With the 2016 NFL draft a few weeks away, rumors are focused on what the Philadelphia Eagles are going to do with their first-round pick. While the No. 8 overall selection is extremely important for the team’s future, the Eagles have to pick well throughout all of the rounds for the draft to be considered a success. Since former Eagles head coach Chip Kelly traded the team’s 2016 second-round pick, the third round is much more important than usual. While the Eagles have been rumored to be interested in a quarterback in the first round, the latest rumors are saying that the team could target Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Cardale Jones in the third round.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the Eagles have been linked to top college prospects including Ohio State Buckeyes running back Ezekiel Elliott, Notre Dame Fighting Irish offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley, California Golden Bears quarterback Jared Goff, North Dakota State Bison quarterback Carson Wentz, and Memphis Tigers quarterback Paxton Lynch. While all of those players still remain possibilities for the Eagles at pick No. 8, it may make sense to hold off on a quarterback.
Since Goff and Wentz are expected to be drafted before the Eagles pick at No. 8, they would have to trade up. While this is a possibility, the Eagles have a lot of holes to fill. Goff and Wentz both have potential, but neither of them are anything close to sure things. Lynch is an interesting prospect, but selecting him at No. 8 is probably too high.
Elliott or Stanley makes the most sense for the Eagles. After trading DeMarco Murray, the Eagles are in desperate need of help at the running back position. Ryan Mathews’ talent has never been an issue, but he is certain to miss multiple games with injury issues. Darren Sproles is nothing more than a limited player at this point in his career. Elliott could potentially be an elite three-down back for the Eagles for the next decade. Since the Eagles’ offense line was also a problem last year, Stanley would fill a hole that is getting considerably weaker every single year.
If the Eagles opt for Elliott or Stanley in the first round, they can then focus on a project quarterback in the third round. Even though the Eagles just re-signed Sam Bradford and signed Chase Daniel, they are not committed to either of them over the long-term. That means the team can bring in a young quarterback that is not ready to start this season.
As NJ Advance Media reports, Cardale Jones is an interesting pick for the Eagles in the third round.
“Why Jones first? To start, the Eagles could probably get him in the third round, meaning they won’t have to use the No. 8 overall pick on a quarterback worth developing. Jones struggled last season at Ohio State, but he has all of the physical tools to be an elite quarterback in the NFL. The issue with Jones is reading defenses, and if head coach Doug Pederson has any strengths, it should be helping quarterbacks with the mental part of the game. If Jones a risk? Yes. Is he better than the quarterbacks behind him on this list? No. But when you combine his strong arm, big body, potential, value in the third round and his intangibles, Jones makes the most sense if the Eagles are going to take a quarterback.”
In addition to playing as a quarterback in the NFL, new Eagles head coach Doug Pederson was also mentored by Andy Reid. While Reid had his weaknesses during his tenure as the Eagles head coach, he always seemed to get the most out of his quarterbacks.
As USA Today notes, Jones is considered a wild card by many league sources. While he has all of the physical tools to become a great quarterback, his ability to break down defenses is still a weakness.
Now that the NFL draft is almost here, rumors will continue to link the Philadelphia Eagles to the numerous quarterback prospects. While the top options, such as Goff and Wentz, are still possibilities, the team could wait until the third round and take Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Cardale Jones
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