With free agency in the rear view, and with the NFL Draft a little under four weeks away, here’s our second, 7-round Eagles mock draft:
Justin Jefferson WR, LSU
Earlier in the offseason I wrote about how the team should consider trading back if they can’t get one of the three top-tier receivers. While I still believe none of the other receivers are top-25 prospects, I’ve come around to the logic that Howie ought to stay put to make sure they can get “their guy” at 21, rather than trade back and pick from whomever is left (the sort of nuanced draft strategy that the “best player available” mindset somewhat overlooks).
While I like Jalen Raegor and Denzel Mims, I think Jefferson is still my #4WR due to his high floor and obvious translation to the Birds offense. Right now the Eagles need to be prioritizing players who can get open (separate) and catch the football, and Jefferson absolutely satisfies that. Will he get wide open? Not really. But between his sound route-running, size, ball skills, and Wentz’s arm, I think he’ll separate plenty enough.
Jefferson also has the ability to threaten vertically—with a 4.43-40 he‘s not necessarily a burner, but he definitely has the speed and ball skills to make plays downfield. On top of that, his red zone potential is clear. Sure, we could take a wide receiver with a higher ceiling, but Jefferson would immediately be a threat out of the slot, and Wentz’s favorite target next to Ertz. Given our current circumstances I’ll go with the safer-bet.
Jonathan Greenard DE, Florida
I like this pick a lot. I recently covered Greenard in a roundup of prospects who may be available to the Birds at 53—here’s what I said:
“I’m high on Greenard and I like his upside as a pass rusher under Jim Schwartz. He’s fairly explosive off the ball, and his ability to anticipate the snap makes his above-average first step appear elite—the type of ‘get-off’ Schwartz loves.
He began his career at Louisville with 2.5 sacks and 7 TFL as a reserve, followed by a breakout sophomore campaign that saw him rack up 7 sacks and 15.5 TFL. After a nasty wrist injury cut his junior year at Louisville short, he transferred to Florida for 2019 and in his lone season recorded 10 sacks, 16 TFL, to go along with 3 forced fumbles (has a good nose for the ball).
He has excellent length/size for the position to go along with impressive quickness, and his hand technique and footwork are polished. He doesn’t waste movement as a rusher, and works hard to get involved in every play. He’s not the twitchiest athlete with the gaudiest numbers, but I have a hard time finding something I don’t like about Greenard. He’s strong against the run, as he has a great understanding of leverage, and his tackle-radius is incredible—he uses great body extension and long arms to corral any ball carrier flowing in his direction.
While it’s unlikely he’ll be a double-digit sack guy as a pro (though I don’t rule it out) multiple seasons with 6-8 sacks and 15-20 TFL seems very likely. He’s as NFL-ready as they come and has a solid floor as a well-rounded end with good upside as a pass rusher. The Birds could use him in the rotation in 2020 and beyond.”
Tyler Biadasz IOL, Wisconsin
I really would’ve liked to make a less conventional pick, as you’ll see Biadasz mocked here a lot. But the reality is, if you look at other mocks around the league Biadasz is popular to quite a few places.
That speaks to his high quality as a prospect, but it also speaks to the concern that he probably won’t be available at 103. He’s an experienced starter on a dominant Wisconsin line, which combined with his high-IQ, strength, and scheme versatility makes him as popular of a OL-prospect as they come.
The problem with Biadasz is his injury history—he hurt his hip in 2018 and missed much of the pre-draft process due to shoulder surgery. Some people attribute a slight regression in 2019 to his health but it’s hard to know if those were temporary symptoms of injury or a lasting result of injury.
In a world without Kelce, Biadasz can play guard if the Birds want to slide Seumalo to center, or if they aren’t sold on Seumalo then Biadasz is fit for the role. He could stand to get light/quicker on his feet if he were to be the center in our scheme, but he has the ability to execute most of the role from day one.
Markus Bailey LB, Purdue
I would have traded this pick had I been given the option. It was down to Bailey and a WR, and I knew I could get most of the available wideouts at 145/146, so I filled a need for an early-down linebacker.
Bailey isn’t the most impressive overall prospect but I like his potential to be average on 1st and 2nd down. He’s not a great athlete but his high-IQ and processing ability should be more than enough to compensate. He’s a versatile player who‘s strong enough to play up the middle while also figuring to be solid in underneath zones (scheme-fit) and as an occasional A/B-gap blitzer.
The concern mostly regards his two ACL injuries during college. We’ve made some real strides in terms of rehabbing major injuries, but surgery on both knees still feels like a tough sell for a lot of teams. Bailey should be around at 127 if not later, and he might be worth considering for a team who needs early-down bodies at linebacker.
McTelvin Agim DT/sub-end
It may not be of obvious need now that we’ve signed Hargrave, but that doesn’t mean we can’t continue to add depth and stock for the future. Agim is a prospect with excellent tools and a high-ceiling who could contribute in Schwartz’s rotation faster than some will lead you to believe.
He has ELITE burst off the line of scrimmage, and his athleticism allows him to play at a low pad-level and with excellent dexterity—he can maintain power from a variety of platforms. Despite a profile that suggests smaller size and a lean build, Agim is a thick 6’3” 310 lbs with good length.
All those tools suggest the perfect prospect for Schwartz’s one-gap scheme. He played most of his career as a base-end before transitioning to the inside in 2019, so he’s understandably raw in his technique and at the POA, but that profile suggests he may have versatility moving between both spots—end on running downs, inside on passing.
He may be raw but his tools are legit, and the way they translate into Schwartz’s system is too tantalizing to pass up if he’s around at 146.
Tyler Johnson WR, Minnesota
I strongly considered Johnson at 127 so I really caught a break when he fell to 145—which isn’t too likely, but possible. I wasn’t opposed to doubling up on WR immediately in round two or three if the right guy was around, which is what I believe the Eagles will do, but the opportunity didn’t present itself.
I don’t love Johnson because I’m tired on the idea of WRs who don’t separate all that much, but he can really produce despite that fact. He’s an excellent route runner, has great body control, and outstanding ball skills. He may not be explosive athletically—which is why he’s not big separator or YAC-monster—but he’s certainly a fluid athlete.
You’ll see him pigeon-holed as a “big slot” because ‘he did better with free releases from the slot’—but the reality is, and hopefully I’m not blowing anyone’s mind, everyone gets easier releases from the slot—but that doesn’t mean it will prevent him from playing on the outside. Between his size, route running, and ball skills it’d be lazy to limit to a “big slot.”
Some people may think this pick is redundant having already taken Jefferson, but it’s not a bad thing if both receivers are versatile enough to play all over the formation.
Justin Herron OT, Wake Forest
I like Herron a lot at this spot. He has experience at both left and right tackle with the versatility to kick inside to guard. He needs a little more polish in his technique but as a plus-athlete with quick feet and good flexibility he’s a high-ceiling prospect.
He profiles best in a zone scheme and makes sense for a Birds team who needs immediate guard depth and a re-stock of tackle prospects. He has a similar physical build to Vaitai—though Herron is lighter on his feet—and is that same type of developmental swing tackle/emergency guard.
Sewo Olonilua RB, TCU
The Eagles need to add a little power to their running back room, and if they don’t do that through free agency then a mid-to-late round pick is likely.
At 6’2” 230 lbs. and 18 TDs on 324 career carries Olinilua profiles as a short-yardage back for sure. But what excites me most about his skillset is his lightning quick feet—he has surprising lateral quickness for his size and very sound footwork prevents wasted movement. He’ll need to develop better vision and patience but has the tools to excel as more than a power back.
Adding to his surprising skillset, Olinilua also showed some impressive natural ability out of the backfield (career 60 catches, 383 yards)—though he’ll need to develop a ton as a blocker, he’s willing and has the right tools.
With two WRs and two OL in the first five rounds, and a depth/dev. RB in round six this would be enough to fill Howie’s promise of getting younger on offense. The nice thing about having 8 picks is it also allows him to add a prospect or two to the defense.