March 23, 2022
On Tuesday, we published our fourth Philadelphia Eagles-only mock draft of the offseason. With the meaty part of free agency now in the books, we'll take a peek around at some of the national guys and see who they have going to the Birds at 15th, 16th, and 19th overall.
Pick 15: Devonte Wyatt, DT, Georgia: Wyatt put on a show in Indianapolis. He'd add some youth and explosiveness to the Eagles' interior defensive line.
Pick 16: Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah: I know the Eagles typically avoid taking linebackers in the first round, but Lloyd would be too good to pass up at this point in the draft.
Pick 19: Boye Mafe, DE, Minnesota: Mafe followed a dominant Senior Bowl performance with an outstanding combine workout. The Eagles would be stacked with talent along the defensive front.
#JimmySays: Even after the Haason Reddick signing, the Eagles still need additional pass rush help, and more specifically, a traditional DE. In Jeremiah's mock, he has defensive ends coming off the board fast and furious. Aidan Hutchinson went 1, Travon Walker 2, Kayvon Thibodeaux 3, Jermaine Johnson 7, and George Karlaftis 14. With David Ojabo having torn his Achillies, there are no defensive ends left for the Eagles.
If there's nobody left after those five guys, so be it. Don't just reach for the next one, which in this case is Mafe. And I actually like Mafe. I had him in our Eagles-only mock draft 4.0 on Tuesday, but not at pick 19.
Pick 15: Jermaine Johnson, DE, Florida State: The Eagles haven't been super active in free agency, though they did add impact edge rusher Haason Reddick and bring back defensive tackle Fletcher Cox. I don't think any of their needs have changed since my last mock draft. I'm looking at wide receiver, cornerback, safety, off-ball linebacker and defensive end -- yes, they still need one -- to fill out their three first-round picks.
That leads me to Johnson, a one-year starter who transferred from Georgia to FSU and had a stellar 2021 season. He was excellent at the Senior Bowl and has moved from a possible top-50 pick to likely landing in the top 20. NFL teams always want pass-rushers, and he could help immediately.
Pick 16: Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State: Olave can play early and often for a Philadelphia team that has to get more out of its passing game with quarterback Jalen Hurts. Olave is a speedster (4.39 40-yard dash at the combine) who had 13 touchdowns last season. This would be the Eagles' third straight draft taking a wideout in Round 1, but it should be a priority if they want to get back to the playoffs.
Pick 19: Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah: Here's a spot to fill Philadelphia's void at off-ball linebacker. Lloyd was one of the best all-around defenders in college football last season, racking up 111 total tackles, eight sacks, 20 tackles for loss, four interceptions and a forced fumble. He has some juice as a blitzer and can cover tight ends and running backs in the passing game. Lloyd's 4.66 40-yard dash at the combine means he doesn't have the straight-line speed of former top-five pick Devin White (a linebacker I've compared him to), but I don't think he should drop past the Eagles.
That's three early starters for the Eagles here, with Lloyd, Chris Olave and Jermaine Johnson II.
#JimmySays: Lloyd's athleticism is fine. There might be better LB values at linebacker on Day 2. Still, these three players would be a perfectly acceptable haul.
Pick 15: Drake London, WR, USC: The Eagles have used first-rounders on wide receivers the last two years, but they still lack depth at the position. At 6-foot-5, London was a high-point-catch machine before his '21 season ended prematurely with an ankle injury. He has all the tools to be WR1.
Pick 16: Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia: This continues to be a popular pairing in our weekly mocks, partly because the Eagles could use Dean in the middle of their D (even if, historically, they don't draft off-ball linebackers in Round 1), and in part because Dean was so dominant during the '21 season. And while he played on the best defense in the country, don't be fooled -- he didn't ride on the coattails of a dominant Georgia defensive line, Dean was a huge reason for their success. There are questions about his size and how that translates to the NFL but his tape tells a different story.
Pick 19: Daxton Hill, S, Michigan: Hill is part of a Wolverines defense that could end up seeing three players go in Round 1 next spring. He's underrated nationally, but watch him play and it becomes clear pretty quickly that he's in the running for one of the best defensive backs in this class. He's listed as a safety but he can line up anywhere.
#JimmySays: I'm not a big fan of London, personally. But that aside, if you think the Eagles don't draft linebackers in the first round, they've literally never taken a safety in the first round. I do like Hill quite a bit, but I can't see the Eagles reaching for a safety in the first round.
Pick 15: Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah: Philadelphia was aggressive in signing Haason Reddick and that relieves some of the push to add an edge rusher. It would still make sense for the Eagles to supplement the linebacker room with a talent like Lloyd. He is the first of three first round picks for the NFC East franchise.
Pick 16: Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas: As currently constructed, Philadelphia is a team that is going to work horizontally in the pass game rather than vertically. Smith has the capability to be that deep threat when called upon but Burks gives the team another option in the short to intermediate to make plays after the catch. I also like him working on a vertical plane so that gives the offense some flexibility.
Pick 19: Devonte Wyatt, DT, Georgia: Philadelphia has already added Utah linebacker Devin Lloyd and Arkansas wide receiver Treylon Burks. They round out the first round haul with Wyatt, who serves as insurance in the event that the team trades Fletcher Cox.
#JimmySays: So we have a linebacker in every one of these drafts so far. I mean, I get it. They need linebackers and they haven't done anything in free agency to solve that position yet. But we all know they're probably not taking one, right?
Pick 15: Derek Stingley, CB, LSU: The Eagles buy low on Stingley, the consensus No. 1 corner entering 2021 before inconsistent play and a season-ending injury allowed others to close the gap. If Stingley can regain his 2019 form, when he had 15 pass breakups and six interceptions, he'll be a worthy complement to Darius Slay in the secondary.
Pick 16: Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas: The Eagles have missed out on/chose not to pursue the top free agent wide receivers so far, so using one of their three first-round picks on the position would make sense. Burks is a YAC machine, which will make Jalen Hurts' job that much easier and take pressure off DeVonta Smith.
Pick 19: Devonte Wyatt, DT, Georgia: Even with the Eagles bringing back veteran Fletcher Cox after initially releasing him, they could still use another quality player along the defensive front. Wyatt will fortify that unit as a stout run defender and able pass rusher.
#JimmySays: We didn't have the Eagles taking a cornerback, at all, in our mock draft 4.0. I believe it's an overstated need. They have their No. 1 in Darius Slay, and their slot corner in Avonte Maddox. They also drafted a player they really like in Zech McPhearson who didn't get to play much in 2021 because the Eagles had a very rare healthy season from the corners. But then they also added a slew of young guys like Tay Gowan, Mac McCain, Josiah Scott, and Kary Vincent.
If a corner is at the top of the Eagles' board when they're picking, they could very well take him. Maybe that'll happen with a guy like Stingley. I don't know. But my sense is that the Eagles want to get a look at the young guys already on their roster, and if after minicamps and OTAs (or later down the road in training camp) they're not encouraged by what they see, they can add a competent one-year Band-Aid veteran at that time, much like they did with Steven Nelson last offseason.
Pick 15: Jermaine Johnson, DE, Florida State: The Eagles did sign Haason Reddick at the start of free agency, but they still have a need on the edge.
Pick 16: Derek Stingley, CB, LSU: The Eagles can't pass on Stingley with all of their first-round selections. He has too much upside and the position is a need in Philly.
Pick 19: Lewis Cine, S, Georgia: The Eagles pass on receiver and instead go with one of the most explosive players in the entire class in Cine to strengthen the safety group.
#JimmySays: Again, if a good safety like Cine is available in Round 2, great, take him. At pick 19? No. The only safety I'd consider with one of the my first round picks if I'm the Eagles is Kyle Hamilton, who will likely be gone.
Pick 15: Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State: The Eagles look like they hit on DeVonta Smith but they already made a big speed and quickness whiff on Jalen Reagor in the first round. They can make amends by getting the polished and smooth Olave to play off Smith and take the passing game to a much higher level with Jalen Hurts.
Pick 16: George Karlaftis, DE, Purdue: The Eagles have some issues at defensive end with Brandon Graham coming off a torn Achilles' at 33, Josh Sweat being ineffective and Derek Barnett not re-signed as a free agent. They can put this different "Greek freak" in green to boost their versatile front after adding Haason Reddick as a linebacker hybrid in free agency.
Pick 19: Devonte Wyatt, DT, Georgia: The Eagles might bring back released Fletcher Cox on a restructured contract but they also know he's 31 and will start to fade as an impact player up front soon. Wyatt's hybrid nature of being able to play all line positions fits their need to a tee.
#JimmySays: These three players are fine. Josh Sweat catches some odd criticism here, lol.
Pick 15: Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas: Yes, this would mean a first-round wideout for a third consecutive year for Philly, but the team can afford this move given how flush GM Howie Roseman is with options in 2022. Burks' 4.55 combine 40 seems downright pedestrian when stacked up against his receiver peers. But at 6-2, 225 pounds, he would bring a different element to a Smurf-ish group that hasn’t gotten enough from holdovers like Jalen Reagor or 2019 second-round bust J.J. Arcega-Whiteside. Burks’ size would also be a plus for sometimes scattershot QB Jalen Hurts, and his potential as a Deebo Samuel-type weapon (1,216 yards and 12 TDs by way of 80 touches from scrimmage last season) would be a boon to any team while beautifully complementing 2021 first-rounder DeVonta Smith.
Pick 16: Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington: With a 4.44 40 time, elite cover skills and smarts, he's pretty much made to order for a secondary that doesn't have a whole lot going for it aside from CB Darius Slay. This is the spot Philly picked up in its 2021 Wentz deal.
Pick 19: Traded to Atlanta, with the following explanation: Why not, right? Philadelphia's reload could benefit with some of its draft stockpile repackaged – maybe getting Atlanta's 2023 first-rounder and change, or both of this year's Round 2 picks or some combination thereof? From the Falcons' perspective, Willis has to be an intriguing consideration given what an athletic quarterback like Ryan Tannehill did in coach Arthur Smith's system. Willis, who moves like a tank and throws like a howitzer, could benefit from watching Mariota in the near term but also has the personality and leadership skills that could galvanize this team and city anew. And if Atlanta targets Willis, probably gonna need to leapfrog the Steelers to get him.
#JimmySays: So a lot to unpack with that trade. To begin, the Eagles aren't trading any of their 1's for the 43rd and 58th picks, which is where Atlanta is selecting in Round 2. That's nonsense. Would they trade one of their 1's to move back to Round 2 in this draft, while also picking up a 1 next year? Absolutely.
Of course, I see two problems with this scenario from the Falcons' perspective:
But anyway, yes, the Eagles would be more than willing to move back and pick up 2023 draft capital if the right offer comes along, especially from a sucky team like Atlanta.
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