You have to admire Howie Roseman's willingness to ignore positional need and take the highest players on his draft board when the Philadelphia Eagles' selection rolls around. Obviously, Roseman hasn't been perfect, but we have seen the impressive draft hauls in the past when the front office operates under this philosophy.
Unfortunately, the Eagles might not be able to get away with that approach in the 2024 NFL Draft. Things fell apart for Philadelphia late in the 2023 season their monumental collapse was capped off with a loss to the Buccaneers in the playoffs -- making this 6 of their last 7 games that they have lost.
Perhaps the biggest reason for this was their incompetent cornerback play. An aging James Bradberry is coming off arguably the worst season of his NFL career, while Eli Ricks was essentially unplayable this past season. This is not secret to NFL Draft experts, and that's exactly where they have Philly going with the 22nd overall pick in the latest Eagles mock draft roundup.
Eagles mock draft roundup: The defense fixes its biggest issue
Luke Easterling, FanNation: Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB, Alabama
Kool-Aid McKinstry was once thought of as a future top-10 pick in the NFL Draft. However, strong 2023 performances from other cornerbacks as well as one particular Senior Bowl standout could make it come down to a team's preference when selecting the first five or six cornerbacks this year. McKinstry is a safe bet thanks to his reputation as the former top CB recruit in the nation and his tremendous body of work at Alabama.
Matt Miller, ESPN: Quinyon Mitchell, CB, Toledo
There might not be a player in the 2024 NFL Draft who is flying up draft boards faster than Quinyon Mitchell right now. Mitchell was once thought of as a potential early second-round selection due to his small-school status playing at Toledo in the MAC conference. However, a spectacular Senior Bowl Week has him shooting up big boards (and often going earlier than pick-22). Mitchell's outstanding speed and ball skills would be a welcome addition to an aging Eagles' secondary.
Lance Zierlein, NFL.com: Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB, Alabama
Lance Zierlein of NFL.com also mocks Kool-Aid McKinstry to the Eagles in his first 2024 mock draft. Zierlein has CBs like Quinyon Mitchell and Clemson's Nate Wiggins going just ahead of Philadelphia's first-round picks. The Eagles will gladly pick up the scraps, as McKinstry has enough talent to prove to be the best of the group.
Chris Trapasso, CBS Sports: Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB, Alabama
Chris Trapasso of CBS Sports is also jumping on the Kool-Aid train. McKinstry would instantly slide in opposite of Darius Slay at cornerback. Despite his youth, it's hard to imagine that he wouldn't be an immediate upgrade over what this team witnessed at the position in 2023.
Oliver Hodgkinson, Pro Football Network: Kamren Kinchens, S, Miami
Here comes the safety pick to the Eagles. These days, you don't see many safeties being selected in the first round. This is largely due to the value of the position, as the league's quick passing has negated much of their impact. Pro Football Network has Philadelphia going with Miami safety Kamren Kinchens. Kinchens was up and down in 2023, but he had a tremendous 2022 season. He has plenty of experience playing deep, in the box, and covering the slot.
Keith Sanchez, The Draft Network: Ennis Rakestraw, Jr., CB, Missouri
Ennis Rakesaw Jr. is a name that is starting to pick up steam. While the Senior Bowl cornerbacks have been the talk of the town this past week, Rakesaw is sometimes forgotten about. However, the SEC cornerback quietly had a very strong 2023 season at Missouri. Rakesaw is better in zone coverage than man coverage, but he is an outstanding run defender from the CB position.