The NFL Draft is still a good two months away, but the NFL Scouting Combine begins in a few days.
Keeping up with our homeboy ~BROZ at Drafttek, it seems he’s losing his grip on wide receiver prospects. In the latest mock draft, WR Corey Davis moves into the Top-10, grabbed by the Bengals. Ouch. ~BROZ was that close! (Gotta believe in real life ~BROZ makes an offer to the Bengals to trade up for Corey Davis if he were still on the board at #10….but that’s because ~BROZ believes in getting Carson Wentz all the top receiving help he can find.)
Just to refresh memory, here is the pick order for the Eagles going into the Draft:
The 2017 NFL Draft will be held April 27-29 along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway incorporating famed city landmarks spanning from Philadelphia City Hall to the iconic steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The first-ever NFL Draft took place in Philadelphia in 1936, and was last hosted here in 1961.
Mel Kiper Jr. has the Philadelphia Eagles taking Clemson wide receiver Mike Williams in his latest mock, while Todd McShay goes with Florida cornerback Teez Tabor. Vinnie Iyer of the Sporting News has the Eagles taking receiver Corey Davis out of Western Michigan.
Matt Bowen says if the Eagles don’t sign free agent Alshon Jeffery, they should at least draft a receiver with Jeffery’s size (6-3, 217, 4.48 ’40) and skill set potential:
“He’s not a true burner, but what he is in my opinion is someone who is excellent at the catch point, someone who you can throw a 50-50 ball to, which is very important for a young quarterback. I think part of the discussion has to be about Carson Wentz. I believe everything that Coach [Doug Pederson] does and the front office does has to be built around the quarterback.”
“If he’s covered, it doesn’t mean he’s ‘covered.’ You still throw the football. And you say, ‘OK, there’s a 50 percent chance my guy is going to catch the ball.’ I think with Jeffery, it’s probably 60-40, maybe even 65 percent that he’s going to come down with the football because he’s so strong, he’s got a great catch radius, he’s got great hands and he knows how to use his body.”
Bowen believes a West Coast style system like Pederson’s requires a possession-type receiver like Jeffery because of the amount of inside-breaking routes called for by the Eagles offense.
“What I always look at with receivers is not what they do at the line of scrimmage — he’s big enough, strong enough where he’s going to get off a press — it’s what he can do at the top of the route. Because that’s where he makes his money is between 12 and 15 yards; that’s where the route is going to break with him. He’s going to get open,” Bowen said. “He understands now how to sink his hips, how to accelerate out of the break, how to create enough separation. Even if a defensive back does close, now you go back to the size and strength at the point of attack; he’s going to pin him outside just like a basketball player in the post. That shows up a lot in third down, that shows up especially in the red zone.”
Of course, ~BROZ reminds us there are other ways to help the development of Carson Wentz besides acquiring possession receiver types:
|Alternate Pick #1
Alternate Pick #2
“If Philly pulled the trigger on OT Ryan Ramczyk on April 27, it surely would inspire all those Ricky Williams-loving Eagles fans that booed a young Donovan McNabb on national TV to break from their daily routine (living in disappointed parents’ basements, single-handedly keeping the Ramen noodle and Cheetos industries thriving) to boo and complain.
“Although most Eagles’ fans are looking squarely at CB or WR for their RD1 pick, it says here that OT and DE are every bit as important to consider (assuming a legit WR is added in Free Agency). Knowing that DE Connor Barwin is not likely to return, Solomon Thomas could easily have been the pick here. Also, due to extreme need and immense talent, Marshon Lattimore was strongly considered.
“In the end, this pick comes down to supporting Carson Wentz. Jason Peters has one year left (at most), and we all saw how the Eagles played WITH two good tackles (5-1) and WITHOUT two good tackles (2-8) due to the Lane Johnson suspension. Ramczyk is the only tackle worth considering at pick 15. Considering the talent he faced, it’s worth mentioning his 2016 Sacks Allowed stat again (zero). If not for his hip surgery, I have no doubt he would be a Top-10 selection, and from what I have heard and read, there is not a great deal of concern regarding his future health. Ramczyk could start at Guard from Day One, and then slide to tackle when Peters moves on. ~Brozer, Eagles Analyst”
Maybe what we really need is an incarnation of Harold Carmichael to help out Wentz the most—but last time I checked, that guy is not in the draft pool or the free agent class. Ironically, Carmichael was a 7th Round draft pick in 1971—161st pick overall. You could claim that guy was the ultimate possession receiver in Eagles history. Maybe you just get lucky at some point and sign a guy like Carmichael off the back end of the talent pool. Draftniks beware—your best guesses are in the end just that—sheer guesswork.