Mel Kiper has Eagles Helping Defense, O-line in ‘Grade A’ Mock
The NFL Draft is just eight days away, and rumors are swirling about the Eagles moving up to gran the No. 2 over pick in the draft.
Last week ESPN draft expert Todd McShay put out a three-round mock draft based on what was best for the team, in that mock draft he had the Eagles taking Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliot at No. 8. Mel Kiper Jr. has published his three-round “Grade-A” mock draft where the concept is, he is the GM for that team, not projecting who the team will take.
Kiper mocked the first three rounds of the draft in which the Philadelphia Eagles own three selections, with two of those picks coming in the third round.
Here is the players Kiper has the Eagles taking with their first three picks:
Round 1 (8): DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon
Round 3 (77): Jerald Hawkins, OT, LSU
Round 3 (79): Alex Collins, RB, Arkansas
Analysis: Those of you clamoring for Ezekiel Elliott, sorry. When I'm picking we're just not touching a running back this high. What we will do is get a gifted defensive lineman who could be scary on the same line as Fletcher Cox in the short term, and could end up being extremely valuable if we decide not to open the vault for Cox in the future. I'd at least think about Jack Conklin at No. 8, but Buckner is a steal there and could be a big piece of the puzzle going forward. We need to get an offensive lineman, so Hawkins gets the call in Round 3. (Remember, no second-round pick.) I like the physical talent, he just needs some coaching. Collins has had occasional ball-security issues, but in terms of raw ability he's much closer to Elliott than many realize.
Kiper had Buckner going to the Eagles in his most recent mock draft but he is about the only person who sees the Oregon defensive tackle landing in Philadelphia. Buckner played end in the Ducks 3-4 scheme, isn’t a great fit with the Eagles, but notes that he could shift down and play inside in the Eagles 4-3 look. He has a tremendous motor and wingspan that could cause him to be a disruptive force in the middle of the Eagles defense, paired with Fletcher Cox.
In the third round, Kiper has the Eagles taking LSU tackle Jerald Hawkins who was a three year starter, missing just one game during his time with the Tigers. Hawkins projects as a right tackle in the NFL, but doesn't look like someone who could swing in and play guard.
Scott Wright of DraftCountdown.com has Hawkins rated as the ninth-best tackle in this years class.
As for Collins, Kiper says he is a much closer back to Elliott then people think, the Arkansas running back rushed for 1,577 yards and 20 TDs as a junior and went over the 1,000 yard mark in all three seasons for the Razorbacks.
Wright as Collins ranked as the sixth best running back this year.