The 2021 NFL Season isn't even over and I'm already doing multiple mock drafts a day because, well why not? They're fun, give you hope for your team, and are generally interesting. This upcoming NFL draft is particularly interesting for the Philadelphia Eagles because they currently own three first-round picks. With that in mind, here's my first full 2022 mock draft for the birds.
Round 1 - Pick 10: David Ojabo, EDGE (Michigan)
Photo Credits: Allison Engkvist - The Michigan Daily
The Eagles are in desperate need of edge defenders. Derek Barnett won't be back next year, Brandom Graham is aging, and Josh Sweat is still largely unproven. So, the Eagles use the first of their three first-rounders on Ojabo who can have an immediate impact as an edge defender and has the potential to become one of the best edges in the league.
Round 1 - Pick 11: Tyler Linderbaum, C (Iowa)
Photo Credits: Charlie Neibergall - Associated Press
Is this too high for a center? For most teams? Yes. For the Eagles? No. The birds have enjoyed several years of terrific center play from Jason Kelce. However, Kelce is starting to age and is getting injured in-game more frequently than he ever has. He also, himself, is reportedly considering retiring at the end of the season. Linderbaum, who is a near-perfect comp to Kelce, can provide continuity at one of the league's most important, yet unrecognized, positions.
Round 1 - Pick 21: Jaquan Brisker, S (Penn State)
Photo Credits: Keith Srakocic - Associated Press
The safety position is another in which the Eagles desperately need help. Starters Rodney McLeod and Anthony Harris are both free agents next year and likely won't be returning. After them, there are a few younger guys but none have shown too much potential. So, enter Brisker. Jaquan is Malcolm Jenkins like his hard-hitting and aggressive style of football. He can step in and be an immediate impact player for the Birds. It helps too that he is a Penn State Product.
Round 2 - Pick 42: David Bell, WR (Purdue)
Photo Credits: Jerod Ringwald - The Daily Iowan
The Jalen Reagor experiment in Philly has just about reached its conclusion. After inexplicably drafting Reagor, one of the worst wide receivers in the NFL, before Justin Jefferson, the Eagles still need help at wide receiver. Devonta Smith looks like a bona fide WR1 and Quez Watkins is a good WR3 or WR4. But, the Eagles still need that number 2 guy. Bell, a prototypical X receiver, can immediately be your WR2 and develop even further.
Round 3 - Pick 73: Henry To'o To'o, LB (Alabama)
Photo Credits: Kent Gidley
As we approach the draft in April, you'll see a lot of mocks having the Eagles take a Linebacker in the first round. I'm not buying it. The Eagles do not value the Linebacker position very highly. That said Linebackers do have a bigger role in new defensive coordinator Johnathon Gannon's scheme than they did previously. So, using a third-round pick in drafting To'o To'o, a high upside player, is certainly reasonable. The hope is To'o To'o, recently re-signed TJ Edwards, and 2020 third-round pick, Davion Taylor, can serve as a reasonable linebacker corps for next year.
Round 4 - Pick 116: Coby Bryant, CB (Cincinnati)
Photo Credits: Maria Lysaker - USA Today Sports
In addition to seeing linebackers mocked highly for the birds, you'll also see a lot of corner selections in the first round. I am also not buying this. While Philly does value the corner position more than the linebacker position, Philly has 5+ developmental corners on their roster and several more on their practice squad. They're hoping that one of these guys hits to fill in the CB2 role alongside Darius Slay. Here, we add Coby Bryant (yes he was named after the Koby Bryant), a stand-out corner at Cincinnati. All Philly needs is for Bryant or another of their multiple developmental corners to actually develop well in order to be successful.
Round 5 - Pick 154: Boye Mafe, EDGE (Minnesota)
Photo Credits: Aaron Lavinsky - Star Tribune
Here, we have the second edge defender taken for the Birds and this one is all about upside. Boye Mafe has all the makings of an NFL star; insane athleticism, high-level motor, multiple pass-rushing moves, etc. However, despite all of this, Maye just hasn't put it together yet. A high upside player at a premium position in the fifth round? Don't mind if I do.
Round 5 - Pick 160: Eric Gray, RB (Oklahoma)
Photo Credits: John Williams - USA Today Sports
The Eagles in recent years have adopted a running back by committee approach to handling the RB position. Miles Sanders has one year left on his contract, Boston Scott is solid, Jordan Howard is surprised he's still in the NFL, and Kenny Gainwell is still a rookie. Gray, a solid runner who is guaranteed to hit the holes available to him, can compete with Scott and Howard to get a spot on the prolific committee. Look for a possible Miles Sanders trade during the offseason as well.
Round 5 - Pick 169: Cordell Volson, OT (North Dakota State)
Photo Credits: David Samson - The Forum
The Eagles love their lineman and Volson is the exact type of player OL coach, Jeff Stoutland, would salivate over. A nasty tackle prospect, Volson has shown the ability to completely demolish defenders at the FCS level. While he will need at least a year of development before being NFL worthy, I have faith that Stoutland, who took an Australian rugby player in Jordan Mailata and turned him into one of the league's best left tackles, can develop Volson long-term as a replacement for when Lane Johnson calls it quits.
Round 6 - Pick 200: Trajan Jeffcoat, EDGE (Missouri)
Photo Credits: Zach Bland - Mizzou Athletics
Another Edge Rusher? Yeah, I know, three players all of the same position, being drafted in one year, doesn't look great. However, the Eagles have shown a willingness to do so. The team took three receivers in 2020 when they had almost no one at the position. Because of that, I don't think it's crazy that they'd take three edge rushers considering how much they value the position and how little depth they have. Jeffcoat is a high motor play who has been also known as a fun instigator along the line of scrimmage as well. Another high upside pick and the Eagles can have a strong edge-rushing group again in just a few years.
Round 6 - Pick 208: Jack Coan, QB (Notre Dame)
Photo Credits: Patrick Gorski - USA Today Sports
Have you noticed that I didn't take a QB in the first or second round? That's for two reasons. One, I think Jalen Hurts has played well enough to justify evaluating him for another season. Two, you really can't feel great about any of the top QB prospects in this class. So, if anything, I think the Eagles will wait to figure out their long-term QB situation after the 2022 NFL season. However, in the meantime, the need for a good backup QB is always there. Gardner Minshew is a great backup, but he's only got one year left on his contract. Drafting Coan here lets the Eagles develop him for a year and see if he can compete for the backup job during the 2023 season.
I hope you enjoyed reading this Eagles mock draft! I'll be doing more of them as we get closer to the actual draft. In the meantime, Go Birds!