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INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - FEBRUARY 28: General manager Howie Roseman of the Philadelphia Eagles speaks to the media during the NFL Combine at the Indiana Convention Center on February 28, 2023 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

It’s understandable that the horrors of draft days past still haunt Eagles fans. One of the most talked about non-sporting sports events takes place tonight as the NFL draft will kick off with round 1. Ghosts of recent first-round failures such as Jalen Reagor, Andre Dillard, Derreck Barnett, Marcus Smith, Danny Watkins, and so on and so forth. But while those thoughts can be overriding others, try not to forget that the opening round of the draft has also brought the team Fletcher Cox and Lane Johnson and DeVonta Smith and, well, OK, maybe more bad than good. 

So that brings us to Thursday night. A year after participating in the title game, the Eagles have not one but two attempts in the first round to improve a team that posted 14 wins a season ago and two playoff wins before falling to Kansas City in the Super Bowl. 

At picks 10 and 30, which many believe may change via trades, I’m here to make a proclamation that the Eagles and Howie Roseman can do no wrong tonight. That’s right. My feeling is that no matter what kind of moves Roseman decides to make and where the team winds up choosing one or two players on draft opening night, it would be really difficult for Howie and company to screw this one up. 

There are a few reasons for my gushiness. Much of it has to do with the team that is already assembled. Yes, the defense has some holes to fill, but that. besides the money hocus pocus, is a strength of Roseman. Whether it be a late signing of a vet to fill a spot, a trade, or whatever. The confidence is there it will be done. And with this offense, still fully equipped the way it was a season ago, sans Miles Sanders, and perhaps adding other pieces tonight, outscoring teams just may be the best part of their defense. 

Trade up for a Jalen Carter? Not sure many would have a problem with that, in spite of the off-field red flags. He’s still rated the top player overall in this draft by many. Stay at 10 and take best available? Sure, hard to argue that’s a bad move. Move back from 10, pick up some assets, and maybe take that Bijan guy that has been all the talk? This may be the best-case scenario. 

Short of just taking someone that completely fails at the NFL level, the blueprint of what Howie does seems to be just about fail proof. 

We Simulated the Eagles Draft 1000 Times, Here are the Results

Last year, out of both boredom and the lack of a thriving social life, I simulated the Eagles draft 1000 times. Turns out that in the past calendar year, not much has changed. I am still a huge draft geek, and I still have way too much time on my hands. So I did it again. Using mock draft simulators, I ran the draft 1000 times, to see who the computer had the Eagles draft.

Last year the results were surprisingly accurate. It could not have predicted they would trade their second first-round pick for AJ Brown. But between the two picks, Jordan Davis was the most common player selected. Davis led all players, getting selected 329 total times. 252 at pick 15, and 76 at pick 18. The Eagles ended up trading up to 13 to take him. Nakobe Dean was selected 195 total times, the 4th most of any player. He ended up falling to the Eagles in the 3rd round.

This year, I changed it up a little and used 3 different draft simulators. Last year I ran all 1000 simulations through Pro Football Focus’s mock draft tool. This year I used that again, but also Pro Football Network, and ESPN’s new draft tool. Doing 333 on each, and then one extra on Pro Football Network to get an even 1000.

It is important to note these are not my picks. I simulated the first round, letting the computer make each pick. My only part in it was keeping track of the results. Two of the three sites did not simulate trades. Will the simulations be as accurate as they were last year? Let’s see what the results were.

  • ESPN- Pick 10

    ESPN debuted its draft tool this year. You can find it here. Let’s see who it has the Eagles taking. Starting with Pick 10.

    Player Times Picked
    Peter Skoronski- OT- Northwestern 86
    Nolan Smith- Edge- Georgia 44
    Jalen Carter- DT- Georgia 36
    Lukas Van Ness- Edge- Iowa 34
    Jaxon Smith-Njigba- WR- Ohio State 33
    Christian Gonzalez- CB- Oregon 33
    Paris Johnson- OT- Ohio State 23
    Joey Porter Jr- CB- Penn State 20
    Bijan Robinson- RB- Texas 13
    Trenton Simpson- LB- Clemson 6
    Darnell Wright- OT- Tennesee 5

    Well, they certainly know who Howie Roseman is. The top 4 most selected players are all Linemen. With Peter Skoronski coming up most often. The Eagles do not have an immediate need at Tackle. But that has never stopped Howie from drafting an Offensive Lineman in the past. He has a draft philosophy that does not deter him from using a pick on someone even if they won’t play right away. He values future returns far more than he does immediate value. And Skoronski could always play RG for a couple of years.

    Just behind him are Georgia teammates Nolan Smith and Jalen Carter. Who could both satisfy future and present needs. The Eagles D Line is not a dire need, but you could never have too many DTs or edge rushers. Lukas Van Ness, the 4th most drafted player by ESPN for the Eagles, would also fit that bill.

    Some more notable results:

    • The breakdown by position is 114 defensive linemen, 114 Offensive Linemen, 53 Corners, 33 Wrs, 13 RBs, and 6 LBS
    • The talk when it comes to the Eagles going with a skill position, has mostly centered around taking Bijan Robinson at 10. But Jaxon Smith-Njigba coming up 33 times is interesting. With AJ Brown, Devonta Smith, Dallas Goedert, and now Olamide Zaccheaus, there is not much of a need for another pass catcher. Though the thought of adding another elite WR to the room is certainly tempting, it is not likely or practical.
    • An LB in the first round? At pick 10 no less? Maybe I spoke too soon, ESPN doesn’t know Howie at all.
  • ESPN- Pick 30

    Now let’s look at who ESPN has the Eagles picking at 30.

    Player Times Picked
    Adetomiwa Adebawore-DT- Northwestern 61
    Felix Anudike -Edge- Kansas State 47
    Jahmyr Gibbs- RB- Alabama 31
    Anton Harrison- OT- Oklahoma 30
    Emmanuel Forbes-CB-  Mississippi State 24
    Will McDonald- Edge- Iowa State 22
    Jordan Addison- WR- USC 22
    Keion White- EDGE- Old Dominion 21
    Michael Mayer- TE- Notre Dame 13
    Deonte Banks- CB- Maryland 11
    Quentin Johnston- WR- TCU 9
    Bryan Bresee- DT- Clemson 8
    Mazi Smith- DT- Michigan 7
    Brian Branch- S- Alabama 7
    Zay Flowers- WR- Boston College 6
    Trenton Simpson- LB- Clemson 6
    Kelee Ringo- CB- Georgia 5
    Darnell Washington- TE- Georgia 3

    Pick 30 on all 3 draft sites saw a much wider range of players, some making more sense than others. The common belief is that they will trade out of this pick. But that doesn’t matter all that much to this simulation because all of these players could be there in the 2nd round where they traded back to anyway.

    Adetomiwa Adebawore is a name suddenly being attached to the Eagles a lot. Tony Pauline from The Pro Football Network reported the Eagles are in love with him. The same guy reported the Eagles loved Cam Jurgens last year, and we saw that pan out to be true. So he is definitely a name to watch for.

    More notable results from pick 30:

    • The positional breakdown is 166 Defensive Linemen, 40 Corners, 37 WRS, 31 RBs, 30 Offensive Linemen, 16 TEs, 7 Safeties, and 6 LBs.
    • No clue why they have the Eagles taking Tight Ends at pick 30. Lots of national draft guys have done that too. Notice none of the local guys have done that though. Almost like it makes no sense. And people around the team know that.
    • Again with the LBs in the first round. Eagles fans certainly wouldn’t mind it. But it is not going to happen. Every year there are draft experts who mock guys like Patrick Queen, or Devin Lloyd, etc to the Eagles, but every year it doesn’t happen. Maybe if they trade back into the 2nd round, but we have seen Howie values other positions much more.
    • ESPN by far had the most different players selected at 30. 18 different guys. The next highest was 14.
  • Pro Football Network- Pick 10

    Pro Football Network was the one site I used that predicted trades even when the pick is simulated. It did not have the Eagles trading up much from 10. But it did have them trade up from 30, and down a decent amount from 10. I didn’t keep full track of everything they got from those trade-downs, or even exactly how often it happened. But there were a few very interesting trades that I did note that we will get to later. But for now, let’s just look at the poor results of who they picked at pick 10, or with whatever pick they traded down to with it.

    Player Pick 10
    Jalen Carter- DT- Georgia 156
    Devon Witherspoon- CB- Illinois 58
    Brian Branch- S- Alabama 26
    Cam Smith- CB- South Carolina 18
    Tyree Wilson- Edge- Texas Tech 16
    Joey Porter Jr- CB- Penn State 14
    Christian Gonzalez- CB- Oregon 14
    Will Anderson Jr- Edge- Alabama 13
    Bijan Robinson- RB- Texas 12
    Myle Murphy- DT- Clemson 7

    PFN really liked picking Jalen Carter for the Eagles. They mocked him to them at Pick 10 nearly 100 times more than any other player. He made up 46.7 % of the picks at 10 in the 334 simulations with the PFN tool. Last year, even though Jordan Davis was the most often picked player, he made up only 25% of the selections for the Eagles’ first pick.

    Other notes from these results

    • Defensive Linemen were selected 192 times, CBs 104 times, and the only positions picked were Brian Branch at Safety (26 times), and Bijan Robinson at RB (12 times).
    • There were zero Offensive Linemen, or Wide Receivers, even though those positions were both popular picks on the other sites for the Eagles.
    • Also no linebackers at 10, so Kudos to PFN for knowing that the Eagles would never select a LB in the first round.
    • Will Anderson falling to them at 10 feels very unlikely, but it sure would be nice if he did.
    • As I said, I didn’t keep track of everything they traded for when they did trade down or up. But I will say on average 19 was the farthest they ever traded down to. The Bucs traded up with them a decent amount of times. And often that, for some reason, resulted in the Eagles bringing back Mike Evans along with other picks. That part seems very unlikely. But the idea of the Bucs trading up for a QB at 10, makes sense.
    • There was a time they traded down to 19 with the Bucs, got Mike Evans, then traded down again with the Raiders, and got Josh Jacobs. I did not count that draft in the results. Just seemed way too absurd, and since they traded out of the first round with pick 10, it would have thrown off the results. But felt worth mentioning at least as a weird result.
    • Despite Peter Skoronski being the most drafted player at 10 by both other websites, PFN selected him zero times for the Eagles.
  • Pro Football Network- Pick 30

    Now let’s see who PFN had them picking at 30, or wherever it had them trade up to.

    Player Pick 30
    Nolan Smith- Edge- Georgia 73
    Will McDonald- Edge- Iowa State 65
    BJ Ojulari- Edge- LSU 39
    Bryan Bresee- DT- Clemson 30
    Trenton Simpson- LB- Clemson 30
    Cam Smith- CB- South Carolina 20
    Isaiah Foskey- Edge- Notre Dame 19
    Joey Porter Jr- CB- Penn State 16
    Calijah Kancey- Edge- Pitt 16
    Kalee Ringo- CB- Georgia 16
    Lukas Van Ness- Edge- Iowa 7
    Zay Flowers- WR- Boston College 3

    Apart from it being an edge rusher, PFN was far less consistent about what player the Eagles will take at 30. Nolan Smith led the way with 73 selections. But of the 12 players who got picked at least once, 6 were edge rushers. And all of them, except for Zay Flowers who came up just 3 times, are defensive players.

    Most mock drafts have Nolan Smith going way before the Eagles are on the clock again. In fact, I can’t find any recent mock drafts that have him available when the Eagles pick at 30. A number of those occasions came from the Eagles trading up from pick 30, into the higher 20s range. Still, it seems unlikely they can land Nolan Smith unless they do so with their first pick. The same goes for Lukas Van Ness and Joey Porter Jr.

    More notes on Pick 30

    • 219 of the 333 selections were edge rushers. Which makes a ton of sense given the need there, and how much Howie values pass rushers.
    • Cornerback was the next most common selection with 62. DT and LB were tied at 30, and WR at 3.
    • No Safties or RBs. Which fair enough. Apart from LB, those seem like the least likely positions Howie would ever spend a 1st on. Maybe at 30? And trading down into the second and taking a Safety or RB is definitely on the table. But Howie doesn’t spend firsts on LBs, Safeties, or RBs.
    • A Georgia player led at both Pick 10 and 30. It’s fun imagining a line with Davis, Carter, Smith, with Nakobe Dean lined up behind them at LB. Kelee Ringo also showed up a bit at pick 30. Could the Eagles continue to become Georgia North?
  • Pro Football Focus- Pick 10

    I am just going to get this out of the way now. The Pro Football Focus results were weird. Apparently, the Eagles have a huge need at WR. Because PFF was obsessed with picking WRS, even picking two on a few occasions. Let’s see what the results were at 10.

    Player Pick 10
    Peter Skoronski- OT- Northwestern 71
    Jaxon Smith-Njigba- WR- Ohio State 59
    Calijah Kancey- EDGE- Pitt 56
    Christian Gonzalez- CB- Oregon 42
    Quentin Johnston- WR- TCU 39
    Tyree Wilson- Edge- Texas Tech 34
    Devon Witherspoon- CB- Illinois 21
    Lukas Van Ness- Edge- Iowa 11

    The first thing that stood out to me is how few players it ever selected. ESPN split 333 selections across 11 guys. PFN 333 across 10 guys. PFF meanwhile, just 8 total guys ever selected at pick 10. And 3 of those 8 guys have never been connected to the Eagles.

    As already said, Jaxon Smith-Njigba would certainly be an exciting name, but not one that makes a ton of sense for the Eagles. The same goes for Quentin Johnston, with the added detraction of being a TCU WR. We know Eagles fans aren’t big fans of them. Calijah Kancey feels like a reach at 10, with him mostly going in the high teens. And while Tyree Wilson falling to 10 would be amazing, it seems unlikely.

    But as for the picks that do make some sense, Peter Skoronski once again came in as the most often selected player. Meaning he was the number 1 selected player on two of the 3 mock draft tools. Like WR, OL is not an immediate need. But Howie has never shied away from drafting an O-Linemen to stash for a year. And Peter Skoronski could play right away at RG and would give Cam Jurgens competition. Are there better uses of pick 10? Sure. But taking an Offensive Lineman at 10 is not something anyone should rule out.

    A few more takeaways

    • The breakdown by position was 101 Edge Rushers, 98 WRs, 71 O-Linemen, and 63 CBs.
    • PFF was the only mock draft tool to mock Quentin Johnson to them, or Calijah Kancey at pick 10 to them.
    • 98 WRs is by far the most any mock draft tool has the Eagles taking at WR at 10
    • PFF selected Jalen Carter 0 times. The only of the 3 sites to never select the Georgia DT. They also never selected Joey Porter Jr or Bijan Robinson at 10.
  • Pro Football Focus- Pick 30

    Now let’s see what they had the Eagles doing at Pick 30…

    Player Times Selected
    Jordan Addison- WR- USC 63
    Mazi Smith- DT- Michigan 42
    Will McDonald- Edge- Iowa State 38
    Bijan Robinson- RB- Texas 36
    Michael Mayer- TE- Notre Dame 26
    Zay Flowers- WR- Boston College 24
    O’Cyrus Torrence- OG- Florida 21
    BJ Ojulari- Edge- LSU 17
    Emmanuel Forbes-CB- Mississippi State 17
    Broderick Jones- OT- Georgia 15
    Felix Anudike -Edge- Kansas State 14
    Anton Harrison- OT-Oklahoma 9
    Darnell Wright- OT- Tennesee 7
    Myle Murphy- DT- Clemson 4

    PFF’s obsession with the Eagles needing a WR continues. There were even times they had the Eagles pick Jaxon Smith-Njogba and Jordan Addison. What is your problem PFF?

    The next thing that stands out is them having Bijan Robinson still available at 30 very often. 36 times. The Eagles taking him at 10 would be very unlikely. That is just not Howie’s style. But at 30? Maybe. And it’s not completely impossible he is there. There are some mock drafts that have him falling that far. And as we have seen, more and more teams are devaluing the position. Just see how little money has been spent on RBs this off-season.  As good as Bijan is, there is a chance no teams value RB enough to spend their one first-round pick on him.

    More takeaways from these results

    • The positional breakdown was 115 Defensive Linemen, 87 WRS, 52 Offensive Linemen, 36 RBs, 26 TEs, and 17 CBs
    • A Defensive Lineman at Pick 30 makes a ton of sense. It may not necessarily be the players they mocked to them in this simulation. But as we all know, Howie loves his linemen, on either side of the ball.
    • Another site mocking a TE to the Eagles. Not gonna happen.


  • Full Results at Pick 10

    Let’s look at the results at pick 10 across all 3 websites

    Player Times Selected
    Jalen Carter- DT-Georgia 192
    Peter Skoronski- OT- Northwestern 157
    Jaxon Smith-Njigba- WR- Ohio State 92
    Christian Gonzalez- CB- Oregon 89
    Devon Witherspoon- CB- Illinois 79
    Calijah Kancey- EDGE- Pitt 56
    Tyree Wilson- Edge- Texas Tech 50
    Lukas Van Ness- Edge- Iowa 45
    Nolan Smith- Edge- Georgia 44
    Quentin Johnston- WR- TCU 39
    Joey Porter Jr- CB- Penn State 34
    Brian Branch- S- Alabama 26
    Bijan Robinson- RB- Texas 25
    Paris Johnson- OT- Ohio State 23
    Cam Smith- CB- South Carolina 18
    Will Anderson Jr- Edge- Alabama 13
    Myle Murphy- DT- Clemson 7
    Trenton Simpson- LB- Clemson  6
    Darnell Wright- OT- Tennesee 5

    Jalen Carter’s name came up 192 times. Something Eagles fans will be very happy to see. A lot of that is because of PFN being obsessed with giving him to the Eagles. But his name also came up a decent amount with the ESPN mock draft tool too. Peter Skoronski also seems like a pick that makes a ton of sense, though Eagles fans would likely be more mixed on that given he may not even play year one with them if that is the case.

    More takeaways from the results:

    • The positional breakdown was 407 Defensive Linemen, 220 CBs, 185 Offensive Linemen, 131 WRs, 26 Safeties, 25 RBs, and 6 LBs
    • Short of WRs being over-inflated due to PFF being weird, the actual positional breakdown seems to make a ton of sense. Based on Howies history, and everything we have heard, the Eagles will most likely be taking OL/DL at pick 10. Maybe a corner, but probably not. Definitely not an LB.
    • The idea that idea Will Anderson or Tyree Wilson will fall to the Eagles seems far-fetched. But it happened a few times in these simulations, so maybe the dream could come true.
    • The Eagles are not taking Bijan at Pick 10, and at least it seems even these sites seem to understand that. Why supposed draft experts putting out mock drafts don’t get that, who knows.
    • Christian Gonzalez is the only name that came up at pick 1o across all 3 sites.
    • 19 different players were selected at least once at pick 10, or wherever they traded down to.
    • Of those 19, 9 were selected on at least two of the 3 websites.
  • Full results at Pick 30

    Player Times Selected
    Will McDonald- Edge- Iowa State 125
    Jordan Addison- WR- USC 85
    Nolan Smith- Edge- Georgia 73
    Adetomiwa Adebawore-DT- Northwestern 61
    Felix Anudike -Edge- Kansas State 61
    BJ Ojulari- Edge- LSU 56
    Mazi Smith- DT- Michigan 49
    Emmanuel Forbes-CB- Mississippi State 41
    Anton Harrison- OT- Oklahoma 39
    Michael Mayer- TE- Notre Dame 39
    Bryan Bresee- DT- Clemson 38
    Bijan Robinson- RB- Texas 36
    Trenton Simpson- LB- Clemson 36
    Zay Flowers- WR- Boston College 33
    Jahmyr Gibbs- RB- Alabama 31
    Keion White- EDGE- Old Dominion 21
    Kelee Ringo- CB- Georgia 21
    O’Cyrus Torrence- OG- Florida 21
    Cam Smith- CB- South Carolina 20
    Isaiah Foskey- Edge- Notre Dame 19
    Calijah Kancey- Edge- Pitt 16
    Joey Porter Jr- CB- Penn State 16
    Broderick Jones- OT- Georgia 15
    Deonte Banks- CB- Mayland 11
    Quentin Johnston- WR- TCU 9
    Brian Branch- S- Alabama 7
    Darnell Wright- OT- Tennessee  7
    Lukas Van Ness- Edge- Iowa 7
    Myle Murphy- DT- Clemson 4
    Darnell Washington- TE- Georgia 3

    Will McDonald’s name came up a lot across all 3 sites. He and Zay Flowers are the only names that came up at least once on all 3 websites. But while McDonald had at least 20 selections on each site, Zay Flowers was in single digits on all but one of the websites. He is not a name getting a ton of talk here in Philly, but he would make sense. The Iowa State Edge Rusher put up huge sack numbers in 2021. They came down a bit last year, but he was still productive. The Eagles have some needs at Edge Rusher. So he very well could hear his name called if the Eagles stay at pick 30.

    Other Takeaways:

    • D-Line far and away led all positions at pick 30. A D-Lineman was selected 530 times. All 3 sites had D-Linemen as at least two of the 3 most selected players at pick 30. Which makes sense given on two of the 3 sites Peter Skoronski was the most selected player at 10. So Howie goes O-Line pick 10, D-Line pick 30.
    • The rest of the positional breakdowns are 127 WRs, 109 CBs, 82 O-Linemen, 67 RBs, 42 TEs, 36 LBs, and 7 Safeties.
    • 30 total players were selected at least once at pick 30, or wherever they traded up to
    • Of those 30, only 12 came up at least once on two of the 3 websites.
  • Breakdown By Colleges

    Georgia 348
    Northwestern 218
    Iowa State 125
    Ohio State 115
    Clemson 91
    Oregon 89
    USC 85
    Illinois 79
    Alabama 77
    Pitt 72
    Texas 61
    Kansas State 61
    Notre Dame 58
    LSU 56
    Iowa 52
    Texas A&M 50
    Penn State 50
    Michigan 49
    TCU 48
    Mississippi State 41
    Oklahoma 39
    South Carolina 38
    Boston College 33
    Old Dominion 21
    Florida 21
    Tennesee 12
    Maryland 11
    • Im sure Eagles fans will be happy with Georgia being the school with the most selections
    • Georgia is also the school with the most different players selected. Jalen Carter, Nolan Smith, Kelee Ringo, and Darnell Washington.
    • Alabama and Clemson each had3 different players mocked to the Eagles at least once. Bama had Will Anderson, Jahmyr Gibbs, and Brian Branch. Clemson had Myles Murphy, Trenton Simpson, and Bryan Bresee.
    • 3 other schools had 2 different players mocked to the Eagles. Northwestern (Peter Skoronski and Adetomiwa Adebawore), Notre Dame (Michael Mayer and Isaiah Foskey), and Ohio State (Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Paris Johnson)


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