Mal Davis Eagles Mock Draft 1.0
I’m excited to release my first mock draft of the season, which comes on the heels of the first two weeks of free agency and post-NFL Combine. To get a more robust sample size of players/selections I went through the process of mock drafting ten times, which gave me some variance in selections and available players at each slot. The 7-round mock draft that you see will be a representation of the players that I feel benefit the Eagles most at each draft slot, and I will also provide another player (or two) that I considered for each draft position.
Well, enough of the preamble, let’s get to the selections!!
#15- Jordan Davis 6’6 341 lbs (other player considered- DT Devonte Wyatt)
With pick #15 it was pretty straightforward who I thought would be the best player to select. Jordan Davis fills a major need and is also a phenomenal football player. He is a two gapping space eater that is at his best taking on multiple blockers in the trenches. He disrupts the run game, but also can get after the QB due to his exceptional strength and length.
Despite testing well at the NFL Combine, Davis doesn’t necessarily play to his athletic ability on tape. He also may never develop into a three down player, unlike his teammate Devonte Wyatt.
#16- Drake London 6’4 219 lbs (other player considered- WR Garrett Wilson)
For this selection I wavered a bit back and forth between London and Garrett Wilson, but I settled on London. The Eagles need a receiver that can go up and make plays in traffic, win in the red zone, but also gain yards after the catch. That player is Drake London, who was going scorched earth on the Pac-12 in ’21 before injuring himself versus Arizona. Previous to that injury London recorded 88 receptions, 1,084 yards and 7 TDs through 8 games, and adds much needed size to the Eagles receiver room as a prototypical “X” receiver.
London does have some questions that he’ll have to answer about injuries though, as he suffered the ankle injury and came up limping after several other plays. He also didn’t test at the NFL Combine, so we don’t really know how he measures up athletically in comparison to the other top receivers in the draft.
#19- Kaiir Elam 6’1 1/2″ 191 lbs (other players considered- LB Devin Lloyd and DE George Karlaftis)
I thought long and hard about both Lloyd and Karlaftis, but the opportunity to take the last 1st round caliber cornerback was too good to pass up. Elam is a long cover corner that has the ability to play bump and run man coverage, but also has the football IQ to play zone as well. He possesses good ball skills, collecting 5 INTs and 20 PBUs in his 3 year career at the University of Florida. He would be a good running mate with Darius Slay as the Eagles CB2 and has the potential to become the CB1 of the future.
Elam isn’t with out his issues though, he struggles with his tackling technique and tends to get grabby when he feels like he’s losing ground on a receiver. It isn’t to say that he can’t improve in either area but he can’t reach his CB1 ceiling with out committing to improving his technique.
Ebiketie transferred from Temple to Penn State in ’21 and took full advantage of his only season in the Big 10. He put up 18 TFLs and 9.5 sacks, routinely beating tackles with both speed and power off the edge. I considered Kenneth Walker III and Damone Clark at this spot, but Ebiketie was too much talent to pass up at a position of need for Philly. He would have a chance to learn behind Josh Sweat, Brandon Graham, and Derek Barnett for a year before potentially replacing Graham in ’23.
While Ebiketie has a relentless motor off the edge, his isn’t a flashy athlete and has an average first step at the snap. He also gets a bit upright when rushing the passer, making it easier for tackles to get their hands on his body.
#83- Quay Walker 6’4 241 lbs (other players considered- C Cole Strange and OLB Nik Bonitto)
Quay Walker is one of my favorite LBs in this entire draft and I don’t feel like he gets enough credit for his contributions to an all-time great ’21 UGA defensive unit. While studying tape of Nakobe Dean, I noticed Walker making quite a number of plays himself, and is the size of a more prototypical LB prospect. He is able to stop the run, rush the passer, and drop into coverage against running backs, and tight ends. He’d be a great compliment to Eagles starting LB T.J. Edwards, giving the Eagles two 3 down LBs to compete in the modern spread em out NFL. He got better every year at UGA and put up his best numbers (65 combined tackles, 5.5 TFLs, 1.5 sacks, 3 PBUs) as a Senior.
It’s not all rainbows with Walker however, which is a big reason why he is available in this mock draft at 83. While he did improve every year, he doesn’t always play up to his impressive size and needs refinement with his technique.
#124- Coby Bryant 6’1 193 lbs (other player considered- RB Brian Robinson Jr)
Coby Bryant is the lesser known (but arguably more accomplished) running mate of Sauce Gardner at Cinci. Coby and Sauce combined to SHUT DOWN opposing receivers, with Coby winning the 2021 Jim Thorpe award for the best defensive back in the country. In his career he has recorded 9 INTs, 35 PBUs, along with 170 total tackles and 4 forced fumbles, showing off both his ball skills and tackling ability. He is a do-it-all corner back that will certainly learn a lot from a veteran like Darius Slay, and is a long-term replacement for Slay that would make great for a long-term tandem with 1st rounder Kaiir Elam.
There’s been a lot of talk about Bryant’s athletic ability, and upside as a starter in the NFL. His 4.54 40 yard dash put some of the questions about his athleticism to rest, but he still has a lot to prove in the lead up to the NFL Draft. But as a 4th round pick, there’s a lot to love about what Coby could become long term as an Eagle.
Pick #154- Bo Melton 5’11 189 lbs (other player considered- S Reed Blankenship and DE Dominique Robinson)
As a Rutgers Football fan I’m well aware of what Bo Melton is capable of, and it’s even more impressive considering the sub par QB play he’s had to suffer through. Over the past two years Melton has a combined 102 receptions, 1,256 receiving yards, and 9 TDs. He also ran a 4.34 40 yard dash and 38″ vertical at the NFL combine, checking the athletic boxes necessary to be draft eligible. Melton is able to contribute as a special teams gunner and returner as well, providing some extra appeal as a prospect. While he wouldn’t be a starter for the Eagles, he would be capable of displacing JJAW as a special teams contributor and provide some stability as a punt returner and/or kick returner.
While Melton provides a lot of upside athletically, he doesn’t always play to his skillset on a regular down by down basis. He flashed his athleticism versus Big 10 competition, but he didn’t do it often enough. As a Day 3 pick though he’s a low risk draft pick that has room to grow and an obvious ability to contribute as a special teamer from Day 1.
Pick #162- Hassan Haskins 6’2 228 lbs (other players considered- QB Bailey Zappe and S Markquese Bell)
Running back is an interesting position in this year’s draft with so many quality options available well into Day 3. I’d count Hassan Haskins as one of those options, as he’s coming off a strong Senior season where he racked up 1,458 total yards and 10 total TDs on 288 total touches. Haskins is a big body back that showed his ability to convert short yardage opportunities and red zone touches, which is a needed skill for the Eagles. Haskins also is pretty nimble considering his size, making really good decisions and cuts utilizing a north south running style. His hands are pretty solid too, and he’d contribute to an RBBC with Eagles RBs Miles Sanders and Kenneth Gainwell in ’21 and could become Sanders’s replacement in ’22.
On the downside Haskins only has one year of production, which brings into question if he is a one year wonder or a player on the ascent. There’s also questions about his speed and athleticism, as he sat out the athletic drills at the NFL Combine and Michigan’s Pro Day.
Pick #166- Thayer Munford 6’6 328 lbs (other player considered- DE Amaré Barno)
Munford played multiple positions at tOSU and brings some position flexibility to the NFL as a prospect. His best position will most likely be guard in the league, and he provides some developmental traits that Offensive Line coach Jeff Stoutland can work with. Munford is also a huge prospect that is good at pushing defenders out of the way to create wide open running lanes. His experience in the Big 10 is a plus, as he’s faced off against a litany of high quality interior defensive linemen in his career.
Munford is also a player that doesn’t have a specific position in the NFL, leaving scouts to speculate where he will be best at. He got dominated by Michigan DE Aidan Hutchinson, which exposed Munford’s subpar athleticism. But I’d trust Coach Stoutland to be able to coach Munford up and get the most out of his abilities, as he’s done with so many players before.
Pick #194- Zakoby McClain 5’11 228 lbs (other player considered- TE Charlie Kolar)
I love watching Zakoby McClain play football! As soon as I started watching his film, he jumped out as a player that loved to hit and inflict punishment on opposing ball carriers/receivers. He plays much bigger than his 5’11 228 lb frame would indicate, and is willing to take on blockers to make run stops. He showed some ability to track players in space as well, and would be a really solid pick for his special teams abilities alone. He’s similar to current Eagles Shaun Bradley, a late round pick that could pay dividends in the third phase of the game.
The clear knock on Zakoby is his size, as he falls short of 6 feet and has average arm length, which could present an issue in the NFL with the much bigger and more physically imposing offensive linemen. He also isn’t a quick twitch athlete, posting slightly above average numbers in the 40 (4.69), broad jump (117″) and vertical (33″). He also had some missed tackles on tape which is a bit concerning since his primary job is to tackle. He most likely never evolves into a full time starter, but for a 6th round pick he brings enough to the table to warrant the selection.
This was an enjoyable process, and one I look to doing again in the near future as more Pro Day’s wrap up and we inch closer to the NFL Draft. I was overall pleased with this haul, as the Eagles were able to address multiple need positions through out. Being able to land Jordan Davis, Drake London, and Kaiir Elam in the 1st round would be a strong start for Howie and his staff. Then following up with Ebiketie to add more youth and talent to the DE spot and Quay Walker in the 3rd to improve the linebacking corps, I’d be pretty happy come draft day. The Day 3 picks all offer upside but also some skills that could help them make an impact early on, either as special teamers or as rotational members of their position group.
Please let me know your thoughts/feedback on the draft, and keep an eye out for follow up mocks in the future!