2024 Eagles mock draft roundup 3.0: Pre-Combine edition

2024 Eagles mock draft roundup 3.0: Pre-Combine edition originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

It’s NFL Combine week so mock draft season is about to hit a new gear.

And plenty of things will change over the coming weeks as we see how the 300+ invited players perform this week in Indianapolis.

But let’s take a look across the internet at where many think the Eagles will go with that No. 22 pick:

Daniel Jeremiah,

22. Ennis Rakestraw, CB, Missouri

What they said: The Eagles have to address the pass defense this offseason. Rakestraw brings playmaking ability and toughness.

My take on the pick: Jeremiah is a former Eagles scout and one of the most respected draft analysts in the country, so when he talks, we listen. And last week, he held a nation-wide conference call so I got a chance to ask him about the Eagles’ possibly taking a corner in the first round. That gave him a chance to explain his Rakestraw pick a bit too.

Jeremiah said he thinks the value at corner will line up for the Eagles at No. 22. He said he had around 15 corners with a top-three round grade but many of them after the initial group were nickels. As for Rakestraw, Jeremiah compared his build to current Eagles corner Darius Slay. He also talked about Rakestraw’s toughness and feistiness, saying his passionate qualities would play in Philly.

Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz, USA Today Sports

22. Cooper DeJean, CB, Iowa

What they said: Even with Vic Fangio taking over the controls to the defense, Philadelphia shouldn't stand pat on its personnel. Reinvigorating an aging secondary with a dynamic and versatile playmaker like DeJean could do the unit a lot of good in both the short and long term.

My take on the pick: News came out last week that DeJean isn’t going to perform at the Combine, which is a shame. He figured to put on quite a show. Instead, teams will have to wait for his Pro Day. Plenty of folks have talked about moving DeJean to safety but he played corner at a really high level at Iowa and was also a dynamic return man.

Brentley Weissman, The Draft Network

22. Nate Wiggins, CB, Clemson

What they said: The Eagles' secondary really hurt the team down the stretch of the season. They desperately need help at corner with Darius Slay and James Bradberry both getting up there in age. Nate Wiggins is a highly gifted cover man with excellent foot quickness and instincts.

My take on the pick: There are several cornerbacks expected to go in the first round and Wiggins could be in the Eagles’ range. In fact, he’s someone Jeremiah brought up in that conference call last week as a potential riser in the pre-draft process. So he’s in the Eagles’ range at 22 now but we’ll see if a really strong Combine performance takes him out of the mix.

Tony Catalina, ProFootballNetwork

22. Cooper DeJean, CB, Iowa

What they said: It’s too bad that Cooper DeJean will not be able to participate in the NFL Combine due to a late-season foot injury he’s still recovering from, as it robs us all of the chance to watch how freakishly athletic he truly is.

Some look at him as a safety, but I think he can be a cornerback and can do it all in between. The important thing is to not pigeonhole him. He adds supreme athletic ability to an Eagles team that needs it.

My take on the pick: It seems like DeJean is becoming a favorite pick at a favorite position. Just a reminder: The Eagles have not taken a cornerback in the first round since Lito Sheppard in 2002. They have never selected a safety in the first round. So it’s probably safe to say that if the Eagles do draft DeJean, they’re going to want to see him at corner.

Gennaro Filice,

22. Amarius Mims, OT, Georgia

What they said: Eagles GM Howie Roseman clearly loves drafting two things:

1. Offensive linemen.

2. Georgia Bulldogs.

Two birds/one stone, baby! A rare physical specimen with just eight college starts under his belt, Mims can marinate in Philly before eventually taking over for aging RT Lane Johnson.

My take on the pick: Finally, the non-CB pick. This one is intriguing but also might not help the Eagles very much in 2024. But if the Eagles do want to get a jump on drafting Johnson’s eventual replacement, a player like Mims does make some sense. Mims was very good at Georgia when he played but has just eight career starts under his belt and an ankle injury took him out of service in 2023. But at 6-7, 330+ pounds and with great athleticism and strength, his upside is huge. Learning for a year or two behind Johnson could theoretically help maximize his potential.

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