Eagles 2 Round Mock Draft

The Philadelphia Eagles have been in a “Rebuild” for just a little over a year now. After a lackluster 2020 season from former QB Carson Wentz, the Eagles officially began their rebuild.

Let’s jump forward one season, and see where we are:

The Eagles traded Carson Wentz for a 2022 First Round Pick (16) from the Indianapolis Colts. The Eagles later traded down from the number 6 overall pick in 2021 for the number 12 pick where they used a late round pick to move from 12 to 10 to select WR Devonta Smith who became the Eagles all time rookie receiving yards leader for the team. They also gained a 2022 First Round pick (15) from the Miami Dolphins. They also dealt TE Zach Ertz to the Arizona Cardinals for a 4th Round pick. 

These are all clear signs of a rebuild, however, the Eagles went 9-8 in Jalen Hurts first year as QB1 and made the playoffs! In a year that the team was supposed to be rebuilding, they made the playoffs and proved to the rest of the football world that they are here to play. 

The Eagles have the potential to build a roster dominant for years this offseason. They have cap space, plenty of draft capital, and the building blocks of a young roster. 

Looking to the draft, here is what I see the Eagles doing in the first two rounds of the NFL Draft:

Round 1, Pick 15- Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah

The Eagles need linebackers and that has never been clearer. This year, there are two headliner linebackers between Lloyd and Nakobe Dean from Georgia. Dean is my LB1 in this draft, but I see him going anywhere from 7 to 13. Lloyd is my LB1B, as the only thing that gives Dean the edge is his ability to drop back in coverage. Lloyd is physical, he is fast, and he can stop the run as well as protect the middle on passing plays. Lloyd will be a dominant player in the NFL for years.

Round 1, Pick 16- Ahamad “Sauce” Gardner, CB, Cincinnati 

Slay and Sauce, Sauce and Slay, that’s something that I can get used to. Gardner has had a near perfect career at Cincinnati and finished it off with one last dominant performance against Alabama, shutting down Jameson Williams. 

Round 1, Pick 19- Traded to TB for Pick 27, 2023 First Round Pick, and a 2022 3rd Round Pick

The Bucs need a lot. Tom Brady retired, so they need a QB desperately, Chris Godwin is likely to test free agency, and Antonio Brown is long gone, so WR is another position of need. With names like Matt Corral, Sam Howell, Desmond Ridder, and maybe even Kenny Pickett likely to be available at 19, as well as wide receivers like Chris Olave, Trylon Burks, and Jameson Williams, the Bucs will do anything to trade up and fill one of those needs. 

Round 1, Pick 27- Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn State 

The Eagles need a wide receiver badly. They have Devonta Smith, but then it just gets ugly. Next on the depth chart is Jalen Reagor, who has dropping issues, struggles to get separation, even with his elite speed, and looks like a failed project in only his second year in the league. Then there is Quez Watkins. Watkins gave the fans hope after the preseason that he could easily be the WR2 on the team, but somehow, he fell back below Reagor on the charts. Lastly there is JJ Arcega Whiteside. He was picked over DK Metcalf, Dionte Johnson, Terry McLaurin, and more. He needs to be replaced. That’s where Dotson comes in. Dotson is everything you can want in a wide receiver. He has elite speed, great separation, precise route running, and has strong hands and few drops.  He can return kicks and or punts, and line up outside or in the slot. He is a utility tool when it comes to the wide receiver position and getting him at 27 could be a steal. 

Round 2, Pick 51- Jaquan Brisker, S, Penn State 

The Eagles double dip on Nittany Lions in this mock draft. Brisker is a first-round talent sliding due to injury concern. Though he didn’t miss many games during his career at Penn State, he frequently exited games due to injury, though most of the time he returned. He also played through many injuries as well. Brisker fits what the Eagles need. He is a fast, physical safety with great ball skills, a strong ability to track the ball, and can even line up at LB at times as well as rushing the QB from either position. In other words, Brisker is a stud, and to some is a day 2 steal. 

NL East Offseason Report

The National League East is home to the Philadelphia Phillies, Miami Marlins, New York Mets, the 2019 World Series Champion Washington Nationals, and the 2021 World Series Champion Atlanta Braves. 

They also have three of the last 5 National League MVP Award Winners in Giancarlo Stanton with the Marlins in 2017, Freddie Freeman with the Braves in 2020, and most recently Bryce Harper with the Phillies in 2020. That’s not even mentioning the Cy Young Dominance that Nationals (and now Mets) Pitcher Max Scherzer and Mets Pitcher Jacob DeGrom have had over the past six years.

Even with all these accolades, the star powered division is considered to be amongst the worst in baseball. The teams can some of the worst of the worst, and the best of the best all in one season. 

This offseason is one of the most star-studded free agent cycles that we have seen in a long time, and the trade market is just as crazy. The Mets have been all over it, bringing in stars like Center Fielder Starling Marte, Infielder Eduardo Escobar, 1st Baseman Mark Chana, and now the icing on top, Superstar Pitcher Max Scherzer.

The Mets remain active, while teams like the Phillies and Braves, who were expected to be big players in this market, remain quiet. The Marlins also are expected to make a splash, pun intended. Yet we have yet to hear of any real traction between any major players in this market and either of these teams.

With all these teams being a key player or two away from being in contention for a title, it is strange to see four of five teams being quiet. 

The Phillies and Marlins have been linked to outfielders Chris Taylor and Nicholas Castellanos, and it seems like they are both frontrunners for both players, no real movement has been made, per Jon Morosi of the Athletic. The Phillies are also interested in potential infielders turned outfielders Trevor Story and Kris Bryant, though both seem to be looking for contracts out of their price range. 

The Braves and superstar 1st Baseman Freddie Freeman have yet to agree on a deal or even to be rumored to be close in negotiations which has come to shock the MLB world. 

There has not even been a peep from the Nationals, not even a rumor. A potential extension for their young star outfielder Juan Soto could be in the works, but its yet to be said how Soto feels about his future in Washington. 

The balance of power in the NL East could be shifting, as the fate of the teams is in the hands of their front office’s. With Mets being the only team active, we could see a new team on top of the division very soon. 

Introducing Zack Wheeler

Former Met Zack Wheeler pitches against his new team, the Phillies, at CBP last season

The Phillies have been busy this offseason. Their largest signing of the offseason has to be RHP Zack Wheeler, formly with the New York Mets. The Phils brought Wheeler in on a massive 5 year, $118 Million contract. This signing is a big deal in multiple ways. Pitching has been a weakspot for the Phils for the past couple of years. The last major arm the team brought in was Jake Arrieta, and that has not panned out they way it was planned. With that said, pitching was, and still is a big need for the Phillies, and this adresses it. This deal brings great importance too because we took Wheeler from a division rival. The Mets rotation has terrorized the Phillies in the past, so signing Wheeler is one less arm they need to worry about facing.

The hard throwing rights carries much potential. The 29 year old has a 10.2 Career WAR, with 4.1 coming from last season alone. He has a 44-38 career record, going 11-8 in 31 starts last year. Yes that is slightly low for his deal, but he was on the Mets, can we really blame him? Wheeler has a 3.77 career ERA, coming in with a 3.96 ERA last year, which is quite high, but then again, we signed him for his potential. Wheeler’s fastball hits 97 MPH consistantly, along with a 91 MPH slider, a changeup, and a curve. His vast pitch arsenal is something the Phillies need in a starter. He earned his contract in the 2nd half of the year. In the second half, Wheeler posted a 2.83 ERA, only giving up 78 hits, and 24 earned runs in 12 starts. In 76.1 innings of 2nd half work, Wheeler struck out 65 batters, while only walking 16. Wheeler went 5-2 to end the year.

New Phillies Pitcher is introduced to the Media at Citizens Bank Park
Is featured shaing GM Matt Klentak’s hand

With all being said and done, the signing of Wheeler for the amount the Phillies gave him is a risk reward type situation. Though he comes in with numbers not worth $118 Million, he has been a great finisher in the past, which is what the Phillies need. Wheeler is a pitcher who has been great in the 2nd half of the year, and could help lead a late season playoff push, which for that reason alone, justifies the signing to me.

What to do with Alec Bohm

Fightin Phillie Alec Bohm jogs out to 3B

The Phillies offseason has been interesting. They started off with a bang, bringing in a top Free Agent arm in Zack Wheeler, as well as former Yankee SS Didi Gregorius. They attacked our bullpen and bench needs with cheap minor league deals, including players like INFs Josh Harrison and Neil Walker, as well as bringing Blake Parker back, and other minor bullpen moves.

The biggest question the front office faces now is what to do with star prospect 3B Alec Bohm. The 23 year old Bohm tore up the minor leagues last year, hitting .305 with 145 hits, including 21 home runs. Bohm worked his way from Low A (Lakewood) all the way to AA (Reading) in one year. He was MLB Pipeline’s Top 3B prospect in a unanimous decision. He is poised to make the big leagues at some point this year. However, the Phillies front office faces a tough decision. The Phillies have been looking for proven star power to solidify the infield, and put a power bat in the middle of the lineup. The Phillies have made some calls. Among the most prominent names the Phils have checked in on, Kris Bryant, Nolan Arenado, and Francisco Lindor. One thing all teams had in common, they all requested Alec Bohm.

The Phillies have been holding off on trades involving Bohm, as they see a bright future for the star prospect. The team has cooled off of trade talks involving star players on the market, until now. Recently, Cubs 3B Kris Bryant lost his grievance case vs the Cubs, meaning he still has two years of service until he is an Unrestricted Free Agent. This reengaged the Phillies in talks with the Cubs. Per Bob Nightengale of USA Today, A Bryant trade is “on the clock” and both the Phillies and Nationals have “exploratory interest” in the Cubs 3B.

Cubs 3B Kris Bryant celebrates with his teammates after hitting a Homerun

What would I do? Personally, I would like to see Klentak bring Bryant to Philly . Bryant is only 5 years older than Bohm, at 28, and still has his best years ahead of him. Age should not be holding the Phillies back in making this trade. Yes, money should and will be a big factor in this trade, but big numbers will be coming off the books after this year, including Jake Arrieta’s deal. One year of the luxury tax (a tax of 30% of the team salary once a team goes above a certain point) will not hurt. With 2 years remaining on Bryant’s current contract, Bryant should be an enticing option to the Phils. 2 years is enough time to sell the 3B on Philly, and convince him to sign an extension with the team. Another pro of the 2 year deal, if Bryant is not a fit and does not work out well in Philly, then he is gone after 2 year. If all else fails, the Phillies have another Las Vegas native on the roster, and the two have wanted to play together.

MLB Stars Kris Bryant and Bryce Harper at a hockey game in their hometown, Las Vegas.

Getting this trade done will be expensive, and rightfully so. Bryant is a former NL MVP and can still play at that level. It will take top prospects, MLB players and more to bring the All Star 3B to Philly, but if we are in a win now mode, we should. A package centered around 3B Alec Bohm, as well as SS/2B Jean Segura, RHP Adonis Medina, and SS Nick Maton should get it done, or at least get Chicago thinking about dealing their star. With all being said, would trade for Bryant?