I can say without any exaggeration that this is the most important blog post you will ever read in your entire life. the 2022 NFL Draft begins tonight and that means it’s time to reveal my first and only Philadelphia Eagles Fictional draft in 7 rounds.
Note, The Draft Network simulator was used for this exercise. I also discussed my choices (and alternatives) in more detail with Jimmy Kempski – who also revealed his latest simulation – on the latest BGN Radio podcast episode, which you can listen to below or by [clicking here]:
1st round (#15 overall) – Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama
There is a lots of buzz linking Williams to Philly. It makes sense. With 19.9 yards per reception at Alabama last year, Williams is an explosive field expander. The Eagles have hit a number of times while trying to upgrade their wide receiver corps this offseason. Their best bet to improve this group now is to add Williams to the mix.
Concerns about Williams’ ACL recovery are overblown. Video clips of him jogging and moving well have circulated recently. He could be back on the court sooner than people think, which isn’t totally different from Landon Dickerson’s track last year.
Jamo would be a surefire top-10 pick if he didn’t get injured. Heck, he could still get into the top 10 with threats from Atlanta (#8) and NYJ (#10) to take him. If he drops to No. 15, it’s an obvious selection.
1st round (#18 overall) – George Karlaftis, DE, Purdue
Let me start by saying that I think the Eagles prefer to trade from this pick. And me too. But Philly may not find a partner to deal with.
Opinions on Karlaftis vary to the point where there is talk of his potential first-round downfall. He doesn’t have the sexiest passer profile in terms of being super high-strung and/or extremely productive in terms of sack count. But pressure metrics indicate Karlaftis is very disruptive as a power rusher, not entirely different from Brandon Graham.
Karlaftis only turned 21 earlier this month so I don’t think we’ve seen the best of him yet. There is untapped potential here. With Graham leaving the gate in the near future and Derek Barnett leaving after this season, the Eagles could afford to add more top talent. Karlaftis will be part of the Year 1 rotation before playing a larger role in Year 2 and beyond.
2nd round (#51 overall) – Chad Muma, LB, Wyoming
As Jimmy pointed out on the podcast, Eagles fans can scream “Mooooooooooooo!(like the Duuuuuuuuuuuce chant at the time) at the Linc after making a big play is reason enough to draft this dude.
Seriously, though, Muma is a very athletic linebacker with good size. With three interceptions and two defensive touchdowns last year, he has a record of successful plays. Athletic’s Dane Brugler described him as a “high-energy tackling machine with excellent game speed”.
With Kyzir White on a one-year contract and TJ Edwards set to be a free agent after this season, the Eagles need to think about the present AND the linebacker’s future. Muma is a plug-and-play contributor that projects itself as a long-term piece.
Round 3 (#83 overall) – Cam Jurgens, C, Nebraska
There is a rumor that Jurgens won’t make it to Eagles second-round pick. So maybe he won’t come close to #83. But hey, he did in my sim, so pick him up with TDN.
Although undersized, Jurgens has long arms (78th percentile) and large hands (62nd percentile). In addition, he is very athletic.
Jurgens’ draft gives the Eagles a potential successor in Jason Kelce and keeps Landon Dickerson on guard. It was long thought that Isaac Seumalo would move to center after Kelce’s departure … but Ike is a free agent after this season and he’s only been available for 12 of a possible 38 games over the past two seasons. Seumalo could be an underrated trade candidate considering the Birds could clear $5.65 million with a trade after June 1.
3rd round (#101) – Marcus Jones, CB/KR/PR, Houston
The Eagles invited Jones for a pre-draft visit. He’s VERY short at just 5’8″, 174 lbs. But how can you not be intrigued by his ball production? The guy had nine passes and recorded 31 passes defended in college. Not to mention he’s a returner ELITE with six kick return touchdowns and three punt return touchdowns.Houston has even used him as an offensive weapon at times.The Eagles may be tempted to do the same after watching Nick Sirianni find a way to incorporate Darius Slay (as a decoy) on offense last year.
Jones isn’t looming as the outside corner the Eagles could afford to add, but they shouldn’t be so caught up in the adjustment. If Jones is there at this pick, it’s good to draft a backup nickel who can provide some serious value on special teams and might be able to earn some offensive touches. Just get talent and figure out the fit later.
4th round (#124) – DeAngelo Malone, DE, Western Kentucky
Malone is older for a prospect considering he turns 23 in July. But he was VERY productive in five years (super senior!) at WKU. The dude had 349 tackles (59 for loss), 32.5 sacks, eight forced fumbles, seven pass deflections, two blocked kicks and one interception. Malone fits the undersized defensive linebacker/SAM role the Eagles apparently enjoy under Jonathan Gannon. They could afford more bodies there, because what happens right now if Haason Reddick is injured? The Eagles just eliminated this kind of player from their defense? After adding a more traditional 4-3 defensive end at Karlaftis earlier, the Eagles can opt for more of a 3-4 edge rusher here.
5th Round (#154) – Hassan Haskins, RB, Michigan
Haskins is a powerful, bigger back. He is 6’2″, 228 pounds and he has completed 27 reps on the bench press at Combine NFL (94th percentile). Haskins recorded 20 touchdowns last year, which speaks to his value in the red zone and in the shorts. The Eagles offense benefited from the relentless resurgence of Jordan Howard last year and Haskins can be a replacement for JoHo.
Even if it’s not Haskins, the Eagles should be aiming for a powerback at some point in this draft. Especially if they go to a heavy team again, which they probably will.
Round 5 (#162) – Daniel Bellinger, TE, San Diego State
Bellinger didn’t put up a big production in college, but he’s just 21, he’s got size, and he’s tested well with the second-best athletic score relative to his position. Bellinger fits in as a run-blocker TE2 with more upside than Jack Stoll, who took on that role after Zach Ertz was traded last year.
5th round (#166) – Smoke Monday, S, Auburn
Smoke Monday clearly has the best name in this year’s draft. Need I say more?
If so, I will mention that he was quite productive in the SEC with 171 tackles (17 tackles for loss), 6 sacks, 5 INT, 8 PD, 3 TD and 1 FF.
Smoke is known to be a big hitter who really loves the ball. Maybe the Eagles can move him to linebacker if his coverage limitations prove to be troublesome. Looks like he would at least be a good special teams guy.
Round 7 (#237) – Charleston Rambo, WR, Miami
Rambo is an underrated player. I remember him bursting when I watched Jalen Hurts’ Oklahoma highlights after the 2020 NFL Draft. With a varsity average of 15.2 and 79 receptions for 1,172 yards and seven touchdowns last year he was worth it so late in the game. Why not associate Hurts with a familiar face?
- I really wanted Jordan Davis. He fell off the board for the Ravens at No. 14, however.
- Not enough help on the inside defensive line. If the Eagles don’t get Davis, they have interesting consolation prize options by trading from No. 18 or trading from No. 51. Perrion Winfrey and Travis Jones are names to watch.
- Haskins and Bellinger may have been hit if the Eagles can feel like they can fill those holes later on Day 3 or the UDFA.
- Not enough secondary assist for a team with serious question marks in the last seven.
- Even after the Saints’ deal, the Eagles really should still trade in this draft to pick up at least one more future pick in 2023 or 2024. With five teams (Eagles included) possessing multiple first-round picks next year, there’s will be an arms race for available QBs. The Birds still need more ammo.