The NFL draft countdown is nearing the 30-day mark.
With the scouting combine behind us and pro days scattered throughout the next few weeks, the picture is getting clearer when projecting how the first round might shake out. There are risers like Travon Walker, Ahmad Gardner, and Jordan Davis, and there are fallers like Kayvon Thibodeaux and David Ojabo.
With that said, here are the prospects the mock draft analysts have the Eagles taking in April 28th’s first round:
No. 15: Devonte Wyatt, defensive tackle, Georgia
Wyatt put on a show in Indianapolis. He’d add some youth and explosiveness to the Eagles’ interior defensive line.
No. 16: Devin Lloyd, linebacker, Utah
I know the Eagles typically avoid taking linebackers in the first round, but Lloyd would be too good to pass up at this point in the draft.
No. 19: Boye Mafe, Edge rusher, Minnesota
Mafe followed a dominant Senior Bowl performance with an outstanding combine workout. The Eagles would be stacked with talent along the defensive front.
Jeremiah’s projecting an early run on edge rushers with Aidan Hutchinson, Travon Walker, and Kayvon Thibodeaux going in the first three picks and two more edge rushers going before the Eagles get on the clock.
As a result, they ended up with Mafe instead of more typical projections like Jermaine Johnson or George Karlaftis, both of whom went before 15 in this scenario.
Devonte Wyatt might not be the Georgia defensive tackle many will covet, but he’d give the Eagles an heir apparent for Fletcher Cox, who is on a one-year deal and has declined each of the last few seasons. Wyatt doesn’t have the size of Davis, but he’s got an explosive first step that will give him a chance to be an impact player in his own right.
It’s still hard to believe the Eagles will use all three of their first-round picks, but if they round out the Day 1 haul with Devin Lloyd, it would give them three potential difference makers in the front 7.
(Trade) No. 10: Jordan Davis, defensive tackle, Georgia
Projected trade with the Jets
Does anyone really expect GM Howie Roseman to stand pat with his three first-round selections? Re-signing Fletcher Cox to a one-year deal made sense, but the Eagles’ front could use some more youth. Davis will provide an immediate boost against the run and will also give quarterbacks fits with his length and athleticism.
No. 16: Jermaine Johnson, edge rusher, Florida State
Even though the Eagles just signed Haason Reddick to rush the passer, Johnson’s overall skill set will be valued on the edge. He and Josh Sweat would form a strong duo on early downs and either could move inside in sub-packages to bring interior pressure.
No. 19: Garrett Wilson, wide receiver, Ohio State
A team typically wouldn’t pick a receiver in the first round in three consecutive drafts. But with the Eagles owning three Day 1 selections, and the talented Wilson still on the board, they become the first team to do so since the Lions pulled off the triple play from 2003 to ’05.
In this projection, the Eagles traded the 15th pick along with a third- and fifth-rounder to move up five spots for Davis. The 6-foot-6, 340-pound defensive tackle has risen up draft boards after running an absurd 4.78-second 40-yard dash and has tape to reinforce his ability to move at that size.
Moving up for Davis, who had a pre-draft visit with the Eagles, would give the defense a chance to move into more of a 3-4 front without being hampered with an inflexible nose tackle. Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon likes to force one-on-one matchups for his rushers by rushing five on passing downs and Davis should be a matchup nightmare right away.
Adding Johnson with the second pick would quickly turn the Eagles’ pass rush rotation into the deep, talented group ready to take a step forward after an unproductive 2021.
It’s strange to see so much variance with Garrett Wilson across mock drafts. Some have him as the first receiver off the board in the top 10 and others have him sliding into the second half of the first round. It’s a deep receiver draft with talented guys expected to go in later rounds, so maybe teams will hold off on receivers in the first round as a result. Still, getting a player as talented at Wilson at 19, regardless of position, would be a win.
» READ MORE: Ohio State wide receivers could fit the Eagles’ needs in the NFL draft’s first round
Reuter had the Eagles taking Alabama linebacker Christian Harris in the second round and Western Kentucky quarterback Bailey Zappe in the fourth round. Harris is athletic enough to cover and nasty enough to set the tone against the run. Zappe would be the latest entry into the “quarterback factory,” and could possibly be a Gardner Minshew replacement if he’s traded this offseason.
No. 15: Jermaine Johnson
The Eagles haven’t been super active in free agency, though they did add impact edge rusher Haason Reddick and bring back defensive tackle Fletcher Cox. I don’t think any of their needs have changed since my last mock draft. I’m looking at wide receiver, cornerback, safety, off-ball linebacker and defensive end — yes, they still need one — to fill out their three first-round picks.
That leads me to Johnson, a one-year starter who transferred from Georgia to FSU and had a stellar 2021 season. He was excellent at the Senior Bowl and has moved from a possible top-50 pick to likely landing in the top 20. NFL teams always want pass-rushers, and he could help immediately.
No. 16: Chris Olave, wide receiver, Ohio State
Olave can play early and often for a Philadelphia team that has to get more out of its passing game with quarterback Jalen Hurts. Olave is a speedster (4.39 40-yard dash at the combine) who had 13 touchdowns last season. This would be the Eagles’ third straight draft taking a wideout in Round 1, but it should be a priority if they want to get back to the playoffs.
No. 19: Devin Lloyd
Here’s a spot to fill Philadelphia’s void at off-ball linebacker. Lloyd was one of the best all-around defenders in college football last season, racking up 111 total tackles, eight sacks, 20 tackles for loss, four interceptions and a forced fumble. He has some juice as a blitzer and can cover tight ends and running backs in the passing game. Lloyd’s 4.66 40-yard dash at the combine means he doesn’t have the straight-line speed of former top-five pick Devin White (a linebacker I’ve compared him to), but I don’t think he should drop past the Eagles.
That’s three early starters for the Eagles here, with Lloyd, Chris Olave and Jermaine Johnson II.
Olave is much more than the “other” Ohio State wide receiver. He’s a route-running technician who helped his draft stock with a 4.39-second 40-yard dash. He isn’t the big-bodied receiver some envisioned the Eagles’ pairing with DeVonta Smith, but he’d give the Eagles a second receiver capable of running precise routes in an offense that puts a premium on timing.
No. 15: Trent McDuffie, cornerback, Washington
The Eagles need to get younger and deeper in the secondary and do just that by grabbing McDuffie here. The former Huskies standout can line up on the outside and in the slot and should be an early-impact starter opposite Darius Slay.
No. 16: Garrett Wilson
The Eagles use a first-round pick on a receiver for the third straight year. Wilson is a sudden, highly productive pass catcher with yards-after-the-catch talent and gives Philadelphia quarterback Jalen Hurts another big-play threat opposite DeVonta Smith.
No. 19: George Karlaftis
With their third first-rounder, the Eagles look to the defensive line. Karlaftis is a powerful and athletic edge presence who should complement recently signed pass rusher Haason Reddick.
McDuffie is the only unfamiliar face at this point, but it’s still a logical connection. The Washington cornerback is an ideal scheme fit with Gannon’s zone-heavy defense and he plays with a toughness that challenges his smaller stature. He measured just under 5-11 and has 29 3/4-inch arms, which will scare some teams away. His play should what those concerns, though. He’s a willing and effective tackler and held up in coverage well enough to suggest he’ll be a first-year starter, which the Eagles currently need.