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2017 NFL mock draft: Reuben Foster headed to Philadelphia Eagles

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The intimidating Alabama linebacker fits a hidden need

NCAA Football: Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl-Alabama vs Washington Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

In the first season with Doug Pederson as head coach, the Philadelphia Eagles acquired a franchise building block on offense with quarterback Carson Wentz. He had plenty of good moments and bad, which you’d expect from a rookie, but he’s something to build a team around on that side of the ball.

On defense Philadelphia needs a Wentz. In this year’s NFL draft, which is heavy on defensive talent, they could find that player. That’s exactly what Brandon Lee Gowton of Bleeding Green Nation did here in the SB Nation NFL writers’ mock draft.

14. Eagles: Reuben Foster, MLB, Alabama

Gowton: The Eagles have repeatedly stated this offseason that they’re not “one player away” and thus need to focus on taking the best player available instead of need. That’s exactly what I feel like I’ve done here with this pick. The Eagles obviously have bigger needs at cornerback, defensive line, and wide receiver, but this is all about BPA.

Put simply, Foster is a beast. The prospect of adding him to a linebacking corps that already features a young, explosive playmaker in Jordan Hicks and a good starter in Nigel Bradham is very exciting. Foster could fit in as a 4-3 WILL, which is perfect for the Eagles with Mychal Kendricks likely to be traded this offseason. He’d give the Eagles defense another intimidator.

Though “need” wasn’t the deciding factor behind this pick, it just so happens that Foster’s addition gives the Eagles some much-needed insurance. Hicks, though very talented, has an extensive injury history. Philadelphia needs a backup at middle linebacker if he goes down. It’s also worth noting that Bradham is a free agent after the 2017 season. The veteran linebacker is potentially facing a suspension after some off-field incidents last year. So, linebacker might actually turn out to be a need for the Eagles after all.

Analysis: Although you can't really fault picking Foster, and the reasoning behind it, if you're going for the best player available it's hard to say he's better than Allen. If you can get two contracts out of Allen before his arthritic shoulders become an issue there's no reason he should be in this deep of a free fall. It would be much easier to argue for him if the pick for Philadelphia wasn't Foster. He's another player who is ready for the NFL and his playing style that relies on range, athleticism, and speed should be a perfect fit playing on the weak side.

Dan's top five players remaining

  • 2. Jonathan Allen, DL, Alabama
  • 7. Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State
  • 10. Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
  • 16. Jabrill Peppers, S, Michigan
  • 17. Takkarist McKinley, OLB, UCLA

Eagles picks

  • 1-14: Reuben Foster, MLB, Alabama
  • 2-43: (coming April 14)

Will the slide of Jonathan Allen continue? Find out at 3 p.m. ET when Stampede Blue is up to make the pick for the Indianapolis Colts.

Poll

What grade do you give the pick of Reuben Foster by the Philadelphia Eagles?

This poll is closed

  • 44%
    A
    (555 votes)
  • 28%
    B
    (346 votes)
  • 16%
    C
    (199 votes)
  • 5%
    D
    (64 votes)
  • 5%
    F
    (70 votes)
1234 votes total Vote Now