Welcome back to the Mock Simulation Series. In this series I use the awesome draft simulator over at The Draft Network every week to play out different draft scenarios for the Eagles. The Eagles have a *ton* of picks in the 2022 class, so there are plenty of avenues for roster improvement that we will explore over the next few months.
Pick 15: Malik Willis, Quarterback, Liberty
If the Eagles are set on drafting a quarterback, Malik Willis is the most logical choice. While this class doesn’t have the top end prospects that the last few years have had, Willis’ upside is so great that he is more worthy of a first round pick than any of his peers. His arm strength, aggressive passing style, and mobility are exactly the type of tools NFL teams will want to develop when they get a young passer. With so many of the young star signal callers being athletic, big armed players, that seems like the safe mold to bet on with college prospects. No matter how raw. If Willis is their top pick, the draft should build the offense further to give him the best chance at success early in his career.
Pick 16: George Karlaftis, Edge, Purdue
While filling out the offense should be a priorty in this draft, it is hard to pass up on premium pass rushing talent. The Eagles need young blood on their defensive line and George Karlaftis has exactly the skill set that thrives in the NFL.
Pick 19: Tyler Linderbaum, Center, Iowa
This seems to be a hotly contested selection at this point. Spending premium picks on interior linemen seems like a waste. While players with the physical profile to play guard or center are “easier” to find, having elite athletes on the offensive line is something no NFL team should pass on. Tyler Linderbaum is a special talent that can play center or guard. With Landon Dickerson thriving at the guard position, having Linderbaum succeed Brandon Brooks and eventually Jason Kelce feels like a great way to keep the Eagles offensive line factory churning.
Pick 51: Kenneth Walker III, Running Back, Michigan State
Despite having a league leading rushing attack in 2021, the Eagles could still get more out of their backfield. Miles Sanders, Jordan Howard and Boston Scott were productive when they were on the field, but their health problems meant they were not always available week to week. Not only that, the Eagles rarely got much explosiveness out of their backfield despite getting so much solid play. Enter Kenneth Walker III. Walker III was a game breaking back at MSU with an impressive combination of size, strength, and long speed. Pairing him with Miles Sanders would make the Eagles running game even deadlier.
Pick 83: Wan’Dale Robinson, Wide Receiver, Kentucky
Adding more talent to the Eagles receiving corps is a must this offeseason. Luckily, this draft is deep with pass catching talent, including Wan’Dale Robinson. Robinson is an athletic playmaker that can turn short catches into long games. The Eagles could use an intermediate and YAC threat to pair with DeVonta Smith and Quez Watkins, finally turning their receiving trio into a positive.
Pick 122: Terrel Bernard, Linebacker, Baylor
Offensive firepower is important, but the Eagles still ahve big needs on defense. Terrel Bernard remains an underrated linebacker in this class because Big 12 defenders aren’t going to get noticed in the same way. Bernard is a feisty and physical player that would thrive in the middle of the Eagles defense.
Pick 153: Jack Jones, Cornerback, ASU
The Eaglessecondary sorely needs to start taking the ball away more and Jack Jones could be an attractive late round cornerback to help with that. While Jones is not the biggest cornerback, he has excellent ball skills and is always looking to create turnovers. He is a scrappy, athletic cornerback that could play outside or in the slot.
Pick 161: Dane Belton, Safety, Iowa
Depth at safety is another big need for Philadelphia. Rodney McLeod is not getting any younger and the team does not have solid developmental options at this point. Dane Belton is a smart, experienced defender that would add needed competition to a young group.
Pick 165: Justyn Ross, Wide Receiver, Clemson
This should be a fairly popular late round pick for a lot of fanbases. Ross is a very talented player who was slowed down by injuries in college. Makes a ton of sense betting on him this late.
Pick 192: Charlie Kolar, Tight End, Iowa State
Charlie Kolar’s consistent college production is rare for a tight end. The 6’6” pass catcher can contribute in all phases of the game and could be a great addition to a tight end group that needs some depth behind Dallas Goedert.
Pick 204: Verone McKinley III, Safety, Oregon
It would actually be pretyy surprising if Verone McKinley lasted this long in the draft. McKinley stepped up this year with Jevon Holland off in the NFL and was one of the best defensive backs in the Pac-12. His intelligence on the back end of the defense led to six interceptions this year and dozens of key stops. McKinley is not the best athlete, but is a true football player with legit starter upside.