Had Philadelphia not done their jiggery-pokery with trading up for Carson Wentz, then trading Sam Bradford away, they’d be picking at #12. So all in all, it could’ve gone worse for Howie Roseman and the gang. Still, they’ll likely be just out of range to draft one of the very top players, unless someone has a draft-day slide. So, that means they’ve arguably got more to play with to fill needs. But where will they go? Let’s have a look.
Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State
We’re officially in Draft Silly Season, where anonymous scouts say ridiculous things safe from repercussions. One such silly thing was “Dalvin Cook has more off-field red flags than Joe Mixon”. Mixon, you’ll recall, is the Oklahoma running back with a rap sheet including “hitting women” and – you know what, we don’t need to say any more. Dalvin Cook has some friends that aforementioned old white men scouts don’t like.
He’s also a record-setting running back, a dual threat player who can line up in the slot, run elusively through the middle, and get a decent head of steam going round the outside and even barrel through players. He tested poorly at the Combine, which is why he’s no longer got a top-10 grade. I also think he might have a Melvin Gordon-style underwhelming rookie season. But I’m very confident he’ll bounce back year 2 and ultimately becoming a top-5 running back. Either way, Philadelphia desperately needs a workhorse running back to take pressure off Carson Wentz and give defences something to think about.
Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama
Philadelphia don’t seem high on Mychal Kendricks at linebacker. Kendricks is hyper-athletic, but some question how much of a football player he is. I’d put linebacker as a bit lower than skill position or secondary on Philadelphia’s needs. That said, if Foster slides this low he’d be an astute pickup and fill a need. Foster’s a tricky evaluation because Alabama’s defense was so good he didn’t always need to be involved, but when he was the names “Patrick Willis” and “Luke Kuechly” spin across the imagination. Foster’s solid in coverage, a terror against the run, can bulldoze blockers and displays fantastic technique when tackling. When I watched his tape against USC, I wrote notes including “Oof”, “Woof”, and “Wallop”. He’s full of vim, has football instincts and is athletic. What’s not to love?
Quincy Wilson, Florida, CB
Predicting which cornerback will go where seems to be a fool’s errand in this draft. I’ve seen Marshon Lattimore and Marlon Humphrey mocked everywhere from top 5 to the bottom of the 1st. Wilson is a bit of a gambler, but shows fantastic instincts on the ball and has prototypical physical cornerback size. He’s also very willing when jamming receivers, and should that go wrong and he gets beat, he demonstrates the athleticism and, heck, the route-running to come back and make plays on the ball. He’s seen his stock rise in the light of Sidney Jones (a superior prospect) and Fabien Moreau’s (about his equal) prospects, but you’d fancy him to have a Marcus Peters-like effect on a team. Just as long as I stop typing his name as “Quincy Jones” sometime soon.
Quincy Wilson – (Mark LoMoglio/Getty Images)
Tre’Davious White, LSU, CB
Yeah, Philadelphia need cornerbacks. ProFootballFocus said they had the worst secondary in the league last year, despite the presence of Malcolm Jenkins, a pretty good safety. If they don’t want the biggest, most physical cornerback, how about the slightly smaller, more agile White? He won’t be quite as useful jamming receivers off the line, but he’s enthusiastic enough with the handfighting that it’s not a weakness. And, being a couple of inches shorter than Wilson (5’11” to 6’1”), you expect (and get) that smoother change of direction. White finds it easier to follow route-runners, and he’ll track them and get that hand in there to stop the catch. He also has the versatility to line up in the slot or outside – increasingly important given how elite receivers move around the formation at will.
My only concern about whether Philadelphia will draft a cornerback is how deep the draft is for them. Legitimately, there are 15 cornerbacks you wouldn’t be surprised to see go in the first 50 picks. Not all of them will, so Philadelphia will know they can pick up a corner in Round 2.
Corey Davis, Western Michigan, WR
Given the signings of Torrey Smith and Alshon Jeffrey, Philadelphia might not go receiver. But there’s just so much to like about Davis’ game. I’ve got him here instead of Mike Williams as it’s more likely Davis will still be available, but any team would love either. Davis is a smooth, hyper-productive, ‘X’ receiver who you’d think can contribute instantly and play at a high level for a long time. He’s a fantastic route-runner who’s a threat after the catch any time he gets the ball in space. Whoever drafts Davis is going to love his ability to throw opponents completely off their stride and breeze past them. He caught just under 3,000 yards of passes the last two years despite being double-covered pretty much the whole time. He’s not the toughest, and won’t operate as a possession receiver, but I think he’d be a wonderful option and threat for Wentz.
Corey Davis – (Carlos Osorio/AP Photo)