Eagles 2022 first-round NFL mock draft: Philadelphia bolsters its defense

Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images)
Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images) /
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Philadelphia Eagles
Ahmad Gardner #1, Cincinnati Bearcats (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

19. player. 830. . Cornerback. Bearcats . Ahmad Gardner

The Eagles finally get that other starting outside cornerback.

It’s January, but we’ve got Ahmad Gardner on our list of the top five cornerbacks available along with LSU’s Derek Stingley, who might be the first corner taken, former Washington Huskies standout Trent McDuffie, Josh Jobe out of Alabama, and Florida’s Kaiir Elam. Give Auburn’s Roger McCreary and Tennessee’s Alontae Taylor honorable mentions.

That list can change, but it feels like Derek Stingley is the first corner off of the board and Ahmad Gardner goes second. There are a couple of mocks that send McDuffie to Philly, but he’s five-foot-eleven. He’s also from the same school that produced Sidney Jones.

Forgive us. Call us superstitious, but while that’s probably a horrible way to make draft picks, we’re still reeling from watching Jones play football.

Trending. Ranking positional needs ahead of free agency. light

In all seriousness, ‘Sauce’ Gardner satisfies a huge need. He’s big enough to battle some of the massive guys that play wide receiver in the NFL these days.

He racked up 99 total tackles and nine interceptions in 33 career games at Cincinnati with the Bearcats, and his selection by the Birds would finally give the Eagles that complement to Darius Slay that they’ve been searching for. If he’s on the board and available, h should be a no-brainer for a team in need of a true outside cover corner.