Eagles don't wait, trade up for a corner in latest mock draft

Eagles don't wait, trade up for a corner in latest mock draft originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

After predicting the Eagles would take DeVonta Smith in 2021, I got more specific and nailed the exact trade up for Jordan Davis in 2022 and correctly identified a move up for Jalen Carter in 2023. Chances are my luck has probably run out and I’ll be left looking foolish. But here’s my stab at how this year will play out, plus the rest of the Eagles picks to round things out.

1. Bears (via Panthers) – Caleb Williams, QB, USC

The Panthers trade up for Bryce Young a year ago may go down as one of the worst trades in NFL history if Williams turns into the prospect many expect. He’s got a solid supporting cast to start, including DJ Moore and Darnell Wright, two pieces that became Bears because of that same trade.

2. Commanders – Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU

The RGIII Experience over a decade ago was electrifying in our nation’s capital and Daniels will bring that same level of energy. Josh Harris gets his franchise guy while hopefully watching the Sixers knock off the Knicks that same night.

3. TRADE: Vikings (via Patriots) – Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina 

The Patriots decide their roster is too barren to bring in a rookie QB and opt for more picks to rebuild in the post-Bill Belichick era. The trade nets them not only the 11th and 23rd picks this year, but the Vikings’ first-rounder in 2024. Kevin O’Connell gets his trigger man in Maye who was once viewed as the 1B to Caleb Williams’ 1A in this class.

4. TRADE: Broncos (via Cardinals) – JJ McCarthy, QB, Michigan

Cardinals GM Monti Ossenfort was a mad man during the 2023 draft, moving down from 3 to 12 then back up to 6. He begins his work by doing a deal with Denver so that Sean Payton can land his quarterback. Despite the sunk costs they put into Russell Wilson, the Broncos ship off 2025 and 2026 firsts along with the 12th pick to move up.

5. TRADE: Cardinals (via Chargers) – Marvin Harrison, Jr., WR, Ohio State

The Cards give up some of the just acquired draft capital (Denver’s first in 2025 and the 90th pick this year) to make the jump back up the board. They end up with an absolute stud who they would’ve taken 4th overall plus an extra first in 2026. Elite board work from the Cardinals GM. Jim Harbaugh accumulates a future first and a day two pick to help kick-start his rebuild.

6. Giants – Malik Nabors, WR, LSU

After missing out on the QB class, the Giants settle for a game-breaker in Nabors. They hope he can have a similar impact as the last receiver they took in the first round out of LSU, Odell Beckham, Jr.

7. Titans – Joe Alt, OT, Notre Dame

The Titans’ attempt to find a left tackle last offseason failed with the signing of Andre Dillard. This year they take no chances and take Alt to play opposite last year’s first rounder, Peter Skoronski.

8. Falcons – Dallas Turner, Edge, Alabama

Atlanta has used top-10 picks in each of the last three years on skill position players in Kyle Pitts, Drake London, and Bijan Robinson. This year they finally get into the trenches to take Turner, a freak athlete who produced double-digit sacks last season.

9. Bears – Olu Fashanu, OT, Penn State

The Bears land an elite left tackle prospect to help protect their investment in Caleb Williams. Fashanu likely would have been a top-10 pick last year had he not returned to Happy Valley for his senior season.

10. Jets – Rome Odunze, WR, Washington

I’m not sure there’s ever been a team with more riding on just one season. Joe Douglas swung for the fences on Aaron Rodgers last year before a torn Achilles ended his season after four plays. They must maximize the weapons around him, and Odunze provides a perfect complement to Garrett Wilson on the outside.

11. TRADE: Patriots (via Vikings) – Laiatu Latu, EDGE, UCLA 

New England begins the long, slow rebuild with Latu, who racked up 13 sacks last season and was a first-team All-American. His medical history is a major question, but reports indicate he’s been given the all-clear.

12. TRADE: Chargers (via Broncos and Cardinals) – Taliese Fuaga, OT, Oregon State

Jim Harbaugh already has his franchise quarterback and has said time and again he wants to build through the trenches. Fuaga is a nasty mauler who can play either guard or tackle. He’ll be a tone setter in LA.

13. Raiders – Quinyon Mitchell, CB, Toledo

Antonio Pierce wants his teams to play with an edge and Mitchell fits perfectly into that plan. He’s got small school grit paired with elite measurables. If not for the level of competition at Toledo, he doesn’t get out of the top 10.

14. Saints – JC Latham, OT, Alabama

The Saints have issues along the offensive line, and it feels like a foregone conclusion that their first rounder will be someone who can help protect Derek Carr. Latham is a massive human who can play either guard or tackle.

15. Colts – Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia 

The Colts were nearly a playoff team despite Anthony Richardson’s rookie season getting cut short. Add Bowers to a skill group that includes Jonathan Taylor and Michael Pittman and Shane Steichen’s offense can take a massive leap in his second season in Indy.

16. SeahawksTroy Fautanu, OT, Washington

This is a player I believe the Eagles would be willing to move up for, but the Seahawks don’t budge. Their new offensive coordinator, Ryan Grubb, got a first-hand look at Fautanu while the two were together at Washington.

17. Jaguars – Brian Thomas, Jr., WR, LSU

After getting left at the altar by Calvin Ridley in free agency the Jags quickly move to give Trevor Lawrence another weapon. Thomas has untapped potential and has all the makings of a future No. 1 wideout.

18. BengalsByron Murphy II, DT, Texas

The Bengals have built a formidable pass rush with Trey Hendrickson leading the way on the outside. They get some inside push with Murphy in the mix.

19. TRADE Eagles (via Rams) – Terrion Arnold, CB, Alabama

After watching Murphy go one pick earlier, Rams GM Les Snead is willing to move down a few spots. Arnold represents the last player in the Eagles’ tier of difference makers, so Howie Roseman moves up from 22 to secure his guy. The Eagles move down from 50th to 52nd in the 2nd round and send out the 120th and 161st picks in the deal. Arnold, a first-team All-American, just turned 21. He looks the part of a future Pro Bowler and can become a bedrock in the secondary for years to come. The Eagles have recently shown an affinity for Crimson Tide corners, albeit on the UDFA market (Josh Jobe, Eli Ricks), but make a major investment here.

20. SteelersZach Frazier, OL, West Virginia 

Frazier’s name has gained a lot of steam in recent days and could find his way into the first round. I’m pegging him to Pittsburgh, a franchise that has a history of elite centers. Frazier is next in line behind the likes of Mike Webster, Dermontti Dawson, Jeff Hartings, and Maurkice Pouncey.

21. Dolphins - Jer’Zhan Newton, DT, Illinois

After losing Christian Wilkins to the Raiders in free agency, Miami tabs his replacement. Newton racked up 7.5 sacks last season en route to Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year honors.

22. TRADE: Rams (via Eagles) – Jared Verse, DE, Florida State

After their move down three spots the Rams are happy to add Verse, a complete defensive end who can get after the passer and hold up against the run. LA needs cornerstones on defense after Aaron Donald’s retirement.

23. TRADE: Patriots (via Browns/Texans/Vikings) – Cooper DeJean, CB, Iowa

Just feels like DeJean should be a Patriot. They can team him with Christian Gonzalez on the outside or mix and match with Kyle Dugger all over the field. After adding both Latu and DeJean, new head coach Jerod Mayo has some quality pieces to create an elite defense.

24. Cowboys – Graham Barton, OL, Duke

Dallas has struggled to fill the void left behind by Travis Frederick’s sudden retirement in 2020. Barton gives them a center to help rebuild an offensive line in transition.

25. PackersAmarius Mims, OT, Georgia

Green Bay cut David Bakhtiari after a long and successful stint protecting Aaron Rodgers. Now they get a guy who can help protect their latest franchise quarterback, Jordan Love. Mims has only started eight games but has the tools to become a top-end tackle.

26. Buccaneers – Nate Wiggins, CB, Clemson

A true burner with 4.28 speed, Wiggins gives the Bucs a Carlton Davis replacement on the outside. His lack of tackling and slight frame are a concern, but Todd Bowles can get the most out of any defensive back.

27. Cardinals (via Texans) – Chop Robinson, EDGE, Penn State

Jonathan Gannon gets his Haason Reddick-style edge rusher in Robinson who showed elite get-off in Happy Valley. His lack of sack production in college is a worry, but he’s still just 21 years old and only scratching the surface of his potential.

28. Bills – AD Mitchell, WR, Texas

Mitchell is a big-play threat who racked up 11 touchdowns last season in Austin. He’s got top-end speed and size for the position and some wiggle to his game. I think he’ll end up being one of the steals of the first round.

29. Lions – Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB, Alabama

His name might not scream Dan Campbell, but his play does. A rock-solid selection who will help the Lions continue to improve on the defensive side of the ball.

30. Ravens – Tyler Guyton, OT, Oklahoma

Guyton has been pegged to the Eagles because he projects similarly to Lane Johnson. He has the athleticism that could help him become a fixture along the line in Baltimore.

31. 49ers – Ladd McConkey, WR, Georgia

Just what Kyle Shanahan needs: another weapon with versatility. McConkey sneaks into the first round and offers insurance against a potential Brandon Aiyuk holdout while bolstering the best offense in the NFL.

32. TRADE: Raiders (via Chiefs) – Michael Penix, QB, Washington

The Raiders miss out on the quarterbacks at the top of the draft and instead make a move back into the first round to get Penix, who should be a plug-and-play day one starter. He’s got a rocket arm and more than enough movement skills to be a quality starter.

Bonus Eagles picks:

52. Eagles (via Rams) – Cooper Beebe, OG, Kansas State

A massive mauler who can step right in at right guard. Lane Johnson has been at his best with a big body next to him and Beebe provides that.

53. Eagles – Braden Fiske, DT, Florida State

Despite using back-to-back first round picks on defensive tackles, the Eagles could use another body in the rotation and might need a Milton Williams replacement following this season.

171. Eagles (compensatory) – Jordan Magee, LB, Temple

Howie Roseman has shown an affinity for local players of late, and Magee is next up. He’s got top-end speed and was a team captain on North Broad.

172. Eagles (compensatory) – Ainias Smith, WR, Texas A&M

A diminutive gadget guy who can make big plays and is also willing to do the dirty work. Seems like a Nick Sirianni guy.

210. Eagles (compensatory) – Travis Glover, OT, Georgia State

Another chance for Jeff Stoutland to show off. Glover is a project from a small school who has the size teams covet but needs plenty of refinement on his game.

Subscribe to Eagle Eye anywhere you get your podcasts: 
Apple Podcasts | YouTube Music | Spotify | Stitcher | Art19 | RSSWatch on YouTube