Night 2 of the NFL Draft promises to be an exciting one. Some surprising players have slipped through the cracks of the opening round and the Philadelphia Eagles have a pair of picks at their disposal. Here are 20 prospects they should be eyeing up.
Brian Branch, S, Alabama
Sydney Brown, S, Illinois
Antonio Johnson, S, Texas A&M
Brian Branch obviously heads up this list and there is a chance the Eagles could trade up to snag the Alabama product. However, he’s likely going to go in the early stages of the second round and with so much value to be found at this position, Howie might decide to sit on his hands.
If he does, Sydney Brown and Antonio Johnson would both be fantastic consolation prizes.
Johnson is a brilliant run-defender who is at his best when he’s at the line of scrimmage and giving nightmares to tight ends. He’s not afraid of contact and will happily engage with linemen when trying to work his way to the ball. He’s not the quickest of safeties, but his physicality and desire to work downhill is very reminiscent of what Epps once bought this team. It’s a niche role that he could fill.
Brown is much more polished around the ball and has the versatility and physicality to play in the box. He’s the more well-rounded of the two prospects, but his tackling isn’t as reliable.
Kelee Ringo, CB, Georgia
Joey Porter Jr, CB, Penn State
The Eagles don’t need a premier corner just yet, but it’s hard not to salivate over Penn State’s Joey Porter, who is just everything you want in a corner. Rangy, instinctive, and excels when closing on curls and comebacks, Porter would be very fun to watch develop in Philadelphia.
Ringo obviously has the Georgia connection if Howie Roseman wants to keep working down that path. He’s rapid (4.36 40-yard dash), but can ger very grabby in coverage and has a tendency to get trapped by a QB’s eyes. That will need to be worked on and he’s a clear CB2 to Porter in this situation.
Darnell Washington, TE, Georgia
Sam LaPorta, TE, Iowa
Luke Musgrave, TE, Oregon State
Zach Kuntz, TE, Old Dominion
LOTS of juice here. My heart longs for Darnell Washington and the Georgia connection only adds a Cherryt o the cake. He’s a freak athlete who could use some time to really hone his craft under the radar. Zach Kuntz is a very similar player athletically but lacks Washington’s natural technique as a run-blocker.
LaPorta might just be the most NFL-ready of this quartet, but his ceiling is a little lower. I think the Eagles (looking at Tyree Jackson) want a monster athlete who can build up his skills over time and that may lead them to Kuntz.
Trenton Simpson, LB, Clemson
Dorian Williams, LB, Tulane
Drew Sanders, LB, Arkansas
There are still some attractive names here, with the most appealing being Trenton Simpson. The Clemson product is an athletic monster who is basically the linebacker Howie hoped Davion Taylor would become. Ridiculously agile and with a nose for the football, Simpson would have a chance to blossom. He’s the kind of playmaker the LB position in Philly has been crying out for, and a guy I would’ve happily taken at 30.
Matthew Bergeron, OT, Syracuse
There are a few good OL prospects here, but something tells me this won’t be the spot they take them. Bergeron might be the name that draws Howie’s eyes the most as a strong athlete who impresses against the run.
Jalin Hyatt, WR, Tennessee
Rashee Rice, WR, SMU
Jonathan Mingo, WR, Ole Miss
A lot to like here. Eagles fans were behooved with Jalin Hyatt, but he’s a name who could be swiped from the board very quickly this evening. Mingo and Rice are both more realistic targets, with Rice having cracked the 1,100-yard mark in 2022 and led the nation in yards per game. He struggles to get off the line but is brilliant in the air and could be a viable backup behind Smitty and Brown.
As for Mingo, he’s 6’2 and runs a 4.4 40. The Eagles toyed with a big-slot a few years ago and Zach Pascal played a similar role. Mingo has plenty of strength which he uses when run-blocking and he could be a perfect replacement for Pascal, complementing Zaccheaus.
Roschon Johnson, RB, Texas
Devon Achane, RB, Texas A&M
The Eagles may have missed out on Bijan Robinson, but Roschon Johnson isn’t exactly a bad pick here. He’s not as flashy as his former teammate, but is a downhill wrecking ball who could be very handy on those short downs just out of QB sneak range. He’s got a thick base, lowers his pads into contact, and rarely coughs up the rock having NEVER fumbled at Texas.
Achane’s calling card is his 4.32 40-yard dash. He’s versatile, zippy, and could be the missing cog on special teams. He’s returned 20 kicks over the last 2 years and had a return TD in each.
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