ESPN’s Kiper and McShay Project Different Players for Eagles in First Two Rounds
The NFL Draft is a little more than three weeks away and post free agency, some mock drafts have begun to change their direction for the Eagles at No. 14.
Mel Kiper and Todd McShay of ESPN, have collaborated on a dual mock draft, and went in different directions for the Philadelphia Eagles with the pick.
While Kiper has the Eagles selecting a cornerback, Gareon Conley of Ohio State with the 14th selection in the first round.
Conley, another riser after the combine, is the veteran of the three Buckeyes defensive backs I have going in the top 14 picks. Philadelphia let Nolan Carroll II walk in free agency after he started 16 games last season, and the Eagles brought in former first-round pick Patrick Robinson on a one-year deal to compete at corner. Coordinator Jim Schwartz's defense is thin on the boundaries.
McShay has the Eagles looking toward Stanford running back / wide receiver Christian McCaffrey with their first pick.
I love this fit. Darren Sproles turns 34 in June, and Philly needs a versatile playmaker out of the backfield. McCaffrey has the skill set to be a really good running back and wide receiver in the NFL. He showed tremendous short-area quickness at the combine (6.57-second three cone), which is readily apparent when watching McCaffrey's route running.
Interestingly enough, in the second round Kiper went with a running back/wide receiver, taking Curtis Samuel of Ohio State, in the second round of their two-round projection.
Carson Wentz already has gotten two new receivers in free agency (Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith), but he still lacks weapons. Samuel is a tweener. He's not an every-down back, and he's not big enough to be a full-time receiver (74 catches and 97 rushes last season). So the Eagles could use the electric Samuel in a Darren Sproles-type role -- just get him the ball in space.
While Kiper has the Eagles taking a corner in round one, McShay has them picking Michigan’s Jourdan Lewis.
Kiper gave the Eagles a cornerback in Round 1 (Gareon Conley), but they could wait until Day 2 to upgrade their secondary, given the depth of this class at cornerback. Teams will have to investigate Lewis recently being charged with domestic violence. He has natural cover skills, but off-field concerns and sub-optimal size (5-10¼, 188) could cause him to slide.
The NFL Draft gets underway Thursday, April 27 in Philadelphia. Listen to first and second round coverage on 97.3 ESPN.