Kyle Hamilton falls to Eagles at 15

Which way will Eagles go in final NFL mock draft roundup? originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

We finally made it!

The NFL Draft begins tonight. After months of speculation, we’ll finally find out what the Eagles do in the first round of the draft. They enter Thursday night with picks No. 15 and No. 18 after a trade last month with the Saints.

Here’s a last look around the internet at what some experts think they’ll do:

Daniel Jeremiah,

15. Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame

What they said: “Hamilton is my No. 5 player in the 2022 draft class. This would be an absolute steal for Howie Roseman and the Eagles.”

18. Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington

What they said: “McDuffie is one of my favorite players in the draft class. He’s smart, tough and instinctive. He’d fit in beautifully across from Darius Slay.”

My take on the haul: The Eagles two biggest and most obvious needs entering the draft are at the safety and cornerback position. After the departures of Rodney McLeod and Steven Nelson in free agency, the Eagles have two spots open. So filling them in the draft without reaching on players would make a ton of sense. Especially after remembering what Howie Roseman said about not wanting to block draft picks in their rookie seasons with stop-gap options.

Now, will Hamilton really be there for the Eagles at No. 15th? It’s hard to imagine that. But if he is, don’t think about it. Take him. It would be the first time in franchise history the Eagles have ever taken a safety in the first round but he’s worth it. Heck, he’d be worth a trade-up. So getting him at 15 is an absolute steal. And then McDuffie at 18 is a good value too. He’s considered by many to be the third-best corner in this class. His state and short arms are a concern but he could start from Day 1.

Charles Davis,

15. Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama

What they said: It’s never a bad idea to add receivers from Alabama! DeVonta Smith was a marvel as a rookie after the Eagles took him 10th overall out of ‘Bama last year. Williams would be another tremendous target who creates splash plays downfield and stretches defenses vertically. QB Jalen Hurts will have a chance to cement his position as the Eagles’ leader for years to come.

18. Andrew Booth, CB, Clemson

What they said: The Eagles got their receiver with their first selection of the round. Now, they get the CB they covet, someone who can play opposite Darius Slay. On film, Booth looks like he would be comfortable in any system; he would adapt well to Philly’s zone-heavy scheme.

My take on the haul: In my last Eagles-only mock draft I was really tempted to do this because I really like Williams and I really like Booth. But at the last second I chickened out because I didn’t want to give the Eagles two players who are both recovering from surgery — Williams an ACL tear and Booth a core muscle injury. But as far as the players themselves, I really like this. Williams would give the Eagles that deep threat and speedster that could really open up the offense. And based on his 2021 performance, he’s a deep threat but not only a deep threat. And Booth would actually be my preference over Trent McDuffie, although that doesn’t seem to be the consensus. I think Booth is a versatile corner who can play in man or zone and I love his aggressiveness.

This is a first-round haul that might take some patience. And it would stink to not see either guy on the field soon, but the payoff could be big.

Will Brinson, CBS Sports

15. Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State

What they said: “The Eagles feel like a prime candidate to dip back into the WR pool, despite their first-round investments the last few years.”

18. Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa

What they said: “Linderbaum’s highly rated but falling because … people don’t want a center? He gets Jason Kelce comps, so why not grab him to replace … Jason Kelce?”

My take on the haul: Olave has been a popular name tied to the Eagles over the last few weeks and there’s a lot to like about him. He’s a very polished receiver who isn’t very big but runs great routes. In a lot of ways he’s similar to DeVonta Smith. If the Eagles want to get a different skillet completely, then maybe they steer away from him. But if they’re not worried about that, then Olive has a lot of the traits they liked so much in Smith. No, he’s not at that level as a prospect, but he’s still pretty good. In this mock, Olave is the fourth receiver off the board after Williams, Garrett Wilson and Drake London.

As far as Linderbaum, he was a popular pick for the Eagles when they had three first-rounders. If you’re going to draft three players in the first round, it’s more palatable to take a guy like Linderbaum, who you expect will sit for his rookie season behind Jason Kelce. But this would be tougher. The Eagles would ideally get players who can at least contribute right away and Linderbaum would be stuck behind the all-time great for a full season.

Bucky Brooks,

15. Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State

What they said: “Yes, this would be the third consecutive receiver drafted in Round 1 by the Eagles, but the bottom line is, Olave’s big-play ability should make life easier for Jalen Hurts in the pocket.”

18. Devonte Wyatt, DT, Georgia

What they said: “It is time for the Eagles to fortify the interior, with the 31-year-old Fletcher Cox nearing the end of his career.”

My take on the haul: Another mock where Olave is the fourth receiver off the board, taken by the Eagles at 15. There’s not really a consensus on these receivers but that’s been the way we’ve seen it mocked more recently, that Williams has overtaken Olave’s spot. We’ll see if that comes to fruition on Thursday night.

And the Wyatt pick would be a safe one. He’s been overshadowed by his big teammate Jordan Davis but Wyatt is a more traditional 3-technique in the Eagles defense. He would rotate in his rookie season but would likely be a starter in Year 2. Fletcher Cox and Javon Hargrave are under contract through just the 2022 season.

Carmen Vitali, The Draft Network

9. Trade: Kayvon Thibodeaux, Edge, Oregon

What they said: “Surprised he wasn’t the first pass rusher off the board after Walker and Hutchinson? Yeah, so was Philadelphia. Philly is a sneaky defensive town and while it costs them a third and a fifth-round pick this year, General Manager Howie Roseman loves himself a deal. So he trades up with the Seahawks and could end up being a hero amongst Eagles fans if Thibodeaux can focus all his efforts on football and become half the player most think he can be.”

18. Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State

What they said: “The Eagles already got the flashy defensive piece they wanted and now for posterity’s sake (and I suppose need, too) they get another receiver to help quarterback Jalen Hurts. Olave is probably the best route runner of any of these guys in the 2022 receiver class and him plus DeVonta Smith is going to be hard to keep up with if you’re an NFC East defense.”

My take on the haul: The trade up to No. 9 to take Thibodeaux is a move I really like and I think it’s actually possible. If Thibodeaux slides into this range, Roseman should be ready to pounce. Thibodeaux should be his top trade-up target. There’s been a lot made recently about Thibodeaux’s personality and his commitment to football but he’s a stud edge rusher and has legitimate Pro Bowl potential. There’s a reason many thought he would be the first-overall pick not that long ago. With all the talk about his commitment to football, it’s fair to point out that Thibodeaux played last season despite an ankle injury and still had 7 sacks in 11 games.

This mock draft didn’t list the terms of the trade but we have some precedent. Back in 2012, the Howie Roseman made a trade with longtime Seahawks’ GM John Schneider (who is still in charge) to move up from 15 to 12 to take Fletcher Cox. In that trade the Eagles gave up Nos. 15, 114 (4th round), 172 (6th round). So it would take more than that. Perhaps No. 83 or 101 (third-round) and one of those three fifth-round picks would get this done.

As far as the Olave pick, No. 18 would be good value.

Danny Kelly, The Ringer

15. George Karlavtis, Edge, Purdue

What they said: With the first of two first-round picks, the Eagles select a high-energy power rusher in Karlavtis. The Boilermakers star would give Philly another plug-and-play option on its defensive line, providing an immediate boost to the rotation of Brandon Graham, Josh Sweat, and Derek Barnett while giving the team a young defensive end to build the line around long- term.

18. Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington

What they said: The Eagles look to the cornerback spot with their second first-rounder, grabbing a competitive and nimble Husky in McDuffie here. He’s an instinctive defender with excellent blitzing skills, giving Philly an instant upgrade in the secondary.

My take on the haul: If anything, I think you’d probably flip-flop these two for value’s sake. But this wouldn’t blow anyone away. McDuffie is deemed as a safe cornerback pick although his stature (5-11) and sub-30-inch arms are somewhat troubling when you’re projecting him to be a starting outside corner. And Karlavtis is a good player but might still be available into the 20s in this draft. He’s a very polarizing prospect. I like him more than most — there’s still a role for a power edge rusher in the NFL — but why take him in the teens if you don’t need to? Really don’t like this for the Eagles.

Ari Meirov, PFF

15. Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama

What they said: “A team that is patient with Williams’ recovery from a torn ACL (suffered in the national title game) might end up landing this year’s top receiver. The Eagles have taken a wide receiver in back-to-back years, and they could very well go back in that direction again this year. Head coach Nick Sirianni loves his receivers (he is a former receivers coach), and he’ll have some fun pairing Williams with DeVonta Smith.”

18. George Karlavtis, Edge, Purdue

What they said: “The Eagles know they need to get younger on the defensive line, and Karlavtis projects as a starter in defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon’s scheme as a base end. He’s been compared to Ryan Kerrigan, who fittingly played last season in Philadelphia.”

My take on the haul: Williams would be a great fit but not sure he makes it to 15. If he does, that’s a solid pick. And I don’t love the value of Karlavtis at 18 but I like it more than Karlavtis at 15. And I’m more bullish on him than most at this point. To be clear, it didn’t start out that way. But many people have really dropped him for some reason.

Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz, USA Today Sports

15. Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama

What they said: “One year after hitting it big by trading up for DeVonta Smith, the Eagles could be poised to strike for another prolific Crimson Tide wide receiver. In this scenario, however, Philadelphia doesn’t have to move up to draft the speedy Williams, who should be a game-breaker once fully recovered from the torn anterior cruciate ligament he suffered in the national championship game.”

18. Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia

What they said: “Fletcher Cox and Javon Hargrave aren’t signed beyond this season, and Philadelphia would benefit from adding someone 2021 third-rounder Milton Williams for a potential of the guard on the interior. The 6-6, 341-pound Davis could continue to make waves in a rotational role as a rookie while preparing for a starting job by working on his conditioning.”

My take on the haul: Really good value with both picks. I’m a huge fan of Williams. And getting Davis that late in the first round would be a steal. If anyone is concerned that he’ll just be a run-stuffer in the NFL, getting him at No. 18 would make this more palatable.

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