Mock Draft Season is the best part about the NFL offseason and no one will ever convince me otherwise.
Pro Football Focus has been releasing mock drafts for months now. With the Eagles’ season officially over, their first-round draft selections are solidified. They’ll be selecting 15th, 16th, and 19th overall. The Eagles have several needs to address this offseason, so these mock drafts will likely vary with each passing week.
While I didn’t have cornerback in my five biggest needs for the Eagles this offseason, I can certainly see them adding a capable player at the position. And Elam is more than capable.
With Steven Nelson likely gone this offseason, Elam could be a the perfect replacement and could eventually take over CB1 duties once Darius Slay is gone. In 2021, Elam allowed just 19 receptions on 33 targets for 191 yards against some of the best receivers the SEC has to offer. He’s a big bodied corner, standing at 6’2”, and he excels in zone coverage — exactly what will be asked of him in Jonathan Gannon’s scheme.
I mocked Elam in my last first-round Eagles mock draft, you can read my full breakdown of him here.
At 16th overall, PFF has the Eagles taking Georgia linebacker Nakobe Dean, who’s been a very popular name among Eagles fans this season. He fills a huge hole at linebacker and he provides so much on the defensive side of the ball. Dean brings leadership, pass rushing ability, sideline-to-sideline range, and great coverage ability to the linebacking position. Literally everything you’d want in a linebacker, Dean provides it.
For many Eagles fans, including myself, he’d be a dream selection.
With their final pick in the first-round at 19th overall, PFF has Philly taking another dip into the Alabama wide receiving tree, selecting wideout Jameson Williams. Considering he just tore his ACL in the National Championship game, this selection will undoubtedly raise some eyebrows. But with the talent he brings to the field, unless there’s an unforeseen setback in his recovery, Williams will still be a day one selection.
Pairing Williams’ skill set with DeVonta Smith would be a match made in heaven. He’s the premiere deep threat in this year’s draft class, averaging an absurdly-high 15.2 yards per target. On the year, Williams caught 67 of his 102 targets for 1,434 yards and 15 touchdowns, along with recording just six drops all season.
I can’t say I’d prefer another first-round wideout this year — it would be three years in a row the Eagles selected a wideout in the first-round if they went this route. But I also can’t say I’d be disappointed, especially if Williams is the guy they end up selecting.
All in all, this wasn’t my favorite mock draft released by PFF. I like Dean and Elam, but I wouldn’t go wide receiver in the first-round again this year. The defense needs a lot of love this offseason and using all three picks on that side of the ball could completely revamp their defensive identity.