Eagles Mock on CSN
1 (15). Michael Brockers, DT, LSU
I have the Eagles taking Brockers over UNC's Quinton Coples based simply on effort. Brockers goes 100 percent on every play. Coples simply doesn't. And as much as Jim Washburn gets the most of lazy players (see Haynesworth, Albert), he does even better with motivated ones. Brockers is a redshirt sophomore who is extremely disruptive in the middle. He pursues well down the line and can hold his ground against double teams. The Eagles need a man in the middle who is going to make things happen, and Brockers' aggressive style of play fits the bill.
2 (46). Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina
The Eagles have two outstanding receivers in DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin, but neither shines inside the 20. Slot receiver Jason Avant is a nice player, but the Birds can get more production from their third receiver. With Jeffery (6-4/215) on board, the Eagles can move Maclin inside on occasion and let Jeffery go up and get the ball outside the numbers. The Eagles haven't had someone able to consistently do that since, dare I say, Terrell Owens. This isn't a true need pick, but it makes the team better.
2 (51). Brock Osweiler, QB, Arizona State
With Michael Vick's salary cap impact minimal after this season, the Eagles have to start looking for his heir apparent. Osweiler is a big (6-7/242), athletic ex-basketball player with a big arm and strong leadership skills. He's still a bit raw, starting only 15 games during his three seasons in Tempe, but the tools are there. He has a big arm but might need to adjust his throwing angle, as he throws with a bit of a side-arm motion now. His basketball background lends itself well to football, helping him move in the pocket and avoid pass rushers. Time behind Vick will do him wonders as he adjusts to the pro game. A bit of a high-risk, high-reward pick.
3 (88). Nigel Bradham, LB, Florida State
Bradham is a tackling machine, leading the Seminoles in tackles over the past three seasons. He's got the size and strength (6-2/241) to play the strong side and is athletic enough to stay with backs and tight ends in pass coverage. Bradham hits hard, and it looks like he loves playing the game. Might be a tick slow diagnosing plays, so that's something coaches are really going to have to work with on. But Bradham is dedicated to his craft and should at least be a core special teamer immediately. Gives the Eagles the bulk they've been missing at the position for years.
4 (114). Edwin Baker, RB, Michigan State
The Eagles rely heavily on LeSean McCoy and can't afford to be bereft of a RB if he goes down. Dion Lewis didn't get much of a chance to show what he can do last year, but the Eagles need to bring in added competition to be Shady's backup. Baker is a compact (5-8/204) and muscled-up. He's more of an inside power runner who can make the one cut and go. He rarely goes down on first contact, but won't be able to dance through linebackers and corners like McCoy. Baker isn't sexy and even lost his starting job to Le'Veon Bell last season, but he is a fiery competitor, works hard, and can get a tough yard.
5 (153). T.Y. Hilton, WR/KR, Florida International
The Eagles' return game was woeful last season. Lewis handled kickoffs, and while he didn't turn the ball over, he averaged only 21.6 yards per return. With Jackson extricating himself from punt return duties, the Eagles need to find a full-time replacement. Hilton returned four kickoffs and two punts for scores during his college career. He also caught 24 touchdowns and rushed for another seven. He's small (5-10/183), but as a receiver Hilton has the deep speed the Eagles like to open up the middle of the field.
6 (172). Nate Potter, OT, Boise State
With Jason Peters out for the foreseeable future, and little depth behind starters Demetress Bell and Todd Herremans, snaring an athlete like Potter is a no-brainer. Potter is tall and lean (6-6/303) with long arms but needs to hit the weight room to increase his strength. Should fit well into what offensive line coach Howard Mudd likes to do, because he's really good on the run and technically sound.
6 (194). Justin Bethel, S, Presbyterian College
The Eagles seem to have some faith that their last two second-round picks, safeties Nate Allen and Jaiquawn Jarrett, can handle the starting roles going into 2012, but it always helps to add depth. Bethel is a small-school prospect with outstanding physical tools (he topped all DBs in the vertical (39.5") and broad jump (131.0") at the Combine) and size (6-0/200). He played both corner and safety for the Blue Hose (bet you didn't know that's Presbyterian's nickname). At worst, Bethel will be a core special teamer. At best, he could push Kurt Coleman for the primary backup safety position.
6 (200). Jacquies Smith, DE, Missouri
Smith is a small (6-3/253) pass rush specialist who's a bit of a tweener between playing DE and standing up as a 3-4 OLB. Andy Reid loves trying to find "fastballs" he can throw at QBs, and Smith may qualify.
7 (229). Jerry Franklin, LB, Arkansas
Possible MLB depth behind Demeco Ryans, Franklin, a 2011 AP All-SEC Second Team selection, is a stout, experienced run defender who is limited athletically.