Eagles Outlook: Philly replenishes their dominant defensive line in recent mock draft
It’s never too early to dive into Mock Draft season. With the NFL season at its halfway point, Pro Football Focus dropped a mock draft with the updated draft order.
As it stands, the Eagles hold two first-round selections – their own (32nd overall in PFF’s mock) and the New Orleans Saints’ pick (eighth overall).
If you’ve followed Howie Roseman over the years, you’ll know he prioritizes his offensive/defensive line over everything in the first-round of the draft. In PFF’s latest mock, Howie sticks to his guns and replenishes his defensive line with both first-round selection.
At eighth overall, PFF has the Eagles selecting Florida State edge rusher Jared Verse. Their reasoning:
Sikkema: Verse is one of the biggest risers in the draft class after transferring from Albany to Florida State last offseason. He packs a ton of juice off the edge, and we saw that in full force when he tallied seven pressures against LSU earlier this season. He’s still a little wild in his play style, but he has the juice the Eagles covet.
The Eagles will be in the market for an edge rusher next offseason, there’s no about that
The edge rushing group in Philly has been unbelievably stout this season. The downside, a handful of them won’t be back next season. Derek Barnett and Robert Quinn are likely to be gone. Brandon Graham may come back for another year, but we can’t rely on the ageless wonder to continue dominating year in and year out. He’ll hit a wall at some point and Howie knows that.
FSU’s Verse could be exactly what the Eagles need if he falls to them at No. 8 overall. Standing at 6-foot-4, 250 pounds, Verse has been an x-factor for FSU’s defense all season. He currently leads the team in sacks with 5.5 and his 22.6% pass rush win rate ranks first in the ACC.
Even if Verse is already off the board whenever the Eagles are on the clock, expect the team to take the best defensive end available.
Down at No. 32 overall, PFF has the Eagles taking interior defensive lineman Siaki Ika out of Baylor. Their reasoning:
Sikkema: The Eagles’ embarrassment of riches along the defensive line continues — that’s how dominant defenses stay dominant. Ika is a nimble 350-pounder who can get after opposing quarterbacks, racking up 45 pressures since the start of 2021.
Taking a nose tackle in the first-round in back-to-back drafts? Not sure I can sign-off on this one
Siaki Ika is an interesting prospect to be sure, but the team has bigger needs to address at this spot. Jordan Davis has been as advertised in his rookie campaign so snagging his backup in the first-round just seems counterintuitive.
Ika is, however, a much better pass rusher than Davis was coming out of college, which is intriguing. As PFF points out, Ika has racked up 45 total pressures since the start of the 2021 season. With that said, the Eagles already have two solid pass rushing defensive tackles in Javon Hargrave and Milton Williams, both of whom complement Davis’ skill set perfectly.
If the Eagles do end up winning the Super Bowl and have the final pick in the first-round of the 2023 NFL Draft, Howie could take anyone and fans would likely sign-off on it. I’d rather see them address a position like safety, corner, or maybe even running back at that spot.
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Mandatory Credit: 247 Sports