By now, you’re all likely drowning in mock drafts, right?
Yeah, I figured. So, I have a solution. How about a 3-round Eagles mock draft simulator recap? It’s 10 drafts rolled into one!
I knew you’d like it.
With the help of the always outstanding NFL Mock Draft Machine from The Draft Network, I simulated 10 drafts through the first three rounds in which the Eagles make five selections: two in the first (Nos. 15 & 18), one in the second (No. 51) and two in the third (Nos. 83 & 101).
Most of us have spent our time focusing on what the Eagles will do with their two first rounders, and that makes sense. There is more certainty about the types of players who will be available at 15 and 18 than in the second or third rounds, but fans should reasonably expect all five picks inside the top 101 to be contributors, if not important players, on an improving Philadelphia roster.
Below is the group of players picked by the simulator for each round, with the total number of times they were placed on the Eagles in parentheses. Trades were not allowed under these simulations, and it’s reasonable to assume GM Howie Roseman will trade up from 15 and/or trade down from 18. One of their third round picks could be lost in the process, or another one could be gained. It’s always a wild ride.
Trent McDuffie (CB, 8), Jameson Williams (WR, 5), Zion Johnson (IOL, 4), Kyle Hamilton (S, 1), Drake London (WR, 1), Daxton Hill (S, 1)
Drake McDuffie, the cornerback out of Washington University, was placed on the Birds in 8 out of the 10 mocks, three times at No. 15 and five times at No. 18. Cornerback is an obvious need for the Eagles and it seems logical the team could come away with a corner to pair with 31-year-old Darius Slay and slot corner Avonte Maddox in the first round at one of those two spots.
Alabama wideout Jameson Williams was potentially the top receiver in the draft before tearing an ACL in the National Title game against Georgia, but that hasn’t driven him out of the first round in any mock draft. He’s taken by the Birds at No. 15 in all five of the mocks that see him going to the Eagles in this simulation. Williams is hoping to be ready by training camp, but there’s a chance he’s not available for much of the 2022 season. Still, he’s talented enough to take a bit of a red shirt his rookie season.
Offensive lineman Zion Johnson was mocked to the Eagles four times by the simulator, all at No. 18. Likely a guard at the NFL level, Johnson was durable on the interior and would provide the Eagles with some depth once center Jason Kelce retires and/if Isaac Seumalo or Landon Dickerson moves to center.
In one mock, Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton fell to No. 15 and the Eagles snapped him up. That would be a dream scenario, obviously, as Hamilton is not expected to be available there and would likely require Roseman to move up a few spots to get him. In the final of the 10 mocks, The Draft Network’s predictive board had 6-foot-4 wideout Drake London at 15 and safety Daxton Hill at 18. That’s a bit high for Hill. If the Eagles like him, they could likely trade back into the 20s to grab him a few spots lower.
Jalen Pitre (S, 4), Arnold Ebiketie (EDGE, 1), Quay Walker (RB, 1), Tyler Smith (IOL, 1), Christian Harris (LB, 1), Christian Watson (WR, 1), Sean Rhyon (IOL, 1)
The name that kept getting mocked to the Eagles in the second round, 4 times in 10, was Baylor safety/slot corner Jalen Pitre. Pitre is known as a good cover guy on short-to-intermediate routes who attacks the ball in the air, a good tackler and a decent blitzer. He’s not a fast guy, however, and draft experts note he tends to lose receivers in zone coverage. If the Eagles don’t land Kyle Hamilton in the first round, Pitre is a likely target in the middle of the second.
After Pitre, there was no consensus. Obviously, Watson is a receiver the Eagles could target if they decide to punt the position in Round 1. He’s another big receiver, 6-foot-4, who put together some solid combine numbers but had route running and drop issues in college. Penn State edge rusher Arnold Ebiketie, who has been mocked in the first round in some drafts, could be a solid get-to-the-QB guy to add to the rotation in Round 2. Smith and Rhyon are interior linemen, and I just don’t see the Eagles investing in that position this high in the draft, given their other needs. Alabama linebacker Christian Harris is an intriguing name. He had three sacks in the national title game and put up ridiculous combine numbers as well.
Here is where you get a bunch of different names, so let’s organize them by position.
EDGE: Tyreke Smith (3), Drake Jackson (2), Michael Clemons
Running Back: Rachaad White (2), James Cook, Kalon Barnes
Cornerback: Cam Taylor-Britt
Inside Offensive Linemen: Cole Strange, Cam Jurgen
Offensive Tackle: Abraham Lucas, Nicholas Petit-Frere
Linebacker: Brandon Smith
Wide Receiver: Alec Pierce, Khalil Shakir
Safety: Kerby Joseph, J.T. Woods
The position the Eagles are most likely to pursue with at least one of their two third round picks is edge rusher, provided they don’t lock one down in the first two rounds. Ohio State’s Tyreke Smith totaled just 8 sacks in his college career, but he’s athletic and tested well at the combine. USC’s Drake Jackson was selected in two out of the 10 simulations, and finished last season with 37 tackles, eight tackles for loss, and five sacks as one of the Trojans’ outside linebacker.
Roseman almost certainly won’t take a running back with one of his first three picks but, if he doesn’t trade away one of his third rounders, could use one of them to grab a guy who might be in the running to replace Miles Sanders after this year, if the Birds choose not to resign him. Arizona State’s Rachaad White was a three-down back for the Sun Devils last year who was productive both on the ground and as a receiver, with over 1,400 yards and 16 total touchdowns on 225 touches. He rushed for 1,006 yards on 182 carries, and added 43 catches for 456 yards as a receiver. That’s precisely the kind of running back prospect the Eagles like.
The third round might also be the most likely spot for Roseman to grab a linebacker prospect or someone at safety. It’s possible they add to wide receiver depth here if the board doesn’t hand them one in the first two rounds, but it’s not likely anyone picked here will be an upgrade in 2022 other than what’s already on the roster. Needless to say, predicting where the Birds are going to go with their two third-round picks is a crapshoot at best, and an impossible task at worst.
In just a few hours, the Eagles will begin the process of turning mock drafts into reality.