NFL Draft Roundtable: In a perfect world, who do the Eagles select with the 22nd pick?


While he doesn’t fill either of the needs at wide receiver or safety, Anthony Barr could be a defensive stalwart for the Eagles for a long time to come. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports

As we close in on Thursday’s draft, it is beginning to seem more and more like the Eagles front-office is leaning towards selecting a wide-receiver with the 22nd pick.

This morning, Section 215’s own Somers Price reacted to a Peter King report that the Eagles were very interested in LSU wideout Odell Beckham Jr., and General Manager Howie Roseman had made calls to two teams that are set to select in ‘the mid part of the first-round’ to potentially lay the ground work for a draft-day trade.

We also know that the Eagles don’t appear likely to take a safety in either of the first two rounds, with Roseman calling the group ‘weak’, and the NFL Network’s Mike Mayock saying that he doesn’t view Louisville’s Calvin Pryor (who will likely be the only safety taken in the first-round), as a good fit for the Eagles defense. While I’d bet that if Pryor is still available at 22 that the Eagles take him, it doesn’t appear likely that he makes it that far in the first-round, which makes the debate on the matter fairly pointless, because he doesn’t seem to have the Eagles brass enamored enough to garner a trade-up.

The draft does also feature some talented linebacking prospects such as C.J. Mosely of Alabama (inside) and Anthony Barr of UCLA (outside), that could intrigue the Eagles.

In my mind, the idea that the Eagles need to grab a receiver in the first-round is faulty, but if they take someone like Beckham or USC’s Marqise Lee, I’m not going to be disappointed either.

In many regards, it’s going to be hard to be too disappointed with whoever the team takes, barring another Brandon Graham selection, which makes this draft fun. The idea that the Eagles are trying to balance looking to compete for a Superbowl next year and still taking the best player available, should keep fans on the edge of their seats until Roger Goodell makes the official announcement of who the team will select.

With that in mind,  we polled a few of our staff writers on who the Eagles should take in their minds’, obviously withing reason.

Somers Price-Section 215 Co-Editor

Pick: Anthony Barr-Outside Linebacker, UCLA

The ideal pick at #22 for the Eagles is UCLA LB Anthony Barr. He is a premiere talent at the most pressing position of need within the organization. Despite not being quite as tantalizing a prospect as Dion Jordan was last year, Barr is further along as a pass rusher and passes the test as far as measurables and workout performances. Barr would step in and be one of the team’s top pass rushers and have a chance to hold down the 3-4 OLB position for the next decade.

Akiem Bailum-Section 215 National Columnist

Pick: Brandin Cooks-Wide Receiver, Oregon State

With the Eagles at the 22nd pick and likely to draft a wide receiver, there will be a long list of options available.

Sammy Watkins and Mike Evans will more than likely already be drafted when Philadelphia picks at number 22. If the Eagles want the best available wideout, this would mean drafting Brandin Cooks or Odell Beckham Jr.

If they desire someone with more height and size than Cooks or Beckham, the likely available option at 22 will probably be Kelvin Benjamin from Florida State. There is conversation that Chip Kelly, who believes bigger people beat up little people, wants someone with more size than the 5’10 and under 200 lbs. of DeSean Jackson, who now is in Washington.

Howie Roseman and company could always attempt to find trading partners to get multiple picks in the first round to draft two receivers, or even to move back and get more second-round picks, but that is unlikely. Realistically, if Cooks is available at 22, that’s the Eagles should theoretically draft. If not, then Beckham, followed by Benjamin.

Aaron Mazer-Section 215 Staff Writer

Pick: Anthony Barr-Outside Linebacker, UCLA

After taking the time to watch highlight tape after highlight tape of numerous prospects that the Eagles could go after, I have come to the conclusion that there is only one player to draft at number 22. That player is Anthony Barr out of UCLA.

Barr has the fire that needs to be brought back to the Eagles defensive front. Ever since Jim Johnson passed and Brian Dawkins left, the Eagles defense has really had a lack of fire. Barr plays in a very chippy and physical style of football, that is almost borderline dirty. While I say dirty, I dont it in a bad way. I mean that Barr loves to get in opponents faces and definitely knows how to fire up a team. With a defense that can still stand a good amount of upgrades (both in talent and leadership), I feel like Barr is the perfect player to come in and really put the fire back in their eyes.

Steve LaFreniere-Section 215 Staff Writer

Pick: Calvin Pryor-Safety, Louisville

In my opinion, the Eagles should draft for defensive help first. This is a deep wide receiver class and they can get help at that position in the next few rounds, if they need to.

Safety is of major concern for me. With the addition of Malcolm Jenkins, it is a much stronger position then last year but it would still benefit the group with a first round pick. Calvin Pryor , if available, would be a great addition and would only help to continue to rebuild the secondary. Jimmie Ward is another target that I like, but he is more likely to be taken early in day two of the draft. If Pryor’s gone, then I would look for help at the outside linebacker position. If Ryan Shazier or Anthony Barr are available, I would grab them in a heartbeat.

What will probably happen, is that the Eagles will succumb to public pressure and Chip Kelly’s need to have the best offense in the world and draft another receiving target. At least one of, Odell Beckham Jr., Brandin Cooks and Cory Latimer should be available at 22.

Defense wins championship, as the Seahawks showed last year, and hopefully the Eagles’ brass has options on that side of the ball.

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