Philadelphia Eagles-Only Seven Round Mock Draft

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5.) ILB Taiwan Jones – Michigan State

Oct 25, 2014; East Lansing, MI, USA; Michigan State Spartans linebacker Taiwan Jones (34) celebrates defense stop during the 2nd half of a game at Spartan Stadium. MSU won 35-11. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Something tells me that Mychal Kendricks is not long for the midnight green. Though it doesn’t look like it at this point, the inside linebacker position could be going through substantial overhaul over the next two seasons and the Eagles are going to have to be ready for it. Especially with DeMeco Ryans coming off an Achilles injury, Kiko Alonso recovering from a knee injury, and very little else by the way of starting-caliber talent behind those two; it would astonish me if the team did not select an inside linebacker at some point in this draft.

With the first of their two 5th round picks, the Eagles tab one of the richest defensive programs in the country by selecting Taiwan Jones of Michigan State. Jones played in every single game over his four-year career with the Spartans. He is much more along the size frame of Alonso (6’3″, 245 pounds) than Kendricks or Ryans for that matter. Jones has also played some on the outside before switching over to middle linebacker his senior season. He also played basketball in high school. While making a big deal out of this might seem trivial, Chip Kelly really seems to value multiple athletes.

Though Jones is a heavy hitter and ferocious blitzer, he does not play the instinctive game that Ryans does at this point in his career. Were this to be a selection, one would have to figure the Eagles have a great deal of faith in Alonso eventually moving in as the more cerebral of the two linebackers.’s profile of Jones notes his ability to get home on A-gap blitzes. Those familiar with Billy Davis’s defensive scheme recognize this to be one of the defensive coordinator’s bread-and-butter pressure packages. This ability could mask Jones’ struggles in coverage for the early part of his career.