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Eagles Monday mock draft round up

Getting some defensive Cornerstones

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL: JAN 31 Reese’s Senior Bowl Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Every team’s offseason begins when their season is over, and now with the Super Bowl complete it is officially the offseason. Mock draft season started weeks ago, so now we have a plethora of them to go through.

One round mock drafts are for the lazy. Two rounds are twice as much fun, and with the Eagles having two 2nd round picks, a two round mock is three times the fun. Let’s look at some mock drafts that go beyond the 1st round.

Matt Miller, ESPN

22 - Quinyon Mitchell, CB, Toledo

Mitchell had the best showing of any prospect during Senior Bowl week, a performance good enough to lock him into the first round and put him in range for the cornerback-needy Eagles. Both of Philly’s starting cornerbacks are over 30 years old, and the defense crumbled in the second half. From Week 13 on, the Eagles allowed 7.8 yards per attempt (27th) and a 66.8% completion rate (26th).

Mitchell wins with excellent length and instincts in coverage, and his ability to close on the ball is fantastic; it’s why he combined for six interceptions and 32 pass breakups over the past two seasons. He also dominates at the line of scrimmage in press situations.

50 - Tyler Nubin, S, Minnesota

The Eagles have to invest heavily in the middle of the field on defense in this draft. After getting a starting cornerback in Round 1 (Mitchell), a starting free safety in Round 2 would fill another hole. Nubin grabbed five interceptions in 2023 after nabbing four of them in the previous season. He’s a ball hawk with 6-foot-2 size and range to attack over the top. He’s the best safety in this class and would give Philadelphia the speed and ball skills that were so badly missed this season on the back end.

53 - Junior Colson, LB, Michigan

If you watched the Eagles’ collapse late this season, the lack of talent and depth at linebacker was a key issue. Colson is the best run-defending linebacker in the class but also has excellent range to make plays outside the tackle box. He had 101 tackles manning the middle of the field for Michigan and has a game very similar to the Chiefs’ Nick Bolton. In Philly, he could be a rookie starter and cornerstone defensive player.

Mitchell, as we will see, is an extremely popular pick for the Eagles, with good reason. If he tests well at the Combine his media stock is going to continue to soar. His Senior Bowl performance cemented his 1st round status; being on the board at 22 might be too low for him when the actual draft rolls around.

Nubin at 50, count me in. The Eagles need all the young talent they can get in the back seven, and Nubin’s size gives him the potential to play a hybrid safety/linebacker role, at the very least he should be able to come down and cover tight ends. He also has played significant special teams snaps, which is a nice bonus.

Colson I am not wild about, but then this linebacker class is unimpressive. The Eagles could use a linebacker with size, and after taking a bunch of players from the elite defenses that won the 2021 and 2022 national championship, taking one from the elite defense that won the 2023 national championship fits a pattern. Sure beats taking Davion Taylor.

This mock is reasonable but also shows why mocks this time of year are little more than a thought exercise. Drafting a CB, S, and LB makes total sense. The Eagles should go heavy on defense this year. And Nubin and Colson would start on the Eagles right now. But free agency comes first, which could close down avenues for a rookie to start.

Draft Wire - Curt Popejoy

22 - CB Quinyon Mitchell, Toledo

Quinyon Mitchell is a confident, shutdown cornerback who adds another playmaker in the Eagles secondary.

50 - WR Ja’Lynn Polk, Washington

54 - LB Edgerrin Cooper, Texas A&M

97 - WR Johnny Wilson, Florida State

137 - RB MarShawn Lloyd, USC

Polk has size (6’2” 204 lbs) and good hands (except for back to back 0 catch games in November), the knock on him is his top end speed. His long speed won’t be as much of a concern alongside AJ Brown and Devonta Smith.

Cooper I have concerns about beyond disliking the LBs in this draft. He wasn’t the defensive on-field play caller, true freshman Taurean York was. York had a great year and looks like a star, but it is concerning that the veteran Cooper wasn’t trusted with that responsibility.

Wilson is intriguing, 6’7” and seemingly every catch I saw him make this season was for a first down, no screwing around with dink and dunk passes with him. I am not sure he makes it to the Eagles at 97 or if 97 is too early for him, the Combine will be important for him.

Lloyd, who transferred from USC to USC (not a typo) is small and has small hands, which probably contributed to him having some back breaking fumbles in his career. He had a good Senior Bowl showing, which isn’t nothing, and the implosion that was USC’s season stains everyone on the team a little.

This mock has two issues. One is that the Eagles drafting two WRs in the top 100 makes no sense. Drafting a WR, especially in this draft, no problem. But two is overkill for a team that needs talent elsewhere.

The second is that the Eagles don’t have pick 137, which in this draft is the last pick of the 4th round. They’re not projected to get a 4th round comp pick, and their 5th round pick will be in the final third of that round. Weird.

Trevor Sikkema and Connor Rogers, PFF

22 - T Tyler Guyton, Oklahoma

50 - CB Mike Sainristil, Michigan

54 - WR Ja’Lynn Polk, Washington

Talked a bit about Gutyon in Daniel Jeremiah’s first mock, he’s got some project player to him and the Eagles make a lot of sense for both parties. Works for me.

Mike Sainristil at 50 though, no. Sainristil is a fun player, but he’s undersized (listed at 5’10” 182 lbs), turns 24 during the season, and is a slot corner/safety tweener. In the 4th round, I can dig it, but at 50 this is a reach and a half.

Connor Livesay, 33rd Team

22 - Quinyon Mitchell

Along with Powers-Johnson, Toledo’s Quinyon Mitchell was one of the biggest winners coming out of Senior Bowl week. Mitchell has the size, length, athleticism and ball skills to develop into a Pro Bowl-level cornerback.

The Philadelphia Eagles must improve their coverage unit at the draft. Mitchell has experience playing in zone and man schemes and is the perfect corner to learn from Darius Slay and James Bradberry.

50 - Edgerrin Cooper

The Eagles are in desperate need of linebacker help. After acquiring Shaq Leonard after his release from the Colts, the Eagles were still beaten up in the middle far too often in the second half of the season.

Edgerrin Cooper is the leading candidate to be the first linebacker drafted in the weak linebacker class. Cooper has the ideal length, sideline-to-sideline range and cover skills to develop into a quality starter.

53 - WR Xavier Legette, South Carolina

(No write up given)

Xavier Legette in the 2nd round, no thank you. Legette had a breakout season, but he was a 5th year senior after being a non-factor in his first four seasons. There are a couple of things in his favor: he’s likely to look great at the Combine,;and he converted from QB in high school to WR at South Carolina, so he had a learning curve to beat, which could help explain his late bloom. But in the 2nd round the Eagles can do better than an older one year wonder. Just at the same position Xavier Worthy was the next player off the board, and Ja’Lynn Polk, Malachi Corley, and Devontez Walker were also on the board. I’d be more comfortable with any of them.

Let’s finish off with a SEVEN round mock. In February!

Owain Jones, Pro Football Network

22) Amarius Mims, OT, Georgia

This is just what the Eagles do. They address the trenches in the first round.

Amarius Mims is a right tackle, and with Lane Johnson not getting any younger, this is a good opportunity to find his replacement in a young, developmental prospect in Amarius Mims.

At 6’7” and 340 pounds, Mims is a ball of clay for Philadelphia to mold. His size, speed, and strength give him an impressive set of dynamic skills to develop.

50) Tyler Nubin, S, Minnesota

The Eagles need to get younger and, frankly, better in the secondary. Both cornerback and safety are positions of extreme need for Philly, and Tyler Nubin is one player who will be able to start straight away.

Nubin has great instincts, awareness, and field vision to create plays and support the run.

53) Devontez Walker, WR, North Carolina

The Eagles are lacking that third weapon at receiver outside of A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith. Julio Jones, Olamide Zaccheaus, and Quez Watkins could all leave this offseason.

Devontez Walker would be a great complement to Smtih and Brown as an ultimate field stretcher with great instincts, speed, and strength.

97) Gabriel Murphy, EDGE, UCLA

Laiatu Latu took all the attention for the Bruins’ defense, but Gabriel Murphy had an extremely productive year of his own.

With 22 solo tackles and eight sacks, Murphy has explosive athleticism and power prowess. He lacks some bend and flexibility to turn the edge, which narrows his ceiling.

159) Philadelphia Eagles

Chau Smith-Wade, CB, Washington State

169) Philadelphia Eagles

Nelson Ceaser, EDGE, Houston

170) Philadelphia Eagles

Sheridan Jones, CB, Clemson

177) Philadelphia Eagles

Cedric Johnson, EDGE, Ole Miss

188) Philadelphia Eagles

Julian Pearl, OL, Illinois

Mims has all the physical talent you could want, he should do well in testing, but he has only 8 starts. When he did play, he looked great. The Eagles are a perfect landing spot for him where he can develop as a backup in his rookie year, and also, you know, the Georgia connection.

Walker is a bit of a development player, making the Eagles a good spot for him. Long story short: the NCAA ruled that Walker had to sit out the 2023 season because he had transferred twice and denied him a waiver, two months later the NCAA reversed their decision, and then two months after that it was all moot because a judge ruled that the NCAA can not restrict transfers, giving the NCAA another loss in a courtroom. The result was that Walker played just 8 games in 2023. He would immediately slot in as Quez Watkins’ replacement as a WR3 deep threat for 2024, but with WR1/2 potential down the road.

Murphy at 97, no thanks. Along with his twin brother Grayson, Gabriel was second fiddle on UCLA’s defensive line to Laiatu Latu. Both twins converted from linebacker to defensive end, and Gabriel was the more productive of the two. He is undersized, has short arms, and most importantly doesn’t give the Eagles anything they don’t already have. They can do better in the 3rd round.

I’ll be honest, I don’t know anything about those 5th and 6th round picks. There are players taken shortly after those picks that I have seen a bit of, but “I wouldn’t take this guy because I haven’t watched him” is literally Charles Barkley’s approach when asked about prospects, so I’m not going that route.

But giving the Eagles three edge rushers, including two within eight selections of each other, and two offensive tackles, is dumb. Do better.

To cap this off, I’ll do a draft sim. No glass houses here.

For this one I’m using PFF, because they have the best mock draft simulator UI, and since they give you three rounds for free, let’s do three rounds.

22 - Kool-Aid McKinstry

The top 5 non-QBs on the board are WR Brian Thomas Jr., C Jackson Powers-Johnson, CB Kool-Aid McKinstry, WR Troy Franklin, and CB Ennis Rakestraw Jr.

I like Rakestraw but he comes with an injury history, he tore his ACL in 2021 and missed time at the beginning and end of the season with a groin injury that required surgery and had him miss the Senior Bowl.

I’m not worried about how McKinstry entered the season as CB1 and exited it as CB3-5, or that teammate Terrion Arnold has leapfrogged him. Arnold was excellent this year. But there’s some observation bias going on with these two: In 2023 Arnold was targeted 79 times, McKinstry just 39 times; while in 2022 McKinstry led the way with 80 targets to Arnold’s 52. Of course Arnold looked better this year, he had twice the chances to, and of course McKinstry looked better last year, he had nearly twice the chances to.

McKinstry also returns punts, which gives him extra value of giving the Eagles a legit backup to Britain Covey on the active roster.

This sim also gave me the option to do something really funny at 22.

If you pay them, PFF will let you do trades in their draft simulator. I am not going to pay them. It will let you negotiate though, just not be able to pull the trigger.

With Bo Nix on the board the 49ers, Falcons, Dolphins, Jets, and Broncos offer a trade. The Falcons and Broncos probably want a QB (good luck with Bo Nix, but not my problem), so let’s see what the Falcons, who have the 43rd pick, will give me. PFF’s draft simulator gives me an 84% chance of trading for ALL OF THEIR REMAINING PICKS.

I would if I could, if only for the lolz. This is my favorite part of the draft simulators, their draft trade values are hilarious.

Seriously though, if a team wants to trade up for a QB at 22, the Eagles have to consider it. Trading back to 43 isn’t appealing, but trading back to 43 and then trading up into the late 20s or early 30s would work. At the end of the day it’s no different than trading back to that spot. We all know Howie Roseman loves to move around the draft board, and that is right up his alley.

50 - Ja’Lynn Polk

Top 5 players on the board: OT Patrick Paul, S Tyler Nubin, WR Ja’Lynn Polk, G Christian Haynes, S Kamren Kinchens

Paul I am not wild about. Haynes, I’m not taking a guard at this point in the draft. I like Kinchens, but not over Nubin.

Nubin here is tempting, but he will probably be there at 54 while I have doubts that Polk will be on the board at 54 in this sim.

54 - Tyler Nubin

Nubin is on the board, easy pick.

97 - CB Kris Abrams-Draine, Missouri

Top 5 on the board were DT Duke Ororhor, EDGE Marshawn Kneeland, G Cooper Beebe, DT Mekhi Wingo, and Abrams-Draine.

Corner is definitely a position the Eagles can double dip in. After taking one half of the SEC’s best CB duo in the 1st, I’m taking one half of the SEC’s second best CB duo in the 3rd.

The Eagles need speed on defense, and Abrams-Draine brings it. A WR as a true freshman, he redshirted and switched to CB for his redshirt freshman year, that season he was the slot corner and primary kickoff returner. For the last two seasons he’s been on the outside.

He’s skinny, 5’11” 173 lbs at the Senior Bowl, so he’s likely a slot corner only in the NFL. That’s fine, the team needs a slot corner, Avonte Maddox will likely be a cap casualty and can’t be trusted to stay healthy, and none of the backups are really built for the slot.

Also, yes (Drink is HC Eliah Drinkwitz):

I’m sure all of this will be wrong in April!

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