Eagles 3-Round Mock Draft: Adding defensive playmakers at every level

The NFL offseason is in a bit of lull period at the moment, but Mock Draft Season is in full swing.

The Eagles have plenty of ammo in this year’s upcoming draft. Three first-round picks, six picks within the top-150, and 10 total. This draft will have huge implications for the future of this franchise.

For this Eagles mock, we decided to trim it down to just three rounds. Instead of using all three first-round picks here, I traded the 16th overall selection to Pittsburgh, who used the pick to snag Kenny Pickett. I was able to secure a first-round pick for next year along with a third-rounder (84th overall) in this year’s draft.

So without further ado, here’s out first Eagles three-round mock draft.

15th overall, CB Trent McDuffie, Washington

Although Washington’s Trent McDuffie lacks the ideal length to be a shutdown corner in today’s NFL, he more than makes up for it with his elite football IQ, good lateral agility and overall quickness. During his final collegiate season, McDuffie only allowed 16 receptions on 36 targets for 111 yards with five pass breakups and zero scores. He didn’t surrender over 39 yards in coverage in a single game this past season, and he’s only given up two deep passes (passes over 20 yards) in his entire career.

As far as scheme fit, McDuffie should be able to slide right into a starting role from day one in Philly. He’s an excellent zone corner who possesses great instincts. Although he only has two interceptions to his name in his three-year collegiate career, it’s mostly due to the fact that quarterbacks avoid targeting him. With Steven Nelson’s departure on the horizon, the Eagles will need someone who can fill that hole seamlessly. McDuffie is more than capable of doing that.

19th overall, Devin Lloyd, LB Devin Lloyd, Utah

I almost didn’t pick Devin Lloyd here because Howie Roseman drafting a linebacker in the first-round still feels like a long shot. But given the placement on the board and no clear options at other needs, it would’ve been foolish to pass up Lloyd.

There’s a fair argument to be had regarding which linebacker in this class is the best, Lloyd or Georgia’s Nakobe Dean. But it’s pretty obvious which of them fits better into the Eagles defense. Lloyd is a prototypical 4-3 backer. Standing at 6-foot-3, 232 pounds, he’s well equipped to start from day one. Lloyd was a stat sheet stuffer during his final year atb Utah, accumulating 111 total tackles, 21 for a loss, seven sacks, four interceptions, one forced fumble, and two touchdowns.

Aside from the athletic traits, Lloyd is a very smart defender. He does a great job at diagnosing plays before the snap and his reaction time is great. The Eagles need for a standout linebacker has been apparent for years now. Lloyd is a day one starter and would provide the Eagles with a legitimate three-down backer for the first time in almost a decade.

51st overall, EDGE Nik Bonitto, Oklahoma

Heading into the second-round, the need for a pass rusher was still present, so I decided to change that. While Oklahoma’s Nik Bonitto is a bit of a one-trick speed rusher, he’s elite at it. Over the past two seasons, he’s been the highest graded pass rusher on a per-snap basis according to Pro Football Focus. He earned a 93.6 pass rushing grade in 2020 and a 92.5 mark in 2021.

He won’t be a day one starter, but Bonitto has all the tools to be a situational pass rusher during his rookie season. The Eagles already have two starters they can rely on along the edge, Josh Sweat and Brandon Graham, they just need a suitable rotational piece who can provide pressure in passing situations. Bonitto can certainly fill that need.

83rd overall, EDGE Boye Mafe, Minnesota

After having a stellar Senior Bowl week, Minnesota’s Boye Mafe has shot up draft boards. He’s a much more balanced defensive end than Bonitto and could still be a rotational piece in year one. In his final year with Minnesota, Mafe recorded 34 total tackles, seven sacks, and 10 tackles for loss.

Some scouts suggest Mafe is best suited as a traditional 3-4 outside backer, but he should still fit into Jonathan Gannon’s scheme. If he doesn’t click as a traditional defensive end, he has the physical tools to play the WILL backer role.

Mafe isn’t a day one starter, he’s more of a developmental piece to backup up BG during his final years in Philly. His development has been steady over his collegiate career and he could earn a starting role within his first three years if everything goes according to plan.

84th overall, S Kerby Joseph, Illinois

To round things off, I used the third-round pick from Pittsburgh to snag Illinois’ Kerby Joseph. Safety is going to be one of the biggest needs facing the Eagles this offseason. They may decide to bring Rodney McLeod back for another year, but he’s a limited player at this stage of his career. They’ll need someone who can step in from day one and assume a starting role, and Kerby Joseph could potentially do that.

Joseph is a pure ball hawk in coverage, hauling in five interceptions and two fumble recoveries during his final collegiate season. His 6-foot-8 wingspan is more than ideal for any NFL safety and he puts his length to good use in coverage.

Snagging a guy with this kind of coverage ability in the third-round is an absolute steal, and while some areas his game need work, there’s no doubt he could carve out a role for himself in year one.

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