Draft Week “No Trades” Mallee Mock
25 April 2021 Eagles News
It is almost that time people. All of the speculation and Twitter arguments are about to be resolved starting this Thursday night as the top prospects arrive in Cleveland, Ohio for the 2021 NFL Draft. We look forward to the draft every year.
This is an opportunity to inject your team with young talent and give your fanbase hope for the future. However, you never win the league at the draft. Hours and hours of work and dedication follows as top prospects prove their value and guys who were once after thoughts, become steals.
More than ever, teams have to trust their scouts and coaches. The pandemic took the world of sports by storm and caused many of this years top prospects to sit out. This has led to a lot of speculation of these players who opted out and has also made us wonder if the guys who stepped up in their absence are, “one year wonders” or here to stay.
After many conversations, countless hours of film, and an awesome opportunity to work the Senior Bowl, I have made peace with most of my rankings. I feel comfortable with the Philadelphia’s Eagles opportunity to come away with multiple difference makers. We currently hold 11 total draft picks and 4 of those are in the top 84 picks. Looking at current ADP’s (average draft positions) and team needs, this is how I could see the draft ending up after the Eagles traded out of the 6th pick and back to the 12th overall pick.
- First round: No. 12 (acquired from Dolphins in trade)
South Carolina Cornerback: Jaycee Horn
Jaycee Horn has been my CB1 for awhile now. Patrick Surtain II and Caleb Farley were 1/2 prior to this conclusion but Surtain’s film concerned me and Farley’s injury history was enough to knock him off the top. At 6’1 205, Horn has the physical size and weight to be an elite prospect; add in the fact that he has sub 4.4 speed and is the most confident player in the draft and you have something special.
People voice their concerns on Horn such as “handsy” or his lack of tackling skills, so grinded the tape and came up with my own conclusions. Horn definitely loves man coverage and getting in people’s faces; however, he really matured in 2020 and avoided penalties by using his feet more than his hands to get in position to make the play. Plus, Surtain gets handsy as well.
While we were at 6, Chase and Pitts were no brainer picks; however, selecting cornerback was always in the back of my mind. Moving back to 12 is the right move for a team with so many needs, we just need to hit on the compensation. Darius Slay is not getting any younger and we desperately need a CB1(b). Our division is loaded at WR and we’ll have to face Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, Tyreek Hill, Keenan Allen, and a lot more of talented pass catchers in 2021. Jaycee Horn is an immediate starter and prospect with a whole lot of upside.
Here are some elite stats from Horn:
-Per PFF, Jaycee Horn allowed the lowest reception % in coverage in 2020 among all CBs in the draft: 26.7%
Per PFF, here are his stats against top competition:
Jaylen Waddle: 1/1, 12 yards
Jerry Jeudy: 1/1, 7 yards
Justyn Ross: 2/4, 14 yards
Kyle Pitts: 1/3 20 yards
Seth Williams: 1/9, 44 yards, 2 INTs
So, when I hear slander Horn’s way, I am going to check it because the kid checks every box. Kyle Pitts has said he’s the best defender he has gone against and that’s high praise coming from one of the top prospects in years. If you don’t think corner is a priority, look at our depth chart and the WR opponents next year. There’s a chance Horn doesn’t even make it to 12; however, if he does, it’s a slam dunk pick.
Here is our breakdown on, Jaycee Horn
- Second round: No. 37 (own pick)
Wake Forest Edge: Carlos “Boogie” Basham Jr
I have been going CB/WR or WR/CB for so many of my mock drafts but this just feels like an Eagles pick and definitely one I would be on board with. Boogie is a 6’5 285 monster of an Edge rusher who can line up inside and out. While scouting the Senior Bowl, he was the talk of Mobile.
He was rarely slowed down or even touched at times. Yes, we have BG and Barnett and Sweat are here as well, but health concerns concern the two young edge rushers and we are a team who always focuses on the trenches. Horn and Basham Jr. would be back to back blue chip players. You could possible move back a little, but confusion sake, this is a no trade mock.
- Third round: No. 70 (own pick)
University of Michigan Wide Receiver: Nico Collins
Nico is a guy who I could not wait to see at the Senior Bowl. He opted out of the 2020 season and QB play had made his stock plummet. A year before, his teammate Donovan Peoples-Jones, had also suffered from bad QB play and dropped way down draft boards, but came on late for Cleveland and made huge plays.
Collins is a 6’4″ 215 pound WR who uses every inch of his length but also has 4.4 speed and very impressive hip fluidity. Down in Mobile, Nico rep after rep showed scouts that he was worth the hype. He has the makeup of an NFL X WR and someone who’s best football is yet to come. I think he is the perfect young WR to match with Jalen Hurts to give him a large target but also a prospect who has the talent to take the ball to the house from anywhere on the field.
- Third round: No. 84 (acquired from Colts as part of the Carson Wentz trade)
Louisiana State University Linebacker: Jabril Cox
Finally an LSU linebacker finds his way to Philly. After watching our LBs chase WRs and TEs for years, it’s time to get an elite cover LB in this defense. Jabril Cox is a battle hardened LB who started at NDSU but finished out his career at LSU.
Cox was graded at 84.7 in single coverage in 2020, by PFF which was first amongst linebackers. One thing Cox needs to work on is scraping and finishing plays. He has a natural feel for playing in space and coverage; however, he needs to advance his skills as a complete LB.
Here is our breakdown on, Jabril Cox.
- Fourth round: No. 123 (acquired from Dolphins in trade)
Florida State Safety: Hamsah Nasirildeen
Nasirildeen looks like the player that you created in Madden. At 6’3″ 215, Hamsah is the perfect blend of size and athleticism you look for in a safety in today’s NFL. The Eagles just added Anthony Harris, but Rodney McLeod is coming off of a major injury and K’Von Wallace still has a lot to prove.
Nasirildeen is as versatile as they come and can be put anywhere on the field. He can cover tight ends as well and that is a huge advantage. He suffered a knee injury in 2019, but has looked great since. He looks to have a long and successful NFL career and it would be an honor for it to take place in Philly.
- Fifth round: No. 150 (own pick)
Notre Dame Interior Offensive Lineman: Aaron Banks
I could easily see the Eagles prioritizing the line much sooner but reinforcements are on the way with Lane, Brooks, and (maybe) Dillard. Banks stands at 6’5″ 340 and looks to be an interior lineman at the next level. He is raw in areas but luckily, he would be working along side Stoutland and elite linemen such as Lane and Brooks. With a little help, Banks could be in line to replace Brooks or Isaac in a year or two.
- Sixth round: No. 189 (own pick)
North Texas Wide Receiver: Jaelon Darden
When Ja’Marr Chase was asked who the best WR at EXOS (besides him), he quickly said, “JD.” Jaelon Darden is a nightmare to cover. He racked up 26 TDs from the slot since 2019, which is 8 more than any other player in college football. Additionally, PFF reported that he had the highest missed tackle rate per touch in 2020 at 31%.
Some are concerned about his size at 5’7.5″ 175 pounds, but as a light round flyer with this kind of production, he is well worth the risk. Darden has 4.4 speed and just a natural playmaker. He averaged 132.2 yards per game in 2020 and projects to be an elite prospect out of the slot with a whole lot of value.
- Sixth round: No. 224 (compensatory pick)
Georgia Tight End: Tre’ McKitty
Tre’ has been going up and down draft boards all offseason. I ultimately think he will slide but his showing at the Senior Bowl could even have him going as early as the 4th. However, I think the 6th round is a safe bet for now and regardless of where he goes, he’s a player you want on your team.
As shown above, Jabril Cox is the best coverage LB in the country and McKitty beat him a few times down in Mobile. His peers voted him the TE of the week at the 2020 Senior Bowl. He has massive hands and elite athleticism for his size at 6’4″ 247. Even if Ertz stays, McKitty would be an awesome TE3 to groom for a year but he easily contribute year 1.
- Sixth round: No. 225 (compensatory pick)
Buffalo Edge: Malcolm Koonce
Patrick Jones II and Malcolm Koonce are two of my favorite Edge guys to get in the middle rounds. I think PJII will be long gone by now but many rankings have Koonce going right around here. He had 13 sacks in the last 17 games.
He is sliding due to a foot injury that knocked him out of the Senior Bowl and Pro Day, but that should be long resolved when it comes time to play. It just adds to his value this late, because he was looked as a possible 2nd or 3rd round pick just a few months ago.
- Seventh round: No. 234 (own pick)
Georgia Cornerback: DJ Daniel
If you follow me, you know DJ has been my guy all offseason. Last year, he was projected to go as high as the 2nd round but now his stock is all out of sorts. He’s never going to win a popularity contest because he was sharing the spotlight with Stokes and Campbell at UGA, but I truly believe he is the most polished out of the two of them.
Like Richard Sherman, he is long and has incredible range. He doesn’t impress you with speed but his technique is elite. I watched him battle Ja’Marr Chase every snap and lock him down for the most part. DJ has a freakish wingspan and he knows it. Down at the Senior Bowl, he dominated 1v1 drills and was voted his teams top CB.
DJ might fall in the draft but if he lands with the right team and opportunity, he can excel as the next level.
Here is our interview and breakdown on, DJ Daniel
- Seventh round: No. 240 (acquired from 49ers as part of Marquise Goodwin trade
West Virginia Center: Chase Behrndt
If you love Jason Kelce, you will love Chase Behrndt. Chase has played every position on the line while at WVU but excelled at center. He started all 9 games in 2020 and did not allow a single sack. Chase has a big personality and big appetite for burying his opponents.
Chase will tell you that he will be a steal because he can play any position and although he isn’t a hot name this draft season, he is a guy that will be playing in the league for a long time. He would be a great addition on and off the field.
Here is our interview and breakdown on, Chase.