The NFL Draft is under a month away, and is one of the only things left for sports fans to latch onto. Naturally, Eagles fans are scouring the internet for any and all mock drafts available, and immediately seized on the latest version from ESPN. Long-time Draft expert Todd McShay released his latest mock yesterday, and the picks he made for the Eagles are about as perplexing as could be.
With the 21st overall pick he selected LSU linebacker Patrick Queen, and at 53 selected Utah cornerback Jaylon Johnson.
Truthfully, this would be the Draft you might put together if you wanted to show someone exactly what the Eagles WON’T do next month.
For starters, linebacker is pretty much guaranteed to be off the table for the Birds in the first 60 picks. If you’ve followed the Eagles decision-making process at any point in the past two decades, you’ll know that they haven’t valued the LB position for some time now. The ‘Andy Reid philosophy’ that Howie employs focuses on the pass rush, and having strong corners—we haven’t used a high pick at LB since the 90s, and haven’t used a first rounder since 1986. And this is all without mentioning how much the linebacker position has disappeared from modern football—I shouldn’t need to elaborate on this point.
Equally as ridiculous is his Jaylon Johnson pick at 53. I promise you the Eagles didn’t just trade for Darius Slay, sign Will Parks, sign Robbey-Coleman, and reaffirm confidence in Jalen Mills if the team was planning on investing valuable Draft capital at the position. Howie Roseman made it a point to upgrade his secondary throughout free agency—it’s literally the only thing he did in the month of March—so why would he spend such a high pick for a player who’s skillset is less than a perfect fit for the Birds scheme? Doesn’t make sense.
I’ve seen quite a few Eagles fans still talk about our need for defensive backs in the draft. While I’m the first guy to criticize our secondary play—and have done so for three or four years running—the front office has made it overwhelmingly clear that they believe they just addressed it in free agency. Disagree with that or not, it’s pretty clearly their strategy—don’t expect a DB in round one or two.
When you consider all this, McShay’s picks are pretty egregious for someone who’s paid to be an expert on these things. Obviously guys like him and Mel Kiper have a lot of clout when it comes to the NFL Draft, but you can pretty much guarantee that these picks weren’t made based on the consultation of league sources.
And people wonder why these legacy media companies are dying.