The Jenkins Draft: Eagles Mock 2.0, a new direction

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It’s been just over a week since I published my first Eagles only Mock Draft and the response has been extremely positive. But a lot has changed in the last 10 days, including the signing of a Fullback and Offensive Lineman Stefan Wasilewski. Five private Quarterback workouts sent fans and analysts into a spiral of speculation and rumors that only heightened the excitement surrounding this years Draft, but has it changed the direction? Here’s the Jenkins Draft 2.0:

Round 1: Shaq Lawson DE, Clemson
With Matt Tobin back and Wasilewski signed, many are going to jump straight back on the Ezekiel Elliott hype train..but not me. The Eagles need a difference maker with their first round pick for a variety of reasons. Yes, the Eagles have a lot of talent at Defensive End and it’s one of the more densely populated positions on the team..but it doesn’t have an out-and-out “difference maker”. Barwin, Graham and Curry can all be extremely valuable assets to the Eagles in a 4-3, but the birds need a player who brings that Fletcher Cox “Man-Dog” type of attitude. Because if the Defense is truly going to be the soul of this team again, Schwartz needs every possible weapon to help him accomplish what we know he can.

The man to do that is Clemson’s Shaq Lawson. At 6″3 and 269 lbs, Lawson possesses a perfect frame to effectively stuff the run and be versatile enough to pass block sufficiently. If the Eagles are looking for a player who can set the edge, run over single blocks and terrorize a Quarterback, Lawson is absolutely the guy they should be looking at.

But what about an Offensive Lineman? When lining up against Ronnie Stanley last season, Lawson racked up seven tackles. Stanley is regarded as one of the best in his position coming into the Draft and Lawson was able to get past him time and time again.

Not to mention, last year the Eagles finished dead last in rushing yards allowed per game. They NEED an explosive player to set the edge and make life a misery for the more elusive backs trying to get to the outside. With 59 tackles in his final season at Clemson and 12.5 sacks..Lawson is a game changer.

If you’re still not convinced, watch this explosive highlight video and then imagine an Eagles front four of Lawson, Cox, Logan, Curry….

 

Round 3: Kyle Murphy OT, Stanford
With the Eagles continuing to bolster their Offensive Line, they would be wise to take a look at someone like Kyle Murphy who is primed to be the latest in a long line of NFL destined linemen coming out of Stanford.

In his 54 games at Stanford, he earned All-Pac-12 honors at right tackle in his junior year and first team honors on the left as a senior. Why is this important? With the future of Jason Peters uncertain, and Johnson the rightful heir to the throne, the Eagles need stability at the line as they head into the future. Should someone like Johnson go down with injury, history could find a way of repeating itself..a player as prototypical, durable and dominant as Murphy could prevent that from happening. He may not be the best option here, but he could certainly prove to be one of the most effective.

 

Round 3: D.J. white CB, Georgia Tech
White may not be the most complete Cornerback in this years draft class, but when you look at the type of player the Eagles need, he may be the perfect fit.

An aggressive tackler who has a reputation to deliver punishing hits to receivers and also possesses tremendous athleticism, D.J. White is able to make game changing plays against game changing players. In a division with the likes of DeSean Jackson, Dez Bryant and Odell Beckham Jr, the Eagles need a corner who can press with aggression and be fearless when making a big tackle.

In his three year career at Georgia Tech, White amounted 157 tackles, 7 interceptions, 11 turnovers whilst forcing four fumbles and breaking up 21 passes. He may not be the most polished guy in the draft, but he’s a hard hitter who would thrive under Jim Schwartz.

 

Round 4: C.J. Prosise RB, Notre Dame
It appears as though “competition” is the theme in Philadelphia going forward. With starting roles up for grabs all over the field, it would make sense to stick with the trend. I’ve noted before about how you should build from the ball out..not the ball in. Get the line cemented, then work on the guys behind it..and then finally add weapons on the outside.

The  Eagles already have three very versatile backs..so adding another would not only promote healthy competition for a starting role (or a committee as Pederson employed with the Chiefs when Charles fell injured), but allow the Eagles to address the more prominent needs sooner.

Prosise meets all the criteria. 1,032 yards for 6.6 yards per carry, 11 touchdowns and 308 receiving yards all sound impressive..and then you realize he only played in 10 games last year. Prosise is able to make cuts with ease, has a turbo gear that Defenses will struggle to keep up with and although he’s a patient runner who waits for the holes to form…he’s got an intimidating stiff arm and can push through tackles when needed. He isn’t quite Ezekiel Elliott or the Heisman Trophy winning Derrick Henry, but Prosise brings with him speed, physicality and an ability to contribute in numerous ways, making him extremely valuable in a West Coast Hybrid Offense.

Round 5: Kevin Hogan QB, Stanford
The second Stanford player off the board should come as no surprise although his slide down from the third round projection in which I had the Eagles taking him last time does.

With the Eagles working out five Quarterbacks and the scrutiny building as Draft Day approaches, the future of Kevin Hogan is either going to get very exciting..or very worrying. As his mechanics come into question, Quarterbacks such as Dak Prescott, Christian Hackenberg and Cardale Jones begin to slowly creep their way up the order, lifting the focus off of the most mentally ready Quarterback in the draft.

For the Eagles, this means that they can take two talented players in the third round with the reassurance that Hogan will still be around in the fifth. It’s clear the birds want a Quarterback and whilst Hogan’s release can get sloppy, the maturity to lead and effectively run an Offense from play-calling to execution more than makes up for it.

Hogan possesses many of the qualities that make Sam Bradford so valuable to Pederson. Quick reads, an extremely intelligent football mind, accuracy (completing 68.7% of his passes last year) and being a very spatially aware and complete pocket passer. If the Eagles want a project Quarterback, they don’t come more refined and ready than Hogan.

 

Round 5: Jared Norris LB, Utah
Eric Rowe had a great final season at Utah, but not as great as Jared Norris did. Having lead the team with 116 tackles and 13 for a loss, Norris simply dominated in Rowe’s final season setting him up for an explosive 2015..until injury struck. After starting just 10 games, Norris still notched up 86 tackles but was slowed down as lingering problems held him back.

For the Eagles, it’s a dream scenario..a dominant Linebacker who has shown all the potential but has been overlooked due to injury limitations.With Sports Science still a huge part of the team, the birds just need to loosen him up a little and make sure he remains light on his feet. His only real setback is that he tends to stay planted which leads to missing tackles. In terms of athleticism, he isn’t the most enticing Linebacker in the Draft, but with Jordan Hicks having to take over the animal kingdom now Mufasa has left the team, it could be time for the Eagles to search for their next Simba and Norris is the emotional and passionate leader they could be looking for.

 

Round 6: Moritz Boehringer WR, Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns
I know what you’re thinking..but there’s a good reason why this german wideout with limited experience is being taken so early.

Depending on how you look at things, the Eagles receiving corp is either ready to go or could still use a helping hand in terms of finding a deep threat. Boehringer stunned scouts at his Pro Day despite his short 4 year career against High-School caliber teams overseas for the Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns in the GFL, but what he brings to the table is a set of raw fundamentals that are found in the greats.

The physical 6″4 receiver recorded a 4.43 40-yard dash time, a vertical of 39 inches and ran the three-cone drill in a sensational 6.65 seconds. Oh, and he’s 225 lbs. Experience or no experience..those are the makings of the prototypical perfect receiver for Pederson’s Offense. A big guy who can beat corners who can burst down the seam and leap up to make a play.

It’s debatable if he should be drafted in the 7th right now let alone the 6th, but when you think about how the media hype works, the chances of Boehringer’s stock rising between now and the Draft are too high to ignore..especially considering he’s already worked out for seven NFL teams.  He may just end up being a camp body, or he could end up being the biggest sleeper in the Draft, and if there’s one thing we love in Philadelphia it’s an underdog.

 

Round 7: Jordan Lucas SS, Penn State
What better way to end this mock than with another versatile player that could help fill two areas of need for the Eagles. A former Cornerback turned Safety, Jordan Lucas may not be the ballhawk some are craving after failing to pick off a pass last season, but he does bring something that will benefit the Eagles massively, physicality.

With 25 passes defensed in his last two seasons and 58 tackles in 2014, the 6″0 201 lbs Safety has plenty of room to grow, but has all the potential to do so. He may be undersized but don’t let that put you off, Lucas hits..and he hits hard. He’s a lot like a Jack Russell..it could see a much bigger dog across the street but it wouldn’t hesitate in showing it who’s the boss.

Reckless, aggressive..but mouldable. With the Safety duo of McLeod and Jenkins, Lucas won’t need to make an impact straight away..but he will be learning under two Safeties who define exactly what Schwartz is looking for and can help Lucas grow into a more well rounded talent.

 

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