NFL Mock Draft has Eagles taking 3 defenders in first round

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When the 2021 NFL regular season comes to an end, the Eagles could either be in the postseason, or preparing for the NFL Draft with three top-10 picks.

How the next month will unfold remains to be seen, but one thing is not up for debate — NFL Mock Draft Season has arrived.

The Athletic’s Dane Brugler put out his first mock draft for the 2022 NFL Draft on Tuesday, and in it, he has the Eagles taking three defensive players. It is noteworthy he does not have the Eagles taking a quarterback despite the first one going off the board (Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett at No. 10) after the Eagles have already made two picks.

Here is who Brugler has the Eagles, who currently own the No. 8, No. 9 and No. 14 picks, taking:

No. 8: Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame:
Height/Weight: 6-foot-4, 219 pounds
Stats: 97 tackles, 16 pass deflections, 8 interceptions in 31 games
Brugler: "Hamilton is one of the best this draft class has to offer…With his athletic range and diagnose skills, Hamilton frustrates quarterbacks because of the different ways he impacts the game."
Analysis: The Eagles need at safety is one of the more underrated ones on the roster. It is possible that both Rodney McLeod and Anthony Harris are not back in 2022, leaving the Eagles looking for two starters. Hamilton would be a significant addition to the Eagles’ secondary. He has elite range for the position, and would allow the Eagles to play much more single-high safety looks if they wanted too, as opposed to having to play two-deep as much as they have had to this year. Hamilton is the versatile, game-changing piece they need in the secondary.

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No. 9: George Karlaftis, DE, Purdue:
Height/Weight: 6-foot-4, 275 pounds
Stats: 61 tackles, 29 tackles for a loss, 14 sacks in 26 games
Brugler: "Karlaftis might not have elite length or twitch, but his persistent power and skilled hand work allow him to be disruptive."
My Analysis: The Eagles will almost certainly be using one of their three first-round picks on an edge rusher. The question is if Karlaftis fits what they are looking for. The Eagles tend to value three things in edge rushers — production, bend and elite athleticism. Karlaftis doesn’t seem to check any of those boxes bases off of Brugler’s description. If the Eagles do take an edge rusher it would not be surprising to see them move up into the top five (if there pick lands outside of it) and take one of the elite edge-rushing prospects.

No. 14: Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia:
Height/Weight: 6-foot, 225 pounds
Stats: 152 tackles, 10.5 tackles for a loss, 6.5 sacks, 2 interceptions, 4 pass deflections 
Brugler: "Dean is an athletic pursuit player and blitzer with excellent diagnose skills to key and attack. His football character will make him an immediate fit wherever he is drafted in April."
Analysis: This has to be the year the Eagles invest a high draft pick in a linebacker, right? The Eagles might like what they have in Davion Taylor and TJ Edwards, but with how important the linebacker position is in Jonathan Gannon’s scheme, the Eagles will need to add an elite-level prospect to the group. Dean has impressive all-around numbers and has been a key piece on one of the best defenses in college football.

You can reach Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks or email him at esp@94wip.com!