With the 2020 NFL Draft merely one day away, it’s time to unveil my first and only Philadelphia Eagles mock draft. I know you’ve all been waiting with baited breath!
To note, The Draft Network’s simulator was used this exercise. I also discussed my picks with Jimmy Kempski — who revealed his final mock as well — on the latest BGN Radio podcast episode, which you can listen to below or by [clicking here]:
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1st round (No. 21) - Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
I already made my case for the Eagles drafting Jefferson last week. Is he the most ideal fit in a perfect world? No, he’s not the burner the Eagles could really afford to add. But the Eagles don’t just need pure speed. They also need some receivers who are just legitimately good players and everything about Jefferson’s profile suggests he’ll be able to make a successful transition to the NFL. His projection should be valued by an Eagles team that’s regularly failed to draft and develop receiver talent under Howie Roseman. Given the barren state of the receiving corps, Philly can’t afford another flat out bust. Jefferson is a high floor, high ceiling prospect. Adding him to the roster would give Carson Wentz a receiver who’s actually reliable ... unlike Agholor.
2nd round (No. 53) - Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson
“Wow, BLG taking Higgins?!” Surprising, I know. I’m certainly not a fan of the Eagles taking him at No. 21. His poor athletic profile is concerning:
Tee Higgins is a WR prospect in the 2020 draft class out of Clemson.— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) April 8, 2020
He posted a poor #RAS with elite size, poor speed, okay explosiveness, at the WR position.https://t.co/qSdCs4HlDI pic.twitter.com/jtGhL99vru
But with Jefferson already in the fold and Higgins falling to the second round — which I don’t think is necessarily realistic, but, hey, blame the simulator — I’m more comfortable with the risk here.
Higgins logged 135 receptions for 2,448 yards (18.1 yards per reception) and 28 total touchdowns in three years at Clemson. He’s not a true burner, no. It’s not like teams are going to be worried about him running behind the last line of their defense. But Higgins can make big plays down the field in part due to his jump ball ability. I know that phrase causes JJ Arcega-Whiteside PTSD but I’ll take the risk here. Higgins could be an Alshon Jeffery replacement.
I do think the Eagles really need to come away with two receivers by the end of Day 2.
3rd round (No. 103) - Logan Wilson, LB, Wyoming
The Eagles brought Wilson to Philly for a pre-draft visit prior to the coronavirus pandemic shutdown. He has a track record of production:
Wilson played defensive back in high school and was incredibly productive at Wyoming so it’s no wonder he’s on the Eagles’ radar. The redshirt senior finished his college career with 409 total tackles, 34.5 tackles for loss, 14 passes defensed, 10 interceptions, seven sacks, five forced fumbles, and three defensive touchdowns. Pretty good.
Wilson also boasts an encouraging athletic profile:
The Eagles desperately need help at linebacker since Nathan Gerry and T.J. Edwards are the current projected starters. They almost have to address the position by early Day 3 at the latest.
Wilson could immediately challenge for playing time.
4th round (No. 127) - Tyler Biadasz, C, Wisconsin
2020 could very well be Jason Kelce’s last season playing in the NFL. He’s previously weighed retirement and he turns 33 this year. His contact contains no guaranteed salary beyond this year.
The Eagles could draft Biadasz to provide immediate depth at center before potentially taking over for Kelce in 2021. Biadasz’s top athletic comparison on Mockdraftable is J.J. Dielman, who I once heard the Eagles were interested in drafting back in 2017. NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein also compares Biadasz to former Eagles interior offensive lineman Stefen Wisniewski. So, I think you can argue he fits Philly’s preference.
4th round - (No. 145) - Kenny Robinson, XFL safety
Robinson attended West Virginia in 2017 and 2018 before being expelled for academic fraud. Instead of transferring to a different school, Robinson decided to go pro and join the XFL. Robinson graded out as one of the XFL’s best coverage safeties, logging two interceptions in five games with the St. Louis BattleHawks. Robinson previously had seven interceptions at West Virginia.
The Eagles’ outlook at safety is tenuous. There’s no guarantee that Jalen Mills makes a successful transition to that position and, even if he does, he’s only signed to a one-year contract. Free agent signing Will Parks is also only under contract for 2020. The Eagles should be looking for a potential replacement for Rodney McLeod, who struggled in coverage last year. Robinson could be groomed to be a future starter.
4th round (No. 146) - Jason Strowbridge, DL, North Carolina
The Eagles can never have too many defensive lineman. Despite not having a glaring need at the position, they’ve showed a lot of interest in ends and tackles ahead of this year’s draft.
The 6-4, 275 pound Strowbridge could kill two birds with one stone in that he offers some defensive end and defensive tackle versatility. That’s a quality that was present in former Jim Schwartz defensive linemen Michael Bennett and Jason Jones. Strowbridge has a solid athletic profile:
The Eagles need more depth on the interior with Fletcher Cox and Malik Jackson each finishing 2020 at 30 years old. There’s also room for edge depth with Vinny Curry still on the free agent market.
5th round (No. 168) - Dane Jackson, CB, Pittsburgh
Jackson is a Schwartz corner if you’ve ever seen one; he plays with the confidence and swagger that the Eagles’ defensive coordinator loves. PhiladelphiaEagles.com’s Fran Duffy has actually compared Jackson to Mills.
Not unlike Mills, Jackson isn’t the best athlete. But that didn’t stop him from standing out at Senior Bowl practices earlier this year.
The Eagles don’t necessarily need immediate help at corner. They can try to see if Avonte Maddox or Sidney Jones pans out opposite of Darius Slay. Drafting Jackson gives the Eagles depth and a player to groom for the future.
6th round (No. 190) - Leon Richmond, Colorado School of Mines
Richmond is a real intriguing option that I haven’t seen mentioned on anyone’s radar. He’s a real modern player in that he doesn’t have a true position. His college production wasn’t good but he offers an intriguing blend of size and athleticism. The Eagles may as well take a shot at this point in the draft.
- I don’t love that I didn’t get the Eagles a true burner at wide receiver. Jalen Reagor is a guy I’m intrigued by in a trade back scenario; No. 21 just feels a little rich for him. Also intrigued by KJ Hamler if he falls to No. 53.
- It’s going to be tough for the Eagles to hit on a lot of their many needs. There’s going to be a position or two that get neglected. In that vein, I skipped over adding a Day 3 running back. Given the previous success of Corey Clement and Josh Adams, the Eagles should try making another UDFA investment there.
- Try not to get too angry if you don’t like my mock. You’re obviously free to express dissent but, ultimately, it’s not that serious.
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