Mel Kiper Jr. has become the gold standard of NFL mock drafts. He’s the guy who invented the mock draft, his ESPN colleagues proclaim.
Much like Joe Lunardi and his ESPN Bracketology — who this year missed only one of the 68 NCAA Tournament teams — Kiper’s mock drafts are must-reads for NFL fans.
Unexpected trades quickly make mincemeat out of mock drafts. Quarterback-needy teams and teams that lock in on a specific player make trades that rips a hole in the best of mock drafts.
Like Kiper or not, fans want to know what he thinks. Kiper has built a draft empire for himself. He started on ESPN in 1984. Now, ESPN airs special shows when he unveils his latest Eagles mock draft. His mock drafts usually are buried behind the paywall of ESPN+.
Draft season is intense for Eagles fans. Fans on sports-talk radio claim to have watched tape of an offensive guard from Purdue whose footwork reminds them of Jon Runyan, or something.
This year, double the intensity with the Eagles enjoying the luxury of two first-round picks.
So, from inside the paywall … Kiper’s latest mock draft — his third this year — has the Eagles selecting Northwestern offensive tackle/guard Peter Skoronski at No. 10.
At No. 30, Kiper has the Eagles taking Pitt defensive tackle Calijah Kancey. Interesting, I saw a mock draft the other day that had the Eagles taking Kancey with the 10th pick.
KIPER ON SKORONSKI AT 10…
- “A star at Northwestern, Skoronski would chart a similar path to that of Cam Jurgens in 2022, and he’d likely see time at guard and tackle while developing under Jeff Stoutland.
- “Center Jason Kelce will be back, but the Eagles just lost right guard Isaac Seumalo in free agency. Could they take the prospect some teams consider the best guard in the class?
- “Skoronski excelled at left tackle for the Wildcats, but his arms are slightly shorter than average for tackles [32 1/4 inches], and so he could instead move inside.
- “Philadelphia drafted interior lineman Cam Jurgens in Round 2 last year, so he’s the favorite to replace Seumalo, but taking Skoronski would ensure versatility and a competition.
- “The Eagles haven’t shied away in previous years from trying to stack strength on strength in the draft.
- “I also thought about defensive line here, as Adetomiwa Adebawore [Northwestern] or Lukas Van Ness [Iowa] could fit next to 2022 first-rounder Jordan Davis.
- “Fletcher Cox is back for one year, but Javon Hargrave left for a huge deal in San Francisco, so Philadelphia could address the position with its choice at No. 30 overall.”
KIPER ON KANCEY AT 30:
- “I still see Kancey as the ideal choice here, slotting in next to Jordan Davis for years to come and solidifying the Philadelphia defensive line.
- “General manager Howie Roseman and the Eagles, who have two first-rounders thanks to a deal with New Orleans last year, believe in investing heavily in the defensive line, so this is a pick to continue the trend.
- “Kancey had an elite workout at the combine, though he’s not going to be perfect for every team. At 6-foot-1, 281 pounds, he needs to go to a team that plays a 4-3 and allows him to penetrate past interior linemen and create chaos at the snap.
- “Keep an eye on safety for this pick, as C.J. Gardner-Johnson and Marcus Epps are both gone.”
KIPER’S TOP 10
Kiper does not have Texas running back Bijan Robinson in his top 10. Interesting given that Robinson has been described as a top-five talent. Kiper has him slotted to the Bills at 27.
- Panthers: C.J. Stroud, quarterback, Ohio State
- Texans: Bryce Young, quarterback, Alabama
- Colts (trade with Cardinals): Will Levis, quarterback, Kentucky
- Cardinals (trade with Colts): Will Anderson, edge, Alabama
- Seahawks: Anthony Richardson, quarterback, Florida
- Lions: Jalen Carter, defensive tackle, Georgia
- Raiders: Christian Gonzalez, cornerback, Oregon
- Falcons: Devin Witherspoon, cornerback, Illinois
- Bears: Paris Johnson Jr., offensive tackle, Ohio State
- Eagles: Peter Skoronski, offensive tackle/guard, Northwestern
Todd McShay also does a mock draft for ESPN. He predicts the Eagles will take Robinson at 10, and Kancey at 30.
NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah predicts the Eagles will take Iowa edge Lukas Van Ness at 10, and Kansas State edge Felix Anudke-Uzomah at 30. He has Robinson going to the Patriots at 14.
The Sporting News’ Vinnie Iyer says the Eagles will pick Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter at 10, and Alabama running back Jahmyr Gibbs at 30. He has Robinson going to the Bucs at 19.
IGGLES.COM MOCK DRAFT
Click the link (no paywall) to see this website’s predictions for all six of the Eagles’ picks, with scouting reports on each player. https://www.iggles.com/eagles-2023-nfl-mock-draft/