Didinger's 2017 Seven-round Eagles Mock Draft 1.0

We all know the Eagles' needs going into the draft. You can shuffle the order around if you like, but the needs are obvious enough. They are cornerback, pass rusher, running back and linebacker. You could put safety on the list and it wouldn't hurt to add another receiver somewhere along the line.

The Eagles have eight picks (two in the fourth round) so let's do a mock draft basing the selections on what prospects might still be on the board when the Eagles are on the clock. I'd like to start with the Eagles' selecting Tennessee pass rusher Derek Barnett with their first pick, but I don't think Barnett will make it out of the top 10 -- so let's assume he is gone and go from there.

First round (14th overall (from Vikings)): Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State, 6-0/195
A very polished player who will be able to start on Day 1. Conley has excellent size and looks equally comfortable in press coverage and zone. He knows when to be aggressive and he breaks hard on the football. He is willing to play the run, but he needs to be more consistent in wrapping up runners and getting them on the ground. His stock is rising with several strong workouts, including a 4.44 40-yard dash at the combine.

Second round (43rd overall): Jordan Willis, DE, Kansas State, 6-3/255
We stipulated that Barnett went early in Round 1 so the Eagles still need to find a pass rusher. Let's give them the 6-foot-3, 255-pound Willis in Round 2. Willis has a quick first step and he uses his hands well in fighting off blockers. He is known primarily as a pass rusher (21 sacks the last two seasons), but he is good against the run as well. He plays with great effort and he always seems to be in the other team's backfield (33 tackles for losses). Like Conley, his stock is rising.

Third round (99th overall): Jourdan Lewis, CB, Michigan, 5-10/188
Lewis may slip a bit because of his size and the fact he ran slower (4.54) than expected at the combine. The emphasis now is on height and speed at the cornerback position, and with so many prospects fitting that description in this draft, a solid, all-around player like Lewis may slide. He is a very smart player and has experience lining up both inside and outside. At his size, his future may be as a slot defender, but he will be a good one.

Fourth round (119th overall): Kareem Hunt, RB, Toledo, 5-10/216
Hunt will likely last into Day 3 because he played at a lower level of competition (MAC). You can't deny his production, however. He rushed for almost 5,000 yards and scored 45 touchdowns. He averaged 6.3 yards per carry. The 5-10, 216-pound Hunt made a big impression at the Senior Bowl, where he rushed for 118 yards and was MVP of the North squad. Worth noting: Hunt fumbled only once in 855 touches at Toledo (and he recovered the one fumble).

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Fourth round (139th overall): Chris Godwin, WR, Penn State, 6-1/209
The Eagles went shopping for receivers in free agency and did well in signing Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith. But if the idea is to surround Carson Wentz with better weapons, well, if Godwin is still on the board in Round 4, why not? He ran a faster-than-expected 4.42 at the combine, which moved him up some draft boards (including mine). The 6-1, 209-pound Godwin is the kind of tough, move-the-chains receiver who helps any offense.

Fifth round (155th overall): Marcus Maye, S, Florida, 6-0/210
Maye missed the last four games of the Gators' season (broken arm) and was unable to participate fully at the combine, which may drop his draft stock. That means some NFL team will find a good prospect still on the board on Day 3. Maye has ideal size, and while he played both free and strong safety at Florida, I think he is best suited to free safety. He shows good range and tracks the ball well. He is also a good tackler (82 tackles in 2015).

Sixth round (194th overall): Isaac Asiata, G, Utah, 6-3/325
You can never have too much offensive line depth. Asiata is a 6-3, 325-pound mauler who played both tackle and guard for the Utes, but projects as a guard in the NFL. He got the scouts' attention at the combine when he did 35 reps in the bench press (225 pounds). That was the most by any player regardless of position. He is an effective drive blocker and is hard to beat in pass protection when he lines up inside. He will be 25 this season, which may cause some teams to pass on him, hence his availability in Round 6.

Seventh round (230th overall): Hardy Nickerson, Jr., LB, Illinois, 5-11/232
This far down in the draft it's a grab-whatever-you-can scenario, so I'll go with a kid with some pedigree. Nickerson Sr. was the middle linebacker of a great Tampa Bay defense, so you have to think some of it rubbed off on his son. Nickerson Jr. is somewhat undersized, but he is a physical player who reads plays well, knows how to shed blocks and finds the football. At the very least, he will be a solid contributor on special teams. 

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