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January 06, 2021

Eagles-only 2021 mock draft, version 1.0

As a reminder, the Eagles are projected to have nine draft picks this year, with two in the fifth round, and three in the sixth, depending on how compensatory pick projections go.

Round 1: Ja'Marr Chase, WR, LSU (6'1, 200)

Would the Eagles take a receiver in the first round two consecutive seasons? Well, considering Travis Fulgham led the team with 539 receiving yards, I'd say that it's not such a stretch.

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Chase would be an excellent fit as an X receiver in the Eagles' offense, and would (in theory) pair nicely with Jalen Reagor as the Z, assuming Reagor can live up to his potential.

In 2019, Chase caught 84 passes for 1,780 yards (21.2 YPC) and 20 TDs. He was clearly a better prospect than teammate Justin Jefferson, who went 22nd overall to the Vikings, had 1,400 receiving yards this season, and should be the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.

Chase might not run in the low 4.3's and he's not 6'5, but he's plenty athletic, and he's certainly big enough for the NFL. As far as his skill set goes, there isn't much to nitpick. He has great hands, he runs good routes, he's physical when beating press, he breaks tackles, and he can track the ball in the air. Despite being a legitimate star player, he'll also do the dirty work, and is thought of as a good blocker. A look:

Don't get cute. If Chase if there, just be thankful and take him.

Round 2: Wyatt Davis, OG, Ohio State (6'4, 315)

Davis' grandfather is NFL Hall of Famer Willie Davis. He is thought of as one of the top two or three best guard prospects in the country. He's strong, nasty, and tough, with above average (though maybe not elite) athleticism. Here he is against Clemson: 

Davis played on the right side at Ohio State, and the Eagles have a more immediate need on the left side, if Jason Kelce retires and Isaac Seumalo slides inside to center. In that sense, it's not a perfect fit, but there's little reason to believe Davis can't play LG. He's a plug and play starter, and potentially a very good one, long-term. 

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Round 3: Chazz Surratt, LB, North Carolina (6'2, 225)

Surratt is an interesting prospect who moved from quarterback to linebacker. In his first full season at LB in 2019, Surratt racked up 115 tackles (15 for loss), 6.5 sacks, an INT, and a forced fumble. In 11 games in 2020, he had 91 tackles, 6 sacks, and 3 pass breakups. Here's a look at him both as a quarterback and a linebacker. As you can see, he doesn't lack athleticism.

The Eagles' linebackers were predictably bad early in 2020 after they didn't address the position in free agency, or draft any pro-ready linebackers. When Alex Singleton replaced Nate Gerry, the linebacker play improved, but the belief here is that the Eagles still very much need a legitimate three-down linebacker. Surratt seems to be a quick learner, and he understands the game from a quarterback's perspective.

Round 5: Elijah Moore, WR, Ole Miss (5'9, 185)

There are a ton of smaller, waterbug WRs poised to enter the 2021 NFL Draft, and as such, there could be some great values on them on Day 3. One of my favorites is Moore, who had a monster 2020 season, making 86 catches for 1,193 yards and 8 TDs in just 8 games. 

He is an explosive slot receiver who can make plays down the field, or on quick hitters as an extension of the run game. Moore's 2020 highlights: 

Yes, we all love Greg Ward's story, but the reality is that at 8.3 career yards per catch (and only 5.3 yards per target), he just doesn't legitimately threaten opposing defenses as a starting slot. There are too many quality slot receivers in that draft not to grab one. I don't know that Moore will still be there in Round 5, but somebody good will be.

Round 5: Ar'Darius Washington, S, TCU (5'8, 178)

At 5'8, Washington is going to be an automatic no for some teams at the safety position, but the Eagles have shown in recent years that they don't care as much about height on the back end. If you can get past his height, Washington is a really good player, with speed, ball skills (5 INT in 2019), and a willingness to hit.

He's a Rodney McLeod replacement candidate.

Round 6: Marco Wilson, CB, Florida (6'1, 192)

Wilson plays the "star" position in Florida's defense, which is a CB-S-LB hybrid role. If you'll recall, a popular player mocked to the Eagles during the 2019 draft was Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, who played the same role at Florida. Wilson has experience both in the the "star" role, and at outside corner as well. That type of versatility will appeal to the Eagles, who like their defensive backs to be "positionless."

The Eagles can really just use defensive backs in bulk.

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Round 6: Kenny Yeboah, TE, Ole Miss (6'5, 240)

Yeboah is from Allentown, PA, and he was a graduate transfer from Temple who broke out in his final collegiate season at Ole Miss. His numbers: 

Kenny Yeboah Rec Yards YPC TD 
 2016 (Temple)15 15.0 
 2017 (Temple)14 136 9.7 
 2018 (Temple)13 154 11.8 
 2019 (Temple)19 233 12.3 
 2020 (Ole Miss)27 524 19.4 

To note, those 2020 stats were in just 7 games.

Yeboah played a more traditional tight end role in college. In the pros he'll be more of a "move TE," AKA an F, and could pair nicely with Dallas Goedert. A look:

It feels a lot like Zach Ertz's tenure with the team will soon be coming to a close. If so, the Eagles will need to add depth at TE, and a Day 3 prospect would make sense.

Round 6: Payton Turner, DE, Houston (6'6, 270)

Turner is an interesting prospect who mostly played at around 290 pounds as a 4i technique (lined up on inside shoulder of the tackle) his first few years at Houston, before moving outside to play more of a true DE spot as a senior. In just 5 games in 2020, Turner had 25 tackles (10.5 for loss), 5 sacks, and a forced fumble. 

He'll compete at the Senior Bowl in January, and he seems like a smart kid in the following interview. Also note the agility for a 6'6, 270-pound rusher:

The Eagles don't have a severe need at DE, at least in comparison to other positions, but Turner could make sense on Day 3 as an edge defender with some experience playing on the interior.

Round 7: Obinna Eze, OT, Memphis (6'8, 315)

Eze is a long and athletic offensive tackle prospect originally from Nigeria, who is likely to go on Day 3 of the 2021 NFL Draft if he comes out. In that sense, he fits the theme of the Eagles' taking shots on big, athletic late Day 3 offensive tackles from overseas, like they did with Jordan Mailata and Prince Tega Wanogho. Here he is against UCF. As you can see, he's the biggest player on the field: 

Offensive tackle isn't a huge need for the Eagles this offseason. At LT, they have Jordan Mailata and Andre Dillard. At RT, they have Lane Johnson and Jack Driscoll.

Ideally, Eze would have experience both at LT and RT, but according to his college bio page, he has only played LT. Still, he makes sense as another late round developmental OT to add to the pipeline.

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