With just a under a month until the 2018 NFL Draft, speculations are running wild as to what position the Eagles will address first. As the defending Super Bowl champions, they currently hold the 32nd and final pick in the first round. However, without another pick until the fourth round, it is very possible that they trade it away.
But not in this universe.
Let’s look at five potential players the Eagles could, and should, draft with the last pick in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft.
- Connor Williams (OT, Texas)
The Eagles will be lucky if they can get one more good season out of longtime left tackle Jason Peters. Therefore, they need to be thinking about how they are going to replace him, and it needs to be soon. With their first-round pick, the Eagles could take Williams and groom him to be their next franchise left tackle. Williams is a large and physical talent who is more than capable of being a leader both on and off the field. Putting him on the other side of Lane Johnson would mean that Carson Wentz would have elite protection for years to come.
- Josh Jackson (CB, Iowa)
Over the past couple seasons, the Eagles have had difficulty drafting their secondary. However, last year they may have struck gold with both Rasul Douglas and Sidney Jones. In this scenario, they keep the momentum going. Josh Jackson is one of the top corners of the entire draft, and while he hasn’t had a ton of starting experience in college, his film last season speaks for itself. Last year Jackson had eight interceptions in 13 games. In addition, he ran a 40-yard dash time of 4.56, meaning he possesses the deadly combination of speed and ball-hawking ability.
- Dalton Schultz (TE, Stanford)
With both Brent Celek and Trey Burton no longer with the team, the Eagles are in desperate need of a backup tight end. Obviously, as long as Zach Ertz is on the team he will be their starter. However, as they showed last season, a two tight end system works well for them. While Schultz isn’t the best tight end in the draft by any means, he is the best pure blocker by far. Having two Stanford tight ends, one for blocking and one for receiving, sounds almost too good to pass up.
- Darius Leonard (OLB, South Carolina State)
For one of the top linebackers in the draft, Leonard hasn’t gotten nearly the amount of media coverage he deserves. He has the prototypical NFL size for a linebacker and showed a strong ability to make plays. Last season, Leonard had 113 total tackles with eight sacks and two interceptions. The Eagles are always looking for playmakers on defense, and linebacker is one of their positions with the least amount of depth.
- Derrius Guice (RB, LSU)
One of the reasons the Eagles were so successful last season was because defensive coordinators had to prepare for both the passing and running game. The Eagles utilized the three-headed monster of Jay Ajayi, Corey Clement and LeGarrette Blount to perfection. With Blount now on the Lions, the Eagles will now be searching for his replacement. Guice is a tough, physical runner much like Blount. The difference is Guice is much more elusive and faster. He also has the ability to be an every down back if needed. Therefore, if the Eagles decide to move on from Ajayi at any point, Guice can be there to take over for him as well.