Eagles add USC pass catcher in PFF’s latest Mock Draft

Another week, another mock draft from Pro Football Focus.

We’ve covered all of the mock drafts from PFF, mostly because the Eagles have more draft capital than any other team in the first round in 2022. And despite the Eagles being right in the thick in the NFC playoff race, I can’t help but get excited for draft season.

In PFF’s latest iteration of the 2022 mock draft, the Eagles select at 14, 19, and 23. With their first selection in the first round, PFF has the Eagles taking Michigan edge rusher David Ojabo. Ojabo has been a popular name for the Eagles over the past month or so. He’s not quite in that elite pass rushing category in this year’s class, but he’s certainly good enough to be a top-20 selection.

The Eagles will look to add pass rushers both through free agency and the draft this upcoming offseason, there’s no doubt about it. Ojabo will add some fresh blood to their defensive end rotation and he won’t need to start from day one.

With their second pick in the first round at 19th overall, PFF has the Eagles taking Washington corner Trent McDuffie.

It’ll be interesting to see how this front office addresses the cornerback position this offseason. On one hand, their cornerback group is the best it’s been in over a decade. Darius Slay is on his way to a Pro Bowl and Avonte Maddox is having a career year. But on the other hand, Steven Nelson probably won’t get resigned and the team has a lot of unproven talent at the position behind Maddox and Slay.

McDuffie certainly brings some proven ability to the position, as both a man and zone corner. In 2021, he allowed just 16 catches for 111 yards, while breaking up five passes in the process. He’s not an elite athlete, but he’s quick enough to stick with receivers and he has the speed to keep up with them on deeper routes.

At the very least, McDuffie would provide some solid competition for that CB2 spot opposite of Slay next season. Watching a camp battle between McDuffie, Zech McPhearson, and Tay Gowan would be interesting.

Last but not least, with the 23rd overall pick, PFF has the Eagles taking USC wideout Drake London.

Now, taking a wideout in the first round three years in a row might not be the best course of action. I’d prefer the front office to add a wideout through free agency. But with three first round picks to play with, taking a wideout isn’t the worst thing they could do.

The Eagles need a big bodied receiver who can confidently fill their X receiver position. London is more than capable of doing that. Standing at 6’5”, he’s your prototypical red zone, contested catch receiver. To me, his skill set is pretty reminiscent of J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, which is obviously not a good thing.

Yes, he’s made a living on the contested catches during his collegiate career, but that rarely translates to the NFL. If a receiver can’t create separation or get open consistently, they’re going to struggle to stay on the field. According to PFF, he’s in the 30th percentile among receivers who’ve made it to the NFL in terms of separation rate in single coverage.

If the Eagles were to select a wideout in this year’s draft, London would not be my choice, even though he is a big bodied guy. Without the route running ability, his talents will never reach their full potential at the next level.

Overall, this isn’t a terrible haul for the Eagles. Aside from the London selection, the Eagles would get two potential day one starters with Ojabo and McDuffie.

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