Despite ending the season much sooner than anyone would have wanted, it is now time to turn our attention to most fans second most favorite time of year. The NFL Draft. This year, the Eagles front office won’t have far for their phone call to travel with the draft taking place in Philadelphia.
Being the hometown team for this draft, I half-heartedly am expecting the Eagles to make a a splash. Whether that be a big trade up or a big trade down, watch for Philly to somehow get there names on the tongues of fans early and often in this year’s draft.
With the Draft now four and a half months away, I know it may be a little early to be looking towards the draft. But with the college football season now over, all that remains in the evaluation process is the combine and senior bowl for certain players. After that, individual workouts and before you know it, draft day. So without further ado, here is our first of the now weekly “Philadelphia Eagles potential first round draft picks.”
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3. Dalvin Cook — Running Back — FSU
Currently within the realm of possibility for the Philadelphia Eagles, there is a chance that Dalvin Cook could fall all the way to 15 for Philly to pick. However, given his performance in the Orange Bowl and his status as a top running back in this class, I do expect to see Cook nearing the top ten as we close on draft day.
However, should Cook struggle to rise thanks to Leonard Fournette and the other backs likely to go in the second round, he could remain in reach of the Eagles. Given Philly’s issues in the run game with the inconsistent Ryan Mathews, Dalvin Cook would provide the team with an extremely talented option in the backfield.
Pairing Cook with Darren Sproles, the Eagles could have a formidable tandem on their hands. With Cook as your every down runner and Sproles as the passing down back, Philadelphia may then possess one of the best one-two punches in the NFL. Don’t forget either, adding a player like Cook to run the football would help Carson Wentz to the big time.
2. Jalen Tabor — Cornerback — Florida
Playing alongside fellow potential first round draft pick Quincy Wilson at the University of Florida, Jalen Tabor could be suffering from little brother syndrome. While Wilson has gotten a lot of press in scouting camps since replacing Tampa Bay draft pick Vernon Hargreaves, Tabor has flown under the radar a bit. That is, if you call being a first round pick under the radar.
Given the depth of this cornerback draft class, this pick could be bound to change both in player and position on this list. Despite this though, I firmly believe that Tabor could be the dark horse of this draft. Playing across from Wilson, neither player was given a day off on the field. With two first round corners, opposing teams had to throw at them.
Recording four interceptions this past season, Tabor showed that he had ball skills needed to succeed in the NFL. Add to the fact that he is another in the long line of top Florida cornerbacks and you may have a winning combination for the Eagles first round pick.
1. Mike Williams — Wide Receiver — Clemson
With the lack of true number one receivers in this draft class, many players have begun to rise on draft boards at the receiver position. However, one player that has always found himself amongst the first round is Clemson wideout Mike Williams. Possessing both speed and size, Williams has the looks to be another Sammy Watkins in this league.
The one area that could be a concern for teams is the fractured neck that he sustained during the Tigers 2015 opener. Appearing to recover nicely and recording 90-receptions for almost 1,300-yards this season, there looks to be no lingering effects from the injury. However, that’s not to say that something won’t show up when he goes through his physicals.
If all goes well though, Williams will be the first wide receiver taken in this draft. With the only team in front of Philadelphia that is possible to take a receiver being the Buffalo Bills, their pick will be interesting to watch. If they go in a different direction, I firmly believe that Mike Williams will be the Philadelphia Eagles first round draft pick.