Eagles draft: Best potential second-round options at every position
There comes a point where important decisions lead to overthinking. We may have arrived at that juncture with our discussions about the Philadelphia Eagles and what they should do with a pair of opening night NFL Draft choices. Here’s what’s funny. There’s no guarantee that vice president/general manager Howie Roseman will sit idle and make two selections in Round 1 at the tenth and 30th overall selection. In short, that just isn’t what he does.
We have written mock drafts. We have read a few, and after all of that, there’s an armchair G.M. in all of us that believes Howie will maneuver his way around the draft board somehow. Heaven knows that he tends to treat selections like bargaining chips.
Regardless of whatever he chooses to do, we trust him. We also know it will be interesting to watch. Here’s some brutal honesty. We have no idea what he’ll do with either of those first-round draft choices, but we suspect he has offensive and defensive linemen on his mind. Here, we look ahead to Day 2. Let’s talk about viable options for the second round.
The Eagles won’t be interested in all of these guys, but here are the best potential second-round options at every position.
Every draft takes on a personality. Every draft wiz and scout values guys differently. Guys we expect to be taken in Round 1 will slide and vice versa. Guys we don’t value as much will rise.
For now, we all think we have a handle on who the guys are that will be selected in Round 1. Here is what we believe to be some of the best second-round targets.
Quarterback: Tanner McKee, Stanford
So, as it turned out, the Philadelphia Eagles found their quarterback of the future after all. They even upgraded the backup position by signing Marcus Mariota after allowing Gardner Minshew to walk.
You have heard about the top signal-callers at the position for months: Bryce Young (Alabama), C.J. Stroud (Ohio State), Anthony Richardson (Florida), Will Levis (Kentucky), and Hendon Hooker. Once we get past those guys and into the second tier, Tanner McKee (Stanford) is a player to watch.
He threw for 5,336 yards and 28 touchdowns in 23 games. Look for him to be drafted in Round 2. Malik Cunningham (Louisville) and Max Duggan (TCU) feel like third-round prospects.
Running back: Zach Charbonnet, RB, UCLA
During 40 games at the collegiate level, Zach Charbonnet racked up 3,346 rushing yards, 589 receiving yards, and 39 rushing touchdowns. That includes an impressive 2,496 yards rushing during his final two seasons, and an even more impressive seven-yards-per-carry average this past season.
Kendre Miller (TCU) is another quality potential three-down starter. He will make the team that drafts him happy as well, but for now, we’ll grade Charbonnet slightly ahead of him based on our theory that he may add more punch as a receiver out of the backfield.
Wide receiver: Jonathan Mingo, Ole Miss
It feels great knowing the NFL Draft approaches and the Eagles aren’t nearing levels of desperation at the wide receiver position. We doubt that they will, but if Philly, for whatever reason, determines that they want to begin looking at wideouts in Round 2, Jonathan Mingo should be available.
The only prospects that we grade higher at the position are Quentin Johnson (TCU), Jaxon Smith-Njigba, (Ohio State), Jordan Addison (USC), and Zay Flowers (Boston College)
Tight end: Sam LaPorta, Iowa
Some believe that Sam LaPorta is good enough to sneak into the back half of the first round as one of the first night’s final selections. He’s one of those prototypical wide receiver/tight end hybrids that some teams prefer now.
He’s undersized in terms of what we often see from those old-school tight ends (he’s six-foot-three and weighs 245 pounds), but he runs a 4.59-second 40-yard dash. He’s a bigger-bodied target that will irritate both cornerbacks and cover linebackers.
We rank him behind potential first-round draftees Dalton Kincaid (Utah) and Michael Mayer (Notre Dame) and ahead of Darnell Washington (Georgia) and Luke Musgrave (Oregon State).
Offensive tackle: Broderick Jones, Georgia
We’re going to assume five tackles are taken in Round 1. We’ll make another assumption as well. Let’s just say, for the sake of argument that Peter Skoronski (Northwestern), Paris Johnson (Ohio State), Tyler Steen (Alabama), Jaelyn Duncan (Maryland), and Darnell Wright (Tennessee) are the five players taken.
The highest-graded player on our list after those guys is Broderick Jones, a six-foot-five, 311-pounder out of Georgia. He runs the 40-yard dash in less than five seconds. Other notable second-rounders include Anton Harrison (Oklahoma) and Dawand Jones (Ohio State).
Guard: Cody Mauch, North Dakota State
North Dakota State continues to churn out pro talent. Cody Mauch is a former tight end and track star who, in 2022, allowed one sack, four quarterback hurries, and one quarterback hit as a fifth-year senior. Some believe that he’s a mid-rounder, but his ability to play guard and a nice week at Senior Bowl practice could help him land with a team during Round 2.
Center: Steve Avila, TCU
When you are assured of another season with Jason Kelce and you have Cam Jurgens waiting in the wings AND another guy that can play center if called upon (Landon Dickerson), there’s no need to draft a center. Still, just for argument’s sake, we expect Steve Avila to hear his name called on Day 2 of the NFL Draft. Olusegun Oluwatimi (Michigan) and John Michael Schmitz (Minnesota) provide solid options for interested teams as well.
Defensive end: Will McDonald, Iowa State
Frankly, we wouldn’t be shocked if Will McDonald was taken in the first round or the second. For now, we’ll place him as a priority Day 2 draftee. You never know though. So, how about this?
Why don’t we just rank the top ten defensive ends and let you guys pick the list apart? Here’s how we view things.
- Will Anderson, Alabama,
- Tyree Wilson, Texas Tech
- Myles Murphy, Clemson
- Tuli Tuipulotu, USC
- Nolan Smith, Georgia
- Will McDoonald IV, Iowa State
- Isaiah Foskey, Notre Dame
- Keion White, Georgia Tech
- B.J. Ojulari, LSU
- Mike Morris, Michigan
We wouldn’t be shocked if all of those guys had long and prosperous careers in the NFL. The same can be said about many of the defensive tackles in this class.
Defensive tackle: Siaki Ika, Baylor
Every time we have imagined the coming NFL Draft, we see it play out the same way, at the defensive tackle position at least.
Jalen Carter (Georgia), Mazi Smith (Michigan), Calijah Kancey (Pitt), and Bryan Bresee (Clemson) are the four prospects that hear their names called first. We close the book on Round 1, and we move to the NFL Draft’s second day.
Siaki Ika (Baylor) is a six-foot-four, 358-pound stop-gap. Other notable potential Day 2 draftees include Keeanu Benton (Wisconsin), Zacch Pickens (South Carolina), and Gervon Dexter (Florida).
Inside linebacker: Daiyan Henley, Washington State
If you aren’t familiar with Jack Campbell (Iowa) or Henry To’o’To’o (Alabama) yet, don’t worry. You’re going to be hearing a lot about them on Sundays.
Daiyan Henley tops our list of potential second-round prospects. Trenton Simpson (Clemson) and Demarvion Overshown (Texas) are solid options among others.
Outside linebacker: Derick Hall, Auburn
Don’t hold your breath in expectation of the Eagles taking a linebacker with their second-round selection. If Philly’s decision to let T.J. Edwards walk didn’t convince you that they devalue the position, nothing will. Despite that fact, they will enter training camp with a ton of bodies at the
Anyhoo, if the Birds find it in themselves to select a WILL or SAM on Day 2, Derick Hall is as good an option as any. He collected 60 tackles, 6.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, and an interception last season. He isn’t the polished product, but we’d grade him higher than Byron Young (Tennessee) or Nick Hampton (Appalachian State). Hampton and Young may be able to play a little defensive end though.
Cornerback: Cam Smith, (South Carolina)? Deonta Banks (Maryland)?
As is the case with several other positions, the grades on these guys are all over the place. Here’s our top ten as of right now. Be forewarned. This could change tomorrow or by the close of business.
- Christian Gonzalez, Oregon
- Joey Porter Jr. Penn State
- Devon Witherspoon, Illinois
- Tyrique Stevenson, Miami
- Kelee Ringo, Georgia
- Deonte Banks, Maryland
- Cam Smith, South Carolina
- Emmanual Forbes, Mississippi State
- Jartavius ‘Quan’ Martin (Illinois)
- Cameron Mitchell, Northwestern
Safety: Daniel Scott, California
It’s going to take some doing for the California Golden Bears to one day qualify for the College Football Playoff, but we can always rely on them to field some future NFL stars. Look no further than Eagles great DeSean Jackson if you need an example.
Once Brian Branch is off the board at the safety position, there’s a dropoff in talent. Scott has the potential to shine at the NFL level though.
The six-foot-one, 208-pounder collected 85 tackles, three interceptions, two forced fumbles, and four pass breakups. He is hoping that translates and leads to a successful NFL career. The team that drafts him will, no doubt agree with that. We’ll see how he is valued during the NFL Draft.