What better way to start NFL Draft Week than with a new mock?
And not only that anyone mockery, but Peter King’s annual only projection based on what the longtime NFL insider hears.
Last year at this point led the King Eagles to pass on DeVonta Smith to take Jaycee Horn as No. 12. In hindsight, that choice may have been based on the fact that he knew Philly’s preference. Jimmy Kempski has said the Eagles would have taken Horn or Patrick Surtain II over Smith if they had still been on the board.
And then one can only wonder if King might know a thing or two about the Eagles’ intentions this year. With that in mind, let’s take a look at his choices … starts with No. 15 overall.
15. Philadelphia Eagles: Jordan Davis, defensive tackle, Georgia
Mint a coin here. Davis or Trent McDuffie. (And WIP will not have a good laugh at my expense when the election is not one of them.) But I will go with Davis because of his freakish athleticism of 335, his ability to influence the game across the defensive front , and the prospect of succeeding Fletcher Cox (32 in December) as the toughest guy to block on Philadelphia’s defensive front.
The best I heard about Davis after his 4.78-second stroke at the combine (at 341 pounds) was from a coach who thought Davis could play nose on first down and three-technique (the inner rush player) on second and third downs. It is not common. He did not have much college production – 19.5 tackles behind the line in 47 games in Georgia – and that would be a big concern for me. But someone will take him in the middle of the round because he has such great potential.
We made comprehensive case for the Eagles drafting Davis last week. The short of the argument is that the Birds should not overthink it. If they have the opportunity to draft the most athletic defensive tackle ever … who happened to win an award for being the best defender in college football last year … at the national championship … they probably should. Davis has the potential to be a needle-puller for an Eagles team that floats a bit in the middle of the NFL landscape.
King then gets the Eagles to trade down a bit from their pick as No. 18.
* 22. Philadelphia Eagles: Devin Lloyd, linebacker, Utah
* Projected trade: The Eagles swap the 18th pick for the Packers for the 22nd pick and a late third-round pick, 92nd overall.
Darts. Howie Roseman could shop down again here. The receiver and corner markets, which he must both hit before the end of day two, do not match what is left on the board in this mockery. Lloyd had experience doing everything in 32 starts over three Utah seasons. His 43 tackles in his career for loss show that he is also a play-wrecker in the race.
Another point about Lloyd wherever he goes: The NFL Network will have an emotional feature story on Thursday night about the two Utah players who lost to gun violence in 2021. I’ve been told that Lloyd’s words will be emotional and heavy in the play – he was the Utah captain who had a heavy burden on his shoulders, helping his teammates get through the double ordeal.
I can get behind the Eagles trading down from No. 18. It feels like they might be a bit of a no-man’s land in the place where there is not a must-have view there.
I can not get behind the Eagles drafting a linebacker in the first round. It just will not be credible until we see it happen.
Many Eagles fans would love to see the team draft Lloyd. But a notable Eagles fan would not be thrilled with that move. Former Bleeding Green Nation writer and current The Ringer contributor Benjamin Solak joined SB Nation NFL Show last week to call him the most overrated first-round prospect.
“It’s cool to look like Fred Warner and to have played in a similar area of the country like Fred Warner did in college. But … and he’s tall, he’s good at covering, he’s tall. Many of Fred Warner highlights map of Devin Lloyd highlights nicely.
But there are two things that mean a lot.
Number one, Devin Lloyd does not like to tackle. Linebackers need to be cool to tackle. Like Darius Leonard is a tall, thin linebacker obsessed with tackling. Love to hit, love to climb fumbles, incredible peanut punch. If you play linebacker at 235 [pounds], you must love to tackle. .You must really love playing among the trees. […] Lloyd doesn’t really like it that much.
Number two is that coaches believe in what players can and cannot do based on how they use them. And Lloyd is good at covering. But Utah rushed him a bit off the edge. And Lloyd is like a fine edge-rusher, but it was not like a Micah Parsons situation where we have to get this guy to hurry past. It’s like, if this guy is so good at covering, then why not ask him to do it? The old adage is that if they confuse a guy, they do not trust him in the coverage. That’s what they’re doing with Lloyd.
Solak added that there is better value to be gained from linebacker than spending a first-round pick on Lloyd, citing a number of day 2 prospects that fascinate him.
Of course, it’s just his opinion man. Maybe the Eagles really like Lloyd. And maybe he would be worth the investment.
In any case, it’s interesting to see that this is what King is getting the Eagles to do, as we’re only a few days out from the 2022 NFL Draft. Take it for what it’s worth, which is probably somewhere between more than ‘nothing at all’ and less than ‘incredibly meaningful’.
Character Peter King’s mock draft haul for the Eagles
Other observations from the mockery:
- No first-round wide receiver for the Eagles. This is in part because four went off the board in the first 11 picks: Drake London for the Falcons as No. 8, Garrett Wilson for the Texans as No. 9 (via expected trade up), Jameson Williams for the Jets as No. 10, and Chris Olave to Commanders at No. 11. King then had the Treylon Burks running at No. 16, right after the Eagles’ selection of Davis.
- King has Kayvon Thibodeaux to drop to No. 13. I would think the Eagles could try to swap at that point, provided they are not intimidated by his potential red flag.
- Again, I could definitely see that the Eagles would move back from No. 18. It’s a matter of them finding a partner. But it might not be difficult if there is still a QB on the board and someone wants to jump ahead of the Steelers at No. 20. Or if Pittsburgh wants to prevent a team from advancing to No. 19 and instead get their man at No. 19. 18.
- Worth noting that King gets the Eagles to pass Jermaine Johnson twice as he drops to No. 23. I have a hard time believing that Philly would take Lloyd over Johnson, in part because of how they value those two positions .
- The Cowboys pick up Tyler Linderbaum at No. 24. Not great.
- The Giants get Charles Cross and Kyle Hamilton. That would be a good move for them.
- King gets Ojabo off the board for Bucs as No. 27. He said, “I do not know if he will be selected in the first, but I know four teams are intensely interested in him.”
- King has only two quarterbacks coming off the board in the first round: Kenny Pickett to the Steelers at No. 20 and Matt Corral to the Falcons (via trade up) at No. 32. No Malik Willis in the first round is a pity.