January 07, 2021
On Wednesday, we published our first 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. Because the season hasn't ended yet, the Kipers and the Jeremiahs of the world have not yet published one.
The quarterback situation is murky. The defense needs reinforcements. Why, then, would the Eagles take a wide receiver, let alone a 175-pound one with a ho-hum physical profile? Simple: Smith is a well-rounded and refined target capable of elevating a Philadelphia passing attack that otherwise looks to be in disrepair.
#JimmySays: In our Eagles-only mock draft, I was surprised by how many Eagles fans would prefer Smith over Ja'Marr Chase. Smith is awesome, no question. I mean, he's the Heisman Trophy winner. But the concern with him for many teams is going to be his size. He's just so small, though obviously, he doesn't play small. It'll be interesting to see how high he goes.
I think the public perhaps has some recency bias with Smith vs. Chase, given that Smith just had this incredible season, while Chase opted out to prepare for the 2021 NFL Draft. But if you look at each players' numbers, Chase's production during his sophomore season last year was right on par with Smith's 2020 season:
|Ja'Marr Chase, LSU, 2019 (14 games)||84||1780||21.2||20|
|DeVonta Smith, Alabama, 2020 (12 games)||105||1641||15.6||20|
I don't think you can go wrong with either player, but my preference would be the more stoutly built Chase.
The Eagles could pick a quarterback if they aren't too excited about what Jalen Hurts showed down the stretch. If they don't, another receiver would be sensible.
#JimmySays: I believe there's an argument that the lengths to which the Eagles made sure they lost Week 17 would point toward them desiring a quarterback in this draft. As in, would they really be willing to go to those lengths on national television for their preference of a WR or CB?
Let’s see what shakes out in free agency on the offensive line, but you can’t go into another season with guys like DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery outside. The Smith vs. Chase debate will rage in Philly, but the Eagles can’t miss like they did on Jalen Reagor vs. Justin Jefferson.
#JimmySays: Was Jalen Reagor vs. Justin Jefferson even a valid debate last year? Jefferson was the clearly better prospect all along.
In the 22 years that the AP has been giving out the Player Of The Year Award, no wide receiver has ever won it...until 'Bama's DeVonta Smith did it this year. Smith tallied 105 receptions, 1641 YDS, and 20 TDs in 2020, and displayed the kind of skill that have some wondering whether he might edge out Jamarr Chase for the first WR drafted.
#JimmySays: I think that once we get a little further away from the college season, and closer to the draft, it will become somewhat clear once again that Chase is the better prospect.
You don’t have to look much further than Jalen Hurts‘ benching in Week 17 to see the Eagles still need a quarterback. Debate the ethics of it all you want, but Hurts has not played nearly enough to be considered the “guy” going forward. Lance brings a similar athletic skill set but with a cannon for an arm that can open up the downfield passing game.
#JimmySays: Jalen Hurts didn't get "benched." 🤦♂️
The Eagles were among the biggest disappointments of the 2020 season and reinforcements are needed on both sides of the football. With that said, Philadelphia can let the board fall to them and select the best player available. In this case, that’s Micah Parsons, who has the size, physicality, and athleticism to be a second-level enforcer in the NFL and the quarterback of the Eagles’ defense. His toughness, ability to play in space, and leadership are needed in Philadelphia.
#JimmySays: And so it begins. Marino's analysis is perfectly reasonable, but the Eagles just aren't going to draft a linebacker in the first round, much less at sixth overall, especially with Howie Roseman resuming his role as the team's GM.
Joe went the extra mile and did a two-round mock. In Round 2, he had the Eagles selecting NDSU OT Dillon Radunz. With Andre Dillard and Jordan Mailata poised to battle it out for the starting LT job, and Lane Johnson and Jack Driscoll returning at RT, it isn't likely the Eagles will spend a second-round pick on an OT.
Pass rushing is a key need for the Eagles as well, and getting Parsons from their own backyard will help in that regard. Arguably the best pure pass rusher in the class, I don’t think him skipping the 2020 season will really hurt. I think it’s a trap to think Parsons can only excel in a 3-4 base defense, with coordinators getting more creative in using weapons. With a player this good you just take him, and work out how to slot him in later.
#JimmySays: The only way you can maybe squint and find a way the Eagles take Parsons is if they change to a 3-4 defense and they view him as a pass-rushing OLB.
The Eagles are a mess on both sides of the ball, and I wouldn’t argue with a receiver being taken here. That said, their situation at linebacker is abysmal. Micah Parsons is a guy that they can use in the MIKE or SAM linebacker role while also utilizing his speed off the edge. He very well may be the best defensive prospect in the class.
#JimmySays: It's going to be a long offseason of this.
Got a bunch of stuff to do? Do not enter the mock draft machine at TheDraftNetwork.com. Here's what I came up with:
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