2024 NFL Draft

Eagles get aggressive in Roob's final 2024 NFL mock draft

The Eagles move up and grab their target in Reuben Frank's final mock draft of 2024.

NBC Universal, Inc.

Really doesn’t make sense to do a 1st-round mock draft where the Eagles aren’t trading up or down. Howie Roseman has only stayed put with the Eagles’ original 1st-round pick three times in his 13 drafts as Eagles GM – Fireman Danny at 23 in 2011, Lane Johnson at No. 4 in 2013 and Jalen Reagor with the 21st pick in 2010. So only once in the last decade. It just seems very unlikely it will happen this year, so I do have the Eagles moving up from No. 22. But for what? A corner? An edge? An offensive tackle?

This draft is dominated by offensive linemen, with nine of the 32 picks. If that happens, it would tie the most o-linemen ever taken in the first round. There were nine in 2022.

There are six quarterbacks, six corners, five wide receivers and five edge rushers. That leaves one tight end, no linebackers, no running backs and no safeties.

That would also mean 19 total offensive players, which would also tie the record. There were 19 offensive players taken in 2004 and 2009.

Just a few days to go until the real thing:

1. Chicago Bears: Caleb Williams, QB, USC

How desperate are the Bears for a franchise quarterback? They’ve been in existence since 1920 and they’ve never had a starting QB with a passer rating over 100 in any season. They’ve had two Pro Bowl QBs in the last 60 years — Jim McMahon in 1985 and Mitchell Trubisky in 2018. They gave up on Justin Fields — the 11th pick in the 2021 draft — before he turned 25. Williams is next, and while he doesn’t have prototypical size at 6-1, 215 pounds, his playmaking ability is off the charts. He has a rare ability to make off-script throws with tremendous accuracy, and in both in his one year at Oklahoma and at USC, his touchdown-to-interception ratio was eye-popping – 93 TDs and just 14 interceptions, or one INT every 79 pass attempts as a collegian. The Bears are trying to overcome a century of mediocre (or worse) quarterback play, and they’re gambling on Williams finally being the guy who can do that.

2. Washington Commanders: Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU

Washington, like the Bears, just unloaded their starting quarterback – in their case it was Sam Howell – and is starting over with a rookie. Washington, also like the Bears, has had quarterback issues forever. The last Washington QB to win 10 games in a season was Brad Johnson in 1999 and before that Mark Rypien in 1991. None of their last 20 starting quarterbacks has won a playoff game (Mark Brunell, Todd Collins, Jason Campbell, Donovan McNabb, John Beck, Rex Grossman, Robert Griffin III, Kirk Cousins, Mark Sanchez, Josh Johnson, Colt McCoy, Case Keenum, Dwayne Haskins, Alex Smith, Garrett Gilbert, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Kyle Allen, Carson Wentz, Taylor Heinicke, Howell). The 6-foot-3, 185-pound Daniels really came into his own in two years at LSU after an up-and-down start at Arizona State. In 26 games with the Tigers, Daniels completed 70 percent of his passes with 57 touchdowns and just seven interceptions and ran for over 2,000 yards. He won the Heisman this past year after throwing 40 touchdowns and rushing for 10 more, with nearly 4,000 passing yards and over 1,000 rushing yards. Daniels is an outstanding deep-ball thrower and incredible runner, but the biggest question is how he’ll hold up physically as a fearless and almost reckless quarterback in a 17-game season at 185 pounds. The last five quarterbacks Washington drafted in the first round – Heath Shuler in 1994, Pat Ramsey in 2002, Campbell in 2005, RG3 in 2012 and Haskins in 2019 – were a combined 51-86 in a Washington uniform. The last quarterback Washington drafted in the first round that had a winning record for Washington was Sammy Baugh in 1937. They’ve gotta get one right one of these years. Or not.

3. New England Patriots: Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina

Three years ago, the Patriots drafted Mac Jones out of Alabama 15th overall. After 18 wins in three seasons, they moved on, trading him to the Jaguars. The Patriots are starting a new era with Jerod Mayo replacing Bill Belichick after 24 years while still trying to find the heir apparent to Tom Brady. Mayo is the only player the Patriots have drafted in the top 10 in the last 20 years. After averaging 12 wins per year and winning six Super Bowls under Brady, the Patriots are 29-38 the last four years without a postseason win. GM Eliot Wolf has been saying the Patriots aren’t necessarily going to draft a quarterback, but I’m not buying it. In Maye, the Patriots get a young quarterback with all the tools to succeed where Jones did not. He's got great size at 6-4, 230, tremendous arm strength, outstanding athleticism and the ability to make big plays down the field when the play breaks down, something Jones lacked. Maye’s delivery is a little unwieldy and that’s something he’ll need to work on. You can get away with that in college but not in the NFL. But overall, Maye has a chance to help get the Patriots back to respectability sooner than later.

4. Arizona Cardinals: Marvin Harrison, WR, Ohio State

The Buckeyes have produced a host of outstanding 1st-round wide receivers in recent years – Garrett Wilson, Jameson Williams, Chris Olave and Jaxon Smith-Njigba were all top-20 picks. Harrison could be the best to come out of Columbus since Cris Carter. Or Paul Warfield. Over the last two years, Harrison had a ridiculous 144 catches for 2,474 yards and 28 touchdowns. He’s got the whole package — tremendous size, speed, hands, route-running ability. For the Cards, the days of Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin are far in the past. They haven’t had a 1,000-yard receiver since DeAndre Hopkins in 2020, and Harrison gives Kyler Murray the elite weapon he desperately needs. The Cards have critical needs across the board, and you wouldn’t blame them if they moved down out of No. 4 and piled up a bunch of picks, and that’s certainly in play going into Thursday. But with Williams, Maye and Daniels off the board, there may not be an offer worth it, and there’s nothing wrong with staying at No. 4 and picking up a generational talent (and St. Joe’s Prep product) like Harrison.

5. Chargers: Malik Nabers, WR, LSU

After releasing two-time 1,000-yard receiver Mike Williams, who’s now with the Jets, and trading six-time 1,000-yard receiver Keenan Allen to the Bears, the Chargers have some work to do to get Justin Herbert some weapons. It starts with Nabers, who in most years would be the top wide receiver prospect in the draft. Nabers had a good year in 2022 (72 catches, 1,017 yards, 3 TDs) but as Jayden Daniels took his game to another level this year, so did Nabers, with 89-for-1,569 and 14 TDs. Nabers is fast, explosive, athletic and has the versatility to line up inside or outside. Nabers has gotten by to some extent in college with his speed and athleticism and has some work to do to polish his route running on the pro level. But he has all the tools to be a star in the NFL

6. Broncos (projected trade with Giants): J.J. McCarthy, QB, Michigan

The Giants need more than one player to return to respectability and are stuck with Daniel Jones for one more year, so they ship the sixth pick to the Broncos, who are desperate at QB after unloading Russell Wilson and have just Jarrett Stidham and Ben DiNucci on the depth chart. This might be a little high for McCarthy, but this is what happens when you mishandle the position as drastically as the Broncos have. His measurables aren’t elite, his arm strength is just average and his production in his two years as a starter was modest – he never threw more than 22 touchdowns or threw for 3,000 yards. But McCarthy has all the intangibles you want in a quarterback as you’d expect from a guy who went 27-1 as a starter in college and led the Wolverines to the 2023 national championship. He’s accurate – he got up to 72 percent this past year – and doesn’t make mistakes. This is a high-ceiling, low-floor pick, but he just turned 21 and if he continues improving like he did from 2022 to 2023 the Broncos could have something special.

7. Titans: Joe Alt, OT, Notre Dame

This dude is 6-foot-9, 320 pounds, and although he’s got a lean frame he’s got the technique, leverage and power to hold up both as a pass blocker and run blocker. If you recognize his name, his dad John was the Chiefs’ 1st-round pick in 1984 and had a 13-year career in Kansas City, making a couple Pro Bowls under legendary o-line coach Howard Mudd, who would become Andy Reid’s o-line coach in 2011 with the Eagles and Jason Kelce’s first position coach. The Titans desperately need a left tackle, and Alt is the top prospect in the draft. Alt’s position coach in South Bend was Joe Rudolph, who coached under and played for new Titans offensive line coach Bill Callahan (another former Eagles offensive line coach) at Wisconsin, so there’s already a pretty strong connection there. 

8. Falcons: Dallas Turner, Edge, Alabama

Turner is an explosive, twitchy edge rusher who should give the Falcons something they’ve been lacking for years – quarterback pressure. The Falcons haven’t had a double-digit sack producer since Vic Beasley back in 2016, and they haven’t even had anybody with seven sacks since Beasley in 2019. The Falcons haven’t been in the top 20 in the NFL in sacks since 2017 and over the past five seasons they have the fewest sacks in the NFL – 23 fewer than any other team. It comes down to Turner or Jared Verse, and the Falcons go with Turner, who had 22 ½ sacks, 32 ½ tackles for loss in three years in Alabama.

9. Bears: Jared Verse, Edge, Florida State

That leaves Verse for the Bears, another sack-challenged team lately. The Bears have ranked 32nd and 31st in the NFL in sacks the last two years. The Bears’ only double-digit sack producer since 2019 is Robert Quinn of all people in 2021. Whatever happened to that guy? They acquired Montez Sweat in the middle of last year, but Verse is an intriguing talent who should contribute from Day 1. He took an odd route to Tallahassee, starting out as a tight end at Albany before converting to edge during the pandemic. In his one full season with the Great Danes he had 9 ½ sacks and 11 ½ tackles for loss and then in two years at FSU he had 18 sacks and 29 tackles for loss. Verse has a rare combination of speed and power and a first step that gives him an advantage over most offensive tackles.

10. Jets: Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia

The track record for top-10 tight ends is mixed. Kyle Pitts hasn’t done a lot since his rookie year. T.J. Hockenson has made a couple Pro Bowls and had a big year for the Vikings in 2023. Eric Ebron has been just OK. Vernon Davis had a terrific career, but it’s been 18 years since the 49ers took him sixth. Bowers sure looks like a stud. In three years in Athens, he caught 175 passes for 2,538 yards and 26 touchdowns, averaging nearly 15 yards per catch and also averaging over 10 yards per rushing attempt. That’s tremendous production. With his outstanding speed and hands and ability to make plays down the field, he’s more of a weapon than a conventional tight end and exactly what the mundane Jets offense needs. They ranked 31st in offense last year and averaged under 16 points per game, their eighth straight year as a bottom-10 offense. Bowers should inject some life into the Jets’ offense from the first day of training camp.

11. Vikings: Bo Nix, QB, Oregon

The 11th pick isn’t the ideal place to find a franchise quarterback. You’re more likely to land a Mac Jones, Paxton Lynch or Johnny Manziel than a Lamar Jackson, Ben Roethlisberger or Aaron Rodgers. But this is the situation the Vikings find themselves in. Kirk Cousins is now with the Falcons after six years in Minnesota, they probably have no chance of moving up and landing one of the top QBs in this draft, and for now their only QB options are Sam Darnold and one-time Eagle Nick Mullens. Nix, who spent his first three years at Auburn, had a huge breakout season at Oregon this past year, with 45 touchdowns, just three INTs and 77 percent accuracy and over 4,500 passing yards. He’s got a lot of good traits – accurate, poised, athletic, big arm – but at 24 he is older than most rookies and that could keep some teams away.

12. Giants [projected trade with Broncos]: Rome Odunze, WR, Washington

The Giants move down out of No. 6 and still get the elite receiver they’ve needed forever. They haven’t had a WR with 800 yards in a season since Odell Beckham Jr. in 2018. Darius Slayton is a decent player, but if he’s your best wide receiver every year then you have a problem. Landing Odunze gives Daniel Jones a legit weapon in what may be his last-gasp chance to keep his job. Odunze got better each year at Washington, blossoming with 75-for-1,145 -7 two years ago in Michael Penix’s first year and then catching 92 passes for 1,640 yards, 13 TDs and a gaudy 17.8 yards per catch this past year. Odunze has the ability to beat press coverage that a lot of top college receivers don’t have, and that’s huge coming into the NFL. He’s a polished route runner and knows how to use his physicality to overpower corners for 50-50 balls. Also a lot of fun to watch with the ball in his hands with his toughness. 

13. Raiders: Michael Penix Jr., QB, Washington

Aidan O’Connell actually played well down the stretch as a rookie 4th-round pick out of Purdue, going 5-5 in 10 starts, beating the Chiefs at Arrowhead and throwing eight TDs and no INTs the last four weeks of the season. The Raiders also signed former Eagle Gardner Minshew, now with his fourth team in five years. But the need for a franchise quarterback remains, and Penix makes a lot of sense at No. 13. After transferring from Indiana – where he spent four seasons – Penix had 67 touchdowns and 19 interceptions in two years at Washington, throwing for nearly 10,000 yards over the past two seasons. He throws a sweet deep ball, has a knack for avoiding pressure and doesn’t make a lot of mistakes. The biggest knock on Penix has been his injury history dating back to his years in Bloomington – shoulder, two right ACLs - but he had two healthy seasons for the Huskies and the injuries no longer appear to be a concern. The last two quarterbacks the Raiders took in the first round are Todd Marinovich from USC with the 24th pick in 1991 and LSU’s JaMarcus Russell with the first overall pick in 2007. They won a combined 10 games in the NFL, so you wouldn’t blame the Raiders if they never took another one.

14. Saints: Taliese Fuaga, OT, Oregon State

The Saints have some very serious issues along the offensive line, with 2022 1st-round pick Trevor Penning getting benched last year and 2017 1st-round pick Ryan Ramczyk dealing with a chronic knee issue. Offensive tackle just happens to be a strength of this draft, and Fuaga looks like the top prospect outside Notre Dame’s Joe Alt. Fuaga was an All-America at Oregon State this past year in his second season as a starter, growing into an elite pass blocker with outstanding technique and a nasty streak. When you have a 33-year-old quarterback like Derek Carr, who’s been sacked 295 times, you need to make pass protection a priority, and that’s what the Saints should do at No. 14.

15. Colts: Quinyon Mitchell, CB, Toledo

Colts GM Chris Ballard loves trading down and piling up picks. He’s made 11 trade-downs in his first seven years as Colts GM, so it wouldn’t surprise anybody if he did it again and got out of 15. And the Colts have a couple functional corners in JuJu Brents, a 1nd-round pick last year, and Dallis Flowers, an opening-day starter last year who missed most of the season with an Achilles injury, so taking a corner might be a little bit of a luxury. But Mitchell is too good to pass up. He didn’t play in the SEC or any major conference, but Mitchell showed at the Senior Bowl he’s the best corner in this year’s draft. Had six interceptions, two pick 6’s, 5 ½ tackles for loss and 37 pass breakups the last two years with the Rockets, and he’s NFL-ready in pass coverage and always eager to support against the run. Potential star.

16. Chiefs [projected trade with Seahawks]: Brian Thomas Jr., WR, LSU

Even before the Rashee Rice’s situation arose, the Chiefs had a desperate need for offensive playmakers. Rice, the Chiefs’ 2nd-round pick last year, was their only wide receiver in 2023 with more than 500 yards, and with his status up in the air and Marquez Valdes-Scantling getting released, their top projected receivers at this point are Justin Watson and free agent signing Hollywood Brown, whose production has dropped in each of the last couple years. It’s remarkable what Patrick Mahomes has been able to do with Travis Kelce and some middling receivers. The Chiefs are in a position where they don’t have a ton of pressing needs so Brett Veach can afford to unload picks and move halfway up in the draft for something the Chiefs desperately need. Thomas was overshadowed this past year by Malik Nabers, but he had an impressive breakthrough season with 68 catches for 1,177 yards and 17 touchdowns, with a 17.3 average. That means one out of every four catches went for a touchdown. 

17. Jaguars: Terrion Arnold, CB, Alabama

There’s a school of thought that Arnold and not Mitchell is the best corner in this draft, and certainly if you’re just looking at level of competition you might lean toward the guy who played in the SEC over the guy who played in the MAC. Arnold is a polished, confident, intelligent, instinctive corner with tremendous NFL-ready technique, plus-speed and the ability to swing inside if needed in the slot. At Alabama, he excelled both off the ball and at the line of scrimmage, and he’s a good-enough run defender. The Jags still have Tyson Campbell, their 2nd-round pick in 2021, and they signed 30-year-old Ronald Derby, who helped Doug Pederson win a Super Bowl seven years (and five teams) ago, but corner is probably the Jags’ biggest need, and Arnold – who just turned 21 a couple weeks ago – gives them the speed, youth and playmaking they need.

18. Eagles [projected trade with Bengals]: J.C. Latham, OT, Alabama

You didn’t really think Howie was going to stay at 22, did you? No way. There are a lot of interesting options for the Eagles, but my guess is that staying at 22 is least likely, after trading up and trading down. I’ll go 20 percent staying at 22, 25 percent trading down and 55 percent trading up. Having two 2nd-round picks gives the Eagles a ton of flexibility, and being able to move up and snag a future franchise offensive tackle like Latham would be huge. The Eagles appear set at tackle with Jordan Mailata and Lane Johnson, but Howie Roseman doesn’t think like that. Johnson is still playing at an elite level, but he turns 34 in a few weeks, and is heading into his 12th season, and there has to be a succession plan in place. Plus, the beauty of drafting Latham is that he can compete at right guard from the jump or back up everywhere on the line except center until Johnson decides to hang ‘em up. At 6-foot-6, 340 pounds, Latham is built like a guard, but he’s got the footwork, power and athleticism to play tackle at a very high level in the NFL. Roseman has made 13 1st-round picks as GM and 10 of them have been offensive or defensive linemen, and especially after hearing Roseman talk last week about the importance of offensive line depth – “It’s not about the five (starters), it’s about having depth up front” - there’s no reason to think anything will change this year. There are whispers Latham is rising up teams’ draft boards, and maybe he won’t be available within range of a reasonable Eagles trade-up. But adding an elite talent like Latham gives them the opportunity to continue fielding a top offensive line in a post-Jason Kelce world.

19. Rams: Amarius Mims, OT, Georgia

You never know exactly what you’re getting in the draft, but Mims takes that to the extreme. At 6-foot-8, 340 pounds, he sure looks the part of an NFL offensive tackle. And he played at the highest level in the SEC. The big question mark is experience. Mims only started eight games in college – two in 2022 in the college football playoffs and then six this past season before and after an ankle injury that required surgery. When he plays, he’s a beast, a powerful and technically sound right or left tackle prospect with crazy 36-inch arms and an unlimited ceiling. There’s just going to be an awful lot of projecting going into this pick because his body of work is so limited. It didn’t help that he suffered a hamstring injury running the 40 at the Combine and wasn’t able to finish the drills. There are tackles in this draft that might seem like safer picks, but Mims is as intriguing as any of them because there seems to be so much room for growth. 

20. Steelers: Graham Barton, OL, Duke

The Steelers have this remarkable history of peerless center play. Hall of Famer Mike Webster was the Steelers’ center from 1976 through 1988, Hall of Famer Dermontti Dawson from 1989 to 2000 and nine-time Pro Bowler and future Hall of Famer Maurkice Pouncey held it down from 2010 through 2020, with multiple Pro Bowler Jeff Hartings carrying on that tradition between Dawson and Pouncey. Incredibly, Steelers centers have made the Pro Bowl 27 times since 1978. It’s time for the Steelers to address the position again, and Barton should be waiting for them at No. 20. Barton is talented enough that he started most of his college career at left tackle, but at 6-foot-5, 315 pounds with pedestrian arm length, he projects as an interior lineman in the NFL. Barton is a powerful and athletic lineman and technically sound, and he’s got a mean streak that Steelers fans will love. 

21. Dolphins: Olumuyiwa Fashanu, OT, Penn State

Run on offensive linemen continues with the Steelers taking Olu Fashanu, the fifth offensive tackle in the first round and fourth o-lineman in a row. Fashanu was a two-year starter in State College who just turned 21 and is already fairly polished with solid technique but has plenty of room to grow physically. He’s 6-foot-6, 315 pounds but has the frame to add the weight he’ll need to be a force in the NFL. Fashanu suffered a quadriceps injury running the 40 at the Combine and wasn’t at full strength at his pro day a few weeks later, but none of that should matter. Fashanu practiced every day against Chop Robinson and Adisa Isaac, who are both pro prospect edge rushers, and that sort of experience is invaluable.

22. Bengals [from Eagles]: Laiatu Latu, Edge, UCLA

With the pick they got from the Eagles, the Bengals add to an iffy pass rush situation. Trey Hendrickson had another big year with 17 ½ sacks, but he turns 30 during the upcoming season and is only signed through 2025, and the Bengals don’t have much else. Even with Hendrickson, they rank 27th in the NFL in sacks over the last two years, and no other Bengal has even had eight sacks in a season since Sam Hubbard and Carlos Dunlap back in 2019. In Latu, the Bengals get an intriguing prospect with a vast array of push-rush moves, terrific power and advanced hand usage that gives him the upper hand on overmatched offensive linemen. The only thing dropping Latu down into the early 20s is his injury history. While he was at Washington before transferring to UCLA, he suffered a neck injury at practice that was so serious he was medically retired by team doctors. But he underwent successful surgery and was eventually cleared to return and after sitting out the 2021 season he resurfaced in Westwood and missed just one game playing for Chip Kelly the last two years. Could turn out to be a steal at 22.

23. Vikings: Cooper DeJean, CB, Iowa

Iowa has long been a breeding ground for outstanding defensive backs. From Merton Hanks to Bob Sanders Micah Hyde – to Sean Considine in between – Iowa d-backs are generally NFL-ready with outstanding tools and poise. For all their success – and Iowa has had 22 defensive backs drafted in the last 27 drafts – they haven’t had one taken in the first round since Cherokee High School graduate Tommy Knight went 9th overall to the Cards in 1997. DeJean is expected to end that drought this year, but while he offers a lot as a corner — tremendous production, terrific ball skills and a strong, tough frame that allows him to unload big hits all over the field — the knock on DeJean is that his stiff hips may limit his effectiveness in man coverage. But he’s got a lot going for him and should be able to contribute as a punt returner and gunner from Day 1 with the versatility to play in the slot or even at safety. The Vikings need help at corner, and DeJean offers a lot.

24. Cowboys: Tyler Guyton, OT, Oklahoma

When you have this deep a group of offensive tackles, some decent prospects are going to get bumped down toward the bottom of the first round, and that’s the case with Guyton. He really came into his own at Oklahoma after transferring from TCU and figuring out how to make the best use of his 6-foot-8, 325-pound frame. He hasn’t played a ton – a total of 14 starts in college – but he came a long way this past season as a full-time starter at right tackle and especially as a pass blocker looks NFL ready. He’ll need to get stronger and become a more consistent run blocker, but he’s an elite athlete and you’re not going to see very many drafts where the sixth offensive tackle taken is at Guyton’s level. The Cowboys lost Tyron Smith in free agency to the Jets after 13 years and seven Pro Bowls, and while he’s now 33 and no longer the all-pro he used to be, it’s still a big loss, and that Cowboys offensive line needs some work. 

25. Packers: Nate Wiggins, CB, Clemson

Wiggins isn’t the complete corner that Mitchell and Arnold are, and he’s not the physical presence that DeJean is. He’s tall and skinny and long and very fast, and he might be the best pure cover corner in this year’s draft. The problem is at 6-1, 175 he offers very little as a run defender, and NFL teams these days want their cornerbacks to at least be a factor against the run. But in coverage? This dude ran 4.28 at the Combine and that speed gives him incredible make-up ability when he does get beat initially. Some teams will be scared away by the lack of physicality in Wiggins’ game, but his upside is enormous. That 4.28 speed can cover up a lot of mistakes and flaws. Right now the Packers are looking at Erik Stokes or Carrington Valentine starting opposite two-time Pro Bowler Jaire Alexander. Like so many teams, they could use a young lock-down corner, and Wiggins has a shot at contributing from the jump.

26. Buccaneers: Troy Fautanu, G-T, Washington

Played mainly left tackle at Washington but started a handful of games at guard, where his NFL future may be, although his 34 ½-inch arm length gives him a chance at tackle. Fautanu is a mean, nasty brawler who needs to be more consistent with his technique and more disciplined. He’s more advanced as a pass blocker than run blocker, but he’s a very good prospect and could go higher if a team is sold on him as a tackle. Fautanu is a little older – he’ll turn 24 during his rookie season – but at offensive line that’s not a huge deal. The Bucs really need to solidify the interior of the offensive line, and remember GM Jason Licht worked under Howie Roseman for five years and shares his philosophy about building from the two lines out. Fautanu can help out inside right away with the possibility of eventually moving out to tackle.

27. Cardinals: Chop Robinson, Edge, Penn State

After addressing offense with Marvin Harrison Jr. with their first 1st-round pick, the Cards go defense and get Jonathan Gannon the fourth edge in the draft. The Cards ranked 30th with just 33 sacks last year and didn’t have anybody with more than six sacks. Gannon’s last year with the Eagles they had 70 sacks and went to a Super Bowl, so you know he wants to add some juice in that area. Robinson – real name Demeioun Robinson – started at his hometown school, Maryland, where he had two sacks and 2 ½ tackles for loss as a backup. He came off the bench his first year in State College but contributed 5 ½ sacks and 10 TfL in 2022 and then 4.0 sacks and 7 ½ TfL this past season, his first year as a full-time starter. Production wasn’t off the charts, but his traits are impressive. Fast, explosiveness pass rusher with unlimited ceiling. But he has a ways to go to become an elite NFL pass rusher. He’s got to expand his arsenal of moves and develop the technique to match his traits. If he can do that, his upside is huge. But he’s not a finished product, which is why he most likely will drift down toward the end of the first round.

28. Bills: Adonai Mitchell, WR, Texas 

Every team says they don’t draft for need, but when you lose Stefon Diggs, traded to the Texans, and Gabriel Davis, who signed with the Jaguars as a free agent, that’s a lot to replace, and Mitchell can help immediately. At 6-foot-2, 205 pounds, with 4.34 speed, Mitchell has traits that NFL scouts salivate over. And he’s got all the tools to be a star in the NFL. The reason he’s expected to last until the end of the first round is that he’s just been an up-and-down player who’ll make an incredible catch on one play and then have a lackluster rep on the next play. If Mitchell can ever develop some consistency, watch out. But that’s a tough thing to project. Mitchell’s production in his one year at Texas after two middling seasons at Georgia was decent – 55 catches for 845 yards and 11 touchdowns – and he’s got some work to do before he becomes a big-time contributor at the NFL level. But his upside is enormous.

29. Lions: Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB, Alabama

McKinstry is a disciplined and fundamentally sound corner who’s clearly been coached well at Bama. He’s another veteran DB who doesn’t have blazing speed but plays faster than his 40 time. McKinstry had just two INTs in three seasons in Tuscaloosa — none this past year — but he’s sticky in coverage, he’s instinctive in understanding what receivers are trying to do, and he’s got punt return ability as well. According to ProFootballFocus, he allowed only 19 catches for 205 yards and one TD on 39 targets this year. McKinstry has the ability to play in multiple spots and in any defense, and he answered some questions about his speed with a 4.47 at his pro day (with a broken foot). The Lions are set with Brian Branch in the slot, and they have some options in offseason acquisitions Carlton Davis and Amik Robertson, but the chance to add a young talent like McKinstry at 29 is too good to pass up.

30. Ravens: Ennis Rakestraw, CB, Missouri

At 5-foot-11, 185 pounds, and with 4.51 speed, Rakestraw doesn’t move the needle in terms of size or speed. But he plays faster than his 40 time and is a strong and tough kid for his size. Rakestraw, the sixth (and final) corner taken in this year’s first round, only had one interception in 35 games over four seasons at Missouri, so you wonder about his lack of production. But he did have 24 pass breakups and 8.0 tackles for loss, three forced fumbles and a sack, so he’s pretty active. He's also been banged up – torn ACL as a sophomore and a groin injury this past year that cost him games. But he’s a tough, aggressive corner who loves to compete. Whether that’s enough to offset his lack of measurables remains to be seen. The Ravens haven’t drafted a corner in the first two rounds since Marlon Humphrey in 2017, and while he’s still going strong heading into his eighth season, the Ravens could use some help at corner around him.

31. 49ers: Darius Robinson, Edge, Missouri

Robinson is an old-fashioned defensive end as opposed to a new-age edge rusher. He stands a massive 6-foot-5, 290 pounds and understands how to use his powerful frame to shed blockers. Robinson elbowed his way into the first round with an impressive Senior Bowl and he’s got the positional versatility teams covet. He has the size and strength to line up inside and the athleticism and arm length to attack from the edge. Robinson was very productive this year with 14 tackles for loss and 8 ½ sacks. He’s got stuff to work on, mainly learning to stay low so opposing tackles can’t get under his pads. But the raw tools are there for Robinson to be a productive pass rusher in the NFL. The 49ers added a couple budget edge rushers in free agency but Leonard Floyd is 31 and Yetur Gross-Matos only has 13 sacks in four NFL seasons, so there’s still work to do, and Robinson would fill a huge need for the 49ers.

32. Seahawks [from Chiefs]: Jackson Powers-Johnson, iOL, Oregon

At 6-foot-3, 330 pounds, Powers-Johnson is a powerful interior lineman who projects as a center in the NFL. He’s kind of short and not a great athlete, but he battles every snap and what he lacks in measurables he makes up for with a nasty streak and solid technique. Powers-Johnson hasn’t played a ton. He started three games in 2021 – two at guard and one at defensive tackle, of all things – and then started one game at guard in 2022. So last year was his first as a full-time starter and his first year at center, and all he did was win the Rimington Trophy, named after the former Eagle and awarded annually to the top center in college football. Adding veteran Laken Tomlinson helps the interior of the offensive line for Seattle, but he’s 32 and the Seahawks have a huge need for help on the interior of the o-line.

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

Contact Us