February 15, 2021
At some point, the Philadelphia Eagles may finally trade Carson Wentz. For now, Howie Roseman's expectations of the compensation the Birds should receive in return for Wentz are not aligning with how teams around the league are valuing him.
While the Birds may eventually add a pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, it's more likely that the higher picks they receive will be in 2022. And so, while we wait for the outcome of that trade, here's a look at the players who could interest the Eagles with the picks that they do presently have.
As a reminder, the Eagles are projected to have eight draft picks this year, with two in the fifth round, and two in the sixth, depending on how compensatory pick projections go. In case you missed version 1.0, here you go.
In 2019, Smith led Alabama in receiving yards and TDs, despite playing alongside a pair of first round picks in Henry Ruggs and Jerry Jeudy.
|Alabama WRs: 2019||Rec||Yards||YPC||TD|
Smith could have declared for the 2020 NFL Draft, but he stayed in school for his senior season, which turned out to be a wise move, as he's now in position to be a top 10 pick in the 2021 draft. In 2020, Smith had a monster season. I mean, obviously. He was the Heisman trophy winner. On the season, he had 117 catches for 1,856 yards and 23 TDs. He also had a 21.5 yards per return average on 11 punt returns, including a TD.
Smith is a smooth route runner, he gobbles up yards after the catch, he has great hands, and he can make spectacular catches in traffic. The concern that teams are going to have about Smith is his lack of size. He opted not to be weighed at the Senior Bowl. He's listed at 175, but does he even weigh 170? Certainly, he plays much bigger than his slight frame.
Smith is going to be connected to the Eagles in mock drafts all offseason long.
Nixon was a big riser this year, as he was a highly decorated player in 2020:
So that's all pretty good, right?
Nixon is quick, powerful, instinctive, and productive. On the season (in 8 games), Nixon had 45 tackles, 5.5 sacks, 13.5 tackles for loss, and a forced fumble.
DT Daviyon Nixon - 6'3 305 @HawkeyeFootball— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) November 1, 2020
4 sacks yesterday vs Northwestern! Strong & Stout!
RS-Junior. One season at Iowa Western JUCO in 2017, Redshirted in 2018, 366 snaps in 2019... Got my attention!
How about these 3rd down pressure looks - everyone standing up! pic.twitter.com/duMhwgCdN1
You can also see his obvious athleticism on display on this game-sealing pick six against Penn State. Watch him kinda-sorta Euro step Sean Clifford, lol:
With Malik Jackson clearly not returning in 2021 and Fletcher Cox now on the wrong side of 30, the Eagles need to reload at defensive tackle, a position that they obviously prioritize.
At the 2019 trade deadline, the Eagles flushed their 2021 fourth-round pick down the toilet when they traded it to the Browns for Genard Avery. I believe it would make sense for them to try to trade back in the third round to recoup a pick in Round 4. Here's how the draft value chart math works on the trade back that I'm proposing:
|Eagles get||Browns get|
|Pick No. 89 (145 points)||Pick No. 69 (245 points)|
|Pick No. 100 (100 points)|
|TOTAL POINTS: 245||TOTAL POINTS: 245|
Werner does not have particularly impressive numbers for a potential Day 2 linebacker, but he projects as an athletic three-down player in the NFL with the size and strength to play the run, and athleticism to cover tight ends and running backs. A look:
Yes, Alex Singleton came on a bit at during the back half of the season, and the Eagles drafted a couple linebackers in the 2020 draft in Davion Taylor and Shaun Bradley, but the Eagles could still clearly use a three down linebacker.
LeCounte is a ballhawking safety, as he had four INTs, two FFs, and three FRs in 2019. In 2020 he had 3 INTs in just 5 games.
He is also smart, and well-liked by his teammates, coaches, and Georgia's media, and he has become a leader on the field, communicating calls and alignments to the rest of the secondary.
So why could he be available in the fourth round? The concern is his tackling, as he had 15 missed tackles in 2018, according to this site, and some teams will be turned off by his lack of size.
In the 2020 draft, the Eagles selected K'Von Wallace, who is suited to play something of a Malcolm Jenkins role in the Eagles' defense. LeCounte is a safety prospect who fits in more as the deep middle Rodney McLeod safety. LeCounte could be well-suited to make plays if the Eagles play more Cover-2 under new defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon.
Hutcherson has both guard-tackle and left-right versatility, as he has started at LT, LG, and RG for South Carolina. He is also an impressive athlete who made Bruce Feldman's 2020 Freaks list.
The Gamecocks starting left tackle for most of last season isn’t only one of the strongest men in the SEC, but the 320-pounder also has impressive athleticism as reflected by his 31.5-inch vertical jump. Hutcherson, a former high school tight end, also benches around 450 pounds and squats more than 600.
Hutcherson will probably be a guard at the next level, but with versatility to play either side, and potentially kick out to tackle in a pinch.
Stevenson is an explosive receiver who has had good production the last three seasons in Houston's spread offense:
|2018 (13 games)||75||1019||13.6||9|
|2019 (12 games)||52||907||17.4||9|
|2020 (5 games)||20||307||15.4||4|
He mainly works out of the slot, and has added value as a returner, where the Eagles have an obvious need.
If you're a regular reader of this series you already know where this is going. Yes, we all like Greg Ward, who should have a role on the team, just not as a starting slot, where the Eagles can use more playmaking ability.
Mitchell had a 6.2 yards per carry average and 46 total TDs in his 42 career college games. While he doesn't have good long speed, he's a "get it and go" back with good acceleration who can get up to top speed quickly and run through tacklers with his compact frame.
He also has 47 career catches and a 12.2 yards per catch average. It's time to replace Corey Clement as the RB3, and a later-round running back would be a cheap way to do that.
Poljan played quarterback at Central Michigan, before converting to tight end, and moving on to Virginia as a graduate transfer. In his first full season at tight end in 2019, Poljan had 33 catches for 496 yards (15.0 YPC) and 4 TDs, decent numbers for a guy playing full time there for the first time. In 2020, he had 38 catches for 411 yards (10.8 YPC) and 6 TDs.
He has great size, he understands passing concepts from a quarterbacks' perspective, and the Eagles love them some converted QBs. He'll need work as a blocker, but he has the size to be an effective one. Poljan isn't going to scare many defenses in between the 20's, but he has the size to be a quality red zone target. For example:
If the Eagles move on from Zach Ertz, as is expected, the Eagles will need TE depth.
Not just a punter, but a 28-year-old punter! Why? Because screw you, I want a punter in my mock draft. That's why.
Anyway, I'm not saying the Eagles should draft a punter, but Duffy is one of the top two punter prospects in the country, and he competed at the Senior Bowl in January. Also, I just love this guy.
Meanwhile, Cameron Johnston (a) did not have a good season, and (b) his restricted free agent tender amount is projected to be $2,240,000 this offseason, which the Eagles should not pay.
In all these mock drafts, there's going to be a position that gets left out, because, well, the roster stinks and they have so many needs. This time around it's cornerback. My apologies in advance.
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