2017 NFL draft: Hudrick's round-by-round targets for Eagles, 1.0

2017 NFL draft: Hudrick's round-by-round targets for Eagles, 1.0

With my first first-round mock in the books, we take a look at some round-by-round targets for the Eagles throughout the 2017 NFL draft.

Luckily for the Eagles, this draft is extremely deep at wide receiver, corner and running back. While those may be the team's foremost needs, every team could use more depth among the trenches.

Let's take a look at a few prospects the Eagles may look to target in this year's draft.

1st round

Sidney Jones, CB, Washington, (6-1/170)

I've already mocked Jones to the Eagles in the first round. Jones is the most consistent corner in this draft and will make an immediate impact on the Eagles' defense.

Teez Tabor, CB, Florida, (6-0/201)
Tabor has some serious swagger and ball skills (eight career interceptions). I view Jones as the more consistent player between the two, but Tabor would be a fine pick. Many have mocked his Gator teammate, Quincy Wilson, to the Eagles. Jones and Tabor fit more of the profile that defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz tends to look for.

Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan, (6-3/213)
I love this guy. If he's there at 14/15, Howie Roseman will have to look long and hard at Davis. He's big, strong and is the best route runner in the draft. His speed may be questioned, but his tape shows enough game speed to be plenty effective in the NFL.

O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama, (6-6/249)
Howard seems to be a trendy pick among Eagles Twitter. It's an intriguing idea to give Carson Wentz both Zach Ertz and Howard. Put those two in 12 personnel and it's a matchup nightmare for a defense. Howard could turn into an elite tight end and you could certainly make a case for him being the best player available.

2nd round

Tre'Davious White, CB, LSU, (5-11/191)
White is arguably a first-round talent, but this draft is so deep at the corner position, he could slip to Round 2. He also has ability as a punt returner. If the Eagles snag Davis in Round 1, followed by White, that'd be a great start.

Cooper Kupp, WR, Eastern Washington, (6-2/198)
Kupp has great size, runs solid routes and has extremely reliable hands. He's not explosive, so from that perspective, he may not be a great fit. That is unless the Eagles target a receiver like DeSean Jackson or Kenny Stills in free agency. Kupp shined during this year's Senior Bowl.

Dion Dawkins, OL, Temple, (6-4/317)
The Eagles could add offensive line depth from their own backyard (actually their own stadium). Dawkins was the Owls' starting left tackle, but took plenty of reps at the Senior Bowl as a guard and showed "Pro Bowl potential." With the possibility of Jason Kelce becoming a cap causality, Dawkins could add depth at guard with Isaac Seumalo, last year's third-round pick sliding over to center. And with Jason Peters aging, Dawkins adds future depth at tackle.

Other possibilities

Dede Westbrook, WR, Oklahoma, (6-0/176)

Westbrook is arguably the second-most explosive receiver in this draft behind Washington's John Ross. 

Fabian Moreau, CB, UCLA, (6-0/194)
Much like White, Moreau might be a first-round pick in a different draft. He has prototypical size and speed at corner.

Taylor Moton, OL, Western Michigan, (6-5/330)
Much like Dawkins, Moton would add depth at both tackle and guard.

3rd round

Taywan Taylor, WR, Western Kentucky, (5-11/198)

Taylor has become a draft crush for Rotoworld's Josh Norris, and for good reason. Behind Davis, he may be the best route runner in this draft. His suddenness jumps out on tape. He's lightning quick out of his breaks. He's decent after the catch and has OK hands.

Chidobe Awuzie, CB, Colorado, (6-0/205)
Speaking of draft crushes, Awuize has been one of my favorites all season. A two-star recruit out of high school, Awuzie was the second-best corner in the Pac 12 after Jones. He's not the most athletic corner, but he's disruptive, physical and smart. He only had three career interceptions, but registered nine sacks, 25 tackles for a loss and six forced fumbles in his career. The combine will give a better indication of where he should be projected.

Kareem Hunt, RB, Toldeo, (5-11/208)
The more I watch Hunt, the more I love. He has ballerina feet and sneaky power. He was also outstanding as a receiver out of the backfield and had decent moments in pass pro. He was named the North Team's Outstanding Player during the Senior Bowl after running for 118 yards on 15 carries.

Other possibilities

Wayne Gallman, RB, Clemson, (6-0/210)

Gallman got lost on a star-studded offense, but he was a bell cow with great patience and toughness.

Samaje Perine, RB, Oklahoma, (5-10/235)
Perine has crazy power and lives for contact. He's an ideal short-yardage back.

Kevin King, CB, Washington, (6-3/192)
On the other side of Jones, King was tested and passed those tests often. May not be a fit for Schwartz, but he can play.

4th round

Ryan Glasgow, DT, Michigan, (6-3/299)

With Bennie Logan's free agency looming, the Eagles need to look for defensive tackles. There's nothing fancy about Glasgow. He's big, strong and uses his hands well. 

Carlos Henderson, WR, Louisiana Tech, (6-1/191)
Henderson is coming out early after a monster junior season (82 catches, 1,535 yards and 19 TDs). This guy is crazy explosive. His 40 time may give him a bump in projection. If he doesn't run well, the tape shows plenty of game speed. Especially for a guy in the fourth round.

Damontae Kazee, CB, San Diego State, (5-10/183)
Kazee is more of a projection, but his speed is real. So are his balls skills (15 INTs the last two seasons). He needs to learn the nuances of playing corner, but he could be an intriguing ball of clay for Schwartz to mold.

Other possibilities

Davon Godchaux, DT, LSU, (6-4/299)
Glasgow is more of an ideal replacement for Logan, while Godchaux may offer a little more in the pass rush in a rotation with Beau Allen.

Tanoh Kpassagnon, DL, Villanova, (6-7/280)
A physical specimen, Kpassagon may not be an ideal fit for the Eagles' defense, but he's a player who can be disruptive from multiple positions along the line and can fit any system.

5th round

Jamaal Williams, RB, BYU, (6-0/211)
Williams looks like he was made in a running back factory. He has some decent cutback ability but may not have the speed to become a No. 1 back. Williams and Wendell Smallwood, last year's fifth-round pick, could be an interesting tandem. He averaged 5.9 yards a carry as a senior, but didn't show much in the passing game.

Ryan Switzer, WR, North Carolina, (5-9/179)
Switzer will have to play in the slot at the next level, but he should excel there. He runs solid routes, isn't afraid to go over the middle and has extremely reliable hands (74 percent catch rate in 2016). This would mean a shift to the outside for Jordan Matthews, who is up for an extension this offseason.

6th round

Joe Mathis, DE/OLB, Washington, (6-2/255)
Mathis suffered a season-ending foot injury six games into his senior year. It couldn't have come at a worse time for Mathis, who recorded five sacks in his last four games before the injury. It appeared Mathis was on the verge of a breakout season as a DE/OLB. I'd be interested to see what he could do as a 4-3 end. He has a high motor and plays with discipline.

Amba Etta-Tawoo, WR, Syracuse, (6-2/202)
I have no idea what to make of this guy, but it's impossible to deny his production and size. A Maryland transfer, Etta-Tawoo had a monster season with 94 catches, 1,482 yards and 14 TDs. Is he a one-year wonder or can he translate any of that production to the NFL? In the sixth round, he's certainly worth a flier.

7th round

Jahad Thomas, RB, Temple, (5-10/188)

In a deep running back class, one of the greatest backs in Temple history may go undrafted. Thomas carried the load for Temple in 2015, but shared some of it in 2016. One of his best games was a 135-yard, two-touchdown effort in 2015 against a Penn State team that saw three of their defensive linemen become NFL draft picks. Thomas is also a strong receiver out of the backfield, hauling in 33 passes for 418 yards and six touchdowns in 2016.

Noble Nwachukwu, DE, West Virginia, (6-2/275)
Nwachukwu's sacks are all a result of his incredible size and strength. He's super raw, but there may be something to work with here. He struggled with injuries in 2016, but had a quality junior year, recording 7½ sacks and 11½ tackles for a loss.

Mike Mayock: Eagles should weigh Gareon Conley vs. offense at 14

Mike Mayock: Eagles should weigh Gareon Conley vs. offense at 14

The Eagles need cornerbacks. Plural. 

It's not a secret that the team's biggest weakness heading into next week's draft is at the cornerback position. So it would stand to reason that their best bet might be to simply take the best one off the board when they're on the clock at 14.

But NFL Network's Mike Mayock, on his annual pre-draft conference call marathon extravaganza Friday, said he thinks they should take a different approach. 

Looking at the top corners in the draft, Mayock is convinced Ohio State's Marshon Lattimore will be off the board well before the Eagles are on the clock at 14. His next rated corner is Gareon Conley. After that, Mayock has Marlon Humphrey but pointed out his major flaw of struggling to find the football in the air. 

So if Conley makes it to 14, the Eagles should pick him, right? 

Not so fast. 

"So I look at it this way, if Conley's on the board at 14, you have to compare him to the best playmaker on offense on your board," Mayock said. "Because I'm not convinced the Eagles should go defense, to be honest with you. 

"If Conley's not there, I think you want to go get your corner in the second or third round and I think they need two corners. But my perspective is, you drafted Carson Wentz. You better support him. You signed two wideouts in free agency (Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith) who are both effectively one-year contracts. Your slot receiver, (Jordan) Matthews is in the final year of his deal. (Brent) Celek, the tight end, is 32 years old. 

"So you might sit there and go, 'This year looks OK,' but get a running back. Get a (Christian) McCaffrey or a Dalvin Cook. Get a tight end, O.J. Howard. Get weapons. Get one of those wideouts you like. So I would be comparing Conley to the highest playmaker you have on the board offensively. And I might be leaning towards offense if it was me." 

Zach Ertz hopes he and Carson Wentz can be NFL's next great duo

Zach Ertz hopes he and Carson Wentz can be NFL's next great duo

Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski. Drew Brees and Jimmy Graham. Cam Newton and Greg Olsen. 

When Zach Ertz looks at the recent history of great quarterback-tight end duos in the NFL, he can't help but notice one thing stands out. 

"Those guys have been together for a long time," Ertz said Thursday afternoon. 

Brady and Gronk have been together for seven seasons. Cam and Olsen have been together for six. And Brees and Graham were together for five. 

"And I think just having that, where you're on the same page regardless of the coverage," Ertz continued. "If they give you this coverage, you know exactly what you're going to do. If they give you that coverage, he knows exactly what I'm going to do. When to expect the ball vs. certain coverages, it might be a little earlier, it might be a little later. So it's just that constant camaraderie where we're able to know what the other person is thinking without thinking about it."

Ertz hopes that's the kind of relationship he can forge with Carson Wentz, who will enter his second NFL season in 2017. 

Ertz and Wentz spend a lot of time together in the facility and away from it. A group of Eagles went to Ertz's wedding earlier this offseason, and of course, Wentz was present. If it seems like Ertz is going to great lengths to build a rapport with his quarterback, he is. 

After going through Mike Vick and Nick Foles and Mark Sanchez and Sam Bradford, the Eagles' starting tight end finally has a quarterback that isn't going anywhere for a while.  

"It's going to be huge," Ertz said about playing with Wentz for a second straight year. "I think when Carson was drafted, from the receivers and tight ends, that was the one thing we were really excited about. That we knew for the next five, 10, 20 years, hopefully, in Philadelphia, we knew who our quarterback was going to be."

Since he was drafted in the second round of the 2013 draft out of Stanford, Ertz has been an extremely productive player. But that has set up huge expectations as fans wait for a "breakout year." Zach Ertz might never be Rob Gronkowski, but the numbers are hard to argue. 

In the first four years of his career, Ertz has 247 catches for 2,840 yards and 13 touchdowns. Since 2013, here's the list of tight ends who have more catches and yards than Ertz: Greg Olsen, Jimmy Graham, Jason Witten, Delanie Walker, Antonio Gates. 

Ertz and Jeremy Maclin are the only two players in Eagles history to put up those numbers in their first four seasons. 

The argument often heard about Ertz's numbers is that they come in garbage time. Ertz has historically been an absolute beast in December. In the last few years, that hasn't meant much to a struggling Eagles franchise, but if they're in the playoff hunt in upcoming years, they'll probably want that trend to continue. 

The one statistic that doesn't seem to match the others: touchdowns. While Ertz has been among top tight ends in the league in receptions and yards, his 13 touchdowns rank 17th among tight ends since 2013. (It's not a stat, but for what it's worth, Ertz would likely be among the league leaders in touchdowns called back for penalties in the last few years.)

"I want to be the guy in the red zone, believe me," Ertz said. "For the first four years in my career, I think the most touchdowns I had in a year was four. So this year, we didn't have a lot of red zone touchdowns and that falls on us as players to get it down when we get down there, make plays when the ball's in the air. That's something I do pride myself on, making those tough and contested catches, whether it be in the red zone or third down. I want to be more of a go-to guy in the red zone, but I've got to earn that this spring and summer, earn that trust of the quarterback as well as Doug (Pederson). It's going to be a process, but when you look at the great tight ends in the league, the first thing that stands out is touchdowns."