Tuesday, April 23, 2013
2013 #bloggermock: Eagles take a Star
By Dan Graziano
Picking fourth for the Philadelphia Eagles in this year's blogger mock draft, I had my eye on tackle Eric Fisher from Central Michigan. After the Chiefs took Luke Joeckel with the first pick and the Jaguars took pass-rusher Dion Jordan with the second, I felt good about the chances that Fisher would slip past the Raiders and fall to the Eagles. They could start him at right tackle and move Todd Herremans to right guard with the idea that Fisher would eventually replace Jason Peters at left tackle.
Alas, James Walker and the Miami Dolphins moved up and traded almost all of their remaining picks to Bill Williamson and Oakland to get that No. 3 pick and draft Fisher. That left the Eagles with a choice, I felt, between offensive tackle Lane Johnson and defensive lineman Star Lotulelei.
I went with Lotulelei, in part because I felt No. 4 was too high for Johnson but mainly because the buzzword since Chip Kelly took over has seemed to be "versatility," and I think Lotulelei's appeal is just that. He can play defensive end or even nose tackle in 3-4 sets, and I think he can play on the line even when they use 4-3 looks. That's why I figure he'd appeal to Kelly, and since we're all just guessing what Kelly will do anyway, why not? I think he's a better fit for the Eagles than Sharrif Floyd, who was still on the board, and I think the way this mock played out proved that this was way too early to take quarterback Geno Smith.
Speaking of Smith, though, since the Eagles have the third pick in the second round, I stayed around after making my picks to keep an eye on things late in the first. Once we got past pick 24, with Smith still on the board and no obvious destination for him among the remaining first-round teams, I figured it was worth finding out if I could make a good value deal and trade back into the first round to get him. Jacksonville, which holds the first pick in the second round, was the only team I figured I needed to jump, so I made the same conditional offer to each of the eight teams picking in the final eight spots of the first. The condition was that Smith still be on the board at that time, and the offer was the 35th pick and the Eagles' fifth-round pick (No. 136).
A couple of teams -- the Vikings at 25, the Texans at 27, the Broncos at 28, the Patriots at 29 and the Ravens at 32 -- countered by offering their pick for the Eagles' second-rounder and fourth-rounder (No. 101). But I just felt that was too much considering the Eagles might be able to get Smith anyway at 35 and that EJ Manuel felt like a decent backup plan there.
In the end, no one took my offer and no deal got done. And since we stopped after one round, there's no way for me to know if Smith would have been there at 35. But it was worth a shot if I could have got a steal, I thought. Smith wouldn't have to start right away in 2013 for the Eagles and could develop into something special there down the road.
So that was my Eagles mock. How do you guys think I did?