Saturday, April 9, 2016

Ohio State's Elliott to Anchor Philly's Running Game?

Mock drafts are a dime a dozen this time of the year and I personally have given up on trying to predict the unpredictable. Everything is subject to change right up until the start of the first round and I always get a kick out of these so-called NFL Draft gurus telling everyone which player a team is going to draft when that particular team does not even know who they are going to take.

That being said, there is some traction behind the rumors that the Eagles will use the eighth overall pick in the first round to select former Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott. There is no doubt that they need a quality running back to help inject some new blood into their ground game. Last season the offense fell to 14th in rushing yards per game (108.9) following the trade of LeSean McCoy and the ill-fated addition of DeMarco Murray to take his place. Murray is gone as well so Philly might be tempted to start from scratch with a player that can successfully fill that role for the next four or five years.

Normally, a running back will not command that high of a draft pick and I would much rather see the Birds add a huge lineman upfront given that their running issues were directly tied to a less than stellar offensive line. It all starts up front and finding offensive lineman that can fill an immediate need in the later rounds is a bit tougher than finding a suitable running back in Day 2 of the draft.

With Howie Roseman calling the shots along with new head coach Doug Pederson at the helm, the thinking may be to try and make a splash with such a high pick by drafting a big-named skill position player. We have already discussed the chances that Philly takes a quarterback at that No. 8 slot and the name Jared Goff out of California remains in the mix on quite a few mock draft boards. This will be a wait and see situation right up to that last Thursday in April, but one thing that is vitally important is that the Eagles make a significant impact with whoever they decide to take. It has been quite awhile since a first round draft pick has got the fickle Philly fans excited about the future direction of the team and Roseman and Co. are well aware of this fact.

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