Rd. 1 no. 32: The Defending Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles have traded their first-round pick to The Cleveland Browns in exchange for Cleveland’s second-round pick no. 35 fourth-round. pick no. 114 and a 7th rd. pick for 2019.
Rd. 2 no. 35: TE Mike Gesiski Penn State. For whatever reason, both Hayden Hurst and Dallas Goedert are projected by most to be drafted ahead of Gesiki. I think he is the best TE in the draft and The Eagles would be wise to select him here. He’s freakishly athletic, deceptively fast and is a mismatch nightmare for opposing defenses. Imagine him and Zach Ertz in two TE sets. That would simply be a scary combination to have to prepare for. In his last season at Penn State Gesiski put up nearly 600 yards and 9TDs. Another thing that I love about Mike is his ability to line up as a WR in several formations. A trait that he shares with Zach Ertz who just so happens to be his pro comparison.
Rd. 3 no. 58: OT Orlando Brown Oklahoma. Brown falls here due to his terrible combine performance that included bad 3 cone drill, a bad 40 time, and well a bad everything. That being said I believe that teams are reading into his combine performance far too much. If the combine does not exist and you simply watch the tape he’s a top 20 pick in the first round. The guy can play football at a very elite level. I think he simply needs one year to properly develop and going to the Eagles would give him just that. After Jason Peters retires he should become a good starter at LT for The Eagles. Brown is an imposing 6 ft 8 and 360 lbs. Bold prediction: Brown will put his poor combine performance behind him and make the Pro-Bowl in his first year as a starter.
Rd. 3 no. TBD: The Eagles trade CB Ronald Darby on Draft day for a third rd. pick. The selection: Slot CB Jaire Alexander Louisville. Alexander is one of the best slot corners in the draft this year. With the Eagles in flux at outside corner, but without any CB on the roster with experience in the slot this pick makes a ton of sense. While CB Jalen Mills has the talent and athletic ability to kick inside I think he’s better served on the outside where he was one of the top corners in the league last year. Alexander has some medical past medical concerns on his resume that will cause him to fall here. That said he seems healthy now and last year he had 77 tackles and 7 INTs for Louisville. He also has the ability to play outside in the future if needed. He played all three CB positions in college.
Rd. 3 no. TBD: The Eagles trade LB Mychal Kendricks to The 49ers for a third rd. pick. The Selection: LB/S Shaquem Griffin UCF. The 49ers are even more need of a good starting LB after losing a couple of depth players at the position. Forget about the hand already. Griffin is an elite defensive player that production wise should be drafted in the first round. He had 2 Ints, 17 pass breakups, 75 tackles, and 8 sacks last year to go along with a defensive TD. As a junior, he had 11.5 sacks. He can start at weakside LB to begin his NFL career and can eventually take over at either Safety spot for The Eagles or even kick inside to MLB. He can play 6 different positions on defense. He’s the steal of the draft and his stock is rising. Enough said.
Rd. 4 no. 130: LB Fred Warner BYU. Warner is being called the most underrated LB in the draft as he is currently projected by most experts to be a 4th or 5th round pick despite posting 87 tackles as a senior to along with 2 sacks and 5 pass breakups. He had three different games this year where he posted 10 or more tackles. Warner has an excellent combination of size and speed at 6 ft 3 230 lbs. He ran a 4.55 40 at the combine but looks even faster on tape. He should be an excellent starter in his second NFL season as I expect The Eagles to move on from Jordan Hicks after this season.
Rd. 4 no. 114: Safety Tazir Whitehead West Virginia. Tazir is my favorite safety prospect of the 2018 NFL Draft. Kyzir White is an absolute badass at the safety position. White’s role at West Virginia was almost a linebacker and at nearly 6’2” and 218 pounds, he has the build of a modern linebacker as well. That said he is expected to transition to Saftey in the NFL. He is a highly aware player who does a good job in underneath coverage and he’s extremely physical. He had 10 pass breakups this year to along with an amazing 8.5 tackles for loss and 3 picks. He can start his career as the team’s third safety and eventually take over for Malcolm Jenkins or Rodney McCloud. He can also be a key special teams contributor early on in his career.
Rd. 4 no. 132: TE Troy Fumagalli Wisconsin. Troy is only a decent pass catcher but is an elite blocking TE which is something the Eagles need after they parted ways with veteran TE Brent Celek. He is worth the pick based on his blocking ability alone. We will see how he develops as a pass-catching threat, but he should at least be much better than TE Richard Rodger who The Eagles should end up letting go after the draft.
Rd. 5 no 169: RB Josh Adams Notre Dame. I can’t believe that some experts have Adams falling as far as the 6th or 7th round given his production in college. He improved every single year and may very well be the Jordan Howard of this years draft class. He is an extremely talented and productive RB. Last year he ran for 1,430 yards as a junior and 1,623 yards as a senior scoring 25 TDs in that span. He is fast and durable at an imposing 6ft 2 215 lbs. He may be the best day 3 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Rd. 6 no. 106: DE/DT Drew Bailey Louisville. Bailey had 5.5 sacks last year as a rotational pass rusher and has the physical traits to continue to put up good numbers as a situational pass rusher in the NFL. He has the potential to start at some point in his career.
Rd. 7 no 250: WR Daurice Fountain Northern Iowa. Yes, Fountain played division football in college and needs to refine his route running. That said he was a very dominate WR for Northern Iowa as a senior as he caught 67 passes for 953 yards and 12 TDs. He may be a project for a year or two but he is a player that could become a solid starter at the least in his second or third year in the NFL and is worth a flier in this round. The Eagles are stocked at WR, therefore, they have the luxury to groom Fountain. Tagles have such a loaded roster that I almost went punter here.