The Jenkins Draft, Eagles Mock 1.0: No assets, no problem

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Mock Draft season is the best season, right? The fun of predicting who a team will select when their name is on the clock is almost as exhilarating as it is finding draft crushes, sleepers and the next big thing. For the Eagles, that time is even more exciting. The reigning Super Bowl champions are set to lose a few key players to free agency and cap constraints could see some surprise trades, making this year’s draft absolutely crucial.

Joe Douglas and Howie Roseman hit a home-run in their first season together, but without any day-two picks, how can the team bolster their roster? Let’s take a look.

 

Round 1 (Pick 32): Roquan Smith, Linebacker, Georgia
The Eagles need linebacker depth, there’s no questioning that. Right now, if they were to invest their first round pick in the position, it comes down to a shootout between Alabama’s Rashaan Evans, and Georgia’s Roquan Smith. I personally feel there’s a high chance Smith will be off the board before the Eagles are on the clock, but if by chance he is still sitting there, the Birds should not hesitate in pulling the trigger. Or…there is always the possibility of a trade-up. At this point in Roseman’s tenure, trading into the top-15 by parting ways with Nick Foles for instance would be one of his least surprising moves yet and that’s saying a lot. Expect the unexpected.

Smith isn’t just an electric athlete, but a dominant run-defender. His instincts and sideline-to-sideline ability make him a wrecking ball who is so easily able to lock onto an escaping back and blow up the play. His fluid body movement in coverage makes him just as dangerous reading the eyes of a quarterback on crossing routes and picking up receiving threats out of the backfield.

The Butkus award winner recorded 137 tackles, 6.5 sacks and 2 fumble recoveries in his junior season. The production speaks for itself and with the uncertain future of Nigel Bradham and the durability concerns over Jordan Hicks, adding a potentially elite talent early would be a wise move.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CG5DD3f3veU&t=103s

 

Round 4 (Pick 31): John Kelly, Running back, Tennessee
Running back may not be a dire need, but potentially losing the thump of LeGarrette Blount along with some depth could sting at the backend of the season. Ajayi could also be a name lining up for an extension that the Eagles may or may not be willing to pay, making Corey Clement the real lone stable long-term option.

Kelly adds almost a perfect blend of everything the Eagles try to do with their running backs. At 5’9, 212 lbs, Kelly plays far outside of his build and while his numbers (1,573 yards in 3 years) may not scream an elite talent, being drafted into the right system, like his former teammate Alvin Kamara, could be all he needs. Nine of his fifteen scores came last season, along with 778 yards on 189 carries and 299 receiving yards.

Kelly runs hard and never shies away from contact. His aggressive style sees him push through blocks, give violent stiff-arms and be a key factor in pass-protection. Kelly does come with some character concerns, but for a 4th round pick to be so agile yet so physically imposing, it’s worth taking a punt for a Head Coach who can get every last bit of talent out of him.

 

 

Round 4 (Pick 32): Troy Fumagalli, Tight End, Wisconsin
The Eagles TE concerns have become commonplace by now. Trey Burton is a pending free agent and there isn’t a lot of rubber left on the tyres of Brent Celek. Enter Troy Fumagalli, one of the NCAA’s most exciting receiving tight ends. Standing at 6’6, 248 lbs, it’s hard to believe that this young man amassed 1,627 receiving yards during his career, averaging 12.9 yards per catch…and he did so with nine fingers.

Not only is Fumagalli a stunning receiving prospect who has great acceleration, intuitive route-running and attacks the high-point consistently, but he’s an esteemed blocker too.

He would certainly be a project for the Eagles, but as Trey Burton once proved, even UDFA prospects can develop into iconic offensive pieces in Philadelphia. Fumagalli has the best of both worlds and could be a steal in the fourth round.

 

Round 5 (Pick 19): Tray Matthews, Safety, Auburn
After a solid 2015 season that saw Matthews play with a torn labrum in both of his shoulders, he began to rekindle the fire that made him such a touted high school prospect. After being dismissed from Georgia in 2014, Matthews has come along way from both a physical and mental standpoint…but we’ll learn more about that in the weeks to come.

Matthews amassed 59 tackles, 1 sack, 2 TFL and 2 passes defensed last season for Auburn, embracing the hard-hitting underdog label placed on his shoulders. At 6’1, 209 lbs, Matthews has the size needed to develop into a reliable safety and with the Eagles needing some extra depth behind Jenkins and McLeod, Matthews would be a great addition to the DB room.

 

Round 5 (Pick 32): Brandon Parker, OT, North Carolina A&T
The Eagles would love some extra firepower at left tackle and this ginormous prospect could be an absolute bargain. 6’7. 314 lbs. A wingspan like a jumbo jet and a kick-back beyond his age, Brandon Parker may lack some of the technical prowess of more highly regarded prospects, but with such an impressive frame and a rare ability to handle his weight so early in his career, adjusting to the movement of the block at the second level, Parker would be an ideal developmental prospect under Jeff Stoutland. Just look at the progress Big V has made since being drafted in the fifth round two year’s ago.

 

Round 6 (Pick 32): K.J Malone, G, LSU
The Eagles are building from the ball out, that much is clear. While Brandon Brooks and Stefen Wisniewski are entrenched as the starters, it took a solid 4 weeks of competition with Warmack, Seumalo and Wis to eventually reach that conclusion. If Warmack exits Philly, Malone would be a suitable replacement.

With an NFL-ready frame (6’4, 321 lbs), the son of NBA Legend, Karl Malone, was a key cog in LSU’s emphatic rushing efforts during the last few years. Malone is quick with his footwork and shows the Football IQ needed to handle both DT’s and DE’s with his thick base and impressive lateral movement to seal edges.

He’s also played at every spot on the offensive line, which as we all know, is something the Eagles covet. For their last pick in the draft, bolstering the trenches should be a priority.

 

Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

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