After securing a very good receiver with the 21st pick, the Eagles have several options with the 28 pick.
When preparing for a mock draft like this, you have to decide whether you're going to pick the guy you personally want or whether you'll try to think like the team. Many mock drafts would have the Eagles taking tight end Brandon Pettigrew here because he's the top-rated tight end and they certainly could use a tight end and he's a fine all-around player. Problem is, Pettigrew simply doesn't fit the mold of the kind of tight end the Eagles have looked for over the past decade. When asked about Pettigrew recently, Andy Reid even remarked that "he's not very quick." While myself and many other fans might salivate over the idea of a blocker like Pettigrew lining up at tight end, the Eagles organization will likely be looking for the speedy pass catcher type.
You might also say that if the Eagles take a running back, why not the top-rated back left on the board Chris Wells? Wells is a fine back, probably the best runner in the draft... but again he simply doesn't do all the things the Eagles look for in a back. Donald Brown however, does do those things. I would imagine many people would see this as a bit of a reach at No. 21 and to be honest I'd agree that it's a bit high for Brown... In reality the Eagles would probably consider trading down if the draft shook out this way. There's a chance that Brown would still be around at No. 28 when the Eagles pick again, but with my top choice at running back off the board (Knowshon Moreno) rather than risk it, I'm grabbing Brown now.
Running back might very well be the Eagles' biggest need going into this draft. With the departure of Correll Buckhalter in free agency, the Eagles are left with next to nothing to backup Brian Westbrook. Westbrook is all but guaranteed to miss a few games over the course of the year and be listed as questionable for the ones he does play... plus he'll be hitting that magic age of 30 where the death watch for the career of an NFL running back begins. When you look at just how much of the Eagles' offense flows through Westbrook, it's imperative to have an heir apparent to him that can be the kind of dual running/receiving threat he is. Unlike Wells, Brown is a solid pass catcher out of the backfield. I don't know that Brown will ever become as productive as Westbrook did, but I do think he can be used in much of the same way.
Last year, I really coveted Matt Forte and watching his first year in the NFL I know he would have flourished in the Eagles offense... I think Brown is comparable to Forte and could flourish similarly.
I also considered LeSean McCoy here since he could also be a dual threat out of the backfield, but it seems to me that he goes down too easily at times. Plus, the Eagles are big on character and I think they'd rate Brown higher than McCoy in that dept.
MTD thoughts: Is this a reach pick? Absolutely. But I love it. Jason perfectly explained the reasoning. Every year, you see a team or two reach for a pick that ends up making sense. Based on Jason's reasoning, you can understand why Philadelphia would here.
Mocking the Draft's Top Five Remaining Prospects - RB Chris Wells, DE Michael Johnson, OT Phil Loadholt, OT Eben Britton, C Alex Mack