Kiper’s NFL Mock Draft 2.0 has Eagles Drafting Two on Defense, One on Offense
Mel Kiper Jr. has three new picks for the Philadelphia Eagles with their three first-round picks in the 2022 NFL Draft.
The ESPN analyst believes the depth in the class is there for Philadelphia to improve in three different areas with their three picks.
Kiper’s first mock draft released back in mid-January had the Eagles selecting Utah linebacker Devin Lloyd, former Temple Owl and Penn State edge rusher Arnold Ebiketie and Ohio State wide receiver Chris Olave.
Kiper, in his 2.0 mock that was revealed Tuesday, has the Eagles drafting Washington cornerback Trent McDuffie with their No. 15 pick to play across from veteran Darius Slay.
Let's fill some holes for Philadelphia, which has three first-round picks and problems at a few spots on its roster. The Eagles made a run to the playoffs last season, winning six of their final eight games, but their defense was exposed along the way. They allowed quarterbacks to complete a whopping 69.4% of their passes, which ranked last in the league.
McDuffie, who didn't allow a single touchdown in coverage over the past two seasons, could play the spot opposite Darius Slay. He also has the ability to play out of the slot.
Kiper fills the first hole on the Eagles defense with McDuffie, who didn't allow one touchdown over the past two seasons, playing in the pass-happy PAC-12 Conference.
At 5-foot-11, 196 pounds, McDuffie plays bigger than his size and allowed only 16 catches from 36 targets for 111 yards with no scores and five pass breakups for the Huskies in 2021.
At pick No. 16, Kiper has the Eagles getting Michigan edge rusher Davis Ojabo.
The Eagles ranked 31st in the league with 29 sacks last season; they have to get better there. Getting pressure on the quarterback is a way to improve the entire defense. Ojabo is a pure pass-rusher who is still developing as a run defender. He had had 11 sacks and five forced fumbles, wreaking havoc opposite potential No. 1 pick Aidan Hutchinson. I'd feel better about taking Ojabo in the middle of Round 1 vs. the top 10 because he can get swallowed up in the run game, but his edge-rush upside is undeniable.
Many recent mock drafts have the Eagles landing a edge rusher or defensive end, with the loss of free agent Derek Barnett likely, and a aging Brandon Graham coming off a Achillies injury.
At 6'5/250, Ojabo had a under-the-radar season playing across from potential No. 1 overall pick Aidan Hutchinson, notching 23 pressures, seven sacks and three forced fumbles in 2021.
Next up at pick No. 19, Kiper has the Eagles adding another wide receiver, but this time he has them going with Arkansas wide out Treylon Burks.
One more Round 1 selection for the Eagles, who I gave defenders at Nos. 15 and 16. This could be a spot to take another receiver, their third straight draft to take one in the first round. Jalen Reagor, the No. 21 pick in 2020, has underwhelmed -- I thought it was a reach at the time -- while DeVonta Smith, the No. 10 choice last year, had a good but not great rookie season.
I would get Jalen Hurts a different kind of receiver in Burks, who is big and physical (6-foot-3, 225 pounds) and could complement Smith's speed. Burks had 1,104 yards and 11 touchdowns for the Razorbacks last season. I'm really curious to see his athletic testing numbers at the combine; it's not out of the question that he rises even farther up the board.
Burks is a bigger more physical wide receiver, who would complement DeVonta Smith very well and allow Quez Watkins and Jalen Reagor to battle it out in the slot.
It appears that the Eagles will have plenty of options with their three spots, and of course don't rule out a trade. It wouldn't be a surprise at all, if the team ended up moving one of their three picks and add two players in the draft and either a veteran player or another pick in next yeas draft.