Steuber's 2014 Eagles mock draft 2.0

Steuber's 2014 Eagles mock draft 2.0

April 20, 2014, 8:00 am
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Anthony Barr is one of the most dynamic and athletic defenders in this year's draft at outside linebacker, a position that the Eagles desperately need to upgrade. (USA Today Images)

EAGLES MOCK DRAFTS

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Between now and the draft, our draft pundits Ron Burke, Chris Steuber, Jared Sherman and Geoff Mosher will provide their latest Eagles mock drafts. They will make selections for each of the Eagles' six picks, and when they update their selections, their new mocks will be posted.

Round 1, pick 15 (projected trade with Steelers): Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA (6-5, 255)
You never know what will happen on draft day. Every year, there are players who unexpectedly fall in the draft for a number of reasons, and, depending on which scenario ultimately unfolds, it’s possible that Barr could fall further than expected and still be on the board in the 13 – 17 range. This would present a great opportunity for the Eagles, who have a history of trading up in the first round, to get the impact edge rusher they desperately need.

Like the Eagles, the Steelers have similar needs on offense and defense, but the most glaring holes for Pittsburgh are at cornerback and on the defensive line. Trading back to the 22nd overall pick would benefit the Steelers as cornerback prospects such as Darqueze Dennard (Michigan State), Bradley Roby (Ohio State), Kyle Fuller (Virginia Tech) and Jason Verrett (TCU) could all be available. Not to mention, there will also be some intriguing defensive line prospects for them to choose from: Louis Nix (Notre Dame), RaShede Hageman (Minnesota), Stephon Tuitt (Notre Dame) and Kony Ealy (Missouri).

The price to move up for Barr would likely cost the Eagles their first (22nd overall), third (86th overall) and fourth (122nd overall) round picks. The Eagles have only six picks in this year’s draft, but to get one of the most athletic and dynamic defenders at a position would be well worth the investment.

Prospect Reflection: Julian Peterson (Michigan State), 2000: First round (16th overall) by San Francisco 49ers

Last mock: Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State

Round 2, pick 54: Davante Adams, WR, Fresno State (6-1, 212)
The decision to release DeSean Jackson still remains a bit of a mystery. Although, it’s obvious he didn’t fit the culture and structure Chip Kelly is trying to establish in Philadelphia, and that’s extremely important from an organizational standpoint. But cutting ties with the most explosive piece in one of the NFL’s most dynamic offenses puts the Eagles in a situation where they need to add a big-play threat.

Luckily, this year’s draft features the strongest class of wide receiver prospects in draft history, and if the Eagles were to trade up to select Barr in the first-round, then taking a receiver in the second frame becomes a priority.

At 6-foot-2, 212 pounds, Adams has good size, speed and a knack for the big play. His skill set and what he was asked to do at Fresno State fit well with what Kelly wants in a receiver. While Adams fits what the Eagles are looking for in a wide receiver, there’s a chance he won’t be available with the 54th overall pick. If that’s the case, here are some other receivers who could be available and would fit well with the Eagles: Jordan Matthews (Vanderbilt), Donte Moncrief (Ole Miss), Paul Richardson (Colorado), Cody Latimer (Indiana) and Martavis Bryant (Clemson).

Prospect Reflection: Michael Crabtree (Texas Tech), 2009: First round (10th overall) by San Francisco 49ers

Last mock: Carl Bradford, OLB, Arizona State

Round 3, pick 86: Traded to Steelers
Moving up to secure Barr cost the Eagles this selection. Even though they traded this pick, it’s possible the Eagles decide to trade a 2015 selection to acquire a pick in the third-round.

If the Eagles are able to make a trade with another team for a third-round pick, they could select the player I chose in my first Eagles mock draft, Nebraska CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste, if he’s available. If Jean-Baptiste is off the board, some other corners they could target are: Louchiez Purifoy (Florida), Jaylen Watkins (Florida), Keith McGill (Utah) or Pierre Desir (Lindenwood).

The safety position is also an area of concern, and while it’s not a deep safety class, there are good mid-round safeties available. Here are some playmaking safeties that could draw interest from the Eagles: Ahmad Dixon (Baylor), Dion Bailey (Southern Cal), Terrence Brooks (Florida State) or Ed Reynolds (Stanford).

Last mock: Stanley Jean-Baptiste, CB, Nebraska

Round 4, pick 122: Traded to Steelers
If the Eagles are unable to acquire a third-round pick after making the projected blockbuster deal with the Steelers, they could try to obtain a fourth-round pick for a player they covet. Whether they target a defensive back, as discussed for the aforementioned selection, or a 3-4 nose tackle such as Daniel McCullers, who I mocked to the Eagles in version 1.0, defense will be a priority.

McCullers is an intriguing and imposing prospect who has a lot of upside, but he’s nowhere near a finished product and will need to be coached up. Still, at 6-foot-7, 352 pounds, the size and talent is there for future success, and he could contribute in a situational role this season.

Another mid-round space eater that would fit the Eagles system is Louisiana Tech’s Justin Ellis. At 6-foot-2, 334 pounds, he is surprisingly agile and versatile, and he can take on double teams, allowing others around him to have success.

Last mock: Daniel McCullers, DT, Tennessee

Round 5, pick 162: Kenny Ladler, FS, Vanderbilt (6-0, 207)
By trading two of their mid-round picks on Day 1, if the Eagles are unsuccessful acquiring selections in the third or fourth round to select a defensive back or defensive tackle, they will most likely use this pick to address one of those two areas. While the signing of former New Orleans Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins provides the Eagles with options in the secondary to move personnel around and create confusion for the opposition, adding more depth at safety is needed.

An under-the-radar prospect who is an athletic, smart, instinctive and aggressive defender, Ladler has the ability to play free or strong safety in the NFL, as well as being a valuable performer on special teams.

Prospect Reflection: Tanard Jackson (Syracuse), 2007: Fourth round (106th overall) by Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Last mock: Kenny Ladler, FS, Vanderbilt

Round 7, pick 237: Matt Patchan, OT, Boston College (6-6, 302)
At this point in the draft, the goal is to select the best player available, regardless of position or need. And, if Patchan -- whose father, David, was a third-round pick of the Eagles in 1988 -- is still on the board, the movement skills and versatility he possesses fit perfectly with the Eagles blocking scheme.

The biggest concern surrounding Patchan is his extensive injury history, which is the only reason why he could potentially fall to the seventh round. If the former Florida recruit can stay on the field, he has a chance to be a very good lineman at the next level.

Prospect Reflection: Lydon Murtha (Nebraska), 2009: Seventh round (228th overall) by Miami Dolphins

Last mock: Matt Patchan, OT, Boston College . 

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