Eagles mock draft roundup: Eagles add Boise St. linebacker Leighton Vander Esch
The NFL draft is just three weeks away which means one thing, mock draft experts are slowly keying in on who the Eagles will be taking with their pick. Although a lot of the times the draft is unpredictable, we are starting to get an idea of what is going through the Eagles’ heads at the moment.
ESPN’s Todd McShay just released his first mock draft of the year and he has the Eagles taking Boise State linebacker Leighton Vander Esch.
“The Eagles have the luxury of drafting for value. This would be a great landing spot for Vander Esch, as Philadelphia could use his versatility.”
The Eagles have been very interested in Vander Esch as they have had scouts at his pro day and even had him in for an official visit. Vander Esch is coming off of a great year for Boise St. which saw him prosper into the prospect he is today. He had 141 tackles, two interceptions, and four sacks. He was everywhere and anywhere, making all the plays a linebacker needs to make.
“Vander Esch is a loose-hipped, instinctive linebacker who played in 2017 like he had a GPS tracker on the football. His production totals against both the run and pass are rare for being a first-year starter and with a frame that is primed for more muscle, his NFL ceiling is high. Vander Esch might benefit from a reduced role his rookie season while he improves his play strength and becomes more skilled at taking on blocks. He’s an every-down linebacker with very good starting potential and the talent to fill up a stat sheet.”Via NFL.com
What we have learned about Vander Esch is he can become an elite linebacker in the NFL, he just needs a little time to develop, he just started one year in college. A player of his raw talent is rare and with good coaching and being on a good team in a good situation, Vander Esch can prosper yet again. It would be ideal for him and the Eagles in all honesty. The Eagles have a great supporting cast for him and being in their system he can do some great things. Vander Esch can almost take the Derek Barnett role and really learn about the league in his first year. Barnett grew a lot and by the playoffs, he was ready to start if needed.
Will Vander Esch be there at 32? It is hard to say, a lot of mock drafts have him going a lot earlier. However, if by some chance he falls, the Eagles would be wise to pounce on him.
Photo Credit: Isaiah J. Downing USA Today Sports Imaging
Mock Draft Tracker
Mel Kiper Jr. 2/28/18 – Texas A&M WR Christian Kirk
Bucky Brooks 3.0 3/23/18 – South Dakota St. TE Dallas Goedert
Mel Kiper Jr. 3/28/18 – South Dakota St. TE Dallas Goedert
Todd McShay 4/05.18 – Boise St. LB Leighton Vander Esch