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April 26, 2021

Who will the Eagles take with their first pick in the 2021 draft?

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Eagle statue in football stadium Kate Frese/for PhillyVoice

It's that special time of year. The 2021 draft is right around the corner, and the excitement is palpable. The draft is often one of the most fun events to bet on, with a slew of props being offered by sportsbooks. One team with a very interesting week ahead of them is the Eagles, and that's who we'll be talking about today.


It's been an offseason of change for the Eagles, as they saw their former head coach and franchise quarterback both depart. Doug Pederson and Carson Wentz are out, Nick Sirianni and (likely) Jalen Hurts are in. The team is going into something of a rebuild, which isn't what anyone imagined when they won a title just a few short years ago.

Zach Ertz, another franchise staple, could soon be following Pederson and Wentz out the door. They've got a lot to figure out, and GM Howie Roseman made a big splash about a month ago by trading down from the sixth overall pick to the 12th pick. They got a nice bounty for that and with some good draft capital and a few smart moves, the Birds could quickly make into a top NFL pick for the 2021 season. They've got a few positions that jump out as needing to be addressed, so let's take a look at where Roseman might be focusing this weekend:


Pederson and Wentz caught most of the blame, but there are more than a couple of glaring holes on the roster. Wentz had an atrocious receiving group, and the Eagles desperately need to upgrade their cast of weapons. As such, you can expect them to take pass-catchers with more than one of their 11 picks. Receiver is +130 to be their first pick at DraftKings.

The team let Jalen Mills walk this offseason, so they could also use some help in the secondary. Outside of Darius Slay, there's not a ton there. A lot of media mock drafts have Philly taking cornerbacks Jaycee Horn from South Carolina or Patrick Surtain II from Alabama. Cornerback is +175 to be their first pick.

There's also a chance they could look to add a big fella up front to the offensive line. Their pass protection was also awful last year, and both Lane Johnson and Brandon Brooks are on the wrong side of 30 and coming off serious injuries. O-line is further back at +600 to be their first pick.


We think receiver at +130 is the best play here. Jalen Reagor, Greg Ward Jr., and Travis Fulgham just aren't going to cut it as Philly’s top receivers. Roseman and owner Jeffrey Lurie know that, and we think they'll want to make a big splash with a skill position player. Cornerback just isn’t as pressing of a need, and Slay is still capable of playing at a very high level.

If they do bring in a top receiver for Hurts, then the Eagles’ NFL odds for the NFC East division winners could soon look overpriced, especially considering the unpredictable nature of that division.

Penei Sewell and Rashawn Slater will very likely be gone by the time they're picking, so we don't see what offensive lineman they'd realistically pick. They desperately need to give Hurts better targets if he's going to have a chance, and the team isn't going to jeopardize his development. DraftKings also has odds on which specific player the Birds will take, and we are also going to take a nibble on it being Jaylen Waddle at +500. This may be a somewhat bold NFL prediction, but given the way things are looking there could be some serious value in getting Waddle at these odds.

DeVonta Smith is favored at +300, but we don't think teams are as high on him as the media is. Roseman and Lurie will likely be enamored with Waddle's speed and explosiveness.

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