Philadelphia Eagles Draft: Final Seven-Round Mock Draft

Apr 28, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; A general view of the stage and podium before the 2016 NFL Draft at the Auditorium Theatre. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 28, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; A general view of the stage and podium before the 2016 NFL Draft at the Auditorium Theatre. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports /
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Philadelphia Eagles
Nov 28, 2015; Berkeley, CA, USA; California Golden Bears wide receiver Chad Hansen (6) celebrates after a touchdown against the Arizona State Sun Devils during the third quarter at Memorial Stadium. The California Golden Bears defeated the Arizona State Sun Devils 48-46. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports /

Round 3 (#99 overall): Chad Hansen, WR, Cal

After stepping back in the 3rd to bring Timmy Jernigan in from Baltimore (good move), the Philadelphia Eagles benefit from a thick Day 2 wide receiver class and snag Hansen, an upside player who could have easily gone in the early third round.

A well-rounded player with a high ceiling, Hansen’s greatest trait is his downfield tracking and my ball mentality–two qualities I would argue were sorely lacking from the 2016 midnight green receiving core. Hear me when I say: “balls near Chad Hansen will be caught by Chad Hansen.”

With limited starts (and a real limited route tree) in Cal’s Bear Raid system, Hansen has a learning curve to address when he steps into an NFL offense. Quietly, however, he has shown the ability to release off the press, create a throwing window for his quarterback across the middle of the field, and create yardage after the catch. The flashes are there, and worthy of investment for the Philadelphia Eagles. The WR situation is stable for this year, and for this year alone.

Hansen would immediately play on the boundary in 4WR sets, opposite Alshon Jeffery, with Matthews and Agholor in the slot. In more traditional sets, he would see time spelling Jeffery and Torrey Smith. His game would benefit distinctly from the tutelage of Jordan Matthews, a precise route runner who understands complex NFL coverages.

Alternate Realities:

1) How The Mighty Have Fallen: Taywan Taylor, Western Kentucky. A speed demon who knows how to get off of the press, Taylor’s consistent hands and solid RAC skills profile nicely to Pederson’s West Coast system. I have big questions about his physicality, but a Taywan Taylor to Jeremy Maclin comp isn’t half-bad, and I think all of us wouldn’t mind a Maclin-like pass-catcher back in Philly. (Of course, that was also the Agholor comp, but shh. It’ll be fine.)

2) They Be Reachin’: K.D. Cannon, Baylor. A speed demon who knows how to get off of the press (déjà vu?), Cannon simply played with far less consistency and complexity than Taylor. Not unlike Hansen, Cannon’s projection is skewed by Baylor’s painfully simple offense. I’ll be more interested in the deep speed come Round 4.

3) Please, Dear God, Not: Dede Westbrook, Oklahoma. Biletnikoff Winner and Heisman candidate–what’s not to like? Well, for one, he can’t play on the boundary at the next level. He’s too spindly and lacks the physicality to handle the press. Relegated to a slot role, with off-the-field flags? There’s a productive spot for him somewhere, but it’s not in Philadelphia.

4) The Dark Horse: Cooper Kupp, Eastern Washington. Unlike past dark horses, Kupp should be drafted, in my estimation, far before this pick. If NFL teams get cold feet regarding Kupp’s age (25 by training camp) and pedestrian testing, that’s fine by me. This is a versatile, consistent, and dangerous NFL wide receiver who will give you production on Day 1. We’ll take that, thank you very much.