Kelly has been stressing that with the FA additions that the Eagles are now in a position to draft the best player available instead of just for need.
I debated whether or not to draft one of the top two OT prospects with this pick; however, as of today it is rumored that the Eagles do have a deal in place (supposedly not offered officially yet) for former Kansas City Chiefs RT Eric Winston. Also, there is still a good bit of starting-caliber talent left at OL on the FA market and the Eagles have the cap room to sign whomever they choose. We will have to wait and see their next few moves before we can strengthen the argument of an OL with their first overall draft pick.
So with the fourth overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft the Eagles take the top rated CB prospect Dee Milliner from Alabama. Milliner is an outstanding prospect and was a consensus All-American in 2012. With this pick the Eagles satisfy the best player overall strategy while fulfilling a need in the secondary, whether a starter of quality backup. This pick will escalate the CB competition level as most expect first round picks to seriously challenge for starting time at their respective position.
Second Round: Matt Elam, Safety, Florida
The Eagles brought in two starting-caliber safeties in Kenny Phillips and Patrick Chung. When healthy and focused these Phillips and Chung are more than capable of manning the two S positions that are up for grabs. Following the disastrous seasons turned in by safeties Nate Allen and Kurt Coleman an upgrade and necessary and should not be too hard to find. However, injuries and inconsistent play have plagued both Phillips and Chung, respectively.
Kelly does not appear willing to just hand over positions to anyone without a challenge. So why not bring in one of the top three ranked safeties in this year’s class?
With their second round draft pick, the Eagles select S Matt Elam from Florida. In 2012 Elam was named a first-team All-American by the Associated Press, The Sporting News, CBS Sports, Scout.com and Sports Illustrated, as well as a second-team selection by the Walter Camp Football Foundation. He also has a FS mentality which has been missing in the Eagles secondary for some time now. He can challenge immediately for a starting position, especially if Phillips gets hurt or Chung underachieves.
Third Round: EJ Maunel, Quarterback, Florida State
QB EJ Manuel from Florida State is the Eagles pick in the third round. I debated, and would prefer QB Ryan Nassib from Syracuse here but I doubt that he will last until the third round. Nassib is thought to be a better QB mentally in understanding the game, while Manuel is a more athletic, improvising QB. At this point in the third round, Manuel is the best QB available and a good piece to add to the open QB competition the Kelly mentioned in one of his early press conferences.
The Eagles may be conformed to the fact that their QB of the future is not available in this year’s draft and may just want to add to the competition to get the best out of the stable that they currently have. Either way, using a higher draft pick on a QB that they are not completely sold on would be a waste. If Manuel does surprise and takes the starting QB spot from QB favorite Michael Vick, this pick then becomes a win-win for the Eagles (great value and QB of the future). Let the competition begin.
Fourth Round: Ricky Wagner, Offensive Tackle, Wisconsin
With the return of dominant LT Jason Peters and RT Todd Herremans to the Eagles starting lineup, the OT positions seem to be set. However, there are two major question marks along the OL. Will injuries rear its ugly head again in 2013? And is there enough depth to cover injuries along the OL, especially at either of the OT positions.
In the fourth round the Eagles select OT Ricky Wagner out of Wisconsin. Wagner was a TE in high school before converting to the OT position. He had experience playing at both OT position at Wisconsin, but projects as a RT in the NFL. He can come in and not be pressured into having to perform immediately; however, he seems polished enough to step in and produce in case of injury or if Peters or Herremans are not 100% on opening kickoff.
Fifth Round: Malliciah Goodman, Defensive End, Clemson
With more and more evidence pointing towards the Eagles employing a 3-4 or non-traditional 4-3 front, they need to continue bringing in players that fit the new positions. In the fifth round good value is found in DE Malliciah Goodman out of Clemson. He has experience inside, outside and even at 3-4 OLB.
Winner of Clemson’s Solid Rock and Iron Man award in 2012, production and versatility are what entices the Eagles brass to pull the trigger on this pick. This, along with his above average blend of height, weight and top-end speed. Goodman also has Rare hand size and arm length that should make him a good prospect to mix it up in the DE stable, that has thinned due to new requirements.
Seventh Round (1): Ryan Allen, Punter, Louisiana Tech
Keeping with the competition theme for the Eagles, with their last pick they provide a challenge for incumbent punter Mat McBriar. They select the consensus overall #1 punter in this year’s class, Ryan Allen from Louisiana Tech. Consistency from the P has eluded the Eagles for the past few seasons, maybe this competition will bring the best out of one of the two punters on the roster. May the best man win.
Seventh Round (2): Marcus Davis, Wide Receiver, Virginia Tech
Last week the Eagles made a trade to acquire a big WR in former Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Arrelious Benn. Benn has underachieved since being drafted in the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft out of Illinois. So the Eagles challenge him, along with the rest of the current WRs by selecting WR Marcus Davis out of Virginia Tech.
Davis has a rare height-weight combination and is unafraid of making catches over the middle. He also excels in using his big hands and leaping ability to go up and snag passes. A much welcome addition to the WR competition.
Seventh Round (3): Michael Mauti, Inside Linebacker, Penn State
With their final pick in the 2013 NFL Draft the Eagles stay local and select ILB Michael Mauti from Penn State. When healthy Mauti has exceptional instincts and play recognition. An above average tackler that can provide depth at either ILB spot, behind both LBs DeMeco Ryans and Mychal Kendricks.