I can confidently say without any exaggeration that this is the most important blog post you’ll ever read in your entire life. The 2022 NFL Draft begins tonight and that means it’s time to reveal my first and only Philadelphia Eagles 7-round mock draft.
To note, The Draft Network’s simulator was used for this exercise. I also discussed my picks (and alternatives) further 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]:
1st round (No. 15 overall) - Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama
There’s a lot of buzz connecting Williams to Philly. It makes sense. With a 19.9 yards per reception mark at Alabama last year, Williams is an explosive field-stretcher. The Eagles struck out multiple times while trying to upgrade their wide receiver corps this offseason. Their best bet to improve that group now is to add Williams to the mix.
Concerns about Williams’ ACL recovery are overblown. Video clips of him jogging around and moving well have recently circulated. He might be back on the field sooner than people think, not totally dissimilar to Landon Dickerson’s track last year.
Jamo would be a sure-fire top 10 pick if he didn’t get hurt. Heck, he still could go in the top 10 with Atlanta (No. 8) and NYJ (No. 10) threats to take him. If he falls to No. 15, it’s a no-brainer selection.
1st round (No. 18 overall) - George Karlaftis, DE, Purdue
Let me start by saying I think the Eagles prefer to trade down from this pick. And so would I. But it’s possible that Philly can’t find a partner to deal with.
Opinions on Karlaftis vary to the point where there’s talk about him potentially falling out of the first round. He doesn’t have the sexiest pass rusher profile in terms of being super twitchy and/or extremely productive in terms of sack numbers. But pressure metrics indicate Karlaftis is very disruptive as a power rusher, not totally dissimilar to Brandon Graham.
Karlaftis only turned 21 earlier this month so I don’t think we’ve seen the best of him just yet. There’s some untapped potential here. With Graham headed out the door in the near future and Derek Barnett gone after this season, the Eagles could afford to add more edge talent. Karlaftis will be part of the rotation in Year 1 before taking on a bigger role in Year 2 and beyond.
2nd round (No. 51 overall) - Chad Muma, LB, Wyoming
As Jimmy pointed out on the podcast, Eagles fans being able to shout “Mooooooooooo!” (like the Duuuuuuuuuuuuce chant back in the day) at the Linc after he makes a big play is reason enough to draft this dude.
Seriously, though, Muma is a very athletic linebacker with good size. With three interceptions and two defensive touchdowns last year, he has some track record of making plays. The Athletic’s Dane Brugler described him as a “high-energy tackling machine with excellent play speed.”
With Kyzir White on a one-year deal and T.J. Edwards set to be free agent after this season, the Eagles need to think about the present AND future at linebacker. Muma is a plug-and-play contributor who projects as a long-term piece.
3rd round (No. 83 overall) - Cam Jurgens, C, Nebraska
There’s a rumor out there that Jurgens won’t make it past the Eagles’ second-round pick. So, perhaps he won’t be making it close to No. 83. But, hey, he did in my simulation so take it up with TDN.
Though undersized, Jurgens has long arms (78th percentile) and big hands (62nd percentile). Plus, he’s very athletic.
Drafting Jurgens gives the Eagles a potential successor to Jason Kelce and allows Landon Dickerson to stay at guard. There’s long been thought that Isaac Seumalo would move to the pivot after Kelce leaves ... but Ike is a free agent after this season and he’s only been available for 12 out of 38 possible games over the past two seasons. Seumalo might be an underrated trade candidate considering the Birds could clear $5.65 million with a post-June 1 trade.
3rd round (No. 101) - Marcus Jones, CB/KR/PR, Houston
The Eagles had Jones in for a pre-draft visit. He’s VERY small at just 5’8”, 174 pounds. But how can you not be intrigued by his ball production? The guy picked off nine passes and logged 31 passes defensed in college. Not to mention he’s an ELITE returner with six kick return touchdowns and three punt return touchdowns. Houston even occasionally used him as an offensive weapon. The Eagles could be tempted to do the same after watching Nick Sirianni find a way to incorporate Darius Slay (as a decoy) on offense last year.
Jones doesn’t profile as the outside corner the Eagles could afford to add but they shouldn’t be so caught up in fit. If Jones is around at this pick, it’s fine to draft a backup nickel who can provide serious special teams value and might be able to earn some offensive touches. Just get talent and figure out the fit later.
4th round (No. 124) - DeAngelo Malone, DE, Western Kentucky
Malone is on the older side for a prospect considering he turns 23 in July. But he was VERY productive in five years (super senior!) at WKU. The dude had 349 total tackles (59 for loss), 32.5 sacks, eight forced fumbles, seven pass deflections, two blocked kicks, and one interception. Malone fits the undersized defensive end / SAM linebacker role that the Eagles seemingly value under Jonathan Gannon. They could afford more bodies there because what currently happens if Haason Reddick gets hurt? The Eagles just eliminate that kind of player from their defense? After adding a more traditional 4-3 defensive end in Karlaftis earlier, the Eagles can go for more of a 3-4 edge rusher here.
5th round (No. 154) - Hassan Haskins, RB, Michigan
Haskins is a powerful, bigger back. He measures in at 6’2”, 228 pounds and he put up 27 bench press reps at the NFL Combine (94th percentile). Haskins logged 20 touchdowns last year, which is a testament to his value in the red zone and short-yardage. The Eagles’ offense benefited from Jordan Howard’s hard-running resurgence last year and Haskins can be a JoHo replacement.
Even if it’s not Haskins, the Eagles should target a power back at some point in this draft. Especially if they’re going to a run-heavy team again, which they likely will.
5th round (No. 162) - Daniel Bellinger, TE, San Diego State
Bellinger didn’t put up big production in college but he’s only 21, he has size, and he tested well with the second best Relative Athletic Score at his position. Bellinger fits in as a run-blocking TE2 with more upside than Jack Stoll, who played that role following last year’s Zach Ertz trade.
5th round (No. 166) - Smoke Monday, S, Auburn
Smoke Monday clearly has the best name in this year’s draft. Need I say more?
If so, I’ll mention that he was pretty productive in the SEC with 171 tackles (17 tackles for loss), 6 sacks, 5 INT, 8 PD, 3 TD, and 1 FF.
Smoke is known for being a big hitter who really loves ball. Maybe the Eagles can move him to linebacker if he limitations in coverage prove to be troublesome. Seems like he’d at least be a good special teams guy.
7th round (No. 237) - Charleston Rambo, WR, Miami
Rambo’s an underrated player. I remember him popping when I watched Jalen Hurts’ Oklahoma highlights following the 2020 NFL Draft. With a 15.2 college average and 79 receptions for 1172 yards and seven touchdowns last year, he’s worth a shot this late in the game. Why not pair Hurts with a familiar face?
- I really wanted Jordan Davis. He went off the board to the Ravens at No. 14, though.
- Not enough interior defensive line help. If the Eagles don’t get Davis, they have some interesting consolation prize options by either trading down from No. 18 or trading up from No. 51. Perrion Winfrey and Travis Jones are names to watch.
- Haskins and Bellinger may have been reaches if the Eagles can feel like they can fill those holes later on Day 3 or UDFA.
- Not enough secondary help for a team with serious question marks in the back seven.
- Even after the Saints deal, the Eagles really still should trade down in this draft to pick up at least one more future pick in either 2023 or 2024. With five teams (Eagles included) owning multiple first-round picks next year, there’s going to be an arms race for available QBs. The Birds still need more ammo.
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