Heavy on Eagles 2022 Final Mock Draft: Load Up on Defense, Gamble on QB

Dustin Crum

Getty Would the Eagles take a flier on Kent State QB Dustin Crum in the 7th round? Maybe.

The Philadelphia Eagles have more needs than a charitable organization heading into the 2022 NFL draft. They are in rebuild mode, although that process was briefly interrupted by an unexpected playoff appearance last year. No worry, the franchise loaded back up on future assets via a blockbuster trade.

The Eagles are in a great position to add talent in this year’s draft and 2023. Yes, wide receiver is the shiny toy everyone wants under the Christmas tree but defense is where Super Bowls are won. General manager Howie Roseman loves drafting big defensive tackles and speedy edge rushers, so expect a commitment to that side of the ball.

“I have to learn from some of my mistakes I’ve made in the past, so in terms of talking about strengths of a draft class, I don’t know that I want to go there. There are good players at every position in this draft,” Roseman told reporters on March 2. “But the bottom line is we didn’t get enough pressure on the quarterback. We have to have pressure on the quarterback.”

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Heavy on Eagles: 2022 NFL Mock Draft

From Jordan Davis to Kayvon Thibodeaux, the Eagles will have options in the first round. And throughout the first seven rounds. Here is Heavy on Eagles’ first and only mock draft for 2022:

Round 1, Pick 11 (trade with Washington):
Derek Stingley Jr., CB (LSU)

Analysis: Stingley is the best cornerback in this draft, but he won’t get by the Minnesota Vikings at No. 12. While the Eagles have an array of young defensive backs on the roster, none of them can “swivel-and-sprint” like this potential lock-down cover talent. Stingley and Darius Slay would be on par with the NFL’s best tandems.

And while teams tend to shy away from trading within their division, the Eagles don’t seem to care. They do it all the time, including last year when they swapped picks with Dallas to get DeVonta Smith. Compensation? Eagles deal No. 15 in 2022, plus a 2nd-rounder in 2023.

Round 1, Pick 18: Jordan Davis, DT (Georgia)

Analysis: There is a feeling that the 6-foot-6, 341-pounder could go higher — maybe at No. 14 to the Baltimore Ravens; however, there are concerns over his conditioning, weight management, and ability to rush the quarterback. Those issues could cause this “unicorn” to slip down to Philly. If so, Davis would be the ideal candidate to replace Fletcher Cox on the interior of the defensive line. He’ll step in right away as a dominant run-stuffer while the coaching staff teaches him how to wreak havoc in the backfield.

Round 2, Pick 51: David Ojabo, DE (Michigan)

Analysis: This would be a dream scenario for Roseman. After flirting with a trade-up for Kayvon Thibodeaux, the Eagles wait it out and get a difference-maker in the second round. Ojabo (6-foot-4, 250 pounds) was arguably the best pass rusher in this draft before an Achilles tendon injury deflated his stock. He had 11 sacks and 5 forced fumbles in 2021. Problem is, Philly won’t be the only team hoping he drops this low.

Round 3, Pick 83: John Metchie III, WR (Alabama)

Analysis: The Alabama pipeline strikes oil again with one of the most polished route-runners out there. There are injury concerns: Metchie tore his ACL in last year’s SEC Championship Game, which causes him to drop down to No. 83. He caught 96 of his 128 targets for 1,142 yards and 8 touchdowns before his left knee injury. He was the third option behind DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle for the Crimson Tide in 2020.

Round 4, Pick 101: JT Woods, S (Baylor)

Analysis: Woods is a legit track star: a 110-meter hurdler who ran 4.36 seconds in the 40-yard dash. He brings game-changing sprinter’s speed to a position of extreme need. Sure, Roseman can hype up Marcus Epps all he wants but don’t believe they are satisfied there. The former Baylor standout had six interceptions in 2021, plus the fifth-most career-interception return yards in program history (201).

Round 5, Pick 124: Dameon Pierce, RB (Florida)

Analysis: You could make the argument that the Eagles don’t need another running back. That would mean you really believe in Miles Sanders being in midnight green after 2022. We don’t. Pierce (5-foot-10, 218 pounds) is an interesting case study considering he was stuck in a backfield committee — one start in 2021, 329 career carries — but his talent jumps off the tape. He had 16 total touchdowns last season, including a team-best 13 rushing scores.

Round 5, Pick 154: Eric Johnson, DT (Missouri State)

Analysis: Another insurance policy in the defensive trenches for Fletcher Cox and Javon Hargrave. Remember, Hargrave is entering the final year of his three-year, $39 million contract. Johnson (6-foot-4, 299 pounds) is more of a developmental player whose tape didn’t wow scouts. However, he is a violent pass-rusher and jumped into Day 3 consideration thanks to impressive NFLPA Collegiate Bowl and Senior Bowl practices. Stash pick.

Round 5, Pick 162: Nicholas Petit-Frere, OT (Ohio State)

Analysis: Scouts are split over how hard the Buckeyes’ starting left tackle will fall down the draft board. Once considered a sure-fire 2nd-round pick, Petit-Frere turned in a lackluster 2021 campaign where he struggled against power rushers, especially the bigger dogs in the Big Ten Conference. He has the potential to move to right tackle — his natural position — which makes him an interesting candidate to replace Lane Johnson in Philly. Could be a steal at No. 162.

Round 5, Pick 166: Baylon Spector, LB (Clemson)

Analysis: The Eagles don’t value linebackers, so don’t expect them to invest an early-round pick in one. Spector (6-foot, 233 pounds) could be a nice Day 3 pick as a solid backup at the weakside linebacker spot. Heck, Spector – 210 career tackles and 9.0 sacks over 53 games — could push for starter’s snaps in camp. He has all the intangibles, too, having been a permanent team captain at Clemson while forming one-half of their famed “Bruise Brothers.”

Round 7, Pick 237: Dustin Crum, QB (Kent State)

Analysis: Why not take a flier on a late-round quarterback? Crum isn’t a sexy pick or a trendy one, but his highlight reel is chock full of big-time plays. The 6-foot-3, 207-pounder has immense potential as a dual-threat weapon at quarterback after throwing for 3,238 passing yards and 20 touchdown passes in 2021, while rushing for another 705 yards and 12 scores. More competition for Jalen Hurts.

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Barry Kushner
Barry Kushner
2 months ago

Nice job with mock picks overall. My gut feeling is that Stingley will go even higher than 11, even if the Eagles make a deal. But Jordan Davis and John Metchie picks both look promising in those slots. And Dustin Crum would be a great late round selection, if available. I can see him ultimately winning the starting job, as much as I’m a Hurts fan. It’s gonna be an intriguing draft.

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