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Eagles trade up, grab versatile lineman in Eagles-only mock draft

Eagles trade up, grab versatile lineman in Eagles-only mock draft originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Draft week is finally upon us. The Eagles enter the 2024 NFL Draft with three picks in the first two rounds, and eight picks overall. We know Howie Roseman is often active making trades in the draft, so let’s get weird.

Here’s my take on an Eagles-only mock draft:

1-19: Troy Fautanu, OL, Washington

Eagles get: Picks 19, 52; Rams get: Picks 22, 50, 120

Howie wheels and deals on Day 1 of the Draft and gets perhaps the most versatile offensive lineman out there. He had a top-30 visit with the Eagles, and can play wherever you want him on the line. He started at LT for two seasons at Washington, but odds are he will start his NFL career at guard.

He lacks girth, but moire than makes up for it with natural strength and lateral agility. His technique needs some work, but if anyone can iron out the kinks in his game, it’s Jeff Stoutland.

2-52: Max Melton, CB, Rutgers

Another prospect who visited the Birds, and a South Jersey (born in Mays Landing) native to boot. The man talks a good game and backs it up. Ran 4.39 at the Combine, held WR1 of the draft Marvin Harrison down when Rutgers played Ohio State – just one of his four catches when he was matched against Harrison.

He has plenty of athleticism – a 40.5-inch vertical and 11-4 broad jump at the Combine – and has shown real ball-hawk skills with the Scarlet Knights, grabbing eight interceptions over the past three seasons. His older brother, Bo, plays for the Green Bay Packers.

2-53: Marshawn Kneeland, Edge, Western Michigan

If Kneeland is still there at 53, the Eagles should run, not walk, to make that pick. He didn’t have big numbers at WMU (12.5 career sacks), but his athletic traits are too good to ignore. His efforts at the Senior Bowl and the Combine moved him from an off-the-radar prospect squarely to a Day 2 pick.

5-161: Ainias Smith, WR, Texas A&M

Smith fills the need at slot and punt returner for the Eagles in one package. He stands just 5-9 and 190 pounds, but is as slippery as they come, and gets up to fifth gear quickly. Finished 8th in the nation in yards per punt return (14.3) and led the Aggies in receptions and receiving yards.

5-171: Cedric Gray, LB, North Carolina

As much as we would all like to see the Eagles draft Jeremiah Trotter Jr., the Eagles get a very good candidate to start as weak-side backer in Gray. A three-year starter at UNC, Gray captained the D and had 121 tackles, 11 TFL and five sacks. He was named All-ACC the last two seasons. Plays much faster on film than his Combine numbers show.

5-172: Tip Reiman, TE, Illinois

Howie grabs his TE2 with Reiman, who ran a 4.64 40 at 271 pounds at the Combine. He’s not stealing Dallas Goedert’s starting job; his value will be more as an extra blocker in the run game than anything.

6-210: Dominique Hampton, S, Washington

Hampton has the length and size to be an NFL safety, but he will need a lot of coaching to get him up to speed at the next level. More of a read-and-react player, but he led the Huskies in tackles (109) his senior season.

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