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February 03, 2020

Eagles-only mock draft, version 2.0

As a reminder, the Eagles are projected to have 10 draft picks this year, with two in the third round, and three in the fourth, depending on how compensatory pick projections go. Also, be sure to check out our Eagles-only mock draft, version 1.0.

Round 1: Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU (6'1, 206)

In my opinion, the top three wide receivers in the 2020 NFL Draft class are, in whatever order you prefer:

  1. CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma
  2. Jerry Jeudy, Alabama
  3. Henry Ruggs, Alabama

Those three receivers are unlikely to fall to pick number 21, in my opinion. Jefferson is a receiver in sort of that next tier, but still worthy of the 21st pick, who racked up over 2400 yards in his two years as a starter at LSU:

 Justin JeffersonRec Yards YPC TD 
 201854 875 16.2 
 2019111 1540 13.9 18 

His 111 catches were good for first in the nation, his 1540 receiving yards were good for third, and his 18 TD catches were good for second.

Jefferson is a savvy route runner with experience both on the outside and the inside, who had no problem getting separation at the college level, which should quickly translate to the pros. While not a burner in the same realm of Ruggs, for example, he still does have speed, and can make plays with the ball in his hands after the catch. A look:

Make no mistake, the Eagles are going to aggressively address the wide receiver position in free agency this offseason. In games that DeSean Jackson is available to play in 2020, Jackson and (fill in free agent WR) can play on the outside, with Jefferson in the slot. In games in which Jackson is unable to go, Jefferson can play on the outside. Because of his savvy and his inside-outside versatility, Jefferson is a player who is both a short-term and long-term answer.

Round 2: Justin Madubuike, DT, Texas A&M (6'3, 300)

Madubuike is a penetrating, 1-gap style defensive tackle with 5.5 sacks in each of his last two seasons. In 2018, he added 40 tackles (10.5 for loss), and 3 forced fumbles. In 2019, he had 45 tackles (11.5 for loss), and 1 forced fumble. 

The Eagles looked like they might be stacked at DT heading into the 2019 season, with Fletcher Cox being the star player, Malik Jackson an established pass rushing complement, Timmy Jernigan a No. 3 with some upside, depending on his health, and trade acquisition Hassan Ridgeway. And then, very quickly, they weren't.

Cox and Jackson will both be 30 years of age during the 2020 season. Jackson got cut by his former team a year ago, and he suffered a serious foot injury that ended his season after one game in 2019, while Timmy Jernigan and Hassan Ridgeway will both be free agents this offseason. 

The Eagles currently have no depth at DT, and only one slam-dunk, feel-good-about-him starter. They badly need a young interior defender to add to the mix, and Madubuike can contribute immediately. 

Round 3: Bryce Hall, CB, Virginia (6'1, 200)

Hall is a local kid (Bishop McDevitt HS) who racked up a lofty 21 pass breakups in 2018. He also had 2 picks and 2 forced fumbles in 2018, and was named to the AP preseason All-America team heading into 2019. Had he come out a year ago, he likely would have at least been a second-round pick, but he decided to stay for his senior season at Virginia. Hall was getting some first-round projections in 2019, but a broken left leg and dislocated left ankle ended his 2019 season early. 

With good size at 6'1, 200, the Eagles could have interest in Hall as an outside corner. He has the same good traits that Rasul Douglas has (size, ball skills, physicality), but with much better long speed. A highlight reel:

Drafting an injured corner will turn some Eagles fans off, given the disappointing career that Sidney Jones has had so far, but this case is somewhat different, as Hall should be good to go for his rookie season. If completely healthy, Hall would easily be a second-round pick. Should he fall to the third round, he's worth a gamble.

MORE: How the Eagles 'helped' the Chiefs win the Super Bowl | Andy Reid finally does 'a better job,' wins Super Bowl in Kansas City | Mailbag: A look at potential Eagles wide receiver trade targets

Round 3 (compensatory): Tyler Biadasz, C, Wisconsin (6'3, 321)

Biadasz is a strong, nasty, intelligent center who is not going to get out in space and make athletic plays, but watch him move the line of scrimmage and put guys on the ground:

The Eagles have a need for a center on the horizon. Ideally, they could draft a lineman with center-guard versatility, and while Biadasz has only played center at Wisconsin, there's little reason to believe he couldn't also fill in at guard. He could make sense as a backup iOL early in his career, and eventually a full-time replacement for Kelce at center.

Round 4: Khalid Kareem, DE, Notre Dame (6'4, 265)

Notre Dame has a pair of edge rushers who will be selected in the 2020 NFL Draft, and Kareem is the lesser known of the two. While Julian Okwara is more explosive, Kareem is bigger, more stout against the run, and he seems to be closer to what the Eagles prioritize in their defensive ends.

2019 rookie fourth round pick Shareef Miller was only active for one game in 2019, and he didn't play. If the Eagles are unhappy with the way he has come along as a rookie, Kareem makes sense as late Day 2, early Day 3 pick.

Round 4 (compensatory): Adam Trautman, TE, Dayton (6'5, 251)

Wait, a tight end? Sure! If the Eagles are going to run a lot of two tight end sets, then maybe they should have a good third tight end, as opposed to a string of guys they're signing off of the street or pulling off their practice squad? 

Trautman is a player who impressed me in Mobile at the Senior Bowl. He has ideal size at 6'5, 251, and he caught 70 balls for 916 yards and 14 TDs at Dayton in his senior season. Obviously, those numbers came against a lower level of competition:

Like with Dallas Goedert when he was a prospect coming out of college at a small program, there will be questions about whether Trautman can block at the next level. Well, he certainly showed something in that department in Mobile. For example: 

A capable third tight end would mean that the Eagles wouldn't have to completely throw out a game plan, mid-game, should Zach Ertz or Goedert get dinged up.

Round 4 (compensatory): Matt Peart, OT, UConn (6'6, 310)

Peart has played for a UConn program that has gone 9-39 in the four years he was there, and still managed to get noticed as an NFL prospect competing at the Senior Bowl. In his time there, he racked up a lot of experience starting all four years, playing left tackle for two season, right tackle for two season, and even occasionally filling in at guard. 

In that sense, it's easy to see his fit with the Eagles as a potential swing tackle replacement for Halapoulivaati Vaitai. Here he is against UCF this past season. He's the RT, No. 65:

At 6'6, with 35 1/8" arms, he has excellent length for the NFL, and athleticism to go along with it. I think some team will view him as a starter, which means he could go Day 2. If he lasts into Day 3, the Eagles should have interest.

Round 5: A.J. Dillon, RB, Boston College (6'0, 250)

At 6'0, 250, Dillon is the biggest running back in this draft, and in his three years at Boston College, he put up big numbers in the run game, mostly because of his high number of carries:

A.J. Dillon Rush Yards YPC TD 
 2017300 1589 5.3 14 
 2018227 1108 4.9 10 
 2019318 1685 5.3 14 

That heavy workload could hurt Dillon's draft stock, as could his low yards per carry. For the Eagles' purposes, Dillon makes sense as a "between the tackles" runner to mix in with the more dynamic Miles Sanders. A highlight reel:

Whether or not Jordan Howard returns to the team in 2020 doesn't matter to me in terms of drafting a Day 3 running back. If Howard re-signs, that'll likely just be on a one-year deal, and the Eagles could use more backs anyway, as it is a position that has become depleted in each of the last three seasons. 

Dillon reminds me of LeGarrette Blount, for obvious size reasons, but also because he is surprisingly nimble for a 250-pound man.

Round 5: Shyheim Carter, S, Alabama (6'0, 191)

Carter played some slot corner early at Bama, but he made a move to safety in 2019. He can play free safety, strong safety, slot corner, or the star position in Alabama's defense, and is widely thought of as one of the smartest players on the team. While that might make you think of him as a Malcolm Jenkins replacement candidate, he does not have Jenkins' athleticism. 

A highlight reel:

I like Carter as something of a sub-package, big nickel type of player, with added value on special teams.

Round 6: Joe Reed, WR, Virginia (6'1, 215)

Reed's biggest appeal is as a returner. On 24 kick returns in 2019, Reed had a 33.2-yard average, and 2 TDs. Over his career, he has 5 kick return TDs.

In Virginia's regular offense, Reed did a little of everything. He lined up inside, outside, and in the backfield.

Reed's size and skill set reminds me a little of Josh Huff, who Doug Pederson occasionally found success using in 2016 in a niche role in the offense.

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