With so many gaps to plug, and a deluge of picks to do so, the Eagles‘ mock drafts have been some of the more polarizing in the league. Do they build for the future, and capitalize on the deep defensive draft class, or is the team hellbent on giving Jalen Hurts as many weapons as possible in what is shaping out to be his final opportunity to prove himself? Does Howie Roseman take the shotgun approach and accumulate even more selections than he already has, or will he be aggressive, trading up to secure his vaunted targets? Here’s how I see things — and selfishly want things — shaking down.
Round 1 (Pick 15) – Andrew Booth Jr. | CB | Clemson
If either of the top two corners falls to around the 10th selection, or if Kyle Hamilton truly does drop down draft boards, Howie might have a tough choice on his hands. However, neither of those things happen in this scenario. Andrew Booth Jr. plays with an edge and has a fantastic ceiling, just needs a little refinement. In Philly, he’ll get the chance to learn alongside Darius Slay.
Jonathan Gannon will love his quick twitch and athleticism in zone, and his tenacity in press coverage. At this point, he may not be the bonafide CB1 like Sauce or Stingley, but he’ll be an excellent CB2, with the ceiling of a true lockdown corner.
TRADE – Eagles send pick 18 to Kansas City for picks 29 and 50.
Round 1 (Pick 29) – Perrion Winfrey | IDL | Oklahoma
Although Eagles fans have been clamoring for Jordan Davis, there’s a good chance he’s off the board by the 15th pick. Devonte Wyatt would be a fantastic consolation prize, and more likely the better fit, but instead the Eagles trade back and pick up another second round selection.
They then take an absolute game wrecker in Perrion Winfrey. Winning Senior Bowl MVP was no fluke, and Winfrey made plays out of almost every alignment at Oklahoma. He would be a fantastic fit for Jonathan Gannon’s transition to more position-less fronts. He’s big, he’s long and he’s violent.
TRADE – Eagles send pick 50 and 101 to Houston for pick 37.
Round 2 (Pick 37) – Jaquan Brisker | S | Penn State
Jaquan Brisker could easily sneak into the first round, but in this scenario he falls to the Eagles. I could see the Eagles being quite content with any of the safeties available in the early second — or could use a better haul of picks to get closer to the top of the round if Brisker is their guy. With Kyle Hamilton seemingly being the be all end all in safety conversations regarding this draft, a lot of names have fell by the wayside — Brisker being at the top of that list. In this scenario they use the draft capital they accumulated in moving back to jump back into the top of the second round.
Brisker has everything you want athletically out of your safeties, and playing in Jonathan Gannon’s cover 2 heavy scheme will hide the fact that he may not have true single high range. However, what Brisker does bring is versatility — you may be starting to see a theme. He can move around the formation and is a plus in coverage, as well as a force in run support. We know the Eagles love their Penn State guys, and I cannot imagine Brisker is any exception.
Round 2 (Pick 51) – Logan Hall | DE | Houston
Logan Hall may be a bit of a strange fit schematically on the outset, but this is the type of player you find a role for. He’s probably best suited as a 3-4 end, but there is a world of possibilities in the Eagles’ flexible front. At 6’6″, 280 lbs, Hall’s first step will shock you. He has the quickness and body control that rival some of the smaller speed rushers in this draft, and yet played mostly on the interior for Houston.
Eagles fans will love his motor, and forceful initial punch. The coaching staff will love the fact that he can play end in the base 4-3, bump inside for obvious passing downs, and play 5-tech when Gannon wants to show a 3-4 look. Philadelphia needs to restock their cupboards at defensive end, and Logan Hall fits the ticket of a bigger, stronger option across from Josh Sweat.
Round 3 (Pick 83) – Jalen Tolbert | WR | South Alabama
The Eagles’ didn’t grab a receiver in the first round, but they do need to give Jalen Hurts another option. After taking all defense with their first four selections, the Eagles address the other side of the ball. There are so many solid receiving options available in the third round of this draft that this is pocket is the best value for money.
Jalen Tolbert is a long, athletic receiver with great hands and body control. There is some refinement needed here and there, but Tolbert can run every route that Sirianni can dream up. He can create separation close to the line of scrimmage, but he can also beat defenders deep with surprising speed and the strength to out-muscle defenders at the leverage point. I especially liked the extra level of toughness he displays in the red zone. The Eagles lock in a fantastic second option for Hurts in the third round.
Round 4 (Pick 124) – Brandon Smith | LB | Penn State
The Eagles double down on Penn State defenders, this time taking the athletic marvel that is Brandon Smith. Immediately, he’ll come in as a great sub-package option, with the length and closing ability to excel in Gannon’s zone coverage. His closing ability in space really shines. The birds are stocking up on athletic linebackers and Smith would fit right in, with the added benefit of being able to man flexed tight ends in the slot.
Now, there is some refinement needed in his game — especially in man coverage and shedding blocks in the run game. However, he brings a lot of the traits than Gannon loves, with some skills that aren’t present in the locker room as of yet. He would be a welcome addition into the young track squad Philly is building at LB.
Round 5 (Pick 154) – Chigoziem Okonkwo | TE | Maryland
Okonkwo is one of the more intriguing prospects in the entire draft, and I would imagine he’s piqued the interest of Howie Roseman. The Eagles have moved away from 12 personnel sets somewhat under Sirianni, however it is still something they do well and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside and the promise of what Tyree Jackson might be aren’t cutting the mustard as TE2 options.
Okonkwo is yards after the catch waiting to happen, with impressive ball skills and big play potential as a gadget guy. He made light work of defenses on screens, end arounds, and simple check downs. He’s not a blocker, but the Eagles have Jack Stoll and JJAW to block. Instead what they need is someone who can accumulate additional yards and give Hurts another legit threat across from Dallas Goedert. The combination of Okonwo and Goedert would give linebacker coaches nightmares.
Round 5 (Pick 162) – Cade Mays | OL | Tennessee
Mid-round lineman are always hard to judge in terms of when they’ll be taken off the board. To me, Mays would be a fantastic get at this point in the draft. He’s got a big frame, nasty disposition and experience at all 5 positions. Seems like all the makings of yet another Jeff Stoutland project that turns into an eventual starter.
He’s not as athletic as some of the other linemen in house for the Eagles, however most of his inefficiencies can be hid at the guard position. Mays would eventually make a great swing guard for a team that has had trouble fielding a healthy line for an entire season.
Round 5 (Pick 166) – Hassan Haskins | RB | Michigan
While the birds may just bring back Jordan Howard again at some point, they should take the steps to secure a bigger back of the future. Haskins is a big short yardage back that takes what he’s given, an incredibly hard man to get on the ground. He will fall forward for extra yards and rarely gets stopped in the backfield, if ever. He has a good understanding of the play design and has no issue following his blocks to the second level. He doesn’t fumble, he doesn’t make mistakes, and he loves to impose his will on the defense — exactly the type of player you need in your backfield rotation.
On passing downs, he really didn’t get much run as a pass catcher. His hands seem solid enough, even if he doesn’t provide a whole lot of upside. As a pass blocker, he’s as solid as they come — even if there is some work to be done on identification. He’s Jordan Howard lite and he’s only 22.
Round 7 (Pick 237) – Erik Ezukanma | WR | Texas Tech
Probably my favorite diamond in the rough prospect in the entire draft. If NFL teams see what I see on Ezukanma’s tape, there’s zero chance he’s available this late. There’s no reason he shouldn’t be talked about with the other day two receivers in this class. However, as of now, he’s got a day three grade, and could conceivably fall to the Eagles in the final hours of the draft. Whichever team takes a chance on this monster of a man is getting an absolute steal — let’s hope it’s the birds. In this case, the Eagles do what they love to do and double down on a position of need. Howie brings in not one, but two big body receivers with reliable hands and athletic upside to help Jalen Hurts and give him targets with massive catch radiuses.