Mosher's 2014 Eagles mock draft 2.0

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Mosher's 2014 Eagles mock draft 2.0

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 22: Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri (6-4, 273)
Ealy’s stock keeps rising. Scouts feel his upside is through the roof and his best days are two or three years down the road. In that sense, he can be this year’s Lane Johnson, a freakish athlete who will learn the game on the fly. 

If he’s not ready to start, Ealy can sit behind Trent Cole and Connor Barwin on run downs and come in for pass-rushing situations. By his second year, Ealy will have learned the ins and outs of being a 3-4 outside linebacker and added the necessary weight to play the run and become a starter.

Last mock: Ryan Shazier, LB, Ohio State

Round 2, pick 54: Keith McGill, CB/S, Utah (6-3, 211)
A repeat pick from my last mock, McGill’s 33 ¼-inch arms and 4.52 in the 40 are exceptional for an athlete his size. He specializes in man-press coverage and draws some comparisons to Richard Sherman.

Chip Kelly likes versatile defensive backs. McGill can play corner or safety, pushing for playing time as a rookie at either spot until he takes over as a starter in 2015.

Last mock: McGill

Round 3, pick 86: Terrance Brooks, S, Florida State (5-11, 198)
His 5-foot-11 frame belies Kelly’s “big people” motto, but Brooks has enough other favorable attributes, including 4.42 speed and the ability to play strong and free interchangeably. He started 13 games last year and won a national title with the Seminoles, so he’s not lacking in big-game experience.

He can add some weight to shore up some of his tackling deficiencies, but Brooks has the makeup to excel on special teams as he’s groomed for the NFL game.

Last mock: Jarred Abbrederis

Round 4, pick 122: Jarred Abbrederis. WR, Wisconsin (6-1, 195)
I probably had Abbrederis going too early in my last mock. He’ll slide in this deep draft of wideouts because he’s not the most physically gifted, but Abbrederis has a great feel for how to get open and produced against some very good secondaries in the Big Ten.

Abbrederis won’t replace DeSean Jackson’s speed or production but can team with Jeremy Maclin, Riley Cooper and Zach Ertz to provide Nick Foles with enough downfield threats to succeed.

Last mock: Josh Mauro, DE, Stanford

Round 5, pick 162: Aaron Colvin, CB, Oklahoma (5-11, 177)
A torn ACL at the Senior Bowl cost Colvin a chance to be drafted in the second day, but he’s a third-day steal for any team that can wait for the former Oklahoma standout to rehab and be ready in 2015.

Colvin is a corner with a safety’s mentality -- he played both at Oklahoma -- and should be ready to push for a starting job by 2015.

Last mock: Colvin

Round 7, pick 237: John Urschel, G, Penn State (6-3, 313)
Talk about a vintage Chip Kelly guy: Urschel is big, intelligent and has extremely high character. He won college football’s “Academic Heisman” award and earned his master’s in math with a 4.0 GPA.

He needs to get stronger and isn’t an A-plus athlete, but some time around Jason Peters and O-line coach Jeff Stoutland can prepare him to be an adequate backup.

Last mock: Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson

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."