Alex Kielar | April 11th, 2020
The Philadelphia Eagles focused on improving their defense, especially their secondary, in free agency. The Eagles did just that and had one of the most productive free agency periods in the league. They brought in defensive backs Nickell Robey-Coleman ($1.35 million) and Will Parks ($1.5 million) on one-year deals and traded for Darius Slay with third and fifth-round picks. With just one year left on Slay’s contract, they gave him a three-year extension worth $50 million. They also brought back Rodney McLeod on a two-year deal and Jalen Mills for one more year. With the Eagles letting starting safety Malcolm Jenkins walk, the re-signing of McLeod and Mills was very important. They have eight picks which they will use to fill various needs they still have on both sides of the ball.
To help with this mock draft, I used The Draft Network mock draft simulator.
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Round 1, Pick 21: Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
The Eagles’ biggest need is clearly at wide receiver now that they addressed the secondary. They will undoubtedly select the best receiver available at pick number 21, or trade-up for one. Since I am doing this mock with no trades, Jefferson is the best available. He obviously isn’t a Jerry Jeudy, CeeDee Lamb, or Henry Ruggs III type receiver, and there are questions if he can play outside. But the Eagles need to stack up on receivers anywhere they can get them, as their only real reliable receivers are Alshon Jeffery who they have tried trading and DeSean Jackson who is 33.
Round 2, Pick 53: Antoine Winfield Jr., S, Minnesota
With the loss of Jenkins, the Eagles need to add more depth to their secondary at cornerback and at safety. Winfield has had some injury concerns in the past, but he recorded seven interceptions last year along with 83 total tackles. He would add a much-needed boost to the Eagles secondary and can fly all over the field, filling the versatility box that the Eagles love. He would be a steal this late in the second round, especially if his injury history is left behind.
Round 3, Pick 103: Van Jefferson, WR, Florida
The Eagles need as many receivers they can get their hands on in this draft after missing out on the free agents. Adding another Jefferson receiver, Van, has a huge upside without the production in college to show for like Jeudy and the other top guys. He is a sleeper pick going into the draft, and he missed the combine with a fracture in his foot (will be fully healthy by the draft). He was clocking in at 4.40 40-yard dash while training for the combine. Jefferson is a great route-runner with solid cuts and caught 50% of contested passes. He has solid breakaway speed but not too flashy in YAC or broken tackles. He can play anywhere over the field which will give the Eagles options with him.
Round 4, Pick 127: Troy Pride Jr., CB, Notre Dame
The Eagles can never have enough cornerbacks in the room, even with the solid additions of Slay and Robey-Coleman they will look at the position as a top priority. Pride is very fast, running a 4.40 40-yard dash at the combine, which was fourth-best among cornerbacks. This, however, was a bit underwhelming given the anticipations going in, even around the 4.2 range. But he also ran in the 4.3s in the 40 in other years while at Notre Dame. He is solid against the run and pass, with 40 tackles and six pass breakups last year. The Eagles benefit from pro-days being canceled, as Pride would have had another chance to show off his speed and skills, but will instead fall farther than originally expected.
Round 4, Pick 145: Cameron Brown, LB, Penn State
The Eagles lost both Nigel Bradham and Kamu Grugier-Hill in the offseason but did sign former Charger Jatavis Brown. With Brown having a rough history of not staying on the field, they will need more depth and pieces to the linebacker position. Brown isn’t great in zone coverage but is an encouraging blitz and rush option. He tends to have a lack of discipline on certain plays, but with added discipline and strength he could give the Eagles a solid starter someday.
Round 4, Pick 146: Ke’Shawn Vaughn, RB, Vanderbilt
Running back is not one of the Eagles’ biggest needs, but Jordan Howard did sign with the Dolphins so they may need to add another playmaking back to go along with Miles Sanders. The reason I have the Eagles picking Vaughn here isn’t mainly to add a running back, but because what he can also do in the passing game. He is explosive and made the most of what was given to him behind a terrible offensive line. He is smooth, elusive, and can make things happen after the catch. He is also great in pass-blocking and blitz pickup, while he also never fumbled in his college career. Vaughn and Sanders would make a great running back duo.
Round 5, Pick 168: Davon Hamilton, DL, Ohio State
The Eagles love to stack up on their defensive line, and they focus on pressuring the quarterback and stopping the run. Hamilton would be a perfect fit for their defensive style, he works very well against the run with 8.5 tackles for loss last season, along with five sacks. He is a one- and two-gapper and will be better at getting to the quarterback with improved hand skills and disengaging.
Round 6, Pick 190: Trevon Hill, EDGE, Miami (FL)
To finish off the draft the Eagles will also want to add some depth to their edge rush. Derek Barnett and Brandon Graham are solid, but there isn’t much past that. Hill has a solid skill set that translates well to the NFL. He anticipates the snap well, has flexibility, and is speedy and powerful off the edge.
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