2024 NFL Draft

Top draft expert breaks down Eagles' top-round combinations

The Eagles have been linked to cornerbacks and offensive tackles but which order should they draft them in?

NBC Universal, Inc.

As the 2024 NFL Draft nears, the two positions most commonly linked to the Eagles in early rounds have been cornerback and offensive tackle.

But which combination is a better bet? Should the Eagles go corner first and then offensive tackle? Or should they go with the offensive tackle and then the cornerback in the second round?

“That’s a flip. You could go either way on that,” ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. said in a national conference call this week. “I went with the cornerback first and then the offensive lineman.”

From his final two-round mock draft of 2024, here are Kiper’s three picks for the Eagles:

22. Nate Wiggins Jr., CB, Clemson
50. Patrick Paul, OT, Houston
53. Ja’Lynn Polk, WR, Washington 

“I think corner and then maybe work the offensive lineman,” Kiper said. “One other offensive lineman, Kingsley Suamataia, he could still be there. I discussed him in the early-, mid-second, he could be there in the late-second. There’s a wide range of opinion on him. He’s super talented, needs some coaching, needs some fine-tuning. He’s a guy you could look at as well. And you want that versatility that can wear various hats, guard, tackle. Maybe Cooper Beebe from Kansas State, who I gave to Baltimore, could be that type of player.”

Here’s a look at the possible combinations of CB-OT based on who was available when the Eagles picked at 22 and at 50 in Kiper’s mock draft:

Round 1 cornerbacksRound 2 offensive linemen
Nate Wiggins, ClemsonPatrick Paul, Houston
Kool-Aid McKinstry, AlbamaKingsley Suamataia, BYU
T.J. Tampa, Iowa StateCooper Beebe, Kansas State

“I think the corner is such a key need,” Kiper said. “A guy who has recovery speed is a guy like Wiggins. He’s added some weight since he was at the combine, 173 pounds. He finished his career strong after having some struggles early on.” 

But the it’s also pretty intriguing to think about the other combination; if the Eagles go with an offensive tackle first and wait until the second round to get their cornerback.

Here’s a look at the possible combinations of OT-CB based on who was available when the Eagles picked at 22 and 50 in Kiper’s mock draft:

Round 1 offensive linemenRound 2 cornerbacks
Tyler Guyton, OklahomaMike Sainristil, Michigan
Amarius Mims, GeorgiaDru Phillips, Kentucky
Roger Rosengarten, WashingtonDJ James, Auburn

“If you wanted to go the opposite way with offensive line early, it would be the guys I’ve discussed,” Kiper said. “Mims, Guyton, players like that. (Old) Fashanu, I don’t know how far he falls. That would be some of your options there. I don’t think Troy Fautanu will be there. I think he goes early, at the worst in the mid first round.”

Of course, it’s not like the Eagles are making their picks in a vacuum and it’s impossible to know exactly what other teams are going to do. There’s a very good chance some of these players won’t be available when the Eagles pick at 22 or 50 but there’s also a chance others will fall lower than Kiper expects.

This is considered to be a pretty strong class up top at both tackle and cornerback so it does seem to fall in line with the Eagles’ needs at the positions.

The need at cornerback is pretty obvious. Both Darius Slay and James Bradberry are over 30 and the Eagles’ pass defense wasn’t good last season. Even with some young players like Kelee Ringo, Eli Ricks and Isaiah Rodgers in the mix, it would be wise for the Eagles to draft another corner.

At offensive line, the need might not be as obvious but it’s definitely there. Lane Johnson is 33 now and has rarely played a full season. And some of these tackles listed might be able to play guard in the interim. So you could try to get the eventual Johnson replacement who could take over at right guard immediately.

Kiper also gave the Eagles a receiver with the 53rd pick. On his conference call, he mentioned the Eagles have a journeyman behind A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith right now. The Eagles this offseason signed DeVante Parker and Parris Campbell to one-year deals.

While Kiper gave the Eagles Polk from Washington, there are other receivers who will be available in that range.

Subscribe to Eagle Eye anywhere you get your podcasts: 
Apple Podcasts | YouTube Music | Spotify | Stitcher | Art19 | RSSWatch on YouTube

Contact Us