The 2014 NFL Draft is now less than a month away and with all of the drama that has occurred this past off-season for the Philadelphia Eagles fans are anxious to see what move is next. With the Eagles and DeSean Jackson drama officially being over, the franchise can now move forward with their team and concentrate on winning the NFC East. Jackson who was released from the Eagles on March 28th, then picked up again on April 2nd by division rival Washington Redskins. Last season, Jackson was statistically the team's best receiver finishing the season with 82 receptions for 1332 yards and nine touchdowns. It will be important for the current receivers on the roster such as Riley Cooper and
The Eagles only have six picks in this year’s NFL draft (their second fifth-round pick was traded for Darren Sproles) but could find some great value in a deep draft like this year's. Looking to not only replace Jackson, but to improve into a more all-around team the draft will be extremely important. Here is what the Eagles could do with their six draft picks for the 2014 draft in this seven-round mock draft.
Round 1-Pick 22
Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon St. 5'10 189
Obviously with Jackson being gone the Eagles biggest need instantly becomes a wide receiver. With this draft pick, the Eagles could go a few different routes though since they have other significant needs on the defensive side as well. Other prospects they may look at with this selection may include; wide receiver Odell Beckham from LSU, wide receiver Marquise Lee from USC, wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin from Florida St, safety Calvin Pryor from Louisville, safety Darquize Dennard from Michigan State, and cornerback Bradley Roby from Ohio State.. The reason Cooks fits their drastic need right away is because he arguably has the best hands out of any receiver in the entire draft. Cooks is coming off an outstanding final college campaign in which he racked up an eye-popping 128 receptions for 1,730 yards and 16 touchdowns for the Beavers. He is also an explosive athlete with elite speed (4.33 40 yard dash) and terrific hands plus ball skills who can create tons of yards after the catch. With his great hands and above-average speed he will be an every down receiver on the Eagles right away.
Round 2-Pick 54
Kyle Van Noy, OLB B.Y.U. 6'3 243
Noy is a guy who is a scheme-diverse linebacker who can provide the type of edge pass rush ability Philly is looking for. Overall the Eagles seemingly lack in pass rush and if they get some help with that they could be tough to score on. For the most part, Noy shows excellent play recognition, taking on blockers with the correct shoulder (allowing him to slide off would-be blockers and into ballcarriers easily) and is equally effective slipping into coverage or sliding past offensive linemen on his way toward a tackle behind the line of scrimmage. Nevertheless, he would be a great addition to the Eagles defense at the same time filling a huge need.
Round 3-Pick 86
Ed Stinson, DE, Alabama 6'3 287
The main issue with the Eagles defense is the lack of a pass rush. If they do indeed grab one with the prior two picks it would be smart to look for another since this year's draft is so deep defensively there may be a big name defensive pass rusher left on the board in the third round. Stinson is a very effective bull-rusher, who is capable of simply pushing opponents into the backfield. Another strength he possess is the ability to reads run plays quickly and slides well laterally, slipping blocks to make plays at the line of scrimmage. Also Stinson could help in other areas with his flexibility since he played some special teams for Alabama and he also even sometimes appeared as a blocker on field goals.
Round 4-Pick 122
Jaylen Watkins, CB, Florida 6'0 195
Just a few weeks ago, Watkins was brought in for a visit by the Eagles earlier this week and could fit very nicely with Davis’ defense. Watkins is another versatile player who is capable of having multiple roles for whatever team selects him. He played both cornerback and safety at Florida and was a sure-fire tackler (133 tackles during his career). He draws many similarities to current starting cornerback Bradley Fletcher, and with a 4.41 40 time, Watkins could make a big impact on special teams as well which makes him a perfect fit especially with Jackson no longer returning kicks for the Eagles in 2014.
Round 5-Pick 152
Ahmad Dixon, S, Baylor 6'0 212
Dixon is extremely fast getting into the backfield and loves to get his hands dirty in the run game. Dixon has an accurate first step with the quickness and range to play both sidelines with an alert, active mentality. His combination of size/speed makes him an athlete with the fluidity and natural speed to cover the entire field. His biggest strength at the next level will be making plays behind the line of scrimmage and in the deep half of the field. The Eagles need a guy in their secondary who can consistently make open-field stops and is a physical tackler. Dixon fills that need whether it's in the fourth or fifth round. As a safety his impressive 4.64 40 yard dash projects him to be a playmaker on defense in the NFL.
Round 7-Pick 212
DeDe Lattimore, LB, South Florida 6'0 237
Lattimore possess short-area quickness and flexibility to elude blocks and quickly get back into his pursuit lane which is very important for an inside linebacker. In college he wasn't a great athlete, but more or so is a hard hitter who wants to force fumbles. The main thing that DeDe does show often is his consistent eluding blockers and makes sure he puts pressure on the ball carrier. He generally plays with a hard-nosed style and physicality that makes up for lack of size to a small degree. Being a four year starter will help him at the next level as well as his durability.