Eagles attack defense in Mel Kiper’s first 2022 NFL mock draft
It’s finally that time of the year. This morning, ESPN’s Mel Kiper released his first mock draft for the 2022 season. The Eagles are one of the most talked-about teams going into this off-season, holding three first-round picks. It’s unknown what route the Eagles will go with their selections, but the hope among fans is to attack linebacker, safety, and other defensive positions.
Kiper’s mock does address those needs while also bolstering Philadelphia’s offense. There are several holes that will need to be filled with players like Alex Singleton, Derek Barnett, and Jason Kelce entering free agency.
15th pick: Devin Lloyd, LB Utah
Linebacker is the Eagles’ most pressing need this offseason and has been for several seasons. Howie Roseman has been known to ignore the position, but fans hope he will change his mind.
Adding Lloyd would provide both an immediate and long-term boost to the Eagles’ defense. Llyod tore up the PAC-12 during his time at Utah, being named to two all PAC-12 teams and winning the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year award. The consensus All-American also recorded 22 tackles for loss and eight sacks over 14 games.
16th pick: Arnold Ebiketie, DE Penn State
Roseman has always valued depth in the trenches, and we will likely see that continue during the 2022 draft. The Eagles drafted Milton Williams during the third round last season, and he has turned out great so far. Fletcher Cox, Derek Barnett, and others will likely be on their way out soon, so they will need to add to their defensive line.
Ebiketie dominated for Penn State this past season, leading the Big-Ten in tackles for loss and recorded 9.5 sacks in 2021. Kiper placing Ebiketie so high is a shock, as most mocks have had him sitting towards the end of the first-round/start of the second. Ebiketie’s numbers have shown his worth, and he will likely continue to rise up draft boards over the next few months.
19th pick: Chris Olave, WR Ohio State
After Jalen Reagor’s failure of a season, providing Jalen Hurts with another wideout is a must, either through the draft or free agency. The 2022 draft class is far weaker than 2021’s group, but there are some legitimate options, including Olave.
The Buckeye’s receiver had 65 receptions for 936 yards and 13 touchdowns over 11 games this season. Olave is another speedster threat, which the Eagles have leaned towards selecting in recent years with Reagor and Quez Watkins. After the history Roseman has had drafting receivers, he will need this pick to hit.
What this team actually will do with their three picks is unknown at this point. There have been a lot of rumors that the Eagles will trade one of their firsts for another first-rounder in 2023 or for a quarterback, so don’t expect all three to remain here through draft day.
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