“Late-January 2024 NFL Mock Draft: Full 7-round Projection for the Green Bay Packers”

The Philadelphia Eagles were lauded for their 2023 draft. A team that had just won the NFC Championship somehow had gotten better with a homerun pick in every round. It did not play out the way they thought it would, with the Eagles finishing the season 1-6, including a first-round loss in the playoffs to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

They enter the offseason in a good spot. Jalen Hurts’ contract extension doesn’t kick in until 2025, so the team has $20 million in cap space. They can add another $10 million if they restructure or part ways with safety Kevin Byard. They have few holes, but the ones they do have they can address through free agency, or using their nine picks in the 2024 NFL Draft.

There will be no trades up or down in this mock draft, so the Eagles will pick where they are currently slated to at No. 22, 50, 54, 97, 137, 163, 172, 178 and 243.

Round 1, Pick 22: Bryan Thomas Jr, Wide Receiver, LSU

It could be argued that the Eagles don’t need a wide receiver in Round 1, but that argument has holes in it. AJ Brown is unhappy, and towards the end of the season, it was reported he split the locker room. DeVonta Smith is in the final year of his rookie deal and will be seeking an extension. Julio Jones is now an aging free agent, and Quez Watkins hasn’t developed as hoped.

LSU wide receiver Bryan Thomas Jr. can come in as the team’s No. 2 receiver if they move on from Brown, as they should, and can also evolve into the team’s No. 1 receiver if they move on from Smith at the end of 2024. He has above-average size (6-foot-4 and 205 pounds). He will run a good forty at the combine (4.40 seconds).

Thomas had 68 catches last season for 1,177 yards and 17 touchdowns. That’s 17.3 yards per catch. He gets off the line quickly, has exceptional hands, and has the fluidity to run any route. He does struggle with short and intermediate routes. Needs to do a better job of using his size and athleticism to create separation. It’s a lot harder to get open in the NFL.

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