Welcome back to BGN’s Mock Simulation Series. In these weekly articles, I use the awesome draft simulator over at The Draft Network to play out different draft scenarios for the Eagles. Philadelphia has a *ton* of picks in the 2022 NFL Draft, so there are plenty of avenues for roster improvement that we will explore over the next few months.
Pick 15: DeMarvin Leal, Defensive Lineman, Texas A&M
DeMarvin Leal is a high upside defender that can move around from playing defensive end in base defense to sliding inside to rush the passer. He is the type of athlete that thrives in the NFL and would be a swing for the fences for an Eagles defensive line that needs to get younger.
Pick 16: Tyler Linderbaum, Center, Iowa
This already feels like a player that will get mocked to the Eagles all offseason. Tyler Linderbaum is a physical, athletic center with tons of experience under his belt. With Landon Dickerson thriving at guard, Linderbaum could be the heir apparent to Jason Kelce.
Pick 19: Ahmad Gardner, Cornerback, Cincinnati
Ahmad Gardner might be the best pure cover cornerback in this draft. Pairing him with Darius Slay in the Eagles secondary would go a long way to making the Eagles defense a formidable unit.
Pick 51: Drake Jackson, Edge, USC
The Eagles make another splash on defense by addressing their edge rusher situation. Derek Barnett is on his way out and the Eagles need someone to play across from Josh Sweat. Drake Jackson is a great athlete with tons of room to get even better. He would be a day one contributor on this defense.
Pick 83: Brandon Smith, Linebacker, Penn State
Drafting Penn State linebackers is always a good idea. Brandon Smith is a really solid athlete with excellent football IQ and ability to lead a defense from the inside linebacker position. Linebacker has gone unaddressed for too long and Smith would be the answer the Eagles have been looking for.
Pick 120: Breece Hall, Running Back, Iowa State
The Eagles have cemented their identity as a team that pounds the rock. Unfortunately, their current group of running backs all have reliability issues when it comes to health. Jordan Howard has been banged up for a few years now and Miles Sanders, talented as he is, has missed eight games over the last two years. Breece Hall has been a reliable playmaking back for Iowa State since his freshman year. His blend of size, strength, and athletic ability make him a very exciting fit in this offense.
Pick 152: Greg Dulich, Tight End, UCLA
The Eagles used two tight end sets quite a bit this year, but with Zach Ertz out of the picture, only one of their tight ends is a reliable pass catcher. Greg Dulich has caught 68 passes and ten touchdowns in the last two years. Over his career at UCLA, he has averaged almost 18 yards a reception. He is a dangerous pass catching tight end who could give the Eagles tons of flexibility out of two tight end sets.
Pick 160: Justyn Ross, Wide Receiver, Clemson
The outlook at wide receiver is still a bit unclear for the Eagles. DeVonta Smith is the clear-cut top guy, but the team certainly needs help outside of his presence. The 2022 free agent class looks promising, but there’s no scenario where the Eagles shouldn’t try to address the position a bit through the draft. Justyn Ross’ career at Clemson was plagued by injuries, but he was a game changing player when healthy. This is a low risk, high reward pick at a position of need.
Pick 164: Isaac Taylor-Stuart, Cornerback, USC
Isaac Taylor-Stuart still has his best football ahead of him and it might not even be at cornerback. The 6’1” defender has potential safety convert written all over him given his speed and physicality at the cornerback position. Taylor-Stuart would give the Eagles much needed depth in their secondary while also being a promising developmental player.
Pick 194: Charleston Rambo, Wide Receiver, Miami
It is hard to believe, but Charleston Rambo set the single season catch record at Miami in 2021. Consider the names that preceded him and that is damn impressive. Rambo’s blend of size, smooth route running and excellent ball skills make him a very solid passing game option. While drops have been a long-standing problem for him, taking a bet on a receiver who has improved every year of his career is always smart this late in the draft. As an added bonus, Rambo would be reunited with Jalen Hurts after their year together at Oklahoma.
Pick 207: James Empey, Center, BYU
It wouldn’t be an Eagles draft without adding a few offensive lineman. Empey is an experienced and tough player who can slot in at any interior offensive line position. With the Eagles always having some injury concerns up front, having depth along the trenches is always good.