- Ameer Abdullah- Nebraska (5-8 198 LBS)
Abdullah is a guy I really like potentially with the 3rd round pick number 84 overall. Although, I do think they may need to move up into the mid 70’s if there’s a run at the position all of a sudden. He has the type of smaller, physical style I like for the type of offense the Eagles have. His downhill running mentality will fit well with what I believe Chip is seeking at the position. His forty time was 4.6 which isn’t outstanding, but a burner is not necessarily needed. He will need to work on ball security and pass protection which are obvious needs for a starting running back in this league. He is an asset in the passing game as well which is always a plus. I would be more than pleased with an Abdullah selection somewhere in the 3rd round.
- Jay Ajayi- Boise State (6-0 220 LBS)
Ajayi is probably the best of the possible running backs I think the Eagles have a legitimate shot at. It’s just a matter of whether they will want to use the 2nd round pick number 52 overall on him, and also if he is still around by that time. His combination of size and burst of speed hitting the hole is a great fit for any offense especially one such as the Eagles which emphasizes the running game. Ajayi is a workhorse with 347 carries last year and also an excellent option out of the backfield with 50 receptions in 2014. This was displayed in the season opener against Ole Miss where he tallied 12 catches for 93 yards and a score. Similar to Abdullah he has issues with ball security and pass protection which I believe can be corrected. The biggest positive for me would be Ajayi’s pass catching skills and his size that we lack at the position besides Chris Polk if he even returns at this point. In my opinion, Ajayi would be a steal at pick 52.
- Duke Johnson- Miami (5-9 194 LBS)
Johnson has been a name linked to the Eagles a lot recently from what I’ve seen. Scouts differ on whether he is more of a scat back similar to Sproles or if he can handle 20 plus carries a game. His speed and quickness are his best attributes along with his ability to be a weapon in the passing game. He recorded three games with at least 5 catches during the 2014 campaign which is valuable for a young running back coming into the league. Unlike the other two running backs previously mentioned Duke has the ability to the hit home run with a 90 yard touchdown run this past season. The durability is the main concern for Johnson as to whether he can hold up for an NFL season and become more than a third down back. If Johnson was there in the 3rd round (pick 84) I would certainly rank him as one of the best options with that pick.
Next up wide receivers…
- Sammie Coates- Auburn (6-1, 213 LBS)
Coates played in an offense at Auburn that was run dominant. However, he showed the ability to stretch the field when they did throw the ball. His run blocking will also be a positive if he were to be drafted by the Eagles…seemingly why Riley Cooper is still on the roster. Coates needs to polish his route running along with catching the ball better in traffic which can be a big adjustment for college wideouts. He also struggled with injuries during the 2014 campaign which is always cause for concern. The thing I do really like about Coates besides his 4.4 speed is his knack for showing up against quality opponents. 144 yards against LSU, 122 versus Ole Miss, and finally 206 yards with 2 scores against rival Alabama. His tendency for drops is worrisome for someone who will need to catch the ball in order to make a living. However, his big play ability and size would be too much for me to pass on him in the 2nd round.
- Jaelen Strong- Arizona State (6-3, 212 LBS)
A Philly native, Strong seems to fit the mold of what Chip Kelly seeks at the wide receiver position which is size. He has a mix of size and underrated speed that will more than likely make him a first round pick. Dealing with quarterback issues this past season, Strong still managed to record 82 catches for 1165 yards and 10 scores. I would take a very hard look if Strong is available at pick 20 granted that the Eagles are still picking there. With the loss of Jeremy Maclin this team needs more weapons that can make plays down the field and I believe Strong fits that bill. It’s just a matter of Chip Kelly valuing the position enough to take a wide receiver in the first round based on him letting 2 Pro Bowlers walk in back to back offseasons.
- Devin Smith- Ohio State (6-0, 190 LBS)
The Ohio State product is arguably the best deep threat in this 2015 class. While he only managed 886 yards on the season his deep threat ability is very intriguing. With the departure of Jackson and Maclin this offense desperately needs an over the top threat to keep defenses honest. While Smith could be making a rise up many teams draft boards I would not spend a first round selection on him. Trading up in the 2nd round say mid 40’s is more reasonable in my opinion. His best play ability was best displayed in the Sugar Bowl against Alabama where he caught a 47 yard touchdown. He also had catches of 80,58,52, and 50 throughout the season. He would need to work on his route running and learn the different wide out positions to be most effective in the NFL.
- Ty Montgomery- Stanford (5-11, 215 LBS)
Montgomery is the wild card out of this group I listed. The offense he played in at Stanford did not give him many opportunities to put up gaudy stats like other draft entrees. His versatility and combination of speed along with big play ability make him a definite option in the middle to later rounds. The Stanford wideout also excels in returns and special teams as well which is a great way to find yourself playing time on a team coach by Chip Kelly. Montgomery did struggle with drops throughout the season and possibly playing on the East Coast in poor conditions he would most certainly need to improve upon that. You also can’t deny the Pac-12 connection with Stanford playing Oregon over the past few seasons. The same goes for Jaelen Strong. I would take a hard look if Montgomery was still available in the 4th round.