The Jenkins Draft 3.0: Eagles trade out of first round in explosive seven-round Mock

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The NFL Draft is just one day away and for the Philadelphia Eagles, a patient wait begins. Picking 32nd overall, the consensus certainly seems to be that the team are looking to trade down for some extra mid-round juice. Will they be able to pull it off? Let’s take a look at one final mock draft ahead of a day that will change hundreds of lives forever.

 

Round 1: **TRADE**

Shockwaves are sent through the NFL once again. Rodger Goodell walks up to the podium after an evening of thrills and spills to announce a trade. In this instance, the Philadelphia Eagles have traded with the Chicago Bears. The Birds’ move back to pick 39, trading down with the Bears and giving them Mychal Kendricks to spice up the deal. In exchange, the Eagles also receive pick 115 (4th round) and a 2019 2nd rounder. So why does this make sense?

The Bears have a desperate need for outside linebackers. Leonard Floyd and Aaron Lynch have combined to miss 28 games over the last two years and with severe concerns looming, a rookie may not bring the desired impact right away. The Eagles just so happen to have a linebacker who staggeringly rebounded to have a tremendous season in 2017 in Kendricks.

Outside of that, they could also use some cornerback help…and with Indianapolis and Cleveland both selecting before Chicago, there will more than likely be a CB run to kick off the second round. Trading up means Chicago get to draft the DB they like the most and essentially give up a second and a 4th for a linebacker who had 77 tackles last season. Why does the trade hold value for the Eagles? Wait and see….

 

 

Round 2 (Pick 7): Braden Smith | G |
I know, I know, hold onto your horses for just a second. Football is won and lost in the trenches and the Eagles have the best offensive line in the NFL. But Wisniewski will not be around forever and neither Seumalo, nor Warmack would earn the starting LG role, even 2 weeks into the regular season. That leaves a worryingly low amount of depth behind ‘Wis’ and Brandon Brooks and Braden Smith would be a fantastic plug-n-play option in round 2 who could one day become King of the castle.

At 6’6, 315 lbs, Smith is a beast who already has a frame fit for the NFL. Smith is a throwback to the mauling bulldog type of guard who wins through a blend of power and mental dominance as opposed to athleticism. This may contradict what we see in Pederson’s scheme, but carving open a hole for a downhill runner before rotating in a more athletic guard to push the line outward certainly seems appealing to broaden Pederson’s horizons.

What really stands out is his ability to slow down opposing pass-rushers. With a focus on keeping Carson Wentz upright, this monstrous interior guard would be the unsexy, yet very safe pick at this spot.

 

Round 4 (Pick 5): Uchenna Nwosu | LB |  USC
Nwosu is easily one of the most exciting linebackers in this year’s draft, but his size is at a strange in-between stage that sees him a little out of place to be the perfect pass-rusher at the next level, but also equidistant away from having that same level of play as a distinct linebacker. His best fit is as a 3-4 OLB, but this didn’t stop the Eagles from meeting with him. But when you think about it…

How many times did we see the Eagles linemen call their own stunts? How many times did Cox or Jernigan drop back into coverage so that an unsuspecting defender can rush the passer? The answer is a lot more often than any of us thought at the start of the season. When you factor in the original plans for Nate Gerry as well, it’s clear the Eagles want a hybrid player who can fill both roles.

Nwosu’s 75 tackle, 9.5 sack and insanely high 13 pass breakup season turned heads. Jordan Hicks has established a ballhawking reputation and if the team have an outside threat to replace Kendricks who can bring the same to the table? That’s a dangerous looking defense. The Eagles go cheaper, more versatile and a lot faster with this pick.

 

Round 4 (Pick 31): John Kelly, Running back, Tennessee
Running back may not be a dire need, but 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) Dalton Schultz | TE | Stanford
He may not be as electric as a certain Penn State tight end, but he doesn’t have to be. What Schultz brings to the table is true tight end versatility. A prototypical run blocking frame (6’6, 240 lbs) is backed up by supreme in-line blocking and soft hands when asked to ran routes. Schultz was more than capable of handling the rock but his real strength was as a blocker.

A former top-100 recruit from Utah, Schultz became an All-Pack-12 pick in 2016, adding 222 receiving yards and a touchdown to his resume. One year later, he recorded 22 receptions for 212 yards and 3 touchdowns and declared for the NFL Draft.

Schultz very much became the sixth offensive lineman for Stanford last year and he’s easily the best in-line blocker in this class. What is truly stunning is that he’s built in a very similar mold to another former Stanford tight end in Zach Ertz.

See what I mean?

The Eagles need some tight end depth, badly. Schultz could be the dream fit in this spot.

 

Round 5 Pick 32: | Tray Matthews | S | 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.

You can read an exclusive interview with Matthews here!

Heartbreak, humility and hunger: How Eagles target Tray Matthews changed his stars

 

Round 6 (Pick 32): Daurice Fountain | WR |
A small-school sleeper in every sense of the word, Fountain could be seen as a project deep-threat prospect for the Eagles. At 6’1, 210 lbs, Fountain has the makeup of a burner. A true athlete in every sense of the word, he may not possess the ball-skills needed to make an immediate impact, but nor did Shelton Gibson.

The first-team All-Missouri Valley Football Conference honoree snagged 66 receptions for 843 yards and 12 scores in his final season with Northern Iowa and while many will see him as a one-dimensional athlete, his impressive Shrine game outing that saw him make a stunning 38 yard catch en-route to a 61-yard game will have certainly quietened that notion a little. Fountain could be a perfect fit for the Eagles, who love late-round receivers who bring what I like to call ‘the Chris Hogan effect.’

The Eagles also met with him and it was only a few days ago that Joe Douglas mentioned a desire to really dig deep to find sleepers from smaller schools.

 

Round 7 (Pick 32): Andre Chachere | CB | San Jose State

**The following scout report is taken from our FREE NFL Draft cornerback guide that you can download here**

NFL DRAFT CORNERBACK CONSENSUS

Chachere is an athletic corner who has many of the traits of a mid-round pick. But between 2016 and 2017, it’s almost as if a coach put the leash back on the collar and created a more conservative corner. He wasn’t as willing on 50/50 balls and started to focus on blanketing the receiver more than using his vertical to push the ball out of harms way. That doesn’t mean there isn’t room for growth.

As a result, Chachere is one of the most composed corners you’ll find in this year’s crop. The football IQ is high here and it’s clear in his pattern reading and ability to smell out his man in bunch formations or trick plays. You’ll rarely see him make a mental mistake or physically slip due to a last-second decision, because he’s usually the first on his assignment and will remain glued to it. Receivers will try to throw him off with the naughtiest of moves, but Chachere is zen throughout route progressions and stays light on his feet to help him float down the route. The 2017 tape shows a corner who is almost so relaxed that there is a quiet confidence in his play…but then there’s the setbacks.

Had he blended this with the leaping, diving, more imposing play of 2016, we could be looking at a third round status here. Instead, Chachere would allow some big plays because he’s reluctant to put his hand into the fire, risking a burn. Receivers would just cut across his face and focus on forcing a foot-race as opposed to really challenging at the line of scrimmage. The deep ball became a problem and this new serene mindset saw a corner who would still challenge the run, but fly in for legs as opposed to wrapping and smothering.

I think there’s a lot of unheralded potential here. If a team can bring the best out of Chachere, he could be depth player for years to come in the right scheme.

 

Mandatory Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

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