Is there anything more unifying than a mid-free agency mock draft? No? Good, because this Philadelphia Eagles seven round mock is sure to test that. I used all the brain power at my disposal to ensure each pick is perfectly crafted and I only ask that you hold your applause until the end.
It’s only right that I do this after taking the cowardly way out with my recent fan vote mock. The results did not go over well and hopefully this one is more of a crowd pleaser.
Obviously the landscape is shifting on a near hourly basis, but consider this as an opportunity to learn more about the players the Eagles could select. Or, and this is key.. use it to hurl vicious insults at my evaluation prowess. Bonus points and an auto-rec to the first “glad ur not the gm” comment. How could I deny such powerful and creative insight?
TO THE MOCK!
FIRST ROUND – 25TH OVERALL
NASIR ADDERLEY – Safety, Delaware (5’11 3/4”, 206)
The Eagles’ have shown an early interest in bolstering their defensive backfield by bringing in Florida safety Chauncy Gardner-Johnson on an official visit. Gardner-Johnson has been my highest riser when I revisited his film, boosting his grade to a first round value. He was off the board, but I ended up grabbing my highest rated safety anyway.
Adderley has some of the best film you’ll come across in this class. In coverage, he shows the requisite range to play single-high, the short area explosiveness to click and clack on intermediate routes, and the ability to mirror receivers when playing closer to the line.
Pro Football Focus’ Draft Guide has Adderley’s 2018 coverage stats as the following:
395 snaps, 23 targets, 7 receptions (30.4%), 74 yards, 0 TD, 4 INT, 1.3 passer rating (1st), 34.8% “forced incompletion percentage” (3rd).
Against the run Adderley displays the physicality and tackling form needed to fill the alley. Adderley’s film study is readily apparent and it pairs nicely with his ability to react and redirect on the fly.
Adderley is the perfect piece to plug into Jim Schwartz’s heavy MOFC coverage schemes.
SECOND ROUND – 53rd OVERALL
YODNY CAJUSTE – Offensive Tackle, West Virginia (6’4 7’8”, 312)
The “Bodyguard” Jason Peters’ return made pulling the trigger on this selection easy. Cajuste has some technical refinement needed in his game, but the overall package is one you want to work with as an offensive line coach.
Cajuste has the nimble feet, heavy anchor, powerful punch, and grip strength to win consistently on the blindside. Once he gets his hands on you and plants his roots, it’s over. His set points are still a work in progress due to the heavy quick sets utilized in West Virginia’s scheme, so there is some projection involved.
What isn’t a projection is his ability to move bodies in the run game. He engulfs linemen and linebackers alike with a surprisingly high hit rate at the second level. That aspect bodes well to working within both gap and zone schemes.
WVU LT Yodny Cajuste - Stays patient w/his hands which allows him to trap the incoming long arm & finish - pic.twitter.com/tSkpBa2Khm— Michael Kist (@MichaelKistNFL) February 9, 2019
From The Draft Network’s Joe Marino:
“While there are some technical improvements needed, Cajuste has the makings of a standout blindside offensive tackle in the NFL. His power, mobility and length are all plus traits that serve as a strong foundation for him to develop. While his skill set is optimized in a gap/power run scheme, he isn’t limited to that role exclusively. By year three, Cajuste should be a reliable starter gearing up for a lucrative second contract.”
SECOND ROUND – 57TH OVERALL
DRU SAMIA – Offensive Guard, Oklahoma (6’4 3/4”, 305)
Here’s what we know about the Eagles’ situation at both guard spots headed in to the 2019 NFL season.
- Brandon Brooks is recovering from a late-season achilles tear.
- Isaac Seumalo was extended on a team-friendly deal that puts a heavy onus on him to perform if he’s to be retained.
- Stefen Wisniewski has been set free.
That’s a shaky situation both short and long-term. How can the Eagles fix that? By bringing in a four-year starter with tackle experience from one of the best lines in the nation. Despite being undersized, Samia has the functional strength, technical refinement, and play speed to excel in a zone heavy scheme. He’s a tone setter with a nasty disposition and projects as a quality starter that will be a key piece of an offensive line for years to come.
Samia is one of my favorite linemen in the class and a great fit for the Eagles’ scheme.
FOURTH ROUND – 127TH OVERALL
KHALEN SAUNDERS – Defensive Tackle, Western Illinois (6’0 3/8”, 324)
Remember the backflip guy at the Senior Bowl? That was Saunders, who possesses rare flexibility for a giant human being. His flips weren’t the only thing that caught my attention in Mobile, as he had a fantastic week that significantly boosted his stock.
Saunders was able to bully lower levels of competition, which is a plus and a box checked if you’re concerned about that kind of thing. If you’re still concerned, the aforementioned dominance at the Senior Bowl should help. The downside is that he often relied on his strength and athleticism to win without significantly developing his technique. With the right defensive line coach, Saunders has the potential to develop into well-rounded and dangerous 1-tech in a 4-3 front.
Lmao @ Western Illinois using Khalen Saunders (#99) as a stand up rusher on 3rd & 15 OH WAIT WHAT?! pic.twitter.com/xGHreV3qJh— Michael Kist (@MichaelKistNFL) February 16, 2019
FOURTH ROUND – 138TH OVERALL
DEVINE OZIGBO – Running Back, Nebraska (5’11”, 222)
Without a significant addition in free agency to date, the Eagles should have a close eye on the running back class. Ozigbo’s experience in zone concepts at Nebraska, paired with his quick feet and finishing power bode well for his future success in Philadelphia.
Ozigbo is built like a Chevy big-block engine that will thrive in short-yardage and red zone situations. Instant upgrade over the backs of his type on the Eagles’ roster.
FIFTH ROUND – 163RD OVERALL
BEN BURR-KIRVEN – Linebacker, Washington (6’0”, 230)
The recent addition of former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker LJ Fort provides depth to the group, but let’s give it a little more. Burr-Kirven is a lighter linebacker with the competitiveness, football intelligence, and coverage skills to eventually work his way into a specialty role. The early return will be his contributions on special teams.
SIXTH ROUND – 197TH OVERALL
BRETT RYPIEN – Quarterback, Boise State (6’1 5/8”, 210)
I’m of the mindset that you should always be looking to add youth to your quarterback room. If you take a swing and miss, so be it. If you hit on a project that can act as a spot starter and eventually use as trade bait, even better. Rypien is a guy with the mechanical polish, poise, and accuracy that I’ll take that chance on.
From The Draft Network’s Kyle Crabbs:
“Brett Rypien projects as a system specific starter in the NFL. Rypien doesn’t have the best physical tools from a stature or arm strength perspective but he offers terrific accuracy under duress and flashes some of the most impressive throws from the pocket of any QB in the class. With that said, Rypien can get taken with his first read and stare it down too long and also will struggle with some of the wider field throws tasked of NFL QBs. Rypien’s ceiling is an average starter.”
The two undrafted free agents I’d call right away would be Northwestern State wide receiver Jazz Ferguson and Nevada EDGE Malik Reed. Ferguson measured in at 6’4 5/8”, 227 pounds and ran a 4.45 40-yard dash. Reed is said to have crazy high football character and his 6.89 3-cone matches the bend I saw on film.
Here’s the final haul all together:
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