2019 NFL Mock Draft: Eagles address defense with first pick

Byron Murphy NFL Draft Philadelphia Eagles
Could the Eagles use their first-round pick on cornerback Byron Murphy in April's draft? (Photo: Getty Images)

With the Philadelphia Eagles’ season coming to a sad end last Sunday against the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Divisional Round of the 2018 NFL playoffs, it is the perfect time to get ready for the 2019 NFL Draft.

Before last Sunday’s playoff game, the Eagles were projected to have a pick in the late 20s, which was an improvement from a couple of months ago.

Philly, however, will be locked into the 25th overall pick, which has produced a few good players over the last 10 years (Xavier Rhodes, Dont’a Hightower, Jason Verrett, Tim Tebow, Vontae Davis).

Therefore, who do the draft experts think the Eagles will choose at No. 25? In the first of our many mock drafts, we had them taking West Virginia offensive tackle Yodny Cajuste.

Here is a roundup of the latest NFL mock drafts across the interwebs:

1. Matt Miller, Bleacher Report

Byron Murphy, CB, Washington

Pick explanation: “The Philadelphia Eagles secondary is much better than most would assume given the lack of huge names on the depth chart, but there is still a need for cornerback upgrades and depth, as seen in the divisional round loss to the New Orleans Saints.

Washington’s Byron Murphy is only around 5’11”, but he’s a feisty cover man with excellent instincts and closing speed. He showed off his ball skills all season for the Huskies and was a thorn in the side of Pac-12 quarterbacks.

Some scouts might see Murphy as a slot cornerback, and that’s a possible destination for him in Philadelphia. But no matter where he’s lining up, he has the skills to make a major impact immediately.”

2. Steve Palazzolo, Pro Football Focus

Kevin Harmon, WR, NC State

Pick explanation: “Harmon has the physicality to win at the catch point and over the middle, adding another outside weapon to the Eagles offense. He graded at 83.3 overall last season while winning 17 of his 30 contested catch opportunities.”

3. Ryan Wilson, CBS Sports

Nasir Adderley, S, Delaware

Pick explanation: “Adderley made a name for himself over the final months of the season and the FCS standout could find himself among the first 32 players taken. He’ll have a chance to prove himself at the Senior Bowl and the biggest question might be his size — is he big enough to play safety over the course of an NFL season — because every other aspect of his game checks all the boxes of what teams look for in a defensive back.”

4. Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News

Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi State

Pick explanation: “The Eagles need to rebuild their defensive line, and getting Simmons to flank fellow former Bulldog Fletcher Cox inside would be a good start. Simmons (6-3, 301 pounds) has great quickness with which to disrupt plays in the backfield.”

5. Benjamin Solak, The Draft Network

Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson

Pick explanation: “The storybook run of Philadelphia back through the playoffs was truly something to behold — but like all good things, it finally came to an end.

And when it did, we noticed that, while DT Timmy Jernigan came back from a back injury to start meaningful reps, his quality of play decreased. His contract now non-guaranteed due to the non-football injury, and the depth behind him laughable, Jim Schwartz will look to add pass-rush juice with Wilkins, a 3-tech next to Fletcher Cox and a 1-tech stopgap when Cox isn’t on the field.

In 2019, Philadelphia can now rush Cox, Wilkins, Michael Bennett, Derek Barnett, Josh Sweat, and Brandon Graham if he’s retained. That’s a whole lotta oomph.”

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