Seven-round Eagles Mock Draft: A defensive overhaul

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PALO ALTO, CA – OCTOBER 02: Oregon Ducks defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux (5) dejected walks off the field after the college football game between the Oregon Ducks and the Stanford Cardinal on October 2, 2021, at Stanford Stadium in Palo Alto, CA. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire)

Our Mock Draft Mania tournament continues. The Eagles are just three days away from the NFL Draft and nobody really knows how the team will wade through these waters. Our Eagles team are giving their best guesses ahead of what promises to be a huge weekend, with Colin Newby up next.

First Round (15th Overall)- Kayvon Thibodeaux, DE, Oregon

The Philadelphia Eagles have emphasized the defensive line as a top priority of roster construction since well before the tenure of general manager Howie Roseman began. However, they finished 31st in the NFL in sacks in 2021. 

If the Eagles want to draft Thibodeaux, they might need to move up from the 15th overall spot. However, there have been rumors that the Oregon star will become the next big name to free-fall down through the first round. He could become the next Warren Sapp or Aaron Rodgers, and he could just as easily become the next Reuben Foster.

First Round (18th Overall)- Devonte Wyatt, DT, Georgia

Fans will hear the names of players from the University of Georgia all weekend in Las Vegas. Wyatt is a versatile defensive tackle from the defending national champions, and the Eagles have reportedly expressed interest. 

The 6-foot-3, 315-pound mammoth could become the heir to Fletcher Cox while the veteran defensive tackle winds down his career in Philadelphia.

Second Round (51st Overall)- George Pickens, WR, Georgia

The Eagles could continue to pounce on talent from Georgia by drafting Pickens, a physical 6-foot-3 body who can line up on the outside and fight for 50/50 balls. Draft analyst Carlos Medina expressed confidence in the health of Pickens after an ACL injury and the growth of his character amidst questions about his maturity. 

Third Round (83rd Overall)- Nick Cross, S, Maryland

Kyle Hamilton and Lewis Cine will be attractive names in the first round, but the Eagles haven’t drafted a true safety in the first round in the 86-year history of the NFL Draft. Cross is a third-round talent, and selecting him would align easily with the organization’s history of positional preference.

Third Round (101st Overall)- Cameron Thomas, Edge, San Diego State

Roseman loves to pick pass rushers, and I can’t overstate the magnitude of how much the defensive line held back an already suspect defense in 2021.

Fourth (124th Overall)- Cade Otton, TE, Washington

Tight end depth hasn’t been discussed much as a draft need, but the Eagles are thin behind starter Dallas Goedert. The departure of Zach Ertz pushed former undrafted free agent Jack Stoll into the backup position last year, and Tyree Jackson suffered an ACL tear in Week 18.

The Eagles need to prioritize finding a new backup instead of counting on retread Richard Rodgers or any production from J.J. Arcega-Whiteside.

Fifth Round (154th, 162nd, 166th Overall)- Mike Rose, LB, Iowa State, Malcolm Rodriguez, LB, Oklahoma State, Brandon Smith, LB, Penn State

The more players a team acquires with minimal risk, the better odds that one player turns into a contributor. Roseman used the logic in 2020 by selecting John Hightower and Quez Watkins in consecutive rounds and acquiring Marquise Goodwin as an additional piece in a pick-swap trade the same day. The strategy benefitted him when Watkins proved to be a late-round steal.

He hopes to repeat his success with any of the five cornerbacks under the age of 25 that he added to the roster within the last year. Why not replicate the strategy at the linebacker position using the high volume of fifth-round picks?

Smith was mocked to the Dallas Cowboys by Dane Brugler of The Athletic, so some local Penn State alumni would be relieved after already watching former Nittany Lions Micah Parsons and Sean Lee play for Philadelphia’s arch-rival.

Seventh Round (237th Overall)- Cordell Volson, OL, North Dakota State

No NFL team can have too much depth along the offensive line. It’s never a bad idea to sure up a position that has been decimated by injuries in the franchise’s recent history.

Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire