Todd McShay’s Two-Round Mock Draft 4.0: Eagles Take 3 on Defense
We are less than a month from the 2023 NFL Draft and the Eagles are still sitting with two picks in the first-round, pick No. 10 and No. 30.
There are plenty of ways they can go, but as we all know, the Eagles like to build on their offensive and defensive line.
So where does ESPN Draft expert Todd McShay see the Eagles going this time around? He offered his latest Mock Draft 4.0 on Tuesday with the Eagles going to a familiar place first - the defensive line, taking Iowa's Lukas Van Ness at No. 10.
Van Ness has the arm length and footspeed to dominate off the edge, and I love the versatility that comes with his game. He's arguably even more effective rushing the passer as a 3-technique. Philadelphia lost Javon Hargrave and only re-signed Fletcher Cox to a one-year deal, so I could see Van Ness and Jordan Davis wreaking havoc from the interior. GM Howie Roseman loves building up the trenches, and Van Ness can make an immediate impact there after 14 sacks over two seasons at Iowa.
McShay offers that he thinks Texas running back Bijan Robinson would be an interesting pick in this spot, but I don't see the Eagles taking Robinson, unless they traded further down the draft board and added more picks.
Remember the Eagles lack a four, five and sixth-round pick this year.
At No. 30, McShay sees the team staying on the defensive side of the ball and on the defensive line, taking Iowa State defensive end Will McDonald IV.
With long arms and plenty of explosion, McDonald hunts quarterbacks. He picked up 27 sacks and 35.5 tackles for loss over the past three seasons and could be a Day 1 contributor as a rotational pass-rusher before developing into a starter off the edge to replace some of the aging players in this unit.
This would be an interesting pick, adding to their defensive line with Brandon Graham aging, Josh Sweat and Derek Barnett as the only other ends on the roster, the team lacks depth at a position where they place a lot of value.
In Round 2, the Eagles stay on the defensive side of the ball, taking Texas A&M safety Antonio Johnson at pick No. 62.
The Eagles lost Marcus Epps and C.J. Gardner-Johnson, so there are some gaps at safety (though Philly did add Terrell Edmunds). Johnson might be the best pure safety in the class, with a great ability to read the offense and the footspeed to close on the ball. The on-ball production should come; he has the traits but only picked off one pass in college.
The team has added some bodies in free agency at this position, but none are definitive starting level players. Terrell Edmunds is the best of the bunch, with Justin Evans also signed this offseason. Reed Blankenship and K'Von Wallce are also in the room, but don't project as starters.