The NFL Combine is upon us and rumors are swirling around the league at break-neck pace. Howie Roseman and Co. have their ear to the ground, and are evaluating every angle possible to improve the roster. Here is my prediction for the Eagles draft, before the combine shuffles everyone’s draft stock.
Round 1- CB Sidney Jones, Washington (6’0, 185 lbs)
It’s no secret that the Eagles desperately need help at the cornerback position. Jim Schwartz’s scheme is being handicapped by the corners inability to successfully cover in man, and an upgrade at the position would do wonders for the defense. Enter Sidney Jones. Jones is one of the top corners in a loaded class and could be a Day 1 starter for the Eagles. The former Washington Huskie excels in man coverage, has outstanding ball skills, and possesses good size for his position. Roseman has been adamant about not signing fillers to the roster instead of finding long-term solutions, and Jones can be just that.
Round 2- RB D’Onta Foreman, Texas (6’1, 233 lbs)
In last year’s draft, the Eagles didn’t have a second round pick after including it in the deal to acquire franchise QB Carson Wentz. This time around the Eagles should use their second rounder to find Wentz a running mate in the backfield. Foreman is a mountain of a man at 6 ft 1, 233 lbs. His frame should be more than capable of handling the physicality of the NFL. Foreman rushed for 2,028 yards and 15 touchdowns in his final season at Texas. He is incredibly tough runner that could serve as the bruising, primary back in Philly.
Round 3- WR Isaiah Ford, Virginia Tech (6’1, 190 lbs)
The Eagles simply cannot move forward with their current group at this position and must improve the weapons around Wentz. Isaiah Ford fits the bill. Ford has been nothing but productive in his three years at Virginia Tech, but is overlooked due to a relatively strong wide receiver class. He is the all-time Virginia Tech leader in receiving yards (2,967), touchdown receptions (24), and receptions (210). Ford is a has a bit of a wiry frame and could certainly stand to put on a few more pounds for the NFL, but he makes up for it with his aggression when pursuing the ball. The 21-year old wideout does an excellent job at grabbing the ball at its highest point and routinely makes contested catches. Ford tends to catch with his body a bit more than desired, but any catch would be welcomed in Philly right about now.
Round 4: DE Hunter Dimick, Utah (6’2, 272 lbs)
Dimick just capped off a stellar senior season at DE for Utah in which he led the Pac-12 in QB pressures, sacks (14.5) and tackles for loss (21). In comparison, projected first rounder Derrick Barnett has 13 sacks and 19 tackles for loss this season. Dimick has a relentless motor and beats offensive lineman with a variety of moves around the edge. At 6’2, 272 lbs, he is built similarly to current Eagles DE Brandon Graham and would be a great addition to the defensive line.
Round 5: CB Channing Stribling, Michigan (6’2, 175 lbs)
Stribling quietly enjoyed a solid season across from Jourdan Lewis on an impressive Michigan defense. Stribling has 11 pass breakups and 4 interceptions on the year. He possesses a long frame, but definitely needs to add muscle in order to defend the receivers at the next level. The potential is there, however, and with the proper coaching could end up being great value in the 5th round.
Round 6: OG Kareem Are, FSU (6’6, 334 lbs)
Are has a huge frame at 6’6 and uses his size effectively. He is a power blocker and opens a lot of things up in the running game at Florida State. Are missed the first 2 games of the season with concussion-like symptoms and 1st round prospect Dalvin Cook was held below 100 yards rushing in each of those games (against unranked opponents no less). Are has the athletic ability to develop in pass protection at the next level.
Round 7- FB Sam Rogers, Virginia Tech (5’10, 231 lbs)
Pederson has expressed his desire to add a fullback to the roster since he was hired. Rogers was a swiss army knife at Virginia Tech- rushing, catching, and even passing (once) for touchdowns. He is also a solid blocker and is worth a late-round flier.
Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports