The Eagles hold the 15th pick in tonight’s NFL draft.
Almost everything, except the top-2 picks, is in play, and the Birds have stated, as they always do, that they will go with the best player available on their board.
Well, this is how I think their board should look, based on player talent and team needs. Hopefully they get someone in my top 15…
1. Robert Griffin III, QB – Yes, he’s not in play, and yes, Luck is atop most draft boards, but I think the Eagles would be one of the teams with RGIII ahead. Griffin seems to be the dream QB for Andy Reid’s system: A Michael Vick type athlete with great accuracy on his throws. I think the rumors that the Eagles looked into the #2 pick were 100% true.
2. Andrew Luck, QB – Should be a great QB, but in the games I saw him play, I didn’t see Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, etc…
3. Trent Richardson, RB – Yes, we have Shady, but Richardson is arguably the most talented player in the draft.
4. Luke Kuechly, LB – This is where need comes into play. I think Kuechly would be such a tremendous upgrade in our LB core that he’s worth reaching for. He’s my dream pick for this draft.
5. Morris Claiborne, CB – Appears to be the best CB in the draft, though some would say Stephon Gilmore is a better fit for our defense. With Asante gone and DRC in final year of deal, CB has become a need.
6. Fletcher Cox, DT – Would help greatly on run defense and with the pass rush. Many say he is our #1 target in the draft.
7. Stephon Gilmore, CB – Strikes me a very safe pick. Could allow us to let DRC walk and use money elsewhere.
8. Justin Blackmon, WR – We don’t have a huge need at WR, but we do have a need in the Red Zone. If he were to drop, he’d still be a great value, and it would be hard not to get crazy excited about the Jackson, Maclin, Blackmon trio.
9. Michael Floyd, WR – Just as good as Blackmon, IMO. Red Zone threat, and an excellent blocker in the run and pass game.
10. Matt Kalil, OT – Don’t want a offensive lineman but once again, you can’t take a talent this big off your board because he doesn’t fill a direct need.
11. Dont’a Hightower, LB – Ranked this high because I really, really want a LB.
12. Mark Barron, S – We’ve spent so many 2nd rounders on safeties recently that I’d be hesitant to use another high pick (esp. with the jury still out on Allen and Jarrett), but Barron is the only potentially great safety and it’s still a need.
13. Michael Brockers, DT – A massive DT prospect who is a step behind Cox
14. Dre Kirkpatrick, CB – Would be perfectly happy with the Birds sticking at 15 and grabbing Dre.
To me, ironically since it’s right before the Eagles pick, there is a drop-off here. I would very much prefer the Eagles end up with one of the 14 players listed above. If they stay at 15, one will most certainly be available.
15. Chandler Jones, DE – A high upside DE who has also been productive in college.
16. Dontari Poe, DT – Combine freak who came up small on game tape. Could Eagles motivate him to tap into his full potential?
17. Melvin Ingram, DE – Seems like more of a 3/4 OLB/DE type, but could still be a player in 4/3
18. Courtney Upshaw, OLB – Linebacker!
19. Janoris Jenkins, CB – Would be interesting to see the Eagles trade down and get Jenkins, a top-5 talent but potential personality problem. They passed on Jimmy Smith for similar reasons last year, and he’s looking pretty good in Baltimore.
Anyone below this line, I would be annoyed if we drafted in the first round without trading down and picking up substantial picks
20. Whitney Mercilus, DE – One year wonder in college, but it was quite a year.
21. Lavonte David, LB – Probably a 2nd round target, but LINEBACKER!
22. Quinton Coples, DE – High upside, low motivation.
23. Jerel Worthy, DT – Solid, not spectacular DT
24. Kendall Wright, WR – First offensive player on here since Kalil. Can you tell how I think the Birds should draft?
25. Ryan Tannehill, QB – If they think he can really be a great QB, we do need a back-up to Vick.
The rest I will just list, with comments if I feel necessary…
26. Shea McClellin, LB
27. Andre Branch, DE
28. Riley Reiff, OT
29. Brandon Weeden, QB – I would like to see the Birds grab him in the 2nd. Can come in and be a quality back-up right away. And back-up for the Eagles means starting at least 7 games.
30. Alameda Ta’amu, DT
31. Stephen Hill, WR
32. David DeCastro, OG
33. Vinny Curry, DE
34. Jonathan Martin, OT
35. Harrison Smith, S – As someone who has watched every game of his career, I don’t think he’s a 1st round talent…
36. Mike Adams, OT
37. Alshon Jeffrey, WR
38. Bobbie Massie, OT
39. Coby Fleener, TE
40. Casey Hayward, CB
So, based on this, here are the scenarios as I see them:
A+: Stick at 15 and get someone like Cox, Barron and Kuechly dropping while keeping our 2 2nd rounders
A: Stick at 15 and get someone in my top-14 while keeping our 2 2nd rounders
B+: Trading down and getting someone in my top-19 while getting other picks
B+: Trading up to get someone in my top-14 w/o sacrificing 2 2nd rounders
B: Trading up to get someone in my top-14, but giving up significant picks to do so
C-F: Basically anything else…
So what do you guys and gals think? What should the Eagles plan be tonight?