We’re officially two weeks out from the 2022 NFL Draft and the anticipation is growing.
Howie Roseman and his Eagles have a ton of ammo heading into draft night. With 10 picks at their disposal, and four within the top-100 (five if you count the pick at 101st overall), the 2022 draft can have a profound impact on the future of this franchise.
So without further ado, let’s jump right into our eighth iteration of the Eagles 7-round mock draft.
1 (15) WR Jameson Williams, Alabama
Early indications pointed towards Alabama wideout Jameson Williams falling down draft boards due to the torn ACL he suffered in January’s National Championship game. In recent weeks, all we’ve heard is that Williams is ahead of schedule and some have eluded to the possibility that he may be ready to go by Week 1.
Athletes recover from injuries at a rapid pace nowadays so it shouldn’t shock anyone if Williams can actually go from the jump. Suffice to say will jump at the opportunity to snag this Bama pass catcher if all the rumors about his speedy recovery are true.
Despite drafting a wideout in the first-round in 2020 and ’21, it’s still a clear position of need heading into this draft. They struck gold dipping into the Alabama pool last time around, so why not double dip? Williams has the perfect complementary skill set for DeVonta Smith. He’s without question the fastest receiver in this year’s class, and in turn he’s been labeled as the best deep threat and arguably the best YAC wideout from this crop of pass catchers. But it would be unfair to designate Williams as just a deep threat receiver. He brings the route running savvy and physicality that can have an immediate impact at the next level.
In short, Williams is essentially a bigger, more refined version of a young DeSean Jackson. Who wouldn’t want that?
All signs are pointing towards Howie taking yet another receiver in this year’s draft and Williams may be the perfect fit.
1 (18) EDGE Jermaine Johnson, Florida State
Florida State’s Jermaine Johnson may not bring the pass rushing upside that the top tier edge prospects in this class possess,but he remains atop draft boards simply because he doesn’t have any glaring weaknesses in his game. Johnson can be a three-down starter from day one, something that can’t be said for some of the pass rushing specialists highlighting this year’s class.
Per Pro Football Focus, Johnson was the only defensive end in a Power Five conference to rank inside the top-15 in run stops and negatively graded play rate. He sets the edge better than nearly everyone in this year’s class, while also finding ways to get after the passer. Johnson possesses the run stuffing ability of a prime Brandon Graham while playing with the motor of Derek Barnett — a very valuable skill set to have if it’s put to good use.
Despite adding to their pass rush during free agency, Howie is still expected to address the need on draft night. Johnson has all the makings of a long-term solution at the defensive end position.
Trade: Eagles receive R3 pick 66, R3 pick 97; Lions receive R3, pick 51
3 (66) S Kerby Joseph, Illinois
Illinois’ Kerby Joseph has a lot of traits Gannon covets in his safeties. He fits well into a split-safety defense and has some of the best ball skills of any defensive back in this year’s draft.
Joseph tallied five interceptions during his final year at Illinois and he allowed a completion percentage of 47.3. He does a great job flipping his hips and changing direction in coverage, along with tracking down the ball when it’s thrown his way. His 21.1 percent forced incompletion rate was among the best in college football this past season. Joseph is arguably the best pure coverage safety in this draft, and he has proven to be a stout tackler in the open field as well.
Gannon ran a lot of three-safety looks during the latter half of the 2021 season. With Joseph in the fold, Gannon shouldn’t shy away from that look. He and Anthony Harris will have the back half of the defense covered, while Marcus Epps will be able to roam more freely around the line of scrimmage.
3 (83) CB Marcus Jones, Houston
Despite standing at just 5-foot-8 and weighing in at 174 pounds, Houston’s Marcus Jones is one of the better slot corners in this year’s class. In 2021, Jones posted a PFF coverage grade of 87.4 while allowing a completion percentage of 48 and a passer rating of 53.5 when targeted. He also hauled in five interceptions on the season.
While those stats are impressive, it’ll be hard for Jones to find the field during his rookie season, barring a major injury to Avonte Maddox. But, Jones will without a doubt be the team’s starting punt/kick returner from day one. He was he highest-graded returner in the country last season, per PFF, averaging 14.4 yards per punt return and 34.2 yards per kick return.
As we saw last season, the Eagles need serious help in that department. Fixing the issue could be as simple as drafting Jones.
3 (97) LB JoJo Domann, Nebraska
JoJo Domann is one of the most intriguing prospects in this year’s class. He’s listed as a linebacker, but he really played more of a slot role for Nebraska’s defense in 2021, logging 428 snaps in that alignment.
Though he lacks the ideal size for the position (6-foot-1, 228 pounds), he masks it with his stellar athleticism. Domann was arguably the best coverage linebacker in the country last season, posting a PFF coverage grade of 87.8 and allowing a passer rating of 63.8 when targeted.
Given his lacking size, Domann won’t be able to play all three downs in the NFL. But he has the makeup of a profound sub-package linebacker who can have a real impact on passing downs. At the very least, Domann could be a valuable special teams player from day one.
3 (101) T Zac Tom, Wake Forest
Wake Forest’s Zac Tom is one of the most athletic lineman in this year’s class and could fill-in at nearly every position along the offensive line. The majority of his playing time came at left tackle, but he started at center in 2019, logging over 1,000 snaps from that position.
Placing Tom along the interior is the best route to take and he could potentially become the replacement for Brandon Brooks at right guard if all goes according to plan. He was one of the best pass blocking lineman in the country last year, posting a PFF pass-blocking grade of 92.1 while allowing just three sacks on 633 pass blocking snaps.
Given his athleticism and versatility, he’s the exact kind of lineman prospect that Jeff Stoutland wants to get his hands on. Under Stoutland’s tutelage, Tom will likely become a solid starting guard in the NFL.
4 (124) HB Kyren Williams, Notre Dame
Notre Dame’s Kyren Williams is your prototypical west coast running back. He’s an extremely reliable receiver, hauling in 42 of 45 targets in 2021, and he’s one of the best pass blocking backs entering this year’s draft.
Williams runs with toughness between the tackles and has one of the meanest stiff arms you’ll see from a running back. His vision is also top tier, as evidenced by this 91-yard touchdown run against North Carolina.
At worst, Williams will be a solid third down back in the NFL, but he has enough upside to push for a heavier workload down the line.
5 (154) TE Chig Okonkwo, Maryland
Although Chig Okonkwo is technically listed as a tight end, he’s been used in so many different ways during his career at Maryland. Yes, he has 4.5 speed, can run crisp routes, and of course catch the ball, but he can lineup off the line and provide tremendous run blocking as an H-back.
Okonkwo has a little bit of Delanie Walker in his game. He can lineup in pretty much any alignment and still be effective, regardless of the fact that he is a bit undersized for the position (6-foot-2, 244 pounds).
It’ll be up to the Eagles coaching staff to really hone in his skills and put him in positions to succeed. If they can successfully do that, Okonkwo has the tools to be an impact player from day one. As versatile backup tight end to Dallas Goedert, Okonkwo presents tremendous upside and he could carve out a specific role for himself during his rookie season.
5 (162) T Cordell Volson, North Dakota State
Like Tom, North Dakota State’s Cordell Volson is a versatile offensive lineman who can provide depth at nearly every position along the line. In fact, Volson has logged snaps at every position along the line during his time at North Dakota State.
Volson dominated his competition at NDSU, posting a pass blocking grade of 84.5 and a run blocking grade of 88.4 last season. He’s an elite zone blocker who could fit right into the Eagles blocking schemes.
Stoutland can turn any offensive line prospect into a solid player, and Volson is no different.
Trade: Eagles receive 2023 fifth-round pick; Texans receive R5 pick 166
7 (237) P Matt Araiza, San Diego State
It doesn’t get mentioned as much as other positions, but the Eagles have a real need at punter this offseason. San Diego State’s Matt Araiza is without question the top punter in this year’s class and he could even fill-in on kickoff duties if need be.
For those not in the know, here’s how Araiza fared during the scouting combine:
Drafting kickers and punters will always draw eye rolls from fans, but the Eagles need a real punter this season. Why not fill that need with a seventh-round pick?