March 09, 2021
On Monday, we published our third Philadelphia Eagles-only mock draft of the offseason. Today we'll take a peek around at some of the national guys and see who they have going to the Birds at 6th overall, just ahead of free agency.
After trading away Carson Wentz, 2020 second-round pick Jalen Hurts tops the Eagles' quarterback depth chart. And my feeling is that he has earned a chance to start in Week 1 next season and try to be Philly's long-term answer, even though he completed just 52% of his passes last season. The Eagles have major salary-cap issues, and this is not going to be a one-year rebuild for new coach Nick Sirianni. I wouldn't be surprised if they're picking in the top 10 next year as well. Drafting Chase here will allow a better evaluation of Hurts in 2021; he's a true No. 1 wideout with a high ceiling. After opting out of the 2020 season, Chase will get a chance to work out for teams at LSU's pro day on March 31, and there's a chance he could wow scouts and coaches there and end up as the No. 1 receiver in this class.
#JimmySays: Chase would be the crowd-pleaser pick of this draft for the Eagles, so we know that's not going to happen. 😉
Despite the Eagles' glaring weakness at wide receiver, I'm mixing it up with Pitts at No. 6. It'd be the 10th time a tight end has been drafted before the first wide receiver off the board, and only four other tight ends have ever been taken in the top six. But here's the thing: Pitts is more than just a tight end. He's a matchup nightmare who can line up all over the place, and his great speed, hands and 6-foot-6 size make him extremely difficult to contain. Philadelphia should add receiver help in free agency, but a Pitts-Dallas Goedert pairing is a dream for any offensive coordinator.
#JimmySays: McShay has the Eagles taking Pitts with Ja'Marr Chase still on the board, which makes no sense to me. The only way you can take Pitts if you're the Eagles is if you believe he can be an X receiver in your offense. Otherwise, you're committing to running a two-tight end set as your base offense, which, just... 🤢. Or you're planning on trading one of your only good young players in Goedert, and very likely for less than he's worth.
So you can either take the stud X receiver in Chase, or the tight end (granted, a potential stud TE) who can maybe replicate some of the things that Chase can do, but is obviously not as good a receiver. I don't get it.
The trade of Carson Wentz might open the door to an early pick of a quarterback, but in this scenario, I'll say GM Howie Roseman and new head coach Nick Sirianni will find a veteran free agent to compete with or complement 2020 second-round pick Jalen Hurts. The team has a need at the tight end position, as Zach Ertz is not expected to return and Dallas Goedert is a free agent after next season, but this could simply be a case of the Eagles picking the best available player. Pitts possesses the size, speed and insane catch radius to be a real force.
#JimmySays: I don't understand the point about Goedert set to become a free agent next offseason. He was fifth among tight ends in receiving yards per game in 2020, playing in an atrocious offense. And he can block. He's one of like three good, young players on the team, lol. And you're just going to let him walk in free agency to make room for Pitts? Is that the justification here for drafting at tight end with the sixth overall pick?
Because it really shouldn't take much to keep Goedert. The franchise tag amount for tight ends in 2021 is barely over $10 million. If you can't work out a long-term deal with him, a one-year salary of around $10 million is probably the worst case scenario, even if Goedert continues to improve as a player.
Tight end is far from a "need," at least relative to almost every other position on the roster.
Also, to note, this was a four-round mock. Reuter's other picks: UCF CB Aaron Robinson in the second (meh), Florida QB Kyle Trask in the third (🤮), and UAB edge Jordan Smith (fine).
With the Eagles moving on from DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery this offseason, the team needs to add another pass catcher.
#JimmySays: Smith is very likely to be good in the NFL, so it would probably be something of a safe pick. Oddly, Casserly has Justin Fields going 24th to the Steelers here.
Who knows what the Eagles will do with the No. 6 pick, but it's hard to imagine they no-showed in that Week 17 game just to take a wideout or offensive lineman. And with Carson Wentz now in Indy, there has to be a Plan B behind Jalen Hurts, who is reunited with his former Alabama teammate, Mac Jones.
Let's see how the Jalen Hurts experiment goes in Philadelphia. He'll have a nice collection of young and fast receivers if this is the pick on draft night.
#JimmySays: I'm warming slightly to the idea of Waddle at 6. I mean, I wouldn't take him there, but I can see the merit in valuing him over DeVonta Smith.
A North Dakota State quarterback replaces a North Dakota State quarterback. Trey Lance may need a little bit of time to hit his stride, but his upside is immense.
#JimmySays: This is essentially my thinking with Lance, which is fine for an Eagles team that is going to take a year or two before they can make another push to contend.
Jeffrey Lurie, who reportedly wanted Jalen Hurts in the second round of the draft last year, now also wants to throw the organization's full support behind him as well, according to a report from Chris Mortensen. So that would probably negate Lance, if we're assuming that's not a smokescreen.
Their line was a disaster last year, so they need help in the worst way. They could also go corner here as well. But Darrisaw is a guy scouts love maybe more than draft media.
#JimmySays: Lol, what? This stupid pick aside, my favorite draft buildup thing that national media dorks say every year is, "The NFL likes this guy more than you dipshits."
Maybe Howie Roseman will draft a wide receiver this early? But I doubt it, especially if an offensive line upgrade can be had. The Eagles plan to have Lane Johnson and Brandon Brooks back, and hopefully Jason Kelce, too. They also hope health will be much more on their side in 2021. There is reason to believe they could go with Andre Dillard or Jordan Mailata as their left tackle, but why risk such a crucial offensive line spot on belief if a sure thing like Sewell is on the board? I don’t think they would.
#JimmySays: All four QBs are gone and Chase is still available in this scenario. I'd take Chase, but I don't completely hate the idea of grabbing Sewell. I'm out on Dillard, and Sewell is pretty clearly a more intriguing long-term answer than Jordan Mailata, who showed promise in 2020, but still has a ways to go and had two seasons end early because of back injuries. Sewell and Johnson could form the best OT tandem in the NFL, assuming Johnson's ankle ever heals.
The Eagles receiving corps is among the worst in their division. After recently releasing DeSean Jackson, getting younger and better at the position will be critical to their success. Chase opted out of the 2020 season, but he was a difference-maker and dynamic playmaker for LSU before that.
#JimmySays: LMFTFY. "The Eagles receiving corps is *always* among the worst in
their division the NFL."
The Eagles did use a first-rounder on Jalen Reagor last year, but they have plenty of other issues at wideout for new starting QB Jalen Hurts and could use Chase as their true go-to "X" outside to complement Reagor as a speedy "Z." Chase posted 84 catches for 1,780 yards and 20 TDs during the national championship season and can join former teammate Justin Jefferson in lighting up the NFL as a versatile playmaker.
#JimmySays: The final tally:
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