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George Karlaftis
NFL Draft

Eagles Mock Draft 2022: Building Up Philadelphia’s Defense

  • Damian Parson
  • February 15, 2022
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  The Philadelphia Eagles made strides this season and fought their way into the playoffs. In his first full year as a starter, Jalen Hurts showed some promise, throwing for more than 3,000 yards. He has more room to grow before securing the “franchise QB” label, but I am a believer in building around the quarterback to remove any excuses for poor play. As a result of the laughable Carson Wentz trade, the Eagles enter the 2022 NFL Draft with three first-round picks. This is enough ammunition to add some serious talent to this roster. How will I address the team needs with this talented group of prospects and these valuable picks? Let’s find out.

Round 1 (No. 15 overall): Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama

In back-to-back years, a top receiver from Alabama lands in the City of Brotherly Love. Jameson Williams brings elite-level speed to take the top off opposing defenses. Pairing him with DeVonta Smith, Quez Watkins, and Dallas Goedert gives Hurts a well-rounded and explosive arsenal.

Round 1 (No. 16 overall): Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati

Behind Darius Slay, the Eagles have solid depth at cornerback. The issue is, none of them are top-end talents to compliment Slay on the opposite side of the field. Ahmad Gardner has the attitude, physical playstyle, and toughness to match the city. He is a lengthy, athletic corner that excels in press coverage on the boundary. Avonte Maddox can kick inside at nickel, therefore solidifying Philadelphia’s top three cornerback positions.

Round 1 (No. 19 overall): George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue

Continuing to retool this defense is a priority. After selecting a cornerback, the trenches must be addressed. George Karlaftis is one of the better edge defenders in this class. Karlaftis can step into a reserve role early on if necessary, but with Derek Barnett and Ryan Kerrigan headed to free agency, that’s unlikely. His burst, hand power, and placement allow him to defeat blockers inside/out.d

Round 2 (No. 44 overall): Lewis Cine, S, Georgia

The pursuit of a reliable and talented defense continues. Lewis Cine is a physical and violent striker. He does not shy away from triggering downhill as a force defender in the run game. His range is evident in pass coverage but shows up against the run from depth. A tone and tempo changer in the back end, Cine adds more toughness to the Eagles' defense.

Round 2 (No. 63 overall): Darian Kinnard, OL, Kentucky

With veteran RG Brandon Brooks retiring, Philadelphia’s depth and talent took a hit. Kentucky’s versatile OL Darian Kinnard is a powerful run blocker with a relentless playstyle. He brings physicality and tenaciousness to an offensive line. Jack Driscoll has been solid at RG, but competition is necessary. Kinnard is more physically gifted than Driscoll and offers positional versatility.

Round 3 (No. 69 overall): Drake Jackson, EDGE, USC

Doubling down on the edges was not my plan initially, but seeing Drake Jackson still available was too tempting. When this defense was at its best, the defensive line rotation was the best in football. The luxury to keep fresh, talented legs for an entire game created issues for opposing offenses. Brandon Graham’s contract has voidable years after the 2023 season. Karlaftis could fill his role full-time while in the meantime, Jackson could operate as a designated pass rusher. When Graham’s tenure ends, Jackson can become a mainstay across from Karlaftis to form a dangerous pass-rushing duo.

Round 5 (No. 153 overall): Ellis Brooks, LB, Penn State

The Eagles are not a team that prioritizes the linebacker position early in the draft. I think this trend continues this year. Finding an athletic inside backer that can fill in the run game, Ellis Brooks fits that mold. The former four-sport athlete possesses good size with a thick build. More talent creates competition, and competition finds the best options to start.

Round 6 (No. 192 overall): Tyler Allgeier, RB, BYU

There is uncertainty around the future of Miles Sanders returning after his contract expires. The mixture of zone and power runs fits Tyler Allgeier’s skill set. The 220-pound back has a bruising running style with a good second gear in the open field. In 2021, he proved that he can carry BYU’s offense without Zach Wilson. He has lead-back potential and this is good value for his talents.

Round 6 (No. 207 overall): Trae Barry, TE, Boston College

The mid-season trade of Zach Ertz opened the door for Goedert to assume the TE1 role. Question is, who assumes Goedert’s old role as TE2? Tyree Jackson is a former QB turned TE but is recovering from a torn ACL. Trae Barry adds an athletic, lengthy build. He moves well for a player of his size (6-foot-7, 245 pounds) and can enter camp ready to compete as the second pass-catching tight end for this offense. He’s also a potential red zone weapon out of 12-personnel.

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Damian Parson