Eagles-Only 7-Round Mock
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - For the first time you can say with reasonable certainty that the Eagles draft board is set and that means it's time to lock in a Philadelphia-centric seven-round mock.
The Eagles, of course, start with three picks in the top 57 and in a perfect world there are two players I'm pretty comfortable saying the organization would really want -- versatile Florida defensive back Chauncey Gardner-Johnson and Penn State running back Miles Sanders.
The issues come with positioning and value. Taking Gardner-Johnson at No. 25 overall would be reaching a bit and Sanders is not a consideration at that point so the preference might be to move down a bit to select Gardner-Johnson later in the first round or early in the second and then move back up from Nos. 53 and 57 to get in a range to select Sanders who has "too much juice" right now to slip down to Philadelphia, according to former Eagles scout and lead NFL Draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah.
The Marquise Brown to the Eagles train at No. 25 overall is only gaining steam now that NBC's Peter King went the Oklahoma receiver's direction in his only mock draft. King has been plugged directly and I mean directly into a certain someone with Philadelphia's brass but ask yourself why the Eagles might let the preferred choice slip.
If forced to stay put at 25 Philadelphia is still likely to go offensive or defensive line first with Notre Dame defensive tackle Jerry Tillery or versatile Oklahoma O-Lineman Cody Ford the most likely directions. Tillery got good news on the medical front further cementing a first-round grade while Ford would have to drop a bit to get to Philadelphia.
Later in the draft keep an eye out for Old Dominion edge rusher Oshane Ximines and Arkansas interior lineman Hjalte Froholdt.
Trades are obviously going to happen with Howie Roseman involved but for this exercise, we will keep the status quo and try to project what the Eagles might be thinking:
Round 1, No. 25 overall - Jerry Tillery, DT Notre Dame - Dedication issues along with the shoulder will enable to get a top-15 level talent late in the first round.
Round 2, No. 53 overall - Juan Thornhill, S Virginia - Not quite Gardner-Johnson but has some similar traits.
Round 2, No. 57 overall - Darrell Henderson, RB Memphis - Eagles need a complement to Jordan Howard and Henderson is not a bad Plan C.
Round 4, No. 127 overall - Isaiah Johnson CB Houston - Raw prospect whose length is exciting. Eagles have the depth to wait.
Round 4, No. 138 overall - Oshane Ximines, DE, Old Dominion - Undersized speed rusher who would be a great culture fit.
Round 5, No. 163 overall - Hjalte Froholdt OG Arkansas - Interior position flexibility makes him a great candidate to replace Stephen Wisniewski as the game-day backup inside.
Round 6, No. 197 overall - Brandon Hitner OT Villanova - Glen Mills native who grew up as an Eagles fan who started 18 games at RT for Villanova.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen