The offseason has officially arrived, which means the Eagles and the rest of the league are focusing in on their plans of improvement. The Eagles are set to restock as they set their sights on another playoff run next season, and they will be able to fill some holes at the upcoming NFL Draft.

As it stands, the Eagles currently have the following needs in no specific order: RB, LT, DT depth, LB depth, CB depth & S depth.

The Eagles have been making some moves following the conclusion of their season back in mid-January, including bringing back LB Paul Worrilow on a one-year deal, picking up Nick Foles’ $20-million option for next season, and restructuring Rodney McLeod’s contract in order to retain him for the 2019 season.

The Eagles are set to have the following picks: one first-round pick, two second-round picks, zero third-round picks, two fourth-round picks, one fifth-round pick, and three sixth-round picks.

Before revealing Mock Draft 2.0, be sure to visit Mock Draft 1.0 to see my previous thoughts.

Now, here is the second update as to who the Eagles could select in the upcoming NFL Draft in April:

Round 1: DT Jerry Tillery, Notre Dame

The Eagles could go multiple directions in the first round, but the vast talent at the defensive tackle position, which was noted by Howie Roseman, makes the first round pick at this position far more likely.

Fletcher Cox is one of the top defensive tackle’s in the NFL, and Timmy Jernigan is a solid sidekick alongside him, but there isn’t much depth behind those two. Plus, if Jernigan, who is currently set to be paid $13 million next season, doesn’t agree to restructure his contract, he very well could be done in Philadelphia.

Tillery’s stock is interesting, as it varies depending who you listen to. However, with the numerous players at DT that are expected to be selected in the first round, Tillery will likely end up being selected somewhere late in the first round.

In 2018, Tillery totaled 30 tackles, with 10.5 for a loss, eight sacks and three forced fumbles. Tillery is quick and agile, as ran a 4.80 40-yard dash and stands at 6’6 and 304 pounds, but he is also effective as a power rusher. As a pass-rusher who would have the opportunity to play along side Cox, along with Derek Barnett and Michael Bennett, Tillery would surely be the least focused on by opposing offensive line’s, which could allow him to feast for the Eagles.

Many hope the Eagles select a running back in the first round, but the typical short period of effective usage in the NFL for running back’s makes Roseman less likely to go that direction this early. Meanwhile, a left tackle option could be hard to come by in the first round, with that position being especially thin in the draft, which could cause teams to reach a bit if they have the need.

Photo: Rick Kimball/ISD

Round 2: S Johnathan Abram, Mississippi State

While Rodney McLeod’s contract was restructured in order to keep him for 2019, his future beyond that point with the Eagles is in question as his contract beyond next season was terminated. Even for next season, McLeod is coming off of a torn ACL & MCL, which means he may not be himself at least to start the year, and the Eagles like to move Malcolm Jenkins around defensively, which requires solid safety depth to do so.

Mississippi State’s Johnathan Abram would be a great solution both for next season and for years to come in the Eagles secondary. At 5’11 and 207 pounds, Abram has a good frame that allows him to be a powerful safety coming down on his opponents.

In 2018, Abram totaled 99 tackles, with nine for a loss and three sacks, along with five pass break ups and two interceptions. Abram is best in defending against the run, but he is also capable in coverage, with his 4.45 40-yard dash speed allowing him to fly around the field.

Abram is labeled as one of the most sound players in this year’s draft and is capable of making an impact right away for whoever selects him.

Here is some of Abram’s best plays from 2018.

Photo: 247Sports

Round 2: RB Justice Hill, Oklahoma State

When a team doesn’t rush for more than 100 yards in two combined playoff games, it becomes obvious that running back is a major need. That is just the case for the Eagles.

The Eagles lost both Jay Ajayi and Corey Clement for the season at different points, and Darren Sproles also missed a large portion of the season. Ajayi likely won’t return to Philadelphia and is set to wait out any offers until he is completely healthy, and Sproles is on the fence about retirement.

Slide in Justice Hill from Oklahoma State. In 2018, Hill totaled 930 yards on the ground, averaging 5.9 yards per carry, with nine touchdowns and also added 13 receptions for 68 yards. Some believe that Hill didn’t get the ball as much as he should, but scouts may look more friendly upon that, as that means he has less wear-and-tear coming into the league.

Hill is described as a natural runner who has a quick first-step and is able to burst into the second level of the defense. Hill is agile and has a good knee bend in his run which allows him to stay balanced, and also fall forward for extra yards frequently. Hill is a patient runner, and is also a threat out of the backfield due to his sharp route running skills and plus hands.

Hill would play as more of a rotational running back, which would actually make him a better fit for the Eagles and would allow the team to pursue a power running back such as Latavius Murray or LeGarrette Blount.

Here are some of Hill’s best plays from 2018.

Photo: Rob Ferguson/USA Today Sports

Round 4: OT Dennis Daley, South Carolina

The left tackle position is one of the more uncertain spots for the Eagles. Jason Peters has been fairly quiet regarding whether he will return or not next season, and Halapoulivaati Vaitai has been an inconsistent backup whenever Peters has had to miss time. Along with those two, the Jordan Mailata project is still a work in progress and still could be at least a year away from being ready to make an impact on the offensive line.

This is a position the Eagles could target earlier in the draft, but considering the lack of top-level talent at this position, the team may have to choose to wait until later in the draft to fill this need.

Dennis Daley from South Carolina is an intriguing candidate for the Eagles to target in the fourth round. Daley played well enough this season to earn an invite to the Senior Bowl. Daley has good size at 6’6 and 324 pounds, and has started at left tackle for two straight seasons.

Daley has a solid skillset for his size, but he can be inconsistent and has a tendency to play down to his competition, which will likely make him slide this far in the draft. Though the negative isn’t great, being able to be mentored by a player like Peters, if he returns, during Daley’s rookie season would prove to be very beneficial to get him ready to play if needed.


Round 4: CB Hamp Cheevers, Boston College

There has been a few moving parts in the Eagles secondary, which has made the cornerback position slightly less of a need than previously expected. With McLeod returning at safety next season, that will allow Avonte Maddox to remain at cornerback for the majority of time. Along with Maddox, the Eagles have Jalen Mills, Rasul Douglas, Cre’Von LeBlanc and Sidney Jones at corner.

While those are five solid players, the Eagles are set to let Ronald Darby walk in free agency, and considering the health issues the team experienced all season at this position, it’d be smart to get a solid insurance policy.

Hamp Cheevers from Boston College seems like a classic Eagles pick at cornerback. The Eagles have had a history of selecting good cornerback’s in the mid-to-late rounds, including Maddox, who was selected in the fourth round, and Mills, who was selected in the seventh round. Both had size or speed issues that caused them to fall in the draft, and that could be the case with Cheevers as well.

In 2018, Cheevers had a remarkable season in coverage, intercepting seven passes and also broke up seven passes. Cheevers is also a solid tackler, as he totaled 39 tackles on the season.

Cheevers made a big jump from his sophomore season, but his size at just 5’10 and 180 pounds could limit him. Due to his size, Cheevers could be forced to stick to the slot in the NFL. However, having depth at slot corner would be good for the Eagles, as LeBlanc and Cheevers would be able to rotate in and out to keep each other fresh.

Photo: Boston College Athletics

Round 5: DE Ben Banogu, TCU

With Brandon Graham set to depart in free agency and Chris Long remaining uncertain about his future, the Eagles will be left with Michael Bennett and Derek Barnett as their lone play-makers at defensive end.

Even if Long returns, which he has given the hint that he will if he will be of use to the Eagles, there is still a hole in the depth of the defensive end position.

Defensive end Ben Banogu of TCU was given a fourth-round grade by scouts, but he is described as a developer who has starting potential. In 2018, Bangou had 57 tackles, 18 for a loss, and had 8.5 sacks and two forced fumbles.

Banogu is a good athlete that passes the eye test, but he needs to add some strength to his lower half. Banogu thrives best as a speed rusher, but due to his lack of strength, he isn’t exactly a force in defending the run.

Banogu won’t be dominant to start for the Eagles, but he is a solid depth piece who would bode well to learn from the trio of solid defensive lineman on the team.

Photo: 247Sports

Round 6: LB Deshaun Davis, Auburn

Adding to the trend, inside linebacker is another position of question for the Eagles. Jordan Hicks is set to test the free agent market and there hasn’t been much news on whether the Eagles would like to retain him or not. Nigel Bradham showed potential when forced to slide inside at linebacker, but there is still depth needed full-time.

Deshaun Davis from Auburn is a solid linebacker. Davis totaled 107 tackles this season, with 14 for a loss, and added 2.5 sacks and two batted passes.

Davis is a strong defender at 246 pounds, but his height at just 5’11 is a bit of a limitation for him in coverage. That issue could cause some mismatches in coverage, and he needs to improve on his skills there to be an effective three-down linebacker.

It’s rare to find a full-time starter in the sixth round, but Davis would be a nice addition to the Eagles defense and would be able to get the job done if called upon.

Photo: 247Sports

Round 6: C Sam Mustipher, Notre Dame

Jason Kelce is more likely than not to return next year, as he described his situation as “year to “year”, but outside of him, the Eagles don’t have much at the center position.

Behind Kelce in the depth chart is Stefen Wisniewski, but he also plays the role of backup left guard as well.

Sam Mustipher from Notre Dame seems to have a bit of a resemblance of Kelce. Similar to Kelce, Mustipher has been labeled as “too small”, which is set to cause him to fall in the draft.

Mustipher stands at 6’2 and 305 pounds, which is similar to Kelce’s 6’3 and 295 pound frame. Mustipher played well in college and did best in pass protection, but scouts worry that his lack of length could limit him to just being a backup.

Photo: 247Sports

Round 6: WR Diontae Johnson, Toledo

Golden Tate is set to test the free agent market despite his repeated desire to stay in Philadelphia. The Eagles likely would have to choose between Nelson Agholor or Tate, and it’s assumed that they’ll pick the younger player in this situation.

If Tate does in fact leave, that could cause Agholor to slide back into the slot. However, drafting Diontae Johnson could allow Agholor to stay on the outside.

Johnson stands at 5’11 and 181 pounds, which would force him to be a slot receiver. At Toledo this season, Johnson caught 49 passes for 761 yards and eight touchdowns, which was down from has 2017 campaign in which he caught 72 passes for 1,257 yards and 13 touchdowns.

Johnson may not be ready to start immediately for the Eagles, and he won’t have to, but his presence could give the Eagles flexibility with where they want to line up Agholor.

Photo: Toledo Rockets

With multiple expiring contracts this season and next season, this upcoming draft will be key for the Eagles. The team has a few needs as well, and the draft is a great, cheap option to address them.

With the draft now less than three months away, the Eagles preparation will quickly get into full gear for the three day event in Nashville, TN.

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