2017 NFL draft: Zangaro's round-by-round targets for Eagles

2017 NFL draft: Zangaro's round-by-round targets for Eagles

Sidney Jones, the corner from Washington, was going to be my pick. 

At the combine, he separated himself as the top corner in this draft and would have been a great pick for the Eagles at 14. There was a good chance he would be the best player available and he would fill an immediate need. 

So much for that. At his pro day this weekend, Jones tore his Achilles and with it, the top corner in this draft was lost. The Eagles won't be taking him in the first round. Now, maybe they could grab him in a later round if they're OK with a redshirt year, but it's pretty clear the Eagles have an immediate need at the position. Maybe they'll be out on him entirely. 

With the best corner off the board, how does it change the draft? 

Here's a round-by-round look at some Eagles draft targets:

Round 1: No. 14

Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State (6-0, 193)
You're already mad at me because there's no way Lattimore is still on the board at 14. And you might be right. Many think he'll come off in the top 10. But if teams are concerned about his hamstrings -- and they'd have a legitimate fear -- maybe he falls to the Eagles in the middle of the first round. Clearly a first-round talent but there are questions about his health. 

Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State (5-10, 210)
Here's the guy every fan seems to want. I think Leonard Fournette would be a waste in Philly because of Doug Pederson's offense, but Cook would fit really well. He has the potential to be a true three-down guy who can be featured in the offense. Is he Zeke Elliott? No. But there aren't many who are.

Ray Didinger made the argument Monday for why, if Cook is available at 14, the Eagles should take him instead of a corner.

Mike Williams, WR, Clemson (6-4, 218)
Even though the Eagles went out and picked up a couple free agent wideouts, they aren't married to them long-term, so the chance for a WR is still pretty good. Williams is a big target, just like Alshon Jeffery. If the team brings him in, he'll have a chance to learn from the player the Eagles would hope he grows to be. 

Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee (6-3, 259)
Barnett will probably be off the board by this point, but if he isn't, the Eagles should pounce. No, defensive end isn't the biggest need, but it's still a need. The Eagles cut Connor Barwin and right now have Vinny Curry in the starting lineup with Marcus Smith as the top backup. Barnett could grow into an elite pass-rusher. 

Tre'Davious White, CB, LSU (5-11, 192)
Some are going to say this is too early for White, but I think he's going to be a first-round pick. By the time the draft comes, I don't think it would be crazy to think of him as a pick around 14. He could reunite with Jalen Mills in Philly. 

Round 2: No. 43

Fabian Moreau, CB, UCLA (6-0, 206)
While Florida's Teez Tabor ran a sluggish 4.6-plus 40 time, Moreau was incredible at the combine, running a 4.35. That time is even more impressive considering his pretty big frame. He's a great athlete and could make an immediate impact in Philly. 

Chris Godwin, WR, Penn State (6-1, 209)
The Nittany Lions' star ran a 4.42 at the combine and has impressive college tape that backs it. He's worked himself into being a second-round pick. 

Alvin Kamara, RB, Tennessee (5-10, 214)
Apparently, Kamara could end up being a first-round pick. The problem with Kamara is the lack of tape. He didn't play much in college, so he's more of a projection. Still, this could be good value if he's still there.

Teez Tabor, CB, Florida (6-0, 200)
After his underwhelming performance at the combine, who knows where Tabor will come off the board. But he's super confident and aggressive, something the Eagles really seem to like in their cornerbacks. 

Round 3: No. 74

Jordan Willis, DE, Kansas State (6-4, 255)
Willis had a really good showing at the combine, so it's possible he's moved up into the second round. If he's still there in the third, he'd be a great addition to the Eagles. He's a heckuva athlete -- 4.53 in the 40, 24 bench reps and a 39-inch vertical. 

Chidobe Awuzie, CB, Colorado (6-0, 202)
Awuzie seems like he has the kind of versatility the Eagles look for in their defensive backs. He can play all three positions -- corner, slot and safety. He certainly helped himself at the combine, where the Eagles met with him. 

Chad Hansen, WR, Cal (6-2, 202)
Carson Wentz got a chance to work out with Hansen while in California last month, so maybe he can fill the Eagles in. Hansen is a pretty good athlete who could be a solid backup piece for the Eagles. 

Round 4: No. 119, 139 

Jamaal Williams, RB, BYU (6-0, 212)
Williams is a unique player who could be a real steal in the fourth round. It's tough to find running backs in these rounds who become true three-down guys, but Williams has that potential. 

Julie'n Davenport, OT, Bucknell (6-7, 318)
Davenport is a local kid from Paulsboro High School in South Jersey. He has great size and good athleticism for it. He's a little raw, but in a weak OT draft class, might be worth one of the fourth-round picks. 

Carlos Henderson, WR, Louisiana Tech (5-11, 199)
A fast receiver and returner who is a former teammate of Paul Turner's. It's fair to wonder about the level of competition he faced, but the numbers are certainly there. 

Round 5: No. 155 

Corn Elder, CB, Miami (5-10, 183)
The Eagles look for competitive corners and Elder definitely fits that. He's only 5-10, but he's feisty. Even if he's just a slot guy in the NFL, he could be a good one. 

Josh Reynolds, WR, Texas A&M (6-3, 194)
Pretty good speed for his size. Ran a 4.52 at the combine. He is a solid deep threat, something the Eagles desperately need. 

Charles Walker, DT, Oklahoma (6-2, 310)
Concerns about concussions in 2015 and 2016 are real. But with Bennie Logan now in Kansas City, the Eagles will need help on the interior line. 

Round 6: No. 194 

Bryan Cox Jr., DE, Florida (6-3, 265)
Yeah, the son of that Bryan Cox. A thumb injury ended his 2016 season, which could help him last a little longer in the draft. He definitely could help the Eagles at defensive end. 

Jordan Evans, ILB, Oklahoma (6-2, 232)
Evans wasn't invited to the combine, which was slightly surprising. He really stood out at the Oklahoma pro day, running a 4.51, with a vert of 38.5. Not a pressing need, but at this point, the Eagles could pick up a backup and big special teams contributor. 

Round 7: No. 230 

Noble Nwachukwu, DE, West Virginia (6-1, 268)
He's going to be called a "tweener" by plenty, but he's strong and aggressive. Just a little raw. 

Freddie Stevenson, FB, Florida State (6-0, 234)
Pederson might not be in a huge rush to add a fullback to his team, but it could help the offense. And why not get one with the final pick in the draft?

What's the best play in Eagles history?

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What's the best play in Eagles history?

Throughout the week, we have asked fans help determine the best play in Philadelphia sports history. Today, upvote below to adavnce one Eagles play to the finals on Friday where five plays will face off to determine the top overall play.

Tune in to Philly Sports Talk at 5 p.m. to see which play will advanace to the final.


Eagles 2017 training camp position battle: Cornerback

Eagles 2017 training camp position battle: Cornerback

It's no secret.

If anyone is looking for the biggest weakness on the 2017 Eagles roster, here it is. Cornerback could be an adventure.

At least this isn't anything new. In 2015, when the team trotted out Nolan Carroll and Byron Maxwell, fans probably thought things couldn't get worse in 2016. They were wrong. Last year, the struggles continued with a combination of Leodis McKelvin, Carroll, Ron Brooks and rookie Jalen Mills.

The good news is the Eagles might finally have some young talent to keep around for a while. Mills, a seventh-rounder last season, got valuable playing time and this year, the team drafted Sidney Jones and Rasul Douglas in the second and third rounds. Jones is still recovering from his Achilles injury, but Douglas could figure into the rotation early.

The team also added veteran Patrick Robinson and brought back Brooks, C.J. Smith and Aaron Grymes.

During the spring, Mills, Robinson and Douglas worked with the first team, but defensive backs coach Cory Undlin said there isn't anything decided yet.

“It’s just going to be who’s going to step up here in training camp and through the preseason," Undlin said. "Who’s going to say, 'Listen, I’m starting here, I’m starting here, I’m going to play the nickel,' and then here’s the backups. 

"I like them all right now and we’ll find out how it goes down, and that’s what this whole [offseason] is for, to find out who’s going to rise to the top and who’s going to earn a spot and take it and then hopefully can keep it. We’ll see how that goes."

During the spring, Mills and Robinson worked as the Eagles' cornerbacks in the team's base package. And in the nickel, Mills pushed inside and Douglas took his spot outside. That is the same type of role Brooks had during training camp with the Eagles last season.

Brooks is sort of the forgotten man, coming off a serious leg injury that ended his 2016 season early. He was the team's primary nickel corner last season and when he went down, the team was forced to play Malcolm Jenkins in the slot, which meant putting Jaylen Watkins on the field as a safety.

While Undlin was hesitant to name starters at the end of the spring, it seems likely the Eagles will give Mills every opportunity to keep one of those starting gigs. After that, there are a bunch of guys in the mix for the three jobs.