April is finally here! NFL Draft month.
The Philadelphia Eagles are in a terrific position. General Manager Howie Roseman has become a seemingly automated asset accumulator.
This second mock draft comes after a particularly savvy trade from the front office. The Eagles dealt picks 16, 19 and 194 in the 2022 NFL Draft to the New Orleans Saints. In return, they acquired five total picks. Philadelphia received picks 18, 101 and 237 in this year’s draft. Moreover, the Eagles acquired a first-round pick in 2023 and a second-round selection in 2024. Needless to say, they fleeced the Saints and have set up for continued youth injection in the coming years.
After this trade, the Eagles will have one less pick in this year’s draft. Furthermore, the addition of the 101st pick and 237th pick will need to be accounted for.
First Round: Pick 15 – Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State
The Eagles need to bolster their receiving corps.
With fellow Ohio State standout Garrett Wilson likely off the board, Chris Olave is the selection. He is an absolute burner. His elite speed and change of pace are very complimentary skills next to young star in DeVonta Smith. Furthermore, his deep route prowess will not only stretch the field, but also assist in the evaluation of the development of Jalen Hurts’ deep passing game.
Chris Olave displayed sensational bursts of speed throughout both his route running and after-the-catch yardage for the Buckeyes. At the NFL Draft Combine, the blazing receiver had a sensational 4.39 40-yard dash and has sound size at 6’1″ and 189 lbs.
This should be the obvious selection if the Ohio State prospect is available. The outside pairing of Olave and Smith will complement each other well, while star tight end Dallas Goedert mans the middle of the field. Thus, the offense will become far more dynamic and balanced in the passing attack.
First Round: Pick 18 – Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington
The Eagles have some holes on the defensive side of the ball.
Steven Nelson was thoroughly disappointing in his first season with the Eagles. The veteran allowed a terrible 108.4 quarterback rating when targeted in 2021. He is not likely not to be re-signed.
Therefore, look for Philadelphia to be enamored with Washington prospect Trent McDuffie. The tough, physical cornerback is marvelous in press coverage and a terrific tackler. He is aggressive and dominant at the line of scrimmage, jamming and re-routing receivers with ease.
Moreover, McDuffie’s selection will allow the Eagles to have a solid four-cornerback rotation. Superstar Darius Slay will be the CB1, with Avonte Maddox manning the slot and solid rookie Zech McPhearson giving depth.
Moreover, McDuffie’s selection allows the Eagles to build a solid foundational core in their secondary. Star CB1 Darius Slay made his fourth Pro Bowl last season. Avonte Maddox is a promising young stud in the slot and depth piece Zech McPhearson earned the opportunity for extra snaps this season. Adding the hard-nosed McDuffie makes this unit a real strength.
Second Round: Pick 51 – Chad Muma, LB, Wyoming
The Eagles really need to shore up their linebacking corps.
I hate to sound like a broken record, however this one isn’t spinning anymore. The Eagles will again likely not select a linebacker in the first round. They do not inherently value the position as a premium. Their reluctance to prioritize the middle of the defense has hurt them significantly on the field.
Chad Muma is an absolute steal at this pick. His impressive athleticism and aggressive play style make him a tantalizing fit for this scheme. Furthermore, his versatility will enable him to use his elite run-stopping skills to complement perfectly his above average coverage. In his final season at Wyoming, Muma had three interceptions, 1.5 sacks and 21 pressures. He ended the year with a 91.1 PFF run stopping grade and an impressive 77.7 PFF coverage grade.
Muma has the transformational potential of a franchise linebacker. The Eagles would be foolish to not take him here.
Third Round Pick: Pick 83 – David Bell, WR, Purdue
David Bell was a first-round prospect before the season began.
The Eagles take this opportunity to halt his slide in the NFL Draft at pick 83. The Purdue product has sound size, at 6’2″ and 205 lbs., and had a productive 2021 season. Bell had just under 1,300 receiving yards on the year, as well as six scores.
Hopefully, Bell will become a fantastic third weapon behind elite receivers DeVonta Smith and projected first-round pick Chris Olave. If he realizes his potential, the Eagles have back-to-back high value picks that present risk but also dangle tempting reward.
Due to the state of a thin receiving corps, the Eagles take a significant risk to potentially land a scheme-changing talent.
Third Round: Pick 101 – Myjai Sanders, EDGE, Cincinnati
Speaking of value.
The Eagles have an affinity for the defensive line, at the bereft of their broader roster. It is a minor miracle that they wait until the third round to add depth in this scenario. In juxtaposition, the pick offers terrific value.
In his 2021 collegiate season, Sanders displayed solid traits of a rotational NFL edge defender. His 6’5″, 255 lbs. size could use some extra weight, but he has fantastic length for a pass rushing threat.
The Cincinnati prospect displayed terrific speed off the edge, with a terrific go-to double hand swipe that was incredibly effective. Moreover, his 4.67 40-yard dash time and terrific pursuit skills, which were on full display in the Senior Bowl, allows him to have an even higher ceiling.
Sanders will need mentorship to realise his significant potential and is going to a helpful situation with the likes of established veterans Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham. This presents a mutually beneficial relationship for Sanders and Philadelphia, to allow for the prospect to shine and maximize his potential.
Fourth Round: Pick 124 – Thayer Munford, G, Ohio State
The Eagles return to the trenches here, looking to replace the dominance of the elite Brandon Brooks.
They may struggle to find it in the fourth round, yet it won’t stop them trying. Philadelphia will take another home run swing on 2020 standout Thayer Munford.
The Ohio State prospect struggled throughout the 2021 season with injury. Thus, we have decided to take the opportunity to examine his dominant 2020 season. Munford had an incredible 91.1 overall PFF blocking grade, which saw him not even allow a single hit.
Though a small sample size, it is indicative of the lineman’s potential to be a difference maker in the trenches. This is a worthy risk here. At worst, the 6’6″, 320 lbs. lineman can provide versatile depth for injury insurance. At best, he can become the mammoth interior run-blocking force that allows the Eagles to replace the brilliance of Brandon Brooks.
Fifth Round: Pick 154 – Jalen Wydermyer, TE, Texas A&M
This seemed very unlikely twelve months ago.
Jalen Wydermyer is an intriguing prospect. The Texas A&M prospect was viewed as one of the premier tight ends in the 2022 NFL Draft class prior to the 2021 season. His stock has rapidly dropped due to an underwhelming season and a startling 16.7% drop percentage.
Wydermyer is a prospect that has a low floor and a sky-high ceiling. His athleticism is tantalizing for the modern NFL, with his splendid highlight reel flashing speed and mobility that is rare at the position. With the risk of sounding hyperbolic, Wydermyer has the potential to be a premier talent in the NFL.
On the contrary, the Texas A&M prospect provides significant bust potential. His aforementioned 16.7% pass drop percentage is concerning to be polite. Young quarterbacks need their biggest targets to be reliable catching the football, at a minimum. This 6’5″, 255 lbs. target has all the tools but needs to be more reliable in the NFL. Moreover, the Eagles require their tight ends to assist consistently and relentlessly in their run heavy attack. This is one of Wydermyer’s weaknesses and will need to be improved.
So why the selection? Wydermyer is a no risk it, no biscuit move. In essence, Philadelphia will be banking on the tutelage of starter Dallas Goedert, one of the premier tight ends in the NFL, to assist in the prospect’s development. With this, they could make one of the most feared complementary tandems in the league.
Fifth Round: Pick 162, Smoke Monday, S, Auburn
The Eagles further bolster their secondary in the fifth round by taking a hard-hitting safety out of Auburn.
Smoke Monday lined up all over the field in 2021, displaying strength in run support, pass rushing and pursuit speed. He contributed across the board, notching nine tackles for loss, two sacks, one interception, five pass deflections and a touchdown.
Monday’s aggressiveness will definitely earn him snaps in the NFL. The versatile safety played 252 snaps in the box, 293 deep and 198 in the slot, as well as a combined 81 at corner or on the defensive line. This sort of flexibility and unpredictability allowed him to be seasoned in a variety of different alignments and roles.
Look for the Eagles to use Monday as a substitution player in his rookie season. This will allow him to develop his pass coverage, which will need some work. According to PFF, he allowed a 100.4 passer rating when targeted.
That being said, Monday still offers terrific value in his rookie season. He can provide run support, blitzing prowess and sound hard-hitting coverage from multiple different alignments. This allows the Eagles’ defense to experiment with disguise and misdirection in their secondary packages.
Fifth Round: Pick 166 – Zamir White, RB, Georgia
The committee expands.
NCAA champion Zamir White had a productive 2021 collegiate season. The speedy back had a blistering 11 rushing touchdowns from just 160 attempts. He averaged a phenomenal 5.4 yards per carry, amassing 859 yards on the year.
The Georgia prospect flashed terrific burst, coupled perfectly with a tough, relentless running style. His above average vision and quickness allowed him to exploit small holes and blaze through them. He is an ideal fit as a rotational running back behind this physical, dominant offensive line.
White hits holes hard, often showing a decisive cut and go approach. This will serve him well behind the Eagles’ trenches. Also, his lack of receiving snaps at Georgia is not an immediate concern for the Eagles, who have Kenneth Gainwell to be the primary catching option out of the backfield.
White is a sound depth piece here as the Eagles approach the back end of their draft.
Seventh Round: Pick 237 – William Dunkle, G, San Diego State
There is not much you can do wrong in the seventh round.
With that in mind, William Dunkle is not a well known prospect. Finding tape on him was difficult, yet we were able to uncover some snaps against San Jose State from last season. With his stats, we concluded that he is worth a shot here in the seventh.
Dunkle showed some fantastic run-blocking traits that could translate to the NFL. His elite quickness and knack for explosivity reaching the second level will be marveled. Furthermore, Dunkle was solid when he did engage chest to chest with a defender. His physical tools seem to be made for the run game.
Contrastingly, Dunkle struggled mightily with the point of engagement and his subsequent hand placement. His initial punch was all over the place, as well as an inexcusable missed assignment that allowed a free rusher to the quarterback. His first step in pass protection was sluggish and needs to be improved to deal with inside rushers in the NFL.
The primary reason for the gamble is Dunkle’s PFF run-blocking grade, as well as his flashes of brilliant mobility and quickness. The Aztec prospect had a startling 98.8 PFF run-blocking grade, which is absolutely ridiculous.
Anyone grading that high deserves a chance.