The player: Ohio State cornerback Bradley Roby, a 5-foot-11, 194-pounder who ran a 4.39 40-yard dash at the NFL combine last month. Roby is skipping his senior season. He’s only 21, which makes him that much more attractive as a player who can be coached to fit into a system.
“Roby needs to be coached up,” McShay writes, “as he got burned several times this season as a result of poor discipline, but his size, speed, athleticism and playmaking ability make him capable of developing into a shutdown corner on the outside.”
In McShay’s mock, the two top safeties are not on the board when the Eagles pick. Neither are some of the more talked-about wide receivers and edge rushers.
“The best values at this spot for Philadelphia are going to be at cornerback -- outside linebacker and safety can wait until later,” McShay writes.
And that is the larger point that means more than a guess at the identity of the pick. Eagles general manager Howie Roseman might as well get a tattoo that says “Will take best player regardless of need” so he can point to it when asked. Sitting at No. 22 overall, the Eagles are going to be at the mercy of what happens in front of them.
If the best values, as McShay put it, are at cornerback, the Eagles will happily take a cornerback. McShay has Roby, Michigan State’s Darqueze Dennard (20th), Virginia Tech’s Kyle Fuller (24th), and TCU’s Jason Verrett (25th) going within six picks of each other.
A team with a pressing need at cornerback might go in that direction earlier and free up a safety or wide receiver the Eagles like. Or they could try to trade up if there is a player they especially covet sitting there in the mid-teens. There will be a lot of pro days and private workouts between now and the draft.
But if the value pick happens to be at a need position like cornerback, the Eagles will be happy to take whichever they rate as the best.