2014 NN community mock draft: With the 22nd pick, the Philadelphia Eagles select ...

The 2014 Niners Nation NFL mock draft is off and running. We move on to the Philadelphia Eagles, courtesy of user MisterEclectic.

We're back for the 22nd pick of the 2014 Niners Nation Community Mock Draft. You can see previous picks below in the draft table. You can also follow the mock draft board through this story stream.

With the 22nd pick of the 2014 NFL Draft, MisterEclectic and the Philadelphia Eagles select Jason Verrett, CB, TCU. He also considered LSU wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., Virginia Tech cornerback Kyle Fuller, and Auburn defensive end Dee Ford. Here are his thoughts on the pick:

In 2013, the Eagles defense allowed more passing yards than any other defense in the NFL.  Their secondary struggled through a combination of injuries and youth, and those difficulties showed up in the proficiency of opposing offenses. While the Eagles did manage to sign former Miami Dolphins' CB Nolan Carroll in free agency, Carroll doesn't necessarily represent a huge upgrade in talent for the unit, so I expect them to further shore up this area of weakness by adding a cornerback with their 1st round pick. Additionally, the difficulties facing the Eagles' secondary this upcoming season have been compounded by the fact that former Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson signed with a division foe - Washington (similar to Fooch, I won't use their racially pejorative mascot title).

That equates to a schedule that consists of at least two games this season where they'll have to face off against Washington and DeSean Jackson, two games where they'll be facing the Giants and Victor Cruz, one matchup against the Rams with Tavon Austin, one matchup against the Seahawks and Percy Harvin, and one matchup against the Packers and Randall Cobb.  Given those matchups, the clear choice for the Eagles is a quick cornerback who is capable of nullifying those specific threats.

Cornerback Jason Verrett is exactly the right pick to address the Eagles' needs.  Verrett is considered one of the top-4 cornerback prospects in this draft, and I have him edging out fellow corner Kyle Fuller out by just a hair. Although diminutive at 5'9 ½" and 189 pounds, Verrett possesses elite athleticism and plays much bigger than he is. Between his combine and pro day, Verrett posted a 4.38 second 40-time, a 39.5" vertical, a 6.69 second 3-cone time, and managed to put up 19 reps of 225 pounds (despite a torn labrum in his shoulder). Those are eye-catching numbers and go a long way towards confirming what Verrett flashes on tape.

On tape, Verrett flies all over the field, contributing significantly in the run game and making plays in the secondary. He is rarely caught out of position and possesses both the speed and quickness to usually catch up to any receiver who does happen to get past him.  His 6.69 3-cone time reveals that he has the short-burst quickness and change of direction necessary to stay with some of the talented shifty receivers that are popular around the league, and a perusal of his tape reveals that he also has excellent long speed.

One criticism consistently lobbed at Verrett is that he is too small to play on the boundary, but I believe this is overemphasized, particularly when we look at the corners who have been invited to the Pro Bowl within the last five years.  Players such as Tim Jennings and Brandon Flowers have more than adequately cemented their places as highly proficient corners who are shorter than 5'10".  I look for the Eagles to ease Verrett into either the CB1 or CB2 spot, retaining standout corner Brandon Boykin in the slot, and opening camp competition between Cary Williams, Nolan Carroll, and Bradley Fletcher for the other corner spot.

The greatest difficulty of this selection presented itself in the form of deciding whether to select a corner or WR Odell Beckham Jr. to replace the departed DeSean Jackson. Beckham Jr. is an excellent receiver and, while fractionally slower than Jackson, has much better hands than Jackson. What swayed me towards corner were two facts: One, wide receiver Jeremy Maclin is returning from injury, and before missing last season with a torn ACL had been the Eagles' top wideout, even with Jackson on the roster; Two, this draft is very deep at wide receiver, and the Eagles will likely be able to find some serious talent at WR in the 2nd round whereas this draft isn't nearly as deep at the cornerback position. The drop off from the corners slated to go in the 1st round as opposed to those slated for the 2nd round is precipitous.

The second difficulty I had was in choosing between corners Jason Verrett and Kyle Fuller.  Ultimately, as is obvious at this point, I decided that Verrett is the better player. The third option of DE Dee Ford would potentially help solve the problems in pass defense by improving the pass rush, thereby decreasing the amount of time the opposing QB has to diagnose the defense and find his receivers. At the end of the day though, I don't believe that Dee Ford fits the profile of what the Eagles are looking for in a pass rusher as he is too similar in size and skill to DE Brandon Graham, a player they're currently trying to off-load.

Trevor Woods: When the Eagles decided to release Desean Jackson, they had a plan in mind, and I think that plan will be drafting a receiver in round one. In Chip Kelly's up-tempo offense, speedy options at receiver are a necessity, and their No 1 and 2 wideouts (Riley Cooper & Jeremy Maclin) aren't all that fast. Nolan Carroll was signed because the Eagles believe he can be a productive starting cornerback, and I see Chip Kelly getting his way and the Eagles taking Odell Beckham Jr. here.

Nick Chiamardas: The Eagles have enough needs to make their pick at 22 interesting. They covet a pass rusher (like many teams picking late in round one) so passing on Kony Ealy and Dee Ford is tough. They also have needs at safety but with the top two safties off the board, it's probably not a good idea to reach for one with this pick when there should solid options in round two. Same can be said for WR. Verrett is my favorite corner in the draft despite is small stature. His ball skills may be better than any corner out there and if not for his size, there's a chance he'd be the number one corner off the board. Outside of taking WR Odell Beckham Jr it's hard to find fault with this pick. While Philly doesn't have a major immediate need at corner, they land perhaps the best cover corner in the draft which certainly makes them a better team.

Round 1

1.

wiseguy545

Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina [Full Story]

2.

El Shorts Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn [Full Story]

3.

9er4life22 Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville [Full Story]

4.

Boss Clifford Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson [Full Story]

5.

Mark Balliet Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M [Full Story]

6.

CheekeeMunkee Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo [Full Story]

7.

TopFlightSecurity Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M [Full Story]

8.

Hoopers Judge Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida [Full Story]

9.

jmart7 Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina [Full Story]

10.

germinator Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA [Full Story]

11.

49feelinfine Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State [Full Story]

12.

superk0725 Taylor Lewan, OL, Michigan [Full Story]

13.

El Shorts Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama [Full Story]

14.

BryKno Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh [Full Story]

15.

SigepPT49er C.J. Mosley, ILB, Alabama [Full Story]

16.

Mira Loma Maulers Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M [Full Story]

17.

JMichael39 Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State [Full Story]

18.

Desert Dog Runner Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State [Full Story]

19.

albert.55 Zack Martin, OT, Notre Dame [Full Story]

20.

MidnightSpecial Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville [Full Story]

21.

Rowingdave Ryan Shazier, OLB, Ohio State [Full Story]

22.

MisterEclectic Jason Verrett, CB, TCU [Full Story]

23.

Rowingdave

24.

BearAKA

25.

CraigRED&GOLD

26.

Boss Clifford

27.

Roy_from_Israel

28.

dave.bocchino

29.

49ersCusefan

30.

Tre9er

31.

ak4niner

32.

timmyg24
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