After a rollercoaster of an opening round, the Philadelphia Eagles go into day 2 with only 4 picks remaining in this year’s draft. But where should they target to spend those picks?
With receiver being addressed by trading for A.J. Brown, the only real position I see the Eagles considering on offense for day two is interior offensive line. Sure, they could look at running back or tight end, but with only 3 total picks left, it is clear that the Eagles are content with the guys they have on the roster at a number of positions. That likely means running back and tight end are not high on the list of positions to address.
Cam Jurgens | Nebraska
We’ve all heard the rumors. Apparently the Eagles brass are enamored with Jurgens as a potential heir to Jason Kelce’s throne. He brings a lot of the same traits that made Tyler Linderbaum a first round pick, but with more size and a less polished game. In a manor that can only be described as Kelce-esque, Jurgens can often be found making blocks 20-30 yards down field — something that no doubt caught Stoutland’s eye.
Lecitus Smith | Virginia Tech
As a former tight end, Smith brings the requisite athleticism to fit the mold of a Jeff Stoutland project. He’s not the longest prospect, but he’s got a nasty temperament and is a fantastic mover at the left guard position. There are some technique issues to iron out, but the Eagles can let him sit and learn for a year before they let him compete for a starting position.
Cade Mays | Tennessee
Mays is the lesser athlete of the bunch listed here, but he compensates with size and strength. He’s brings a level of mean to his blocks that would make him an early fan favorite, plus he was a four-year starter that manned all five positions for Tennessee. If the Eagles are in the market for a backup that could fill any role in a pinch, Mays would be a fantastic option.
Although there are more glaring needs on the defensive side of the football, EDGE is an overlooked position in that regard and Howie Roseman simply will not waver from his commitment to building through the trenches. Do not write off the possibility of the Eagles doubling down on the defensive line early on in this draft.
David Ojabo | Michigan
Even though he’ll likely sit out a majority if not all of the 2022-2023 season, picking up Ojabo in the second round would be massive value for the Eagles who will need to replace Brandon Graham sooner rather than later. He had an incredible win rate on pass rushing downs at Michigan, and his ceiling is as high as any player still left on the board.
Arnold Ebiketie | Penn State
It’s no secret that the Eagles love their local Penn State prospects, and had Ebiketie in for a visit this month. The pass-rush specialist wins with a quick first step that is reminiscent of a classic Jim Schwartz prospect. Although Ebiketie would likely be limited to passing downs early in his career, rushing the passer out of a wide set to maximize his speed and athleticism, he has upside as a run defender if he can learn to better convert his speed to power and maximize his length.
Boye Mafe | Minnesota
Another impressive athlete, Mafe shares a similar career path to Ebiketie. A pass rush specialist, with good speed and athleticism, what really stands out to me is his relentless effort. He shows a bit less strength than Ebiketie, despite being a heavier athlete. However, he rushed the passer out of a lot of different sets at Minnesota and Gannon is likely salivating about his versatility.
Logan Hall | Houston
Cut from a different cloth than the other names on this list, Hall played mostly on the interior at Houston. However, with length and athleticism that translates to almost every position along the defensive line, the 280 pound lineman shoots gaps and explodes off the football like an edge rusher. However, he also brings an imposing initial punch, length and size that the other guys on this list simply do not offer.
Nakobe Dean is the consensus for most talented LB left on the board, but I can’t imagine he sticks around long in the second round. Luckily for the Eagles, or at least for the fans that hope they finally spend some high-end capital on the position, there are a ton of talented options that can be had on day two.
Chad Muma | Wyoming
Muma is a tackling machine that was a mainstay in the middle of the defense for the Cowboys. He diagnoses plays quickly, plays with a clear intelligence and comes downhill with intent. The Eagles will love his football IQ and leadership. Plus, some of his limitations in man coverage will be camouflaged in Gannon’s defense, where Muma’s lateral movement and instincts will shine.
Christian Harris | Alabama
If the Eagles decide to address their lacking pass coverage at the linebacker position, Harris will be one of the top options. An impressive athlete, he excels in space and will make plays all over the field. Another high IQ player, Harris was a leader in Tuscaloosa, however there are some questions about his consistency and motor. However, when he is on, he is on. In comparison to some of the smaller ‘backers, he has the ability to deconstruct blocks on the way to the ball. Still, there are some instinctual and technical boxes he will have to check as he progresses in the NFL.
Channing Tindall | Georgia
Although he’s not quite the athlete some of the other players on this list are, Tindall brings a lot of solid qualities to the linebacker position. He’s a jack-of-all trades kind of player, with a strong floor and the ability to contribute as both a run defender and in coverage. The biggest concerns are his length and his ceiling, which could be minor issues if placed in a position to succeed.
Brandon Smith | Penn State
Brandon Smith is an intriguing option for the Eagles as a hybrid defender that excels in space and has the ability to cover multiple positions in the pass game. Smith is one of the best athletes in the entire draft and it shows when he isn’t bogged down in traffic. He has the length and mobility to be disruptive as a zone defender as a MIKE linebacker or split out in the slot. As a run defender, he can struggle to get off blocks and can get lost in the shuffle. However, he was asked to do a lot at Penn State and that didn’t necessarily put him in the best light.
Jesse Luketa | Penn State
Another athletic freak, the Canadian-born hybrid backer would give Gannon a fun option when dreaming up ways to put pressure on opposing offenses. Luketa is at his best when he is chasing down run plays and has upside rushing the passer out of a two point stance. His best fit is likely an outside backer in a 3-4 defense, but he has the versatility to excel as a run defender in a defense showing multiple looks.
Andrew Booth Jr. | Clemson
I am shocked he is still available, and I do not think he will be around for very long, but oh boy the premise of the Eagles sniping a player that was mocked to them at 15 in the second round is too sweet to pass up. Booth may have some work to do to keep up with Gannon’s zone heavy defense, but he is a explosive playmaker with fantastic coverage skills and and aggressive mindset.
Tariq Woolen | UTSA
A long converted wide receiver, Woolen is a fantastic fit for the Eagles defense. He’s got great ball skills and is disruptive at the catch point, meanwhile his length and break on the football make him an excellent zone defender. In man coverage, he’s much better close to the line of scrimmage, where he can use his length to annoy opponents before they can exploit the space behind him. That’s not to say he isn’t fast, in fact it’s quite the opposite. However, there is certainly some work to be done on cleaning up technique.
Cam Taylor-Britt | Nebraska
There’s a refreshing level of physicality to CTB’s play that you just don’t see from that many corners. He is a boon in run support and brings the wood on every tackle. In coverage, he has the athleticism to mirror and match receivers in man, as well as the intelligence and reaction skills to bait quarterbacks and make plays on the football in zone. He also has excellent ball skills and has made some highlight reel plays on the football. A three-year starter and captain in Nebraska, Taylor-Britt would be a slam dunk for the Eagles.
Coby Bryant | Cincinatti
Bryant is solid in all areas of coverage, and at 6’2″ fits the mold of a modern day corner. He is a true competitor on the outside and has the ability to contest against almost any receiver in either man or zone. However, he doesn’t have the quickness or agility of his fellow corners and is an inconsistent tackler. Nevertheless, he would fit the bill for what Gannon likes to do in coverage, with his length and speed translating well to zone coverage.
Jaquan Brisker | Penn State
Brisker would be a seamless fit with the Eagles defense. Yet another incredibly athletic prospect, he truly is a scheme-diverse prospect at safety. He can do a bit of everything and was a tone setter for the Penn State defense. It’s more a matter of whether or not he’ll be available at pick 51 than if he would be a good fit.
Jalen Pitre | Baylor
Jalen Pitre is one of my favorite prospects in the draft. He’s smart, he’s physical and he’s competitive. Playing mostly close to the line at a strong safety position, or even WILL linebacker, there was a lot of speculation about his range and ability to cover leading into the pre-draft process and he put all of those concerns to bed. Baylor’s defense saw a resurgence over the past few years and Pitre was at the center of it all. In taking Pitre, Howie would give Gannon a chess piece to move around the formation and wreak havoc.
Nick Cross | Maryland
A raw prospect, Cross has a lot of the tangible skills scouts love to bet on. He is a quick twitch athlete with an NFL frame that fits the mold of a free safety that can play single high or cover 2. Cross is more a reactive player and will need to improve his understanding of how offences are looking to attack at the next level. In the interim, he would be a welcome addition to the Eagles special teams unit that can always use more athletes.
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