The Philadelphia Eagles are currently trying to see their way out of the fog. Their financial struggles have been well-documented and are going to weigh them down for the immediate future, as they slowly shed older players with heavy contracts.
The most effective way to improve this roster is via the upcoming NFL Draft. Now more than ever, general manager Howie Roseman and his scouting department need to hit on as many players as possible.
Quarterback Carson Wentz was recently dealt to the Indianapolis Colts and while Jalen Hurts proved that he can create a spark on an already lackluster offense, the team might not be completely sold on him just yet.
Speaking of their offense, the current wide receiver unit has shown the inability to separate. It appears that they could lose tight ends Zach Ertz and Richard Rodgers during the offseason and their aging offensive line is becoming more damaged. The quarterback position isn’t the only problem on this side of the ball and it will realistically take several years of adding talent to complete the offense.
The Eagles defense might actually be under more duress. Once a franchise chip, defensive tackle Fletcher Cox has shown signs of slowing down and is on the back nine. At the defensive end position, Brandon Graham is another player who is long in the tooth, while Derek Barnett could become a cap casualty.
Their linebackers are in need of an upgrade and the lone long-term piece on defense is 30-year old cornerback Darius Slay.
There’s a lot of work to be done, so let's begin!
Round 1, Pick 6: Trey Lance, quarterback, North Dakota State University
There’s no denying that Lance has all the tools to be a great quarterback in the NFL. His arm talent is right there alongside Trevor Lawrence, in terms of strength and firepower. Plus, his experience at North Dakota State running a quick, pro-style offense has him prepared for life in the NFL. A bruising and quick runner, Lance can maximize any offense he winds up in. Though not as mobile as Jalen Hurts, adding Lance is adding a player whose potential is comparable to Josh Allen and Justin Herbert.
Grabbing a quarterback during a rebuild is extremely important and it’s more important to get the quarterback before assembling the roster around him. The Eagles are in rebuild mode but they need their quarterback of the future before they surround him with talent. Teams that build the roster first, often play themselves out of position to draft their franchise quarterback. Some recent examples would include the Chicago Bears, Indianapolis Colts, Las Vegas Raiders, Minnesota Vikings and Washington Football Team.
Round 2, Pick 5: Josh Myers, interior offensive line, Ohio State
Protection woes are atop the list of priorities, as Jason Kelce could be retiring this offseason and Brandon Brooks has had two Achilles tears since 2018. Veterean Isaac Seumalo is the only interior offensive lineman that still has an upward trajectory left during his time in Philadelphia. Myers would be able to play all across the interior immediately and would do well to replace Kelce as an athletic and vertically-climbing blocker.
Round 3, Pick 6: Nico Collins, wide receiver, Michigan
Collins is a big, tall receiver who works well as a red zone threat and for 50/50 balls. Standing in at over 6-foot-4, he could pair well with Lance in the passing game and offer an ‘X’ receiver for the Eagles’ offense. If Collins develops well in the NFL to win jump balls down the field, then he and Lance would become a dangerous pair; Lance can launch a high pass on a rope and Collins can go up and get it. Wide receiver JJ Arcega-Whiteside fits the jump-ball type with the Eagles but he hasn’t panned out thus far, so taking a shot at Collins will add another capable body to the mix.
Round 3, Pick 21 (via IND): Shaun Wade, nickelback, Ohio State
With a move to the boundary this past season, Wade struggled and hence, his draft stock dipped. It wasn’t too long ago that Wade was widely considered a potential first round pick. A top cornerback prospect on the inside, he could even project to be a safety at the next level. Forgive the Ohio State and Philadelphia comparison but Wade plays a lot like Malcolm Jenkins and could fill a similar role as Jenkins in the Eagles’ secondary. He can play multiple spots on defense, just not on the perimeter.
Round 5, Pick 6: Cade Johnson, wide receiver, South Dakota State University
The Eagles have never been shy about selecting FCS players from the ‘Dakotas’ and Johnson would be the second one in this particular mock. Somewhat underutilized in college and considered undersized for the pros, Johnson purely knows how to create separation. He could fill an immediate role as a slot receiver for the Eagles, with Collins at the ‘X’ and Jalen Reagor at the ‘Z.’ Johnson showed out at the Senior Bowl, demonstrating that his speed and route running are up to snuff and that he is able to compete at the highest level.
Round 5, Pick 12: Robert Rochell, cornerback, Central Arkansas
Another FCS player who made an appearance at the Senior Bowl, Rochell is a developmental cornerback in the NFL. He has long arms and flashed plenty of athleticism. He could find himself playing a starring role on the outside after some coaching-up. The new Eagles defensive coordinator, Jonathan Gannon, was a successful secondary coach in Indianapolis and would love to get his hands on Rochell.
Round 6, Pick 5: Victor Dimukeje, edge-rusher, Duke
A plug-and-play seven-technique rusher who may not have a high ceiling but Dimukeje owns a high floor, as a well-rounded defender. The Eagles are going to be shedding players all across the roster and will need some projects to develop. Dimukeje can provide depth along the edge that the Eagles can rely upon, while trying to figure out the rest of their roster. You can never have too many pass-rushers and run-defenders along the defensive line.
Round 7, Pick 6: John Bates, tight end, Boise State
All indications are that the tight end duo of Zach Ertz and Richard Rodgers are likely done playing in Philadelphia. Whoever starts at quarterback will be throwing to an Eagles team that has historically relied upon multiple tight end sets. New offensive coordinator Shane Steichen comes from a Chargers team that also uses two-tight end sets. While the Eagles will start to play in more trip formations with three wide receivers, keeping another receiving tight end on the roster will allow extra offensive schematic flexibility for the new coaching staff. Bates offers some receiving ability for the TE2 position.
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