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April 21, 2020

NFL Draft rumors: Could Eagles trade Alshon Jeffery on draft night? Is Ruggs the pick at 21?

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72_11032019_EaglesvsBears_Alshon_Jeffery_KateFrese.jpg Kate Frese/for PhillyVoice

Alshon Jeffery was a successful Eagles free agent wide receiver signing, for a little while anyway.

We're just a couple of days from the start of the 2020 NFL Draft, which will be the first virtual draft in the history of the league and is sure to go off without a hitch. I mean, what could go wrong?

Oh, yeah. That. 

There are almost certainly going to be some hiccups as this remote draft plays out, but Eagles fans are certainly hoping none of those come from the Philadelphia contingent huddled around their screens and phones. Because, after two straight years of making very few picks, the Eagles are heading into this draft with eight, and could be looking to get more between now and when all is said and done. 

Everyone knows — or at least thinks they know — that Howie Roseman and Co. are going to target a wide receiver in the first round. Whether or not that involves them moving up to get their guy remains to be seen. Pretty much every wideout expected to go in the second half of the first round has been mocked to the Eagles, and that hasn't changed in the days leading up to Thursday night's first round. 

Over at The MMQB, Peter King posted his first (and only) mock draft of the year, and he had a pretty interesting nugget about who the Eagles will be taking with the 21st pick. No, not Justin Jefferson, the guy who has long been rumored to be the pick for Philly. No, it's a different SEC wideout who King believes will the pick.

Here's more:

21. Philadelphia—Henry Ruggs III, wide receiver, Alabama

Maybe Eagles GM Howie Roseman will find a taker for Alshon Jeffery and his hefty salary (maybe by paying a good chunk of it), or maybe the Eagles have to play with Jeffery and his injury bug for one more season; when he’s on the field he’s effective if not a star. But the thing I heard about the Eagles in the last few days is, Henry Ruggs will not get past 21. So here we are. Ruggs and his 4.27 40-speed are obviously tempting, and 24 touchdowns on only 98 career catches is explosive stuff. But a couple of things make me wonder. Three years, 41 games, 2.4 catches per game, 41.9 receiving yards per game. The most dangerous weapon in your offense gets 42 yards a game? The other side of that is some very smart offensive minds—Sean Payton, Andy Reid—love Ruggs. He’s competitive, and he doesn’t drop many. If he goes to Philadelphia, he’ll be the deep weapon Carson Wentz has imagined with DeSean Jackson.  [MMQB]

Most mock drafts don't have Ruggs falling to the Eagles at 21, so it would make sense that they'd snatch him up if he makes it that far. 

That, however, might not be the most interesting thing King had to say. He also offered up a list of players likely to be traded on draft night, and there was one name in there that should jump out at Eagles fans: "Washington T Trent Williams, Jacksonville DE Yannick Ngakoue, New England G Joe Thuney, Cincinnati QB Andy Dalton, Jacksonville RB Leonard Fournette, Philadelphia WR Alshon Jeffery."

No, we're not talking about Leonard Fournette, who might make sense as a trade target for the Eagles. And we're not talking about Yannick Ngakoue, who clearly wants out of Jacksonville and has been hinting at Philadelphia as his desired landing spot. We're, of course, talking about Alshon Jeffery. 

It's worth noting that King listed these players in the order of how likely they are to get traded, and Jeffery is the last name on the list. But, hey, for fans hoping the Birds will move on from the injured wideout, it's something.

There was also another interesting nugget dropped on Monday for those who want the Eagles to trade up and get one of the other top tier wideouts like CeeDee Lamb or Jerry Jeudy. The 49ers are reportedly shopping the 13th overall pick, as they're looking to gain some more picks in the middle part of the draft, something the Eagles actually have to offer. 

There will likely be more rumors and news leaking out in the days and hours leading up to the NFL Draft, so keep it locked right here as we'll keep you up to date with all the latest... 

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