When Teddy Bridgewater went down for the season, Eagles GM Howie Roseman pulled off a slick trade that dealt the Vikings Sam Bradford for their 2017 first round pick and a conditional 2018 fourth round pick. The Eagles got their young QB and are going to be drafting on the first day of the draft in 2017. What more could we ask for? With the pick from the Vikings, the Eagles now have a chance to take another college stud that can help this team take the next step. Naturally, the question that arises concerns who the Eagles should take with their pick.

According to current Super Bowl odds provided by Bovada, the Vikings are favorites to make the Super Bowl, but lose. If that were to be the case, then the Eagles would pick 31st in the first round. I will assume that is the case as of now. In order to get a sense of who might be available at pick 31, I have run a number of simulation drafts using Fanspeak.com’s mock draft simulator. I then compiled a list of who was usually there for the Eagles to take. From that list, I then picked five interesting choices for the Eagles to make.

Adoree’ Jackson, CB/WR/KR, University of Southern California

Adoree’ Jackson is an incredible athlete. I was legitimately surprised to see him available for the second to final pick of the first round. Jackson will likely play cornerback in the NFL, so I will analyze him as such. Jackson has very quick feet as a cornerback. He can move his hips quickly to stay with shifty receivers. One important strength he has is that he has incredible recovery speed. If he manages to get burned deep, Jackson has the speed to do damage control or even negate his early mistake. Jackson is also great in run support. He attacks the ball and closes gaps quickly. If Jackson is on the board when the Eagles pick, Howie Roseman needs to sprint to Roger Goodell to get him the draft card. Jackson would be very welcome in Philadelphia’s shaky cornerback corps. This team has lacked a true shutdown cornerback for a long time. Jackson could be that guy. This would be about as solid of a pick as you could ask for at the 31st spot.

Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame

In all honesty, McGlinchey was available only once in the sample of simulation drafts that I ran. He was the only lineman to fall to the Eagles’ pick at all. The odds that McGlinchey will be on the board when Philly picks are slim. He is is simply too good to last that long. Still, if the Eagles could get him, it would be a dream come true. McGlinchey is almost six feet nine inches tall and weighs about 290 pounds. He has quick feet and is lightning quick for a lineman. He is also extremely flexible and is able to use his size to his advantage. A few things that McGlinchey might need to work on are his power and explosiveness.

With Jason Peters getting older, Lane Johnson’s future uncertain, and Halapoulivaati Vaitai not panning out thus far, this pick would make a lot of sense. Again, McGlinchey and all other linemen with first round grades will probably be long-gone by the 31st pick. The Eagles should pick who they want with their first round pick and use their second round pick on someone like Jon Heck from the University of North Carolina.

Reuben Foster, LB, University of Alabama

Foster was on the board the most throughout the simulations. He could very well be the Eagles’ pick. I would not complain if that were the case. The Eagles’ linebackers are underwhelming to put it nicely. Mychal Kendricks has severely regressed since 2014, 31 year-old Stephen Tulloch is getting a high snap count, and Jordan Hicks can’t put together games like he did on Sunday every week. Foster could solidify the group immediately. He is a huge hitter who has great speed and is incredible against the run. The Eagles’ wide-9 defensive scheme needs a good run stopper up the middle and Foster could fill that role easily. Foster struggles a bit in pass coverage and has issues with wrapping up from time to time. These problems are nothing to get discouraged over though. Foster should be a solid linebacker in the NFL for a long time.

Dawuane Smoot, Edge Rusher, University of Illinois

I know what you’re thinking. Why would the Eagles take another defensive lineman with another high pick? I answer that a team can never have too many solid defensive linemen. If a team is trotting out multiple well-developed first and second round picks on their defensive line, opposing teams will have fits all day. Look what happened in Sunday’s game against Minnesota. Now add yet another first round pick to that line. Imagining Smoot on a line with Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, and Bennie Logan for a moment is why this pick would make a ton of sense. Pro Football Focus has Smoot as the 20th best player in college football currently. Smoot had 15 tackles for loss, eight sacks, and three force fumbles as a junior. He is a natural pass-rusher who knows whether he needs to use finesse or power to get past a lineman. He has the ability to do both. Smoot was a hurdler in high school and although he has put on fifty pounds to play defensive end, his natural speed and quickness are still visible. This would be a very safe pick. Whichever team gets Smoot will be very happy with him.

Nick Chubb, RB, University of Georgia

Like McGlinchey, Chubb was only available once in all of the simulations that I ran. On top of that, the Eagles have much more pressing needs to fill than running back. Yet, if the Eagles could take Nick Chubb with the 31st pick in the first round, I don’t think many fans would object. Chubb is a monster. In 2014, Chubb rushed for 1,547 yards, 14 touchdowns, and had an eye-popping 7.1 yards per carry. These numbers were also lower than they could’ve been considering Chubb split carries with future first round pick Todd Gurley. Chubb suffered a horrific knee injury on October 10, 2015, and was out for the remainder of that season. At the time, Chubb was on pace to rush for at least 100 yards in his 14th consecutive game, which would’ve broken Georgia legend Herschel Walker’s record for most consecutive 100-yard games. This year, he is back as the Bulldogs’ RB1 and he has not disappointed. Chubb has rushed for 586 yards and five touchdowns on a 5.1 yards per carry average, while splitting carries with Sony Michel.

Chubb is five feet eleven inches and 220 pounds. He runs with all of his weight behind his pads. Chubb can bowl defenders over and isn’t afraid to initiate contact with tacklers. If he’s not putting you in the dirt, then Chubb is using his quick feet to make decisive cuts that will make you miss. He is a rare talent that can elude defenders or run them over. He knows when to do both. Chubb is also a talented pass blocker and has shown ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. He rarely goes down without picking up every last yard that he can. Most scouting reports list Chubb’s health and knee problem as his only weakness. That weakness may make Chubb free fall in the first round all the way to the Eagles’ pick. If that were the case and the Eagles didn’t pick him, then Philadelphia would be passing on easily the best player available.

Chubb can open up an Eagles offense that is in dire need of a playmaker. Carson Wentz needs more weapons in order to keep defenses on their toes. A blue-chip running back like Chubb paired with Carson Wentz would be a nightmare for opposing defenses. With Chubb in the backfield, the Eagles could move on seamlessly if Darren Sproles decides to retire and if Ryan Mathews continues to regress as he gets older. Chubb could also force teams to stack the box against him, which could open up receivers all over the field. Roseman should seriously consider Chubb if he is somehow still available when the Eagles pick.

Even though the Eagles may be picking at the back part of the first round, it is clear to see that there will still be plenty of solid choices available to the team. I personally think the Eagles should take a cornerback with their first round pick. Another name that came up quite often was Cordrea Tankersley, the stud corner from LSU. I would be very happy with this pick as well. The Eagles are a relatively young football team and they can continue to build on what they have with a solid first round pick in the 2017 Draft.

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