Philadelphia Eagles 7-round Mock Draft: Adding a STAR edge rusher and making a CB trade

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Eagles
PHILADELPHIA, PA – OCTOBER 14: Eagles General Manager Howie Roseman is pictured prior to the game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Philadelphia Eagles on October 14, 2021 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire)

The NFL Combine is in the rear-view mirror and a lot has changed when it comes to big boards and the rankings of potential prospects. The Philadelphia Eagles are bound to have come away with a solid list of players they’ll be targeting in each round this year, so now’s the perfect time to take another stab at a seven-round Mock Draft.

Round 1, Pick 22: Laiatu Latu, EDGE, UCLA

We’ve seen this story a thousand times. A star player with slight medical concerns falls down the board for no apparent reason until one team pulls the trigger. Howie Roseman has been more aggressive than most in recent years when it comes to these kinds of decisions and he won’t hesitate of Latu is somehow on the board at pick 22.

With a flurry of star EDGE rushers hitting the open market, there is a chance that teams like the Jags and Seahawks will fill their boots long before the NFL Draft, giving the Eagles a free run at one of the most decorated pass-rushers in recent memory.

Latu measures in at 6’5, 259 lbs, and plays to every inch of that frame. He explodes off the edge and is more technically refined than Chop Robinson. He’s got the intuition and slippery ability to win most matchups at the collegiate level with relative ease, using a variety of subtle moves to regain leverage. He can set the edge assertively and is stout against the run. He’d make for a fine replacement for Brandon Graham if the vet is brought in for one last rodeo, giving the Eagles a year to work on developing both Latu and recently drafted Nolan Smith.

Eagles
Newly drafted Philadelphia Eagles’ Nolan Smith speaks during a news conference at the NFL football team’s training facility, Friday, April 28, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Round 2, pick 50: Trey Benson, RB, FSU

If the Eagles aren’t going to pay a running back, then hitting on Trey Benson in the second round feels like a no-brainer. Miles Sanders was drafted in the second round, and you can absolutely make the argument that Benson fits this offense better as a more downhill-orientated back who absorbs contact for fun.

He’ll need to work on pass-pro at the next level, but this is a back who can be dropped right into the thick of it in Philadelphia, with his solid base and aggressive rushing style being perfect to carve things open for a run-first offense that craves his level of decisive and thunderous rushing.

Round 2, pick 53: Malachi Corley, WR, Western Kentucky

The Eagles need a slot receiver to complete their three-headed monster and you won’t find one more menacing than Malachi Corley. Sure, there are other options later, but Corley exploded at the Senior Bowl and followed it up with a strong outing at the NFL Combine.

He’s a shorter wideout at 5’10, 215 lbs, but someone who plays very physically for his size. With 984 yards and 11 scores to his name last year, Corley is a nuanced route-runner who understands how to create separation without relying on game-breaking speed alone. He’d be an amazing threat to parlay with Goedert over the middle.

Eagles
PHILADELPHIA, PA – SEPTEMBER 19: Philadelphia Eagles WR Quez Watkins (16) carries the ball in the first half during the game between the San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles on September 19, 2021 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

*TRADE*

*Points using the NFL Draft Value chart

Eagles send: Pick 97 (112 points), pick 178 (20 points), Avonte Maddox
Patriots send: pick 69 (245 points)

**Nevermind. The Eagles released Avonte Maddox, ruining my day and my Mock Draft. Cheers, Howie!**

The Patriots need cornerback help, and when healthy, Avonte Maddox is a fine starter. The Eagles did draft a replacement in Zech McPhearson, but his growth has largely been stunted due to Maddox being brought back into the mix following a breakout that same year.

This trade gives the Pats some help at corner, while giving the Eagles a window to bring in a low-cost veteran who allows McPhearson to fight for his keep. He’s been trialed on the outside with little success, but he’s looked much better over the middle. It’s time to give him a chance to start while securing an extra pick to land…

Round 3, pick 69: Payton Wilson, LB, NC State

I was already a big Payton Wilson fan, but seeing him absolutely demolish the combine makes him a must-pick here. Whether he’s even on the board at this stage is total hopium, but I’d even be willing to take him in the second and pick up a less-polished slot wideout later if it came to it.

Wilson is just an absolute machine and everything the Eagles could need in a linebacker. I’d be more surprised if he didn’t carve out a long and successful NFL career having gushed over his tape endlessly over the last few weeks. He has an exceptionally high motor, leverages well when playing the run and tackling in the open field, and is as instinctive as they come. The Eagles can finally hang their hat on a linebacker.

Round 5, Pick 160: Jordan Jefferson, DT, LSU

The Eagles might need some extra help on the interior and adding Jordan Jefferson essentially splits the interior group into two groups – the power-rushers and the run-stuffers. Jefferson could back up Jordan Davis as a space-eating tackle who possesses some ridiculous power. He’ll need refinement as a pass-rusher, but he could absolutely slot in as a DT4 alongside Milton Williams, who has all the explosiveness as a pass-rusher you need in that pairing.

Eagles vs buccaneers
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) celebrates his touchdown with teammates during the first half of an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Derik Hamilton)

Round 5, pick 170: Christian Jones, OT, Texas

Lane Johnson isn’t getting any younger and even if Jack Driscoll returns, the Eagles could do with a developmental tackle who could study in Stoutland University for a few years.

Jones is a well-experienced tackle who has plenty of length at his disposal. He’s very raw from a fundamental standpoint and often relies on his wingspan and frame to get the job done. If Stoutland can coach some better hand usage and positioning so he can leverage all that power, he could be a solid developmental prospect for years to come.

Round 6, pick 189: Dalvin Holker, TE, Colorado State

Dalvin Holker went viral at the combine for believing a drill finished early before re-adjusting and making a one-handed grab, carrying two balls to the endzone. That’s representative of the receiving tight end’s strengths. He’d be a great pass-catcher to work in behind Dallas Goedert and someone who had 767 yards to his name last season.

He’s a former team captain (so checks that box) and while he’s not going to be exploding down the seam for big gains, he’s come one that can provide a soft pair of hands over the middle as a check-down option and a player who can hold his own in tight spaces.

Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire