For this article, I just a ton of mock drafts and tried to write down all the players the Eagles have selected or have traded up to select. Then, I ranked them based on what I would like to see on Thursday night. I enjoyed this exercise and hopefully you find it useful too! Obviously this doesn’t include all the players but it includes everyone I think the Eagles have a chance at, based on all of the mocks.
Tier 1 – Trade up / how on earth did we get him?
With Kyle Hamilton, Notre Dame: Possibly the best player in the entire class, Hamilton is 6’4 but runs like a smaller safety and has fantastic instincts. He will bring a playmaking element and can fly around the field and the safety position is becoming more and more important in the modern NFL. I would absolutely love to see Hamilton somehow end up on the Eagles.
CB Derek Stingley, LSU: Stingley has been discussed a lot due to some ‘lazy’ tape the past 2 years and the injury concerns … but the tape is outstanding. He has all the physical and athletic traits that a high level outside cornerback needs. He is at his best in man coverage, especially press man coverage, and has elite ball skills too. He is not as good in off coverage or in zone at this point, where he can have some issues with his technique, but he does have the athletic ability to be able to do it all.
EDGE Jermaine Johnson, Florida State: Johnson projects as a good starter who could potentially become an excellent starter. Johnson has excellent size and length and understands how to get to the quarterback with elite hand usage. I am slightly concerned about the average get-off. I think he is a clear 3-down starter who can also play the run.
Tier 2 – This would get me very excited
DT Jordan Davis, Georgia: Davis is probably the most fascinating player in the entire draft class. I’ll be totally honest, I don’t really know how to evaluate him considering his lack of snaps and it’s hard to project his future. He looks like an elite run defender with the athletic ability to be a good pass rusher too. I would absolutely love the Eagles to take a chance on Davis and I would always take a shot on athletic freaks because the upside is huge.
LB Devin Lloyd, Utah: Lloyd clearly looks like the best linebacker in this class but is he worth a mid-1st round pick? I think the Eagles have ignored this position for too long and that the Eagles need some serious talent at the position and I think Lloyd is the one linebacker who is worth a mid-1st. He looks the part, is very athletic and will bring physicality to a defense. The missed tackles are a concern but I think you have to hope you can coach that out of him.
WR Treylon Burks, Arkansas: Burks is one of the most fun I’ve had watching a prospect for a while. His film is unbelievable and the potential is incredibly high. He has a freakish combination of size and speed and can line up anywhere on the field. He can win in the short to intermediate game on over routes where he can use his size to box out defenders but he excels on deeper routes where corners have no chance if he gets a step on them. Some big guys have slow feet but Burks does not. He gets into his route quickly with a very explosive first few steps and can run by corners effortlessly. He also has great hands and is a huge threat in the red zone. Is he the finished article? No. Does he need to understand the nuances of route running better? Yes. But he can learn that stuff and you simply cannot teach the explosive traits that he has.
WR Jameson Williams, Alabama: Williams is one of the most explosive receivers I have studied the past few years. He will immediately dominate on vertical routes such as overs, posts and corners and will put up crazy numbers with an elite quarterback. He is not just a trick pony and is very good at coming back to the ball and finding soft spots against zone coverage too. He will need to improve his play strength in order to compete against more physical cornerbacks, and does have a few too many concentration drops, but he should be an instant playmaker in the league.
CB Trent McDuffie, Washington: McDuffie is a top cornerback prospect who is better suited to a zone system that won’t ask him to play press man on a consistent basis. He showed he can play man, but is at his best in off coverage and zone where he can explode towards the football. He is an excellent athlete, a fluid mover and shows a great understanding of situational football. He does get overly physical with receivers on the outside due to his lack of height and his lack of ball production is concerned, especially as teams may target him with bigger receivers on jump balls on the outside.
CB Andrew Booth, Clemson: Booth Jr is an intriguing prospect as he profiles as someone who can do a bit of everything. He has an excellent feel for zone coverage and shows a good understanding of route concepts, receiver location and excellent eye discipline. He has also shown the ability to play press coverage, both mirror match and physical, and only has 1 penalty against him the past 3 years due to excellent ball skills. However, his long strides show up and his long speed as well as his change of direction ability are a slight concern. He is also quite reckless with his tackling at times but I sort of love the feistiness and competitiveness to his game.
WR Drake London, USC: London profiles as your classic X receiver at the next level. The basketball background is obvious as he has elite body control and is as good in contested situations as anyone has been coming out in the past few years. He will instantly be a major threat in the red zone and will provide an offense with mismatches on the outside against average cornerbacks. I do have concerns about his ability to separate from defenders and I do think he lacks speed and isn’t very sudden or explosive moving laterally which means he struggles to get separation. The big question is how often can he dominate in contested situations at the next level when the cornerbacks will be better.
Tier 3 – This is still good!
QB Malik Willis, Liberty: An elite athlete with a cannon of an arm. Sign me up. He is raw and will need a bit of time to learn some of the nuances of the position but the upside is huge. If he is coached well and develops well, he could be a very high-level QB due to his elite athletic traits and his arm talent. I think there is a clear risk and you are banking on a lot of improvement over the next couple of years, such as remaining calm in the pocket and knowing, improved accuracy, and the willingness to check it down, but I think he is worthy of an early first round pick if you believe in the traits. He will create huge plays outside of structure and has a few incredibly plays each week. If he reaches his upside, he will be the best QB in this class and potentially one of the best in the league.
WR Chris Olave, Ohio State: Olave profiles as an excellent number 2 receiver who can be moved around the formation to win both outside as the Z receiver or in the slot. He will fit a number of modern day NFL offenses with his excellent route running, ability to track the ball on deeper throws and create explosive plays. He is not a burner but can get on top of cornerbacks and win down the field. His biggest concern is a lack of physicality which will show against press coverage and also the inability to break tackles and create YAC. Whilst this is a concern. I think he has enough ability to be an excellent # 2 receiver at the next level.
EDGE George Karlaftis: Karlaftis looks like a very good power rusher whose game is based on very good hand usage and a lot of strength. The elite length and athleticism that you want to see from top EDGE rushers doesn’t look there and that’s slightly concerning. He should be an excellent run defender and is versatile as he has the power to line up inside at times. I really like him but I think he has to be used in a certain way.
WR Garrett Wilson, Ohio: I see Wilson more as a very good wide receiver two. Unless he improves his ability to beat press coverage and quickens up his routes (less unnessary steps), he may be limited to a WR2 role in an offense. He is extremely quick and explosive with the ball in his hands and there will always be a role on offense for this type of player, but I think he will need to develop his game further in order to be worth a very high pick in these years draft.
CB Kaiir Elam, Pitt: Elam profiles as the classic physical outside cornerback with great length, size and speed that everyone wanted to play Cover3 a few years ago. Elam will fit a variety of schemes but its frame and length is suited to a press man corner. He is very physical at the line of scrimmage and presses receivers to the sideline and has the speed to carry then vertically down the field. However, he has two major concerns. Firstly, he is too grabby in coverage and was flagged 7 times in 10 games last year. He will be a flag machine if he doesn’t clean this up. He is also slightly poor in the run game and needs to wrap up and get off blocks better.
QB Kenny Pickett, Pitt: I don’t care about the hands! Kenny Pickett can play. He looks the part, has the tools, can throw with anticipation and create outside of structure. He throws intermediate routes with anticipation really well in particular and shows some precise ball location. I understand he showed an improvement this past year and this scares some people off due to his age. He does need to clean up his pocket presence and he will be overaggressive at times when he should check it down, but I believe in the talent overall.
Tier 4 – I’ll be slightly disappointed…
DT Devonte Wyatt, Georgia: Wyatt seems to split opinion and it’s easy to see why when you watch him. He is explosive and flies off the ball but you don’t see him win in many other ways. He seems to be really good at one thing but isn’t a well-rounded player at this point and the lack of production is concerned. I think it’s unlikely he is becoming an excellent starter but should be a good starter.
DE David Ojabo: Ojabo is an explosive athlete with a huge upside but he is seriously raw and has a lot to learn. He has everything you want in a premier pass rusher such as burst, length, quickness but he doesn’t really look like he knows how to rush the passer yet. He sadly injured his Achilles at his pro day and he could be a steal later, but the mid-1st seems a bit rich.
LB Nakobe Dean, Georgia: I really like Dean and looks a classic run and chase linebacker. He is explosive and despite his smaller frame is very physical but I’m not sure how I feel about drafting a slightly undersized linebacker in the 1st as my huge concern is whether or not he can cover very big TE’s and can he get off blocks?
DE Boye Mafe, Minnesota: Mafe is another elite athlete who has huge upside but his film doesn’t match his athleticism at this point. He has a great first step and can fly past tackles, but if they can keep up with him then he doesn’t have a counter and he also struggles as a run defender at this point in his career.