Five potential targets for the Eagles in the second round of the NFL Draft

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The Eagles made some big waves yesterday when the team announced a trade back into the second round. The 52nd overall pick now belongs to Philadelphia, along with a slightly raised 4th rounder. The question is, who are the team likely looking at with this newly acquired second round ammunition? Here are five potential options:

 

 

Donte Jackson | CB | LSU

(The following excerpt is taken from our FREE NFL Draft cornerback guide)

NFL DRAFT CORNERBACK CONSENSUS

Potentially the fastest prospect in this year’s class, Jackson has been able to take his track background and convert it into a sizeable trait as a cornerback.

With great speed, comes great responsibility. Jackson has phenomenal closing speed and acceleration which means making up ground after being beaten on routes comes easy to the durable corner. When it comes to playing in off-coverage, Jackson’s tendency to just turn on the turbo and fly to the ball is unmatched by most in this class.

His skillset makes him one of the more interesting prospects to scout because he can be so electrifyingly athletic in the right scheme. But in man-coverage or more specifically when asked to press, Jackson isn’t as impressive.

Against Notre Dame in the Citrus Bowl, Jackson was bullied in press-coverage. His footwork was jerky and he was quite literally thrown off the line of scrimmage at times. His tackling angles seemed poor and his slight frame was punished by bigger receivers such as 6’4 Miles Boykins.

However, if he’s asked to play with leverage where he can anticipate routes and jump them, Jackson becomes a complete menace around the ball. And there lies catch 22.

While his frame certainly works against him and he has cinder blocks for hands when it comes to making an interception, his ability to bait quarterbacks into throwing what looks to be an open route, before turning into road-runner and storming over the top of the play to blow it dead.

On the other hand, Jackson’s a very raw talent. While an incredible athlete, his route-recognition and overall technique could use a lot of work. From sporadic tackling to some rigid footwork, there’s certainly room to grow.

Jackson has the potential to become one of the best corners in the league if drafted into the right scheme. Somewhere like Seattle, Oakland or even San Francisco would be perfect fits for the LSU corner.

The Eagles need to fill the hole left by Patrick Robinson and this speedy young defensive back could be a great fit to do just that.

 

Lorenzo Carter | OLB | Georgia
One of the most athletic linebackers in the country, Carter can sting offenses as a pass-rusher or as a coverage linebacker. His unique blend of speed, bend and pass-rushing moves make him a very dangerous weapon for the Eagles.

His slight decline in production could arguably be attributed to a schematic change. From a defensive end, to a nickel corner and even an inside linebacker, this versatile defender fits the true shape of this Eagles defense and amassed 4.5 sacks and 62 tackles in his final season. At 6’6, 243 lbs, this linebacker is a beast who has plenty of unrelenting moves to disrupt the passer and make a play on the ball.

A slightly disappointing combine saw his stock drop and as a round 2 prospect, Carter could be a fantastic snag here.

 

Justin Reid | FS | Stanford
The world is apparently still sleeping on Justin Reid and that’s okay, but Eric Reid’s younger brother isn’t just here to take part. With 94 tackles in his junior year and 6.5 for a loss, you will struggle to find a more well-rounded Safety prospect. Five picks and six PBU’s add to his arsenal of statistic, with Reid showing his ball skills and Football IQ throughout the year. At 6’1, 204 lbs, Reid was able to make plays hanging over the top, or blow up the run by playing in the box. He has great athleticism and is built in a very similar vein to Malcolm Jenkins (in both frame and playing style). I can see Reid’s stock really rising over the next few weeks. His sideline-to-sideline range and exceptional athleticism make him an intriguing prospect for any NFL defense.

 

Ronald Jones | RB | USC
While his size and lean frame may work against him, Jones is a back who will sting unsuspecting defenses. He’s faced the same criticisms throughout his career and what was different in 2017 was that it was clear he took it onboard. He ran with haste, power and combined that electrifying elusiveness with a new angry style of rushing. Averaging 5.9 yards per carry, the USC back ran for 1,550 yards in his final season with the Trojans, proving that he can mix it up with some stellar defenses in the process. I think with such a plentiful selection of talent this year, the frame concerns are going to naturally arise, but his talent is certainly worthy of being in this list.

 

Dallas Goedert | TE | South Dakota State
How can you not love a small-school sleeper who has emerged as this year’s leading tight end prospect? Not only did this 6’5 tight end post back-to-back 1,000 yard season’s, but he also tallied a total of 13 100-yard receiving games during that span. The man is a complete monster and if the Eagles are looking for a tight end to hang their hat on alongside Zach Ertz, they needn’t look any further.

Goedert’s route-running is simply exceptional and he launches off the line with tremendous burst. Soft hands and an impressive pro-day round out a skillset that is only lacking blocking fundamentals. In fact, if Goedert was a capable blocker at the next level too, he’d be a bonafide top-10 pick.

What the Eagles are losing in Trey Burton, they’d be getting back in a slightly bigger prospect who can move just as fluently through the route tree and is arguably even more athletic.

 

Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

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