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2016 NFL mock draft: Philadelphia Eagles take Ezekiel Elliott at No. 8

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In the first round of our writers mock, the Eagles add an instant impact starter.

What identity do the Philadelphia Eagles have on offense? They're fronted by Sam Bradford at quarterback, and that doesn't inspire much confidence. Neither does Ryan Mathews as the starting running back. Like the 49ers at No. 7, both of the top two quarterbacks are gone, so that's off the table for the Eagles. But they are in prime position to take the draft's top running back.

Brandon Lee Gowton of Bleeding Green Nation

8. Eagles: Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State

Gowton: A number of people will say drafting a running back in the first round isn’t a good use of resources, but the truth is Elliott makes a lot of sense for the Eagles. Philadelphia’s offense was abysmal in 2015 and it needs all the help it can get. Elliott provides more value than just merely improving the team’s rushing attack. He’s an excellent blocker. He can also contribute as a receiving weapon. Not to mention that the Eagles have a huge need at running back. It’s hard for them to count on the oft-injured Ryan Mathews and the soon to be 33-year-old Darren Sproles as full-time contributors. Both of those players could be gone after this year. Elliott can be a foundational piece for the Birds moving forward. He’s only 20 years old so the Eagles can get plenty of good years out of him to justify the high pick on a so-called devalued position.

Analysis: Need. Impact. Value. The choice of Elliott for the Eagles just checks off all the boxes. Is the eighth pick early for a running back? That can be argued, but Elliott is without competition as the draft's top running back. He's a player the Eagles can build their offense around.

Dan's Top 5 players remaining

  • 8. Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame
  • 10. Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida
  • 11. Darron Lee, LB, Ohio State
  • 12. A'Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama
  • 13. Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson

Eagles picks

  • 1-8: Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State

Our last pick of the day is coming up at 3 p.m. from Bucs Nation making the choice for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Complete draft results:

1. Tennessee Titans - Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss (Link)
2. Cleveland Browns - Jared Goff, QB, Cal (Link)
3. San Diego Chargers - Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida State (Link)
4. Dallas Cowboys - Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State (Link)
5. Jacksonville Jaguars - Myles Jack, LB, UCLA (Link)
6. Baltimore Ravens - Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State (Link)
7. San Francisco 49ers - DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon