Representing the Philadelphia Eagles, chief-blinders-on with the 51st pick in Arrowhead Pride's 2012 NFL mock draft...
15th Pick ~ Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi
46th Pick ~ Zach Brown, LB, North Carolina
After making the two above selections for the Philadelphia Eagles... Their defense should improve immensely. Though, was it enough improvement on the defensive side of the ball to go offense with this pick?
Reportedly, the Eagles are shopping CB Asante Samuel, so there could be a sudden need for a quality cornerback high in the draft with starting potential for the team. Philadelphia has occasionally traded players around draft time (John Welbourn anyone...) and this could potentially be a huge need for the team.
However, on the offensive side of the ball, this team is not completely without needs. Their starting left tackle Jason Peters went down with a ruptured right Achilles tendon and will likely miss a lot of time in 2012, if not the entire season. Despite Eagles fans encouraging me at Bleeding Green Nation that their team is comfortable with OT, King Dunlap in the short term and that they are not overly impressed with any of the options at OT in the draft... I'm still pondering the possibility of taking offensive tackles such as: Bobby Massie, Ole Miss, Zebrie Sanders, Florida State, Nate Potter, Boise State, Jeff Allen, Illinois, Brandon Mosley, Auburn or Mitchell Schwartz, California (no particular order.)
Everyone of those tackles has a chance to be a decent player in the NFL, but will any of them help the Eagles in their current situation? After all, the Eagles fans have a point, Jason Peters will be back as the starter eventually, so it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to try and find his long term replacement in the draft. It seems much more likely that they will use free agency to fix their holes in the offensive line to keep Michael Vick upright.
If you are using the BPA approach, there are still guys like Andre Branch, Dwayne Allen, Juron Criner and David Wilson just sitting there on their mock draft couches, staring at the TV with blank eyes as their pay checks keep getting smaller and smaller. What to do?
The Eagles needs -
Philadelphia is loaded with talented players, much like our beloved Kansas City Chiefs. When you look at their starters from last season, it is hard to notice very many weaknesses on paper. In 2011, the team brought in a lot of major additions in free agency and the 2011 NFL Draft combined, but they didn't really mesh together as well as the team would have liked finishing 8-8 on the season.
When Michael Vick is healthy, he is one of the most dangerous players in the NFL without question. Seriously, anytime your QB throws for 3,303 yards and runs for an extra 589 in only 13 games... you know that you have a weapon that can do it all well. Additionally, in LeSean McCoy, the Eagles have one of the best running backs in football that can score from anywhere on the field (20 touchdowns says it all.) To complete one of the best QB-RB-WR trio's in the league, Philly has DeSean Jackson, one of the most electrifying players in the game today, that is finally in good spirits after signing a new deal this offseason.
All of that stuff is good, great, grand, wonderful... But, do they need more on offense?
Last year they signed Ronnie Brown and Steve Smith. Together those guys combined for 260 YScm and 2 Td's, leaving Eagle fans wanting more production from their roster spots in this draft. Second round picks can net you some really good starters (just ask McCoy) and I'm really contemplating using this pick to fill one of those needs. However, just like Chiefs fans like to argue about with Dexter McCluster and Javier Arenas, it's hard to dedicate a second round pick to a player that is just going to be a role guy. In an ideal world, you would like to have your second rounders become impact starters at some point in their careers...right?
On the other hand, role players are just as important to teams like Philly that are so close to being complete and when you are in a division with the reigning Super Bowl Champions... Sometimes you really need that little extra x-factor to put you over the top like Sly stone.
Doing these mock picks for Philly has given me some added respect for the GM process in terms of having a deadline. These men are forced to make vital decisions in minutes after an entire year of research, travel, second guessing, film study, interviews, "Vrabels" and everything that goes into building up to those final moments of sitting in the war room with their teams draft board and a ticking clock. There are times when they are forced to make fast decisions that they couldn't possibly know the answers too, even with all of that preparation and study that led to the event.
For instance, right now my questionable logic is telling me to pick Bobby Wagner, the linebacker from Utah State to join the Eagles even though I already picked Zach Brown previously, as it would insure that their defensive woes would most likely be solved and give them a youthful core in the heart of their famed "Wide Nine" defense (great read.)
In the heat of the moment though, it's hard to go with your logic and it's a lot easier to go with your gut instincts (which is why I feel there are so many odd picks in the draft...) The clock is ticking and you have to turn your pick in or be laughed at like Minnesota or Baltimore, while Kansas City picks up the pieces.
With the 51st pick in the NFL Draft: The Philadelphia Eagles select David Wilson, RB, Virginia Tech.
After passing the on the former VT star running back at 46, I just couldn't do it again. He has all of the talent, production and star power that Philly likes in their play makers. Plus, David Wilson is super versatile, he can run, catch and return kicks at a high level. Wilson himself likes to use the word "variety."
"To any team that I go to, I think that I offer a lot as far as my speed, my hands out the backfield, return game, special teams," Wilson said. "I like to use the word variety. When you get me, you’re getting a lot of variety, so just put me out there and I’m ready to make plays or help the team win."
Exactly the type of player that the Eagles always seem to find in the draft... Versatile guys that are capable of being home run hitters in their system (McCoy, Jackson, Maclin.) That is exactly what David Wilson is, he scored 25 TD's during his career at VT and he should absolutely bring that same ability to the Eagles organization.
One of the knocks on David is his size, at 5'10", 206 lbs, he might struggle to solely carry the load in an NFL offense as the feature back. Especially with his unique running style and fearless attitude. However, with the Eagles, it is a perfect fit in my opinion, he can be a secondary weapon behind LeSean McCoy in the running game. As well as a check down option for Michael Vick to use, in order to limit the times he has to take off running without losing any of the potential of his ridiculous scrambling abilities.
The bottom line is... with the addition of David Wilson, the Eagles should become even more dangerous offensively and every defense in the league will have a tough time matching up against their skill positions.
Meet David Wilson (Good look into his days at Virginia Tech.)
Previously (with approval results)...
9. Carolina Panthers - South Carolina LB/DE Melvin Ingram (Forgot to do a poll)
34. Indianapolis Colts - South Carolina WR Alshon Jeffery (Forgot to do a poll)
49. San Diego Chargers - Michigan State QB Kirk Cousins
50. Chicago Bears -
51. Philadelphia Eagles - Virginia Tech RB David Wilson