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April 17, 2023

Eagles-only 2023 seven-round mock draft, version 5.0

Eagles NFL
041623JalenCarter Jordan Prather/USA TODAY Sports

Jalen Carter (88)

As you're probably aware, the Philadelphia Eagles have two first-round picks in the 2023 NFL Draft, and six picks total. In our first four mocks drafts, we played it straight, and simply had the Eagles sticking and picking. Here, we have trades!

In case you missed our Eagles-only mock drafts 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, and 4.0 you can find them hereherehere, and here. We don't repeat players in any of these mocks, so those past versions are all very different. Let's just get right to version 5.0, our "10 days away" edition.

Trade with the Raiders 

Eagles get Raiders get 
Pick 7 Pick 10 
 Pick 62 

• Why this type of trade makes sense for the Eagles: Many of the options that are likely to be available to the Eagles at pick No. 10 make sense long-term, but most don't also fit their short-term needs. It is unlikely that a true blue chip type of prospect will make it to pick 10.

• Why this type of trade makes sense for the Raiders: The Raiders' roster sucks, and they have holes galore. By moving back three spots — with a win on the point value chart — they land an extra second round pick, and can address their bad offensive line at pick No. 10.

Round 1, pick 7: Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia (6'3, 314)

Carter has an extremely impressive blend of quickness, power, and change of direction, which is why he is regarded by some as the most talented prospect in this draft.

Georgia had three defensive linemen get drafted in the first round of the 2022 draft — Travon Walker (first overall), Jordan Davis (13th overall), and Devonte Wyatt (28th overall) — and many believe that Carter was the best player on that defense. However, his stock has taken several hits over the past few months (you can catch up on all of that here), which is why he could reasonably be available at pick No. 7.

The Eagles have shown that they will aggressively trade up for players when they don't like what is likely to be available at their original pick. They did just that last year when they moved up for Jordan Davis, and they did it in 2021 when they moved up for DeVonta Smith.

With the addition of a player like Carter to an already great defensive line, the Eagles could continue to dominate up front for the foreseeable future.

Pick 30: Trade with the Titans

Eagles get Titans get 
Pick 41 Pick 30 
Pick 72  

• Why this type of trade makes sense for the Eagles: Again, the Eagles are entering this draft with just six picks, and none in rounds 4, 5, and 6. It makes sense for them to try to acquire more mid-round picks.

• Why this type of trade makes sense for the Titans: There are a number of teams picking early in the second round who have a need at quarterback. It would make sense for one of them to trade up into the back end of the first round for guys like Will Levis or Hendon Hooker, with the added benefit of a fifth-year option.

Round 2, pick 41: Dawand Jones, OT, Ohio State (6'8, 374)

Jones was Ohio State's starting RT, and he is a massive human being as you can see above at 6'8, 374 pounds. He also has a super wide wingspan and a set of mammoth paws on him.

In the NFL, whoever drafts Jones will want him to drop some of that weight.

Jeff Stoutland tends to prefer offensive linemen that bring something to the table that other offensive linemen cannot match. With Jones, it's his size. Also, if you read enough scouting reports on Jones, you'll come across the phrase "grip strength," which is an attribute that Stoutland has consistently said he looks for in his linemen. Once Jones gets his hands on you, you're done, as he has plenty of highlight reel blocks in which he'll simply overpower and dominate guys in the run game. However, earlier in his career, he also had other moments where he'd completely whiff on blocks, as shown here:

In 2022, he cleaned up some of that inconsistency.

Jones is a fascinating possibility for the Eagles. He has something that can't be taught in his sheer size, however, he's still a little raw. In Philly, he'd have time to grow under Stoutland and eventually take over for Lane Johnson in, sayyyy, 2025, whereas he might be thrown to the wolves as a rookie with another team and have some ugly struggles early in his career.

Round 3, pick 72: YaYa Diaby, Edge, Louisville (6'3, 263)

Diaby has had an interesting path to the NFL Draft, as he originally enrolled Georgia Military College after being lightly recruited out of high school. He transferred to Louisville, where he steadily got better culminating in a breakout season in 2022, when he had 9 sacks, 2 batted passes, and 2 fumble recoveries.

Diaby is an oddball prospect in that he'll turn 24 at the end of May, and yet he's thought of as a raw-but-moldable high upside prospect with inside-outside versatility. He plays with strength, power, and hustle, but he'll have to add to his limited repertoire of pass rush moves at the next level. He had a great showing at the Combine, running a 4.51 at 263 pounds.

So to recap:

  1. Little experience at the D1 level, but has high upside
  2. Limited repertoire of pass rush moves, and too reliant on his bull rush
  3. Inside-outside versatility
  4. Motor runs hot
  5. Special athlete

That actually reminds me quite a bit of Iowa's Lukas Van Ness, who some feel could go in the top 10 picks. Just for fun, here's a comparison of Diaby's and Van Ness' measurables:

Measurable YaYa Diaby Lukas Van Ness 
Height 6'3 1/4" 6'4 3/4" 
Weight 263 272 
Arm length 33 7/8" 34" 
Hand size 10 3/8" 11" 
40 time 4.51 4.58 
10 yard split 1.56 1.64 
Vertical jump 37" 31" 
Broad jump 120" 118" 

I'd much rather draft Diaby in the third round than Van Ness at 10.

The Eagles have a trio of edge rushers in Haason Reddick, Josh Sweat, and Brandon Graham who combined for 38 sacks in 2022. They do not need an immediate impact out of a rookie edge rusher, and would be able to pick their spots to mix Diaby in while grooming him for a bigger role in 2024 and beyond. I like him as an eventual replacement for Graham.

Pick 94: Trade with the Bears

Eagles get Bears get 
Pick 103 Pick 94 
Pick 133  

Why this type of trade makes sense: Pick 94 feels like another prime spot for the Eagles to trade back, again, since they have no picks in Rounds 4, 5, or 6. Perhaps a team loaded up with Day 3 picks could look to move up, like the Bears, who have six.

Round 4, pick 103: Tre'Vius Hodges-Tomlinson, CB, TCU (5'8, 178)

Hodges-Tomlinson is the nephew of another former Horned Frog, LaDainian Tomlinson. Like his uncle, Hodges-Tomlinson is a really good football player. You can see his polish when playing a wide variety of techniques, and he has the speed and athleticism to stick to receivers like glue. He'll also hit.

If Hodges-Tomlinson were four inches taller, the draft community would be talking about him as a potential first-round pick, but at 5'8 teams will view him as a slot corner only, even if he mostly played outside for TCU. The Eagles have Avonte Maddox, who has developed into a very good slot corner, but he has been unable to stay healthy, and Josiah Scott got shredded when he had to fill in last season.

It's perhaps also worth noting that Hodges-Tomlinson played safety in high school. He's too small to play there in the pros, but he does have the physical temperament for the position and could possibly fill in there in a pinch.

Round 4, pick 133: Roschon Johnson, RB, Texas (6'0, 219)

Johnson has had an interesting college career. He was originally recruited as a quarterback, but moved to running back after Texas suffered a number of injuries there prior to the 2019 season. He had a good freshman season, but lost carries in 2020 and beyond after Bijan Robinson arrived at Texas and became the clear lead back.

Johnson is a big, powerful back at 6'0, 219 who runs hard, has good hands for a running back, and is thought of as one of the best pass-protecting backs in college football. 

Texas recognized the need to get Johnson on the field, even with a star player like Robinson at running back, so they lined him up all over the formation and found creative ways to use his skills as a lead blocker and as a receiver. Johnson is thought of as a smart, unselfish player who might have put up bigtime rushing numbers at another program. Here are all of his rushes and targets in 2022. A lot to like here:

Johnson does a lot of little things well and could give the Eagles valuable snaps immediately in a rotation with Rashaad Penny and Kenny Gainwell. 

Round 7, pick 219: Andrew Vorhees, OG, USC (6'6, 310)

Vorhees is an older interior offensive line prospect who has experience at both guard spots, and has been available in a pinch for USC at LT. He gives me some Landon Dickerson vibes (minus the center experience), with his hulking size, positional versatility, and nastiness, but limited athletic upside. 

We mentioned that he's old. Vorhees played six years at USC (medical redshirt in 2019, but played two games that season), and he's already 24 years old. That will no doubt hurt his value, as will the ACL tear he suffered at the NFL Combine. Otherwise, he might have gotten Day 2 consideration.

Whatever team drafts Vorhees should only do so knowing that he could miss his entire rookie season. At a minimum, he'll miss all of training camp, and is certain to start the season on the NFI list. But in the seventh round he has some upside as a potential starter at guard with left-right versatility.

Round 7, pick 248: Bryce Ford-Wheaton, WR, West Virginia (6'4, 221)

Ford-Wheaton has a ways to go as a receiver and he's probably a year or two away from helping in the regular offense for any team, but he's 6'4, 221 and he runs a 4.38, so someone is going to draft him. He'll at least have immediate value as a core special teamer.

Ford-Wheaton's most productive season came in 2022, when he had 62 catches for 675 yards and 7 TDs, which obviously pales in comparison to other receivers' production. Lots of fades:

With a pick this late, you may as well take a shot on a height/weight/speed guy.

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