Will the Eagles draft one of these players?
With the 2017 NFL Draft less than two weeks away, the rumors are really heating up. Eric Galko of Sporting News has a really interesting note on the Philadelphia Eagles in the latest edition of his “what-I've-heard” column. According to Galko, the Eagles have five players they’re targeting in the first round: Charles Harris, Derek Barnett, Gareon Conley, Christian McCaffrey, and John Ross.
Eagles first-round considered players: Harris, Barnett, Gareon Conley, McCaffrey and Ross. Of those five players, only one is expected to be available, and the Eagles will draft that one.
As with any rumor, you have to these kind of things with a grain of salt. Still, this list doesn’t seem unreasonable based on what we’ve heard about the Eagles leading up to this year’s draft. Here’s my take on each player.
This is the name that would shock a lot of people at No. 14. But maybe it shouldn’t. Peep this note from Galko:
Missouri defensive end Charles Harris has multiple top-10 grades from NFL teams, and I expect him to be drafted in the top 15. His ceiling might be sixth overall to the Jets, and his floor might be the Colts at No. 15.
There are a number of potential hints that point to Harris being the Eagles’ pick. First, the Eagles are rumored to be targeting a defensive end in the first round. This actually makes sense since their top three players are 32 (Chris Long), 29 (Brandon Graham), and 29 (Vinny Curry) years old. Not to mention the team didn’t trust Curry as a starter last year despite paying him big money.
In addition, Tim McManus reported Philadelphia put Harris through a private workout. McManus is really plugged in so it’s easy to believe he might know something here.
Josh Norris connected Harris to the Eagles at No. 14 in his latest mock draft. When asked if Norris knew something that guided him to make that pick, he replied “no comment.” It might be worth noting that Norris knew about the Eagles’ plan to have Carson Wentz give feedback on different wide receivers this offseason. He might have some inside knowledge when it comes to Harris as well.
I would think the Eagles would take Barnett over Harris in the first round. But I’m not so sure Barnett will be there on the board for them.
The Eagles have shown interest in Barnett. They’re hosting him on a pre-draft visit in Philadelphia.
Going back to that rumor about the Eagles targeting a defensive end in the first round, Barnett would make sense at No. 14 if he makes it there.
I’d be surprised by this one because I don’t feel like Conley plays with the aggression that Jim Schwartz likes. He’s very averse to tackling. Perhaps his plus coverage skills would allow the Eagles to overlook that flaw, however.
The recent buzz on Conley is that the Eagles won’t have to make a decision on him. There’s talk that some teams view him as the No. 1 cornerback in this class. Yes, even over his Buckeyes teammate Marshon Lattimore. Adding credence to this speculation is that Conley is visiting with top teams in the draft such as the Jaguars and Jets.
The Eagles seemingly hosted Conley on a visit in late March.
I’ve often said I believe there’s a 99% chance the Eagles don’t draft a running back in the first round. McCaffrey makes me want to come off that stance a little bit because of his versatility. Not only is he a good running back but he also be a weapon as a wide receiver as well. Quite conveniently, the Eagles have a big need at both of those offensive skill positions. And there’s a rumor out there the Eagles are one of the teams most interested in McCaffrey.
Once again, however, there’s no guarantee McCaffrey even makes it to the Eagles’ pick. Peter Schrager of FOX Sports reported last week he heard McCaffrey will go in the top 10. The Carolina Panthers at No. 8 have been speculated as a landing spot for him.
Eagles head coach Doug Pederson spoke highly of Ross when asked about him at the NFL’s league meetings last month. He said Ross is “dynamic, elusive, quick” and could be a “difference-maker” in the NFL. He also said the extensive injury history Ross has doesn’t scare him.
Ross is surely an intriguing talent. Anyone who runs a record-breaking 40-yard dash with a time of 4.21 seconds is going to catch people’s attention.
The Eagles badly need a new deep threat after sorely lacking one since the days of DeSean Jackson. Ross has often been compared to former Eagles burner.
Philadelphia hosted Ross on a pre-draft visit earlier this offseason. It’s believed he’s one of the eight wide receivers the Eagles told Wentz to study and report back on.
WHO WILL THE EAGLES DRAFT?
I think there’s a reasonable chance the Eagles draft one of these players in the first round. If I had to guess, it’s going to be either Barnett or Harris.
Who do you you want the Eagles to take? And do you think the Eagles should take?
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