PHILADELPHIA (CBS)- The NFL Draft is rapidly approaching with just three days remaining before NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell takes the stage in Nashville, Tennessee to let the world know that the Arizona Cardinals are on the clock. After an eventful offseason that saw executive vice president Howie Roseman make multiple moves to upgrade the team, the Philadelphia Eagles will own the 25th overall pick in Round 1.
Roseman added new weapons to the offense with the acquisitions of wide receiver DeSean Jackson and running back Jordan Howard, so the team could address needs on the defensive side of the ball. Or, they could choose to beef up the line in front of quarterback Carson Wentz with some younger reinforcements. To that end, let’s take a look at the most recent mock drafts for the CBSSports.com family of experts.
Ryan Wilson: Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, DB, Florida – Gardner-Johnson is coming off a stellar campaign in his junior season with the Gators, recording 71 tackles (9 for loss), three sacks, four interceptions and two additional passes defensed while starting at safety for Dan Mullen. He posted impressive measureables at the Combine (4.48 40, 36-inch vertical) and at 5-foot-11, 210 pounds, he’s on the bigger side for a defensive back. He’s seen as having the versatility to play at safety or in the slot, which would offer the Eagles even more versatility from their defensive backfield alongside Malcolm Jenkins.
Chris Trapasso: Devin Bush, LB, Michigan – If Bush falls to the Eagles at 25, it would be easy to imagine them running the card to the podium with his name on it. At 5-foot-11, 234 pounds, Bush is undersized but has the ability to be a three-down linebacker in the NFL. He was a terror at Michigan, racking up 18.5 tackles for loss and 10 sacks over the past two seasons while also accounting for 11 passes defensed. He shined at the combine, running a 4.43 second 40-yard dash and posting a 40.5-inch vertical. With linebackers continuing to migrate to more hybrid-type players who need to be able to run with tight ends down the field, Bush would be a perfect addition to the Eagles defense.
R.J. White: Trade out of 1st round – No prospect to discuss here, but it is a distinct possibility that the man affectionately nicknamed “Trader Howie” moves back out of the first round to pick up additional picks on Day 2.
Pete Prisco: Dexter Lawrence, DL, Clemson – The Eagles already have a monster in the middle of the defensive line in Fletcher Cox and a strong stable of pass rushers on the edges. The lone spot that was really hurting last year was the man inside next to Cox. Timmy Jernigan was hurt for much of the year and Haloti Ngata provided solid, if not memorable, play as a veteran presence. Lawrence, a 6-foot-4, 324-pound junior from Clemson, would slide in perfectly next to Cox as a willing pass rusher and run-stuffer. Over the course of three years as part of the Tigers’ front four, he collected 131 tackles (18 for loss) and 10 sacks and a pair of All-ACC honors. Offensive lines would have a hard time doubling Cox with Lawrence working right next to him on the inside.
Will Brinson: Jeffrey Simmons, DL, Mississippi State – Like Lawrence, Simmons would provide another destructive force in the interior of the defensive line to pair with Fletcher Cox. He even has the same alma mater as the current Birds’ star. Weighing in at 301 pounds and standing at 6-foot-4, Simmons was a wrecking ball for the Bulldogs, tallying 33 tackles for loss and seven sacks over three seasons in Starkville. He does have some questions that are likely to be asked of him at the pro level, namely about a video that surfaced in 2016 of him punching a woman. He has said since that he “regrets” his actions and he didn’t have any other incidents during his time in college. Still, that question will be asked of the franchise and Simmons if he is drafted with their first-round pick.
Jared Dubin: Johnathan Abram, DB, Mississippi State – A teammate of Simmons’ in Starkville, Abram is in the same mold as Gardner-Johnson. He stands at 5-foot-11 and weighed in at 205 pounds at the combine with similar speed (4.45 40-yard dash). His two seasons with the Bulldogs resulted in 14 tackles for loss, five sacks, two interceptions and 10 passes defensed. Again, similarly to Johnson, Abram is expected to have some versatility to toggle between the safety spot and nickel depending on the situation.