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?

NFL Notes: Vikings' Mike Zimmer says he'll coach with 1 eye if necessary

NFL Notes: Vikings' Mike Zimmer says he'll coach with 1 eye if necessary

MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Zimmer has had a lot of time on his hands this week while sitting at home on his Kentucky ranch as his team went through optional practices in the Twin Cities.

Zimmer was under strict orders to leave the team and rest his right eye, which has needed eight surgeries to try to repair a detached retina. The lingering issues have led some to wonder if he would be forced to shorten his career.

Zimmer has heard the speculation all week long. The hard-nosed coach said he has reached out to some of those doubters personally this week.

"I'll be back shortly," Zimmer vowed in a conference call with reporters on Friday. "One eye or two, it doesn't matter. I'll be back. We can put that retiring thing to bed quickly."

Zimmer missed one game last season due to the problems with his eye . He tried to work through the issues, but said on Friday that he was told to skip this week's practices and go home to allow his eye to recover.

"It's not much fun," he said. "Usually I love it down here in my place here. But I don't love it too much this week. It was kind of a forced situation. But for the long run it's the best thing for me."

Giants: Smith trying to resurrect career
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Geno Smith didn't catch a break in his final two seasons with the New York Jets, and it seems his chances of resurrecting his career with the Giants are facing obstacles.

Not only does Smith have to beat out incumbent Josh Johnson for the backup quarterback job to Eli Manning, his prospects of making the team took another hit in the NFL draft when the Giants selected Davis Webb with their third-round draft pick.

The 26-year-old Smith doesn't seem concerned.

Speaking after the Giants organized training activities Thursday, Smith sounded confident for a player who had a promising rookie season four years ago and then regressed, in large part due to inconsistency.

"Honestly, I don't feel like I have to prove anything to anyone other than myself," said Smith, who has played in only three games in the past two seasons, starting one. "I am just trying to be my best every single day, focusing on trying to be perfect. I know that is a far goal to try and reach, but just trying to be perfect every day and understanding what is required of me once I step onto the field, and then trying to get it done."

Redskins: Injured Moreau final draft pick to sign
ASHBURN, Va. -- The Washington Redskins have signed the final member of their 10-player draft class, third-round pick Fabian Moreau.

The team announced the deal Friday.

The cornerback out of UCLA tore a pectoral muscle at his pro day in March. He was projected to be a first- or second-round pick before the injury and went 81st overall to the Redskins.

Moreau says doctors told him it was a five-month recovery, putting him on track to be ready by late in the preseason. The 23-year-old was at Washington's practice facility for rookie minicamp and the first sessions of organized team activities.

Coach Jay Gruden says the team is playing by ear the injury situations of Moreau and fourth-round pick Montae Nicholson and hopes they learn the schemes for the secondary as they rehab.

NFL: Judge tosses lawsuit over cheerleader wages
SAN FRANCISCO -- A lawsuit accusing the NFL and team owners of conspiring to suppress wages for cheerleaders lacks evidence to support that claim, a federal judge said.

U.S. District Judge William Alsup dismissed the lawsuit by a former San Francisco 49ers cheerleader. The suit sought class action status on behalf of all NFL cheerleaders.

"To state an antitrust claim here, plaintiff must plead not only `ultimate facts, such as conspiracy, and legal conclusions,'" Alsup said. "The complaint must answer the basic questions of `who, did what, to whom (or with whom), where, and when?'"

An email to an attorney for the 49ers cheerleader, Drexel Bradshaw, was not immediately returned. The cheerleader was only identified in the suit as "Kelsey K."

Alsup gave her an opportunity to amend the lawsuit and refile it by June 15.

The lawsuit was among a spate of legal actions in recent years accusing NFL teams of failing to pay cheerleaders for hours they spent practicing and making public appearances.

ESPN hires Chip Kelly as college football studio analyst

ESPN hires Chip Kelly as college football studio analyst

Former Oregon coach Chip Kelly is joining ESPN as a studio analyst next season.

ESPN announced Friday it has signed Kelly to a multiyear deal.

Kelly will primarily be part of Saturday pregame, halftime and wrap-up shows on ESPN2. He'll also provide NFL analysis on Sundays during SportsCenter.

The 53-year-old Kelly spent the last four seasons in the NFL, coaching the Philadelphia for three years and San Francisco for one. Kelly was fired by the 49ers after going 2-14 last season. He was 26-21 with a playoff appearance for the Eagles.

Before jumping to the NFL, Kelly spent four seasons as Oregon head coach and went 46-7. In 2010, Kelly led the Ducks to the BCS title game and was The Associated Press coach of the year.

"I spoke with a lot of people this offseason about different situations for me -- in coaching and TV," Kelly said in a statement. "I had various opportunities in both. In the end, I have had a relationship with ESPN for many years from when I was coaching and after speaking with them, I decided it was the best step for me to take."

Kelly figures to be in demand at the college level when head coaching jobs begin opening next season. Spending a season or two doing television has been a common path for coaches between jobs. Urban Meyer spent a season at ESPN between resigning from Florida and landing at Ohio State. So did Rich Rodriguez after being fired by Michigan and before being hired by Arizona.

"I have been a coach for nearly the last 30 years," Kelly said. "Working in television will allow me to see the game from a different perspective, but I didn't take the job with the intention it will lead to something specific. I love the game of football and working with good, smart people; ESPN presents an opportunity to combine those two things."

Kelly will fill an opening left by Butch Davis, who became head coach at Florida International.

Kelly was considered one of the most innovative coaches in college football. His up-tempo spread offenses dominated defenses and were mimicked by teams all over the country.

"As a coach, he saw the game from a unique perspective, never afraid to take an unconventional approach," said Lee Fitting, ESPN senior coordinating producer. "We want him to bring that mentality to our college football coverage each week, offering fans a varying viewpoint outside of the conventional thought process."