Man vs. Machine: Predicting the Eagles first-round NFL draft picks at 15, and 18, – Philadelphia Eagles blog

PHILADELPHIA – One of the greatest things about working for ESPN is the many useful tools and fun that a writer can use to make sense of the world.

The Draft Day Predictor is a new tool from our sports analytics team. It predicts the likelihood that a player will be selected with a particular pick in the next week's NFL Draft (April 28-30 on ESPN, ABC, and ESPN App). The underlying modelThis is based on Scouts Inc.'s prospect grades, expert mock drafts, and team needs.

Let's get to know the Draft Day Predictor. Philadelphia EaglesWill do at picks 15, 18 and 18. It's all in the name of providing a comprehensive look at the Eagles' options and how they might be thinking entering a pivotal draft for general manager Howie Roseman & Co. May the best man/machine win.

Select No. Pick No.

Draft Day Predictor Trent McDuffieWashington

McDuffie is the most likely to be selected 15th overall (12.5%), followed closely by Alabama receiver Jameson Williams (9%), Utah linebacker Devin Lloyd (7%), Georgia defensive tackle Jordan DavisLSU corner (7%) Derek Stingley Jr. (6.5%). It's a solid roster. Williams would be a top-10 selection if he had not tore his ACL during the College Football Playoff National Championship. It's easy for Roseman to fall for Williams' rare speed and playmaking abilities. Similar to Williams, Stingley can also be a star, provided that injuries are not an issue. According to the Draft Day Predictor there is less than 30% chance Stingley will make it to pick 15. Philly may have to trade up in order to acquire him.

This is McDuffie’s sweet place. According to ESPN's model McDuffie is most likely in the 14-15 category. He is a great fit for an Eagles team that doesn't have a starting spot opposite. Darius Slay— Has a determination to his play that would draw Jonathan Gannon as defensive coordinator.

McManus:Jordan Davis, DT Georgia

Davis is most likely 14th overall to the Baltimore RavensAccording to the predictor, he will be available at 15. He'd make a great addition to the Eagles, if he's available at 15 We all know that they build teams from the inside. They value players that can drain the pocket and create pressure on the quarterback. The man who has done that for them over the past decade. Fletcher CoxAfter this season, he could be out of work.

Davis, a 6-foot-6, 341-pound guard from Georgia, posted impressive numbers at the combine. He also ran a 4.78 second 40-yard dash. He is a potential top-five pick, and would also be an ideal candidate to play in the hybrid scheme. Gannon is looking for a blocking, O-line demolishing nose tackle to make it easier for the rest. Davis is capable of this and has all the tools necessary to become a formidable pass-rusher.

Choose 18 overall

Draft Day Predictor Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah

Lloyd (18.5%) is the most probable pick followed by Williams (8.5%), Purdue defensive ending George Karlaftis (8.5%), Ohio State receiver Chris OlaveMcDuffie (6.5%) and (7%) This suggests that the Eagles will not be interested in drafting a receiver during the first round for the third consecutive year. Instead, they will wait until Day 2, when the receiver needs can be filled. This model shows that the middle of first round appears to be receiver country. Perhaps the value is too great to miss.

Roseman suggested at the combine that Eagles would need to find a linebacker. [linebackers] that fit our coaches’ scheme.”

Lloyd, a two-time captain of the team and finalist for the Butkus Award, has accumulated 111 tackles, 22 tackles to loss and seven sacks. He also had four interceptions last year, two of which were returned for touchdowns. He would instantly improve Philly’s linebacking team.

McManus:Trent McDuffie (CB), Washington

If they chose Lloyd, the Eagles would be breaking a trend. They haven't drafted an old-style linebacker since 1979, when they drafted Jerry Robinson at UCLA. Recent years have seen the current team rank near or below the bottom when it comes down to resources for the position. This shows that they do not value linebacker as a valuable asset in roster building. Trends are made to be broken, but I'm in I'll-believe-it-when-I-see-it mode.

Karlaftis has shown that defensive end is a necessity. Ryan KerriganComparisons could be in play. The Eagles are looking for defensive backfield help and have left their options open in case they find a safety or corner early in the draft. McDuffie is expected to make it to 18, despite his poor college production (he only had two interceptions in his three seasons at Washington). McDuffie's lack of regular play will be accounted for by the Eagles. He will be able to use his skill set to play both zone and man at high levels. So, the predictor is right about the prospect. But not the slot. We're either swimming or sinking together.

Also, it is possible to trade back from 18, if you have the top defensive backs. Andrew Booth Jr.Michigan's Daxton Hill worthwhile targets.

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