Whom will join the (eventual) Super Bowl Champion Eagles this coming April? Well let’s dive into my first (don’t look at my tweet history) mock draft of the year!
The Eagles currently have picks at 15,16, and 19 in the first round plus the rest of the picks. Numbers 15 & 16 are set in stone (barring trade) while number 19 is set to change if (when) the Eagles win on Sunday.
So let’s dive in to the 100% (set to change) picks for 2022. *Note: Picks are selected based on a Draft Network mock draft machine so save your “HE WON’T BE THERE” comments.
Pick 15 – Tyler Linderbaum – C – Iowa
How do you think Howie & co will determine who is 15 and who is 16? Trial by combat? Anyway.
If Linderbaum is there, he HAS to be the pick. Even if Kelce is back in 2022, he is not immortal (or is he?). Having Linderbaum waiting in the wings, or even playing RG…, is an incredible luxury. There’s talk of him going much earlier than this, but having Linderbaum would keep this offensive line as one of the best in the league.
Mailata, Dickerson, Linderbaum, Driscoll, Johnson?
Pick 16 – Nakobe Dean – LB – Georgia
When was the last time you’ve seen a LB do this?
Nakobe Dean is that dude. A nightmare to deal with on all 3 downs pic.twitter.com/lleikMUBLC— Connor Rogers (@ConnorJRogers) January 10, 2022
A LB who can COVER? WHAT?!
Dean projects more of a WILL than as a MIKE at the next level, and that’s exactly what the Eagles have been lacking (well.. they lack in every linebacker). TJ Edwards did mighty fine this year, but he needs someone next to him at the level of Dean. Singleton has his moments, but his “volume tackling” while chasing runners down 5-10 yards the field plus his bad coverage skills allows for big plays at the second level.
Dean erases all of those mistakes and gives the Eagles a young, impactful linebacker for the first time since Jordan Hicks.
It’s time to party like it’s 1979. Just without the cocaine.
Pick 19 – Jaquan Brisker – S – Penn State
Comped to Malcolm Jenkins.
Penn State player.
A position of extreme need.
Need I say more?
Brisker can play multiple roles in the secondary and even come down to play some LB from time to time. He has the speed and athleticism to rush the QB and the football IQ to play single high and not be DK Metcalf’d (Marcus Epps.. looking at you).
Pick 51 – TRADED
Eagles send Miles Sanders + 51
Falcons send Calvin Ridley + 63
The Falcons need a running back badly to complement Cordarelle Patterson (will be 31 in March). Miles Sanders would give them the back they’ve been looking for since a healthy Devonta Freeman in 2019. Eagles get their WR1b to complement their WR1a. Both players enter their final years of rookie contract.
Pick 63 – Kenneth Walker III – RB – Michigan State
Send one running back away, draft another.
Head coach Nick Sirianni is no stranger to drafting a running back when a starting caliber one is already on the roster (Taylor/Mack), so not having Sanders on the roster makes this easier.
Walker is a physical back with not much tread on his tires that can convert all of those pesky short yardage situations the Eagles tend to struggle with when they design plays other than QB sneaks.
From PFF, who had Walker as their 8th best player in college football in 2021:
Walker handled a whopping 262 carries in 2021 and generated a large portion of his production after contact. He ranked top-five in the Power Five in both broken tackles per attempt (0.34) and yards after contact per attempt (4.5). Walker produced 25 runs with 10 or more yards after contact, which ranked first in the Power Five (only three backs had over 15). He even led the Power Five in yards after contact in general (1,168). All of this helped Walker to a 90.7 rushing grade for the 2021 season.
Pick 83 – Chad Muma – LB – Wyoming
Alex Singleton and Genard Avery are free agents this offseason so the linebacker room can look a lot different than just adding Dean.
Why not add the linebacker who was similar to Dean in run defense and stacking the box?
Highest-graded box players in 2021 💥— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) January 10, 2022
1. Nakobe Dean, Georgia (91.9)
2. Leo Chenal, Wisconsin (91.3)
3. Chad Muma, Wyoming (91.3)
4. Jack Sanborn, Wisconsin (90.0)
5. Devin Lloyd, Utah (88.7) pic.twitter.com/XYaDGKIdDp
Muma can diagnose any run play you throw at him and get downhill quick to make the play. Gannon (if he stays) will have a lot of fun having players who can execute his schemes on both passing downs and rushing downs.
Pick 121 – Coby Bryant – CB – Cincinnati
With Steven Nelson set to be a free agent, that leaves Tay Gowan, Zech McPhearson, and Kary Vincent to battle for CB2 duties. How about the Eagles add the Jim Thorpe award (top defensive back) winning CB?
I’m a big fan of Gowan, was high on him coming out of college, but this position needs depth and competition. Bryant brings that.
Coby Bryant wore 8 to honor Kobe vs Alabama 🙏— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) January 3, 2022
He only allowed 2 catches (18 yards) and 0 TDs pic.twitter.com/RSkPawIjbk
Pick 152 – DeAngelo Malone – EDGE – Western Kentucky
324 tackles, 57.5 of them for loss, and 31 sacks in four seasons as the starter. His 1.58 10 yard split demonstrates his explosiveness. Two time Conference USA DPOY.
Malone is an athletic freak that will feast on the Eagles defensive line.
Pick 160 – Christian Watson – WR – North Dakota State
This is a player who I think will see his draft stock skyrocket after the Senior Bowl.
At 6’5″, he’ll give Jalen Hurts a huge target to throw to down the field with his 4.44 speed. Guys that big aren’t supposed to run that fast. He’d also give ST coach Michael Clay another (better) option at KR and PR.
Pick 165 – Bryan Cook – S – Cincinnati
Another safety? Yes. The entire secondary needs a revamping.
Cook is Thor’s hammer at the safety position and makes the opposing players feel it. With Anthony Harris probably out, maybe even McLeod, that leaves little depth behind Epps, Wallace, and prior pick Brisker. Cook is a good fit.
Pick 194 – Dare Rosenthal – OT – Kentucky
Don’t yell at me! TDN has him available this late!!!
Giving Stoutland a tackle of Rosenthal’s athleticism this late in the draft should be a war crime. While Rosenthal (a LSU transfer) has plenty of refinement to do in his technical skills, he has tremendous upside. Lane Johnson isn’t getting any younger and Jack Driscoll looks better suited for guard.
Pick 208 – Eyioma Uwazurike – DT – Iowa State
Get you a late round DT who can do this to your first pick of the draft:
Look at Eyioma Uwazurike and Tyler Linderbaum go at it. Phew. pic.twitter.com/SdyQSLQQU9— Matt Alkire (@mattalkire) November 19, 2021
Linderbaum wasn’t challenged by many, so having a player like Uwazurike on the Eagles to learn behind Cox (if he’s not traded….) and Hargrave could provide dividends for the defensibe line.
Ok, time to yell at me and tell me how stupid I am.
Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire