The Philadelphia Eagles are a franchise moving in the right direction. Following a 7-9 season in 2016, the Eagles were able to secure their quarterback of the future with Carson Wentz. Howie Roseman should also probably win executive of the year before the season ever starts. He somehow turned Sam Bradford into Carson Wentz, convinced Alshon Jeffery to take a one year deal, and stole Timmy Jernigan from the Ravens. With such a bright future to look at, what can we expect from the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2017 NFL Draft?
Philly holds the 14th pick in the first round. They can thank Minnesota for that selection and the gift that keeps on giving (the Sam Bradford trade). Philadelphia’s original pick belongs to Cleveland but I’m sure they are more than happy moving down two spots to have Carson Wentz instead. There are two clear directions the Eagles could go. Do they select a top-tier running back or go cornerback instead? Let’s dive into both directions.
Christian McCaffrey could be on the board when Philadelphia selects and could be a great choice. McCaffrey would give the Eagles a dependable receiving option as well. Whether he lines up in the backfield or the slot, McCaffrey is also the best receiver in the draft. With Darren Sproles nearing the end of his career, McCaffrey can handle those touches as well as return kicks.
Cornerback could be a nice position to target as well. I will give two options to consider; one in the first round and one in the second round. Ohio State cornerback Marshon Lattimore could be available with the 14th pick. Once thought to be the number one corner in the class, he has started to slid a bit in recent mock drafts I have looked at. Lattimore does have hamstring issues that concern me which could be the issue. Lattimore projects as a man to man corner who has plus speed (4.35) but is only a one-year starter at Ohio State. He does have good ball production reeling in four interceptions in 2016.
Florida cornerback Quincy Wilson might be the Eagles choice in round 2. Wilson is a long corner (6’2″ – 211) who excels in press coverage. He also has adequate speed (4.54 – 40 time) and could probably become the Eagles number one corner day one. His strength and physical traits probably make Wilson a first round talent that drops in a very deep draft. Wilson looked very smooth at the combine as well.
The Eagles 3rd round pick is a comp pick at the back end of the round. Taylor Moton would be a logical choice if he is available at that spot. Jason Peters is on his last leg and probably will play his last season as a member of the Eagles in 2017. Lane Johnson also missed a big portion of last season after testing positive to performance enhancers. Moton could fill in immediately at either tackle spot. Moton could also play guard as a mauling presence in the middle of the line. The Western Michigan product was also a top performer at the combine and may develop into the best tackle in the draft.