NFC East: Kyle Fuller

McShay Mock 3.0 reax: Eagles

March, 6, 2014
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The name of the player ESPN’s Todd McShay has next to the Philadelphia Eagles in his third mock draft Insider is interesting. The larger point McShay makes is even more relevant.

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.

[+] EnlargeBradley Roby
Joe Robbins/Getty ImagesCornerback Bradley Roby, a 5-foot-11, 194-pounder, ran a 4.39 40-yard dash at the NFL combine.
“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.

Combine prep: Cornerbacks

February, 19, 2014
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PHILADELPHIA -- In a perfect world, the Philadelphia Eagles would find their choice of a playmaking safety, a disruptive edge rusher and an explosive wide receiver waiting when they’re on the clock with the 22nd pick in the 2014 NFL draft.

The draft isn’t like a menu, however. It is just as likely the top two safeties will be gone, there won’t be a pass-rusher worthy of the pick and the depth at wide receiver will convince general manager Howie Roseman to address that position in a later round.

It could be that the draft board presents a handful of high-value cornerbacks when the Eagles are on the clock. So it is very likely Roseman and his staff will look closely at the crop of corners at the scouting combine in Indianapolis.

Some names to watch:

Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State. The 5-11, 195-pound Dennard is universally acclaimed as one of the top two or three corners in this year’s draft. He had four interceptions as a senior. The concern about him is his speed, so he can really help himself with a strong performance at the combine.

ESPN’s Todd McShay had Dennard going to the Eagles in his most recent first-round mock draft Insider. McShay describes Dennard as a “proven commodity with adequate size, good top-end speed and very good instincts and fluidity in coverage.” At NFL.com, Mike Mayock has Dennard as his top-rated corner and Nolan Nawrocki calls him “a big, strong, athletic, instinctive press-man corner.”

Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State. In his first mock draft for SI.com, Don Banks has the Eagles selecting Gilbert at 22 (Banks has Dennard and the top two safeties off the board).

“Gilbert would add to the overall depth of the secondary and give the Eagles one of the top two cover men in the draft,” Banks writes. “If a safety like Louisville's Calvin Pryor gets past Green Bay at No. 21, he'd be an even more attractive option.”

ESPN’s McShay Insider has the 6-foot, 200-pound Gilbert, who had seven interceptions in 2013, as his top corner: “Gilbert is a ball-hawking playmaker with good size for the cornerback position, with the ability to press in man-to-man coverage or sit back in zone. He is also willing and capable in run support,” McShay writes.

Lamarcus Joyner, Florida State. We talked about him in Tuesday’s post about safeties. At 5-9, the playmaking Joyner would be a nickelback or deep safety in the Eagles’ scheme.

Jason Verrett, Texas Christian. At 5-9 and just 174 pounds, Verrett is probably a long shot for the Eagles given Chip Kelly’s specs for the position. But Verrett is an active, playmaking type of corner. McShay calls him Insider the “quickest man-to-man cover corner in this class.”

Bradley Roby, Ohio State. He’s listed at 5-10 and 5-11 by different sources, so the first order of business in Indy will be getting accurate measures. Nawrocki at NFL.com says Roby has a “small, wiry frame and his size is just adequate” while Banks at SI.com writes “he's big and physical enough to handle press coverage.” This is what the combine is all about.

Others to watch: Kyle Fuller, Virgnia Tech; Marcus Roberson, Florida, Loucheiz Purifoy, Florida.

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