IT’S MOCK DRAFT MONDAY!
The trudge towards April 28th continues onward. The NFL Scouting Combine has come and gone and collegiate pro days have gotten underway. With the NFL draft a little over 6 weeks away, the plan of attack for NFL franchises is becoming a bit more defined.
It’s also becoming more defined for us here at The Philly Blitz. With that, we present to you our Philadelphia Eagles Mock Draft 5.0 by Pierrot Baptiste Jr.
Round 1 – Pick 15: Jordan Davis (DT), Georgia
The Philadelphia Eagles are a team that is built through the trenches. It’s in their DNA. It’s a core philosophical belief of Howie Roseman. That isn’t changing anytime soon.
With the recent report that the Eagles may look to deal Fletcher Cox this offseason (after reportedly discussing trading the six-time Pro Bowler during the 2021-22 season), the Eagles will almost certainly look to select a defensive tackle early in this draft. Javon Hargrave is also entering the last year of his three-year deal signed in 2020.
Coming in at a staggering 6-foot-6 341 pounds, Jordan Davis is an absolute mammoth of a man. Everyone saw the freakish testing numbers he put up at the combine.
Davis is a brick wall against the run and possesses enough power to impact the quarterback. The quick twitch decisiveness, hand quickness, and power he plays with is uncanny.
You cannot block this man one-one-on-one. He has the potential to be a game wrecker and make opposing teams one dimensional due to his advancement as a run stuffer.
Placing Davis next to Hargrave and the athletic Milton Williams, who flashed a ton in his rookie year spells disaster for opposing defenses.
Round 1 – Pick 16: George Karlaftis (EDGE), Purdue
You can copy and paste the first sentence from above and place it here too. Howie Roseman has already spoken about adding to the Eagles defensive line room.
“The bottom line is we didn’t get enough pressure on the quarterback. We have to have pressure on the quarterback. We have to continue to have pressure on the quarterback. It’s a priority to us. We’ll have opportunities this offseason to do it, and I would be very surprised if we didn’t do something there,” Roseman said last week at the Combine.
What better way to add pass rush than by adding a guy who is possibly the best pure power pass rusher in the draft?
Karlaftis plays with a motor that keep churning throughout games. He possesses an impressive skillset of hand counters along with the power to flat out drive offensive tackles back into the chest of their quarterback (I AM BEGGING YOU, PLEASE GO WATCH HIS IOWA TAPE IF YOU HAVE NOT).
The Eagles finished 2021 with the second fewest sacks in the NFL. In three years at Purdue (including a 2 game COVID shortened sophomore season),George Karlaftis amassed 14 sacks and 29 tackles for a loss. There may not be a better fit in the draft. Karlaftis has what the Eagles need and he has it in bulk.
Round 1 – Pick 19: Chris Olave (WR), Ohio State
The Eagles say they’re committed to building around Jalen Hurts for the 2022 offseason. They want to maximize his talents and help him reach his ceiling in his 2nd year as a starter. Drafting Olave would show that they are committed to getting it right.
Sure, it’s a third receiver drafted in the first round in just as many years, but Olave would give the Eagles an immediate day one contributor, who’d help give them the answers to who Jalen Hurts truly is as an NFL quarterback.
Olave can play all three base receiver positions (X, Y, or slot) and be effective from all. He has the deep speed to win down the field, he runs nuanced enough routes to win over the middle, and has the perfect blend of height at 6-foot-1 and spatial awareness to win in the slot.
Pairing Olave with DeVonta Smith would give the Eagles a perfect blend of route running and it would put them in contention for the best WR duo in the league almost instantly.
Round 2 – Pick 51: Damone Clark (LB), LSU
It’s not a first round selection, but it is usage of a premium pick to select a linebacker.
Damone Clark is a long athletic linebacker out of LSU. Following in the footsteps of former LSU linebackers, Patrick Queen (Who Philadelphia reportedly had interest in during the 2020 draft process) and Devin White, Clark is a loose hipped and active weak-side linebacker who can also rush the passer.
In Jonathan Gannon’s zone heavy defense having a linebacker who’s short area quickness and range is without a doubt mandatory. Clark has that and more. He plays with his head on a swivel, and possesses some really active feet. Clark has more than enough athleticism to stick with tight ends and his speed also allows him to hold his own against running backs and shading out into the slot.
Clark’s athleticism is at the core of who he is as a linebacker. He’s a disruptor at heart. In 2019, Clark led SEC linebackers in pass rush productivity with five sacks, six quarterback hits, and 16 pressures. Clark can seemingly, do it all.
The Eagles are expected to address the linebacker position in free agency, but adding Clark would give them a versatile and foundational piece in the room moving forward.
Round 3 – Pick 83: Coby Bryant (CB), Cincinnati
The Eagles will be in the market for a number two corner with the impending free agency of Steven Nelson. They find a fitting replacement in Coby Bryant out of Cincinnati.
Bryant is a smooth operater, who plays with great fluidity and instincts in coverage. He has spent time in both press and off man coverage. Those instincts mentioned above also help him in zone coverage. He’s an active thinker on the field.
Bryant is great at disrupting the receiver at the catch point. This is evidenced by his 35 pass breakups over his five year career at Cincinnati. Bryant possesses an NFL ready frame at 6-foot-1 191 pounds. His 74-inch wingspan also helps him coverage when he can jam receivers at the line of scrimmage.
Having the opportunity to learn from 2017 All-Pro and four-time Pro Bowl cornerback Darius Slay, would be present Bryant with the opportunity of a lifetime. Playing across from sure-fire first round selection, Sauce Gardner has undoubtedly prepared him for such a situation.
Round 4 – Pick 122: Cole Strange (IOL), Chattannooga
While the Eagles miss out on the Tyler Linderbaums and Kenyon Greens of the world, Cole Strange would be a fine consolation prize in the 4th round. Strange is an instictive road grader of an offensive lineman. A people mover of sorts, Strange’s anchor ability is (wait for it…) stout. His hand strength is akin to that of a lock pad. Once he gets his hands on you, it’s tough the shed. Strange also shines out in space as a mover, barreling over what ever comes his way.
Strange has seen time at left guard, center, and left tackle so there is some positional versatility there.
With the recent retirement of Brandon Brooks, Strange would likely be suited for the right guard position with the Eagles. He hasn’t played there, but he also has never had an offensive line coach the caliber of Jeff Stoutland.
The talent is certainly there for Strange and he add to an already (wait for it again…) stout offensive line unit.
Round 5 – Pick 153: Hassan Haskins (RB), Michigan
With the impending free agency of Jordan Howard, the Eagles will once again be in the market for a power based running back. The 6-foot-1 220 pound Haskins is a fitting replacement.
Haskins has the ability to flat out overwhelm and wear down opposing defenses with his physical run style. In 2021, Haskins led all Power 5 running backs with 103 rushes for first downs. He leans into contact and falls forward on inside runs and has sneaky burst and explosiveness on outside runs. His contact balance is by far my favorite trait of his. He’s able to barrel through tackles and keep upright, almost absorbing the hits.
Haskins is a patient runner who stays within the confines of the design of the run and isn’t a ‘dancer’ of sorts by any means. He’s a one-cut style back, who has value on passing downs as a blocker or pass catcher.
A comp for Haskins that really makes sense to me is Kenyan Drake. As a power based runner who provides sneaky good agility and is capable of shouldering the load if need be. Also offers special teams usage.
Round 5 – Pick 161: Jeffrey Gunter (DE), Coastal Carolina
In the sixth round of last year’s draft the Eagles selected a Coastal Carolina defensive end, Tarron Jackson. This year, in the fifth round, they take another Coastal Carolina product in Jeffrey Gunter.
The Coastal Carolina product offers a ton of versatility within his usage as well. As a bit of a tweener, he’s able to line up as a defensive end or linebacker, has played both with his hand in the dirt and stood up, and has aligned at the wide-9 position.
Gunther is explosive off the line of scrimmage and has powerful enough hands that he uses to bull rush opposing offensive linemen and get to the quarterback and can penetrate and shoot gaps well in the run game.
He’s also a very (how can I say this?) violent player. Big hits and QB hunting are two phrases that I think sum up Gunter’s style.
Gunter possesses an intriguing combination of traits. His blend of size, length, strength, and athleticism makes Gunther an alluring potential selection. Gunther’s 6-foot-4, 260 pound frame combined with his 80 inch wingspan, 4.7 40-yard dash time, and 7.21 3 cone time (faster than Jahan Dotson) make him a tantalizing prospect.
Gunter adds depth to a defensive line unit that was bolstered earlier in the draft with the selection of George Karlaftis.
Round 5 – Pick 165: Juanyeh Thomas (S), Georgia Tech
The Eagles take a late round safety who possesses an intriguing set of physical traits. Juanyeh Thomas is a souped up safety out of Georgia Tech. The 6-foot-3, 217 pound safety has an NFL frame.
On film, Thomas shows willingness to fit runs and play downhill and some effective on the backend.
Across 4 seasons, Thomas amassed 210 tackles, four interceptions, and six forced fumbles. His 32 and 3/8 inch arms also helped him break up 11 passes while at Georgia Tech.
Round 6 – Pick 192: Austin Allen (TE), Nebraska
Austin Allen was my favorite pick from this mock draft installment. The 6-foot-8 tight end is an absolute unicorn, who is sneaky quick for his size.
He hauled in 65 balls for 975 yards (15 yards per catch) over his 3 year career at Nebraska. Allen had the fastest 3 cone drill of any tight end at the combine.
Allen would fit in with the Eagles as their number two tight end behind Dallas Goedert. Allen could be an absolute problem for defenses to deal with in the redzone.
Round 6 – Pick 204: Tre Turner (WR), Virginia Tech
The Eagles add some depth at receiver with the selection of Tre Turner. Turner (6’1 184 pounds) has a career average of over 17 yards per catch.
He also offers usage out of the backfield. Turner would be a depth selection who may be a practice squad candidate at the beginning of his career.