2018 Draft Thoughts

MICHAEL AINSWORTH/AP

MICHAEL AINSWORTH/AP

Matt Finocchio - Head Writer

We hear it from General Managers across the league every year prior to the draft; “We plan on taking the highest rated player on our board.” Most teams say it, but few have the luxury of practicing what they preach.

Many teams say their draft strategy is to take the best player available regardless of need, however, the Eagles are actually in a good position to do so.

While there are certainly a few position groups that the Birds should look to add to during this draft (linebacker, tight end, offensive tackle, wide receiver & defensive back, among others) none of them are pressing needs.

With that in mind, the team can afford to take best player available on their draft board in round 1.

Some potential players that could still be available at pick #32 include:

  • Derrius Guice- Running Back, LSU (5’11”, 218): North/south runner, finishes runs with power
  • Sony Michel- Running Back, Georgia (5’11, 214): Shifty, with a quick burst after cuts. Good speed
  • Ronald Jones II- Running Back, USC (5’11”, 205): Good first cut. Leaner frame for a running back (think Jamaal Charles)
  • Dallas Goedert- Tight End, SDSU (6’5”, 256): Great ball skills & body control. Concerns about blocking at NFL level
  • Cortland Sutton- Wide Receiver, SMU (6’3”, 218): Big/physical (consistently wins on contested catches). Good runner after the catch
  • Connor Williams- Offensive Tackle, Texas (6’5”, 296): Nasty run blocker, concerns about short arm length (might switch to interior line in NFL)
  • Jaire Alexander- CB, Louisville (5'10', 196): Fast and instinctive, closes quickly as ball is thrown

Out of the players listed above, Guice and Sutton are most intriguing to me; Guice for his power-running style (a nice replacement for LeGarrette Blount) and Sutton for his large frame and physical playing style (the jump ball potential between Alshon and Sutton is very exciting).

With either Guice or Sutton, the Eagles would get a player who could contribute right away and would be a great addition to an already explosive offense.

Sidebar: With all that said, the Eagles currently only have six picks in this years’ draft, with most of them coming on day 3. After pick 32 in the first round, the Eagles don’t pick again until late in the fourth round.  Because of this, Howie Roseman & crew may also consider trading back and acquiring additional picks, which could be the right move depending on how round 1 starts to play out.

Whatever happens, it’s nice to know that the Super Bowl champs can pick the best player available, and don’t need to “reach” to fill an immediate need in round 1.