Eagles Move Up In Messick’s Final Mock Draft
1. Indianapolis Colts – Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford – Some have called him the “safe” quarterback pick at the top of the draft, with RGIII being the guy with higher upside. I disagree. Forget the recent hype and keep in mind that we were discussing the “Andrew Luck Sweepstakes,” not the “Luck/RGIII” sweepstakes when we were discussing who would end up with the top pick.
2. Washington Redskins – Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor – With that said, the Redskins will be perfectly happy to grab RG3 and hope he’s their quarterback for the next decade. Eagles fans should consider this an unwelcome addition to the NFC East, although I don’t think he’ll catapult the Redskins into playoff contenders in his rookie season.
3. Minnesota Vikings – Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU – This is a late change to my mock draft, as many have Matt Kalil going here and I did as of last night. Then I remembered that the Vikings have to face Aaron Rodgers twice a year for the foreseeable future and should welcome any help in defending the pass that they can get.
4. Cleveland Browns – Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama – The Browns grab the best running back in the draft by far.
5. Chicago Bears (trade) – Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State – The Bears need a big playmaker at wide receiver and if Blackmon being available at five could entice the Bucs to move down and add some extra picks.
6. Philadelphia Eagles (trade up) – Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississipi State – The Eagles are always active in the draft and could use some youth and depth at defensive tackle. Cox would give them the eventual replacement for Cullen Jenkins and/or Mike Patterson and provide some insurance given that Patterson is coming off of brain surgery. The 15th overall pick, 46th overall pick in the second round and the 88th overall pick in the third round should be enough to get the Eagles up to sixth.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars – Melvin Ingram, DE, South Carolina – In Ingram the Jaguars get the highest rated pass rusher in this year’s draft.
8. Miami Dolphins – Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M – It’s a bit of a reach, but Tannehill’s stock is rising and the Dolphins are still looking for a starting quarterback.
9. Carolina Panthers – Matt Kalil , OT, USC – The Panthers have a 31-year-old left tackle in Jordan Gross and acquired Bruce Campbell, who has no starting experience, in the offseason. They could consider starting Kalil out as a right tackle and moving him over in a year or two. He’d be hard to pass up if he dropped to nine.
10. Buffalo Bills – Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College – I considered Michael Floyd here, but the Bills have to stop the Patriots tight end duo of Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez twice a year, so adding a talented linebacker like Kuechly and moving him outside makes a lot of sense.
11. Kansas City Chiefs – Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis – Whoever grabs Poe will be taking a risk, but his upside is enormous.
12. Seattle Seahawks – Quintin Coples, DE, North Carolina – If there’s a knock on Coples, it’s his ability to read the run, but he’s one of the best pass rushers in the draft.
13. Arizona Cardinals – Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa – The Cardinals need some help along the offensive line to protect their young quarterbacks in Kevin Kolb and John Skelton.
14. Dallas Cowboys - Mark Barron, S, Alabama – The Cowboys need safety help, especially in a division with great passing offenses like the Eagles and Giants.
15. St. Louis Rams (trade down) – Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame – The Rams trade down works to perfection, as they still get their guy in Floyd.
16. New York Jets – Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech – The Jets need a wide receiver who can stretch the field, and Hill would be a reach but would give them that vertical threat.
17. Cincinnati Bengals – David DeCastro, OG, Stanford – DeCastro could step in and start right away and give the Bengals some much-needed offensive line help.
18. San Diego Chargers – Courtney Upshaw – DE/OLB, Alabama – The Chargers might convert Upshaw to an outside linebacker and fill their biggest need.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (trade down) – Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina – The Bucs need a cornerback, which is why they would be willing to trade down if Morris Claiborne went third. They’d be thrilled if Gilmore fell to 19.
20. Tennessee Titans – Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama - The Titans might be disappointed to see Gilmore go, but Kirkpatrick is still good value at the corner position.
21. Cincinnati Bengals – Whitney Mercilus, DE, Illinois – The Bengals upgrade the defensive line four picks after grabbing some offensive line help.
22. Cleveland Browns – Cordy Glenn, OT, Georgia – The Browns can use Glenn as a RT rather than an interior lineman, and he’s good value at the bottom of the first round.
23. Detroit Lions – Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State – The Lions have to provide Matt Stafford with better protection.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers – Don’t’a Hightower, LB, Alabama – Hightower just seems like a perfect fit for the Steelers’ 3-4 defense.
25. Denver Broncos – Michael Brockers, DT, LSU – The Broncos need defensive tackle help and Brockers is one of those interesting players who could go as high as the middle of the round, depending on how teams value him as opposed to Cox and Poe.
26. Houston Texans – Bobby Massie, OT, Mississippi – Massie is moving up boards and the Texans have a need on the offensive line.
27. New England Patriots – Chandler Jones, DE, Syracuse – The Patriots need all the help they can get on defense, literally at every position on that side of the ball. Jones is a good pass rusher and could go in the top 15. If he falls this far, the Patriots would likely be happy to nab him.
28. Green Bay Packers – Shea McClellin, OLB, Boise State – McClellin projects as a good fit as an OLB in a 3-4 defense, making him appealing to the Packers.
29. Baltimore Ravens – Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford – Joe Flacco would benefit greatly from having an elite tight end, which Fleener could turn into. In Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson, the Ravens have two solid options, but Fleener would take it to another level.
30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Doug Martin, RB, Boise State – With the ammo they got from moving down to 19, the Bucs trade back into the bottom of the round to grab the second best running back in the draft.
31. New England Patriots – Harrison Smith, S, Notre Dame – The Patriots could also go with Nick Perry here and try to move him to linebacker, but they already addressed the front seven with the 27th overall pick and their secondary gave up a ton of yards through the air last year.
32. New York Giants – Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford – David Diehl is 31 years old at left tackle and Kareem McKenzie is 32 on the right side, so bringing a young tackle into the mix would be wise.
Ryan Messick covers the Eagles for 97.3 ESPN FM. Follow him on Twitter.