PHILADELPHIA — NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock scripted a mock draft Wednesday night with two picks for every team.
If the Eagles hang in and draft 22nd overall he has them selecting cornerback Kyle Fuller of Virginia Tech and “the fourth or fifth” wide receiver.
“I gave them Fuller but the bottom line is the decision they have to make is, is the highest-rated defensive player better and worth more than the highest-rated wideout on our board?” Mayock said on a conference call Thursday. “And I think that’s the conversation they will have if they stay at 22.”
Mayock and other draft analysts believe up to six receivers could be chosen in the first round.
The list is topped by Sammy Watkins (Clemson) and Mike Evans (Texas A & M). Odell Beckham (LSU), Brandin Cooks (Oregon State), Marqise Lee (USC) and Kelvin Benjamin (Florida State) are in the next tier.
Cooks is the fastest of the group, having run a 4.33 40-yard dash at the scouting combine. At 5-10, 185 pounds he’s also the smallest of that collection. The New York Jets, who choose 18th, and former Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg like him.
Beckham (6-0, 194) and Cooks are return threats. Lee (6-0, 192) has 9˝-inch hands. The Eagles seem to be well stocked with talents similar to Benjamin (6-5, 240), who gets by on sheer size.
Then there is defense, and the 6-0, 190-pound Fuller, whose brother Corey plays for the Detroit Lions. Fuller ran a 4.49 at the scouting combine.
“They made the playoffs last year with an offense that was No. 4 in the league in points scored,” Mayock said. “And I give (coordinator) Billy Davis a ton of credit for bringing a defense along that in August was horrific. They got better and better every day. But they didn’t have a whole lot of talent. They’ve done a good job in free agency of bolstering some of the defensive things with Malcolm Jenkins, Nolan Carroll, those kinds of guys. They’ve got to get better on defense.”
The way Mayock sees it Ha Ha Clinton-Dix would be gone. He’s the free safety who projects as a fit in Davis’ defense. The pass rusher and the corner the Eagles like also could be off the board.
“At 22, it’s kind of a funky place,” Mayock said. “If any one of those positions at 22 is a guy they like, I think they have to pull the trigger. However if those positions at 22 don’t make sense then I think they have to look at the wide receiver position, and not because they lost DeSean Jackson necessarily but just because it’s deep and there’s talent available.”
Fuller might be not be around at 22 either. If he is, Mayock will give the Birds props as he describes him as “a guy who I think is a really good football player.”
NOTES: Eagles G.M. Howie Roseman kidded about Chip Kelly setting a record for Pro Days attended. Roseman wasn’t joking about the importance of those “live events” factoring in the decision to draft a player or sign an undrafted player. “They have an impact on the total process,” Roseman said. “We watch tape on these guys for junior year, we go into schools, we get a chance to see those guys live. We get a chance to see them in an all-star game, if possible. If they’re underclassmen, we can get them at the combine. It’s a complete picture.” … In case you were wondering the consensus top corners in the draft are Fuller, Darqueze Dennard (Michigan State) and Justin Gilbert (Oklahoma State) … With the draft pushed back two weeks later than usual, the Eagles have used the additional time to get a jump on studying undrafted and priority free agents … Oh and if you see someone who looks like Roseman walking up and down Pattison Avenue late in the draft, it probably is Roseman. The Eagles have just six picks in the seven-round draft. Without a sixth-rounder last year the exec left the war room to get away from the draft. “It hurts when you’re sitting in a round without a pick,” Roseman said.
Follow Bob Grotz on Twitter @BobGrotz.
For breaking news SMS alerts from The Reporter, text LANSPORTS to 22700 from your mobile phone. Message and data rates may apply. For help, text HELP. To cancel, text STOP.