Eagles seven-round mock draft following their free agency overhaul and the Kenny Pickett trade

The Eagles have loaded up during free agency. How will that affect their draft strategy?

Fletcher Cox, Roger Goodell, Philadelphia Eagles draft news
Fletcher Cox, Roger Goodell, Philadelphia Eagles draft news / Al Bello/GettyImages
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There's a discussion, well some might call it a debate, that has gone on around NFL Draft time for as long as many of us have been watching the Philadelphia Eagles play football. No, wait. It probably precedes us too. Should teams draft based upon need or take the best players who are available? You know what? There really isn't a right or wrong answer, but fear not. Your Birds have set themselves up nicely.

With more than a month separating us from the 2024 NFL Draft, the first wave of free agency is in our rearview mirrors, and Howie Roseman has outdone himself... again.

The Birds had offseason needs. He seemingly addressed all of them. A third wide receiver? Check... DeVante Adams... A workhorse running back? Check... Saquon Barkley. Yep! We smell what the GM is cooking.

Howie satisfied the need for an edge rusher with the acquisition of Bryce Huff. You have no idea how close we have come at times to calling him 'Josh'. The need for a middle linebacker and backup quarterback were addressed by acquiring Devin White and Kenny Pickett.

In their trade for Pickett, the Eagles have also acquired the 120th-overall selection in Round 4 of the coming NFL Draft while handing the Black and Gold a 2024 third-round selection (the 98th) and two seventh-round choices in 2025.

So, how will that alter their draft strategy? We vote to avoid any temptation to abandon their current system of roster building. They generally address the trenches first but, at the same time, blend the theories of 'drafting for need' and taking the 'best player available' better than anyone.

Here we are friends, another mock draft. Let's see if yours resembles ours now.

Round 1, Pick 22 - Jared Verse or Laiatu Latu, EDGE, Florida State & UCLA

While we'd like to see the Eagles take a middle linebacker early, the Devin White and Zack Baun acquisitions (and Philly's history) probably ensure that won't happen. That's okay. If the choice isn't Edgerrin Cooper (Texas A&M), Payton Wilson (N.C. State), or Cedric Gray (North Carolina), Philly is probably best suited to address another position.

So, here's a secret. Moving forward, following Philly's offseason moves, our mocks are probably going to begin with the selection of an edge rusher or cornerback, though Philly hasn't taken a defensive back in Round 1 since 2002 (Lito Sheppard).

This time around, we're rocking with Jared Verse OR Laiatu Latu. Yes, we realize we cheated and took two guys. Who ranks higher varies depending on who you talk to, so we'll make this easier. Take the best edge rusher available. With that, we move on to Day 2 and add another warrior for the trenches.