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2013 NFL Draft: Philadelphia Eagles 7-Round Mock Draft

I have never done a mock draft before, and given my extensive research regarding this year’s draft, I thought it might be my turn to take a crack at the Philadelphia Eagles’ 2013 selections.

While Chip Kelly used free agency to solidify a lot of holes on the defense, problem spots still remain on both sides of the ball. The offensive line, defensive line, and the secondary all come to mind. With that said, here are who I think the Eagles will pick in the 2013 NFL Draft:

1st Round, Pick 4 (No. 4 Overall): Star Lotulelei, NT (Utah)

Lotulelei is a tough assignment for any lineman (via Getty Images).

The Philadelphia Eagles have officially, per Chip Kelly, made a switch to a 3-4/4-3 hybrid defense with the 3-4 being the primary base defense. For that, they’ve made a bunch of necessary moves this offseason to acquire personnel that fits the 3-4 (see: SAM Connor Barwin). They also have ILBs Mychal Kendricks and DeMeco Ryans, OLB Brandon Graham, and 3-tech DE Fletcher Cox slated to start in the new defense.

What they are missing, however, is a 3-down nose tackle (signee Isaac Sopoaga is nearing the end of his career) and a 5-technique defensive end. Star Lotulelei is both of those guys. He can play 5-tech  on 1st and 2nd downs and then move over to nose tackle in the nickel defense to fill in for Sopoaga. I predict Luke Joeckel, Eric Fisher, and Sharrif Floyd will all be taken by the time Philadelphia picks, so it will come down to Geno Smith, Dion Jordan and Star Lotulelei. Nothing leads me to believe the Eagles will pick Smith, contrary to whatever Mel Kiper might say, and adding Jordan to an already deep “Predator”/WOLB group (Graham, Trent Cole) seems extraneous especially when Jordan is so raw.

Lotulelei, however, can come in and made an immediate impact in the front 7 and help turn around one of the worst defenses in the NFL. He is explosive, and pairing him with Cox makes this defensive line dangerous. Who do you double team? Both can wreak havoc and Lotulelei (10.0 tackles for loss, 5.0 sacks in 12 games) definitely has the potential to be the best defensive player in the draft, if not the best player overall.

2nd Round, Pick 3 (No. 35 Overall): Kyle Long, OT (Oregon)

Long already knows Chip Kelly’s scheme. 

With them not taking an offensive lineman in Round 1, the Philadelphia Eagles will likely select one in Round 2. I see them taking Oregon product Kyle Long for two reasons: 1) Chip Kelly has plenty of experience working with Long (at Oregon), and 2) He is both versatile (played guard in college but is a better tackle prospect) and athleticism, which fits the Philadelphia Eagles’ zone blocking scheme.

Long, who only started 4 games in college, is raw, but he is an incredible athlete as an offensive lineman. Son of Hall of Famer Howie Long and brother of current Rams defensive end Chris Long, he knows football and he knows it well. He was drafted by the MLB’s Chicago White Sox, but decided to continue playing football and his athleticism and combine success have allowed him to rise up many peoples’ draft boards.

3rd Round, Pick 5 (No. 67 Overall): Phillip Thomas, S (Fresno State)

Thomas is a difference-maker in the pass game. 

The Eagles have to replace both starters at safety, due to the inability of Nate Allen and Kurt Coleman to perform last season. They added Patrick Chung and Kenny Phillips, but both have had injury issues and Chung wasn’t necessarily starting material in New England.

Therefore, the Eagles need more depth at the position. Thomas, although poor in open space, has a lot of the tools necessary to became a great starting safety in the NFL. He have above-average ball skills and great instincts, which will make him a great coverage guy behind the team’s new cornerbacks, something the defense lacked last year. He flourished in the man coverage scheme, something Chip Kelly intends to employ much more often this year as well. Thomas is also versatile; he can play strong and free safety, which makes him an asset given how much uncertainty the Eagles have at the position.

Unfortunately for the Eagles, he has skyrocketed up mid-round draft boards; before, he could have been taken in the 4th round, but now the Eagles will have to expend their 3rd pick to get him. He’s still a great value at No. 67 overall.

4th Round, Pick 4 (No. 101 Overall): Tyrann Mathieu, CB (LSU) 

Yes, I think the Philadelphia Eagles will take a chance on “The Honey Badger”. Not only does he have a fair amount of talent, but the Eagles have 1 1/2 (Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher) starting outside cornerbacks and certainly need to add depth/talent at the position. I like Johnthan Banks and Dee Milliner, but unless Philadelphia trades down in the 1st round, neither is more valuable than Lotulelei.

At this point in the draft, you have to look for a guy with talent who, with coaching, can become a real talent in the NFL. At 5’9″, Mathieu is certainly on the small side, but he has incredible ball skills and very good athleticism.

5th Round, Pick 3 (No. 136 Overall): A.J. Klein, ILB (Iowa State)

By this time, the Eagles will be looking to add depth in the linebacker corps, and A.J. Klein is a guy who can come in and back up DeMeco Ryans well at strong inside linebacker. He has extremely good instincts and a high football IQ, so if Ryans happens to go down, he’ll be the perfect guy to plug in. He doesn’t have the best lateral quickness, so his versatility (he played all 3 linebacker positions in college) might not translate to the 3-4, but as I’ve said, SILB is the spot for him.

7th Round, Pick 4 (No. 210 Overall): Travis Long, OLB (Washington State)

In 11 games at Washington State, Long recorded a career-high 8.5 sacks in his team’s 3-4 defense, and looks to continue playing stand-up linebacker in the NFL. While he doesn’t possess elite athleticism like another OLB I mentioned on this list—and is thus a 7th-round prospect—he has a very good motor and good instincts and Chip Kelly will get the most out of Long. With depth at the outside linebacker position, he won’t be asked to do much and will only get a roster spot if he earns it in training camp.

7th Round, Pick 6 (No. 212 Overall): Levine Toilolo, TE (Stanford)

A redshirt junior, Levine Toilolo has been overlooked by many because he played behind All-American Zach Ertz, but the 6-7, 255-pounder is a very solid tight end in his own right. Compared to current Jaguars standout Mercedes Lewis, Toilolo lacks breakaway speed but is difficult to tackle after the catch and a very solid blocker. He will be a nice addition either as a practice squad player or a backup to Brent Celek and James Casey as Philadelphia works in more two-tight end sets.

7th Round, Pick 12 (No. 218 Overall): Braden Brown, OT (BYU)

As a senior, Brown (6-5, 310 pounds) was elected to the FBS All-Independent 2nd Team and had a solid career at BYU. Brown isn’t a very good run blocker, but he is solid in pass protection and will merely provide insurance for Todd Herremans and Jason Peters, who are both coming off of season-ending injuries. Kyle Long and Dennis Kelly will also provide depth with Brown.

Also, the last time Philadelphia selected a “Brown” in the 7th round they got a dominant backup running back. Let’s see if they can find a diamond in the rough once again.

7th Round, Pick 33 (No. 239 Overall): Corey Fuller, WR (Virginia Tech)

Corey Fuller, a converted track star, is a guy who could be a steal in the 7th round. He has, dare I say, DeSean Jackson-like separation ability thanks to his track background. He can beat almost any defensive back down the field and will surely be a guy who can “stretch” defenses in the NFL. He is definitely a project due to his inexperience, but with good coaching, he could be something special.

 

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Categories: Eagles, Editorial

Author:Manav Khandelwal

I am the founder of Khandyman Sports, and follow all Philadelphia pro sports teams religiously. I also write for the Hoop76, covering the Sixers for ESPN, and am a credentialed Flyers reporter for Main Line Media News.

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