Eagles pull off a trade-up in 1st round of Eagles-only mock draft

Eagles pull off a trade-up in 1st round of Eagles-only mock draft originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

After months of speculation, we’ve finally made it to draft week.

The Eagles enter Thursday night with eight picks, including three in the first two rounds, which means plenty of opportunity to improve their team in 2024 and beyond.

Here’s my final crack at an Eagles-only mock draft this year:

1-16: JC Latham, OT, Alabama

Eagles get: No. 16, No. 102; Seahawks get: No. 22, No. 53, No. 120

Let’s start with the trade itself. Eagles general manager Howie Roseman and Seahawks GM John Schneider have a long-standing relationship and the Seahawks enter this draft without a second-round pick. For a team that’s beginning a new era after Pete Carroll, adding an extra Day 2 pick could be very enticing. One guy who has been linked to the Seahawks in the pre-draft process is Troy Fautanu … so perhaps if he’s gone, the Seahawks would be willing to get out of that spot. And if the Eagles aren’t willing to simply give up No. 53 to move from 22 to 16, maybe they can get the Seahawks to agree to a pick swap in the fourth round. Pick 102 is the second pick in the 4th round, which is a valuable spot to be in to start Day 3. It’s near where the Eagles got to last year to draft Kelee Ringo.

In my mind, there are a few prospects in this draft class who seem like viable and realistic trade-up options: OT Latham from Alabama, OL Fautanu from Washington, CB Quinyon Mitchell from Toledo and CB Terrion Arnold from Alabama. With the Eagles sitting at 22, a trade up seems like a very possible scenario in this draft for Roseman, who is never shy to pull the trigger on a trade, especially a trade up.

Latham, 21, checks a lot of boxes for the Eagles. For starters, he’s an Alabama offensive player and the Eagles have been drafting a bunch of Nick Saban’s former players on that side of the ball in recent years. Latham might not be the type of unique mover that Fautanu is but he’s also much bigger at 6-5, 342 pounds. He’s a massive man with a ton of upside with 27 starts at right tackle in the SEC under his belt over the last two seasons. Latham would be viewed as Lane Johnson’s eventual replacement at right tackle but he’s also the type of prospect who could fill in as a starting right guard in the interim.

2-50: Andru Phillips, CB, Kentucky

There’s a good chance the Eagles could take a cornerback in the first round but if they don’t, there will still be some good options in the second round, even with just one pick left on Day 2 after the trade.

After the first handful of cornerbacks, there are a bunch of guys who are likely nickel-only prospects but Phillips offers some versatility. At 5-11, 190, Phillips is a tad undersized so he might fit best at the next level as a nickel cornerback but he played outside corner at Kentucky with some feistiness. And he had a good pre-draft process, first at the Senior Bowl and then at the combine, where he ran a 4.48 and was in the 97th percentile in the broad and vertical jumps among cornerbacks.

Phillips started just 16 games at Kentucky over the last two years and didn’t record an interception in college (he did have 10 pass breakups) so he’s still a bit of a work in progress in terms of being a full-time starter. Phillips should have some inside-outside versatility; The Athletic’s Dane Brugler has compared him to former second-round pick Roger McCreary who has started 28 games for the Titans over the last two years.

4-102: Malik Washington, WR, Virginia

This pick that the Eagles get back from the Seahawks is originally from the Commanders so it’s a valuable one in the fourth round. It’ll be the second pick on Day 2 so it’s fair to think about landing a player who might be considered by many to be a third-round pick.

Washington is a really talented receiver who might be available this late because of the depth at the position in this year’s class. Washington (5-8, 191) obviously isn’t the biggest receiver in this class but he is coming off a tremendous season at Virginia and projects to be a potentially dynamic slot receiver at the next level. The Eagles have seemingly had a type this offseason, signing a bunch of bigger receivers to futures deals but they shouldn’t have a height requirement; Washington is really good.

He ran a 4.47 at the combine and also had an elite vertical jump of 42 1/2 inches and a broad jump of 10-6. His three-cone time of 6.87 seconds at his pro day would have ranked fourth among all receivers in this year’s class behind just Ricky Pearsall, Luke McCaffrey and Isaiah Williams and just ahead of Rome Odunze. Washington, 23, began his career at Northwestern before transferring to Virginia and having a monster senior season. He’s a big-play threat out of the slot but is also sure-handed and reliable. He’d be a great addition to a receiving corps that already includes A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith.

5-161: Tip Reiman, TE, Illinois 

The Eagles bring back Dallas Goedert as their TE1 in 2024 but Jack Stoll left in free agency so there’s some competition behind the starter. The Eagles signed veteran C.J. Uzomah and also have Grant Calcaterra, Albert Okwuegbunam and more on the roster. But tight end is still a sneaky need heading into the draft.

Reiman (6-5, 271) has a huge frame and was a willing and able in-line blocker for Illinois. His production isn’t eye-popping with just 41 catches for 420 yards and 5 touchdowns in his college career. But he projects as a good NFL blocking tight end with some upside as a pass-catcher. He would be an ideal TE2 for the Eagles in their 12 personnel package with Goedert.

The exciting thing about Reiman is that he has developable traits unlike a lot of tight ends known for their blocking in college. When you hit Day 3 of the draft sometimes it’s worth taking a chance on a guy who has some athletic upside.

5-171: Jordan Magee, LB, Temple

Maybe the Eagles actually will use a Day 2 pick on a linebacker this year. There are some intriguing options. But if they don’t, they’ll have an opportunity to land a pretty good prospect in Day 3 in Magee.

Magee (6-1, 228) isn’t the biggest guy but he has an impressive athletic profile and was a productive player for the Owls. Coming out of Delaware, Magee went to Temple and stayed there. At the combine, he was asked why he decided to stay at Temple in the transfer-portal world and Magee said he was committed to his teammates.

At Temple, Magee was a team captain and had 80+ tackles the last couple of seasons. He might not crack the defensive lineup early in his career but he has plus-athleticism that should allow him to see the field on special teams.

5-172: Jordan Jefferson, DT, LSU

You didn’t think the Eagles were going to get through a draft without hitting the defensive line did you?

LSU had a really good defensive line rotation with Mason Smith, Mekhi Wingo and Jefferson. While Smith and Wingo figure to go in the first couple days of the draft, don’t sleep on Jefferson. After four years at West Virginia, Jefferson went to LSU and was productive despite relatively minimal snaps and got more playing time late in the year after Wingo suffered an injury. He ended up playing in 13 games with 6 starts and had 2 1/2 sacks, 7 tackles for loss and a forced fumble.

Jefferson needs to continue to develop as a pass rusher but there are some tools to work with and he has some upside as an NFL 3-technique.

6-210: Jaylen Harrell, Edge, Michigan

Harrell (6-4, 250) played on the edge and also a bit at off-ball linebacker during his time at Michigan. We know the Eagles have a role for that hybrid-type of edge rusher after the signing of Zack Baun this offseason and after seeing Andrew Van Ginkel in Vic Fangio’s defense last year in Miami. So adding a developmental rusher who could maybe back up that role would make sense.

Harrell in 2023 had 7 1/2 sacks and 10 TFLs for the National Champion Wolverines. Former Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh called Harrell an “igniter, tone-setter, difference-maker.” And Harrell always seemed to come up big in big moments.

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