This article is written for two kinds of people…
1. The Laissez-Faire fan whose Eagles passion doesn’t quite spill over into college football. Their Draft Day approach is groupthink: if the know-it-alls are happy, cheer like hell. Otherwise, run Howie out of town — I think?
2. The draft nerd whose Mel Kiper shrine is aglow with burning sage, praying the Eagles to take their favorite Florida Gulf Coast prospect with a compensatory pick. They don’t just know 40-yard-dash times; they know blood types.
I’ve scoured the far corners of Google in a relentless endeavor to condense all of the intel on the Eagles’ draft – not just Round 1, every Round.
From ESPN to Pro Football Network and everywhere in between, let this article inform you on what expectations to set in each round. Perhaps when Roger Goodell delivers the pick on Day 3, you’ll have already established yourself as the Draft Guru among your circles.
DISCLAIMER #1: This was written before Carson Wentz being traded. That trade will likely stir up our draft capital immensely. Likewise, it was written with the assumption that Zach Ertz will not be in Philadelphia in 2021.
DISCLAIMER #2: Some of these mocks included trades and acquired picks. Some did not do all seven rounds. Just go with it. Also, I didn’t bother writing about the same player twice for obvious reasons.
Without further ado, a comprehensive guide to the Eagles’ 2021 Draft.
Mel Kiper, ESPN // Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
An injury ended his 2020 campaign, leading to DeVonta Smith’s rise. Still, Waddle was explosive in 2019 and is a clear Tier 1 receiving option. If Smith and Chase are off the board, the Eagles could easily take Waddle and still consider themselves armed with elite talent at WR.
Todd McShay, ESPN // Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU
For those who might have forgotten, Chase was arguably the best receiver in 2019, destroying defenses as the beneficiary of Joe Burrow’s Heisman campaign.
He opted out of 2020 because of the pandemic but offers more size and strength than Smith. Consider him a Justin Jefferson type.
Charlie Campbell, Walter Football // Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
Pitts has jumped up Big Boards as a dark horse selection for Philadelphia. He is a matchup nightmare who has been compared to Travis Kelce and Calvin Johnson.
While players never live up to that sort of hype, his athleticism and immediate impact are impossible to deny.
Walter Cherepinsky, Walter Football // Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
Ian Higgins, NFL Mocks // DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
The Heisman Trophy winner last season, Smith electrified the CFB scene. His CFP Finals performance was a night to remember, establishing himself as the frontrunner at the receiver position.
DraftTek.com // DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
Ben Natan, BGN (February) // DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
Matthew Valdovinos, Pro Football Network // Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
The Eagles had one of the worst linebacker units in football last season, and Parsons was the best defensive player in college last year. More impressive, Parsons only recently switched from safety to linebacker.
David Esser, Section 215 // Zach Wilson, QB, BYU
Quarterback?! Agreed. This would be a shock, but Wilson had an incredible 2020 season: 3,692 passing yards, 33 passing TDs, and a 73.5% completion percentage, alongside 10 rushing TDs and just 3 interceptions.
The selection would sow the seeds of discontent at a position the Eagles could use some consistency at, but Wilson’s talent is undeniable.
Eliot Shorr-Parks, 94.5 WIP // Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU
Shamus Clancy, NBC Sports Philadelphia // Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU
Dalton Miller, Pro Football Network // DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
Dalton Johnson and Josh Shrock, NBC Sports // DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
Chris Trapasso, CBS Sports // Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
Chad Reuter, NFL.com // Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama
Rivaled only by Caleb Farley, Surtain II is the top cornerback in the draft. He would pair immaculately with potential-mentor Darius Slay and finally give the Eagles a set of defensive backs they can be proud of – something the team hasn’t had in ages.
ROUND 1 SUMMARY
DeVonta Smith is the frontrunner, according to experts. Ja’Marr Chase and Kyle Pitts are close seconds, but this pick could come down to who is still on the board.
Smith and Chase could both be gone by 6, and rumors have started to whir about the Eagles adding QB competition for Jalen Hurts.
Charlie Campbell, Walter Football // Chazz Surratt, ILB, North Carolina
Development LB can improve his tackling but boasts 6.5 and 6 sacks in 2019 and 2020, respectively. Not a pick I love, but he would certainly boost the position immediately.
Walter Cherepinsky, Walter Football // Wyatt Davis, G, Ohio State
Davis is the kind of guard whose diverse skillset can play in any scheme. He’ll be a starter wherever he goes, and Philly would benefit enormously from his addition.
Ian Higgins, NFL Mocks // Liam Eichenberg, OT, ND
Eichenberg adds youth and talent to the tackle position and puts Dillard and Mailata on the hot seat. His talent is clear, and the team has plenty to gain from the added O-Line depth.
DraftTek.com // Jayson Oweh, EDGE, Penn State
Described as “Round 6 production, top-10 potential,” Oweh is a high-risk pick. Edge is a bigger need than discussed, but second-round picks aren’t where teams should gamble.
Ben Natan, BGN (February) // Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU
New Defensive Coordinator Jonathan Gannon loves the single-high safety, and Moehrig has the intelligence and agility to play that role. Starting next to or behind McLeod, this is a strong pick.
Matthew Valdovinos, Pro Football Network // Tyson Campbell, CB, Georgia
He has speed, elite physical ability, and athleticism. With the right coaching, he can put it all together and be a strong CB1.
Eliot Shorr-Parks, 94.5 WIP // Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina
Horn sits snug between Surtain/Farley and Tyson Campbell as the #3 corner in the draft. He depends on running receivers’ routes to make up for his 4.55 speed.
Shamus Clancy, NBC Sports Philadelphia // Asante Samuel Jr., CB, FSU
This kid isn’t a second-rounder because of his name: he can BALL. Five takeaways (3 INT, 2 FF) in just eight games? C’mon.
Dalton Miller, Pro Football Network // Tyson Campbell, CB, Georgia
Chad Reuter, NFL.com // Terrace Marshall, WR, LSU
The only thing keeping Terrace Marshall out of the first round is having played behind Justin Jefferson and Ja’Marr Chase for his college career. He’s a baller who is ready to play, and at 6’3″, he would be a perfect fit for Philly.
Round 2 Summary
If the first round is likely to be a skill position (WR or TE), the second round will either be a defensive back or offensive lineman.
Drafting at the top of the second gives the Eagles a ripe opportunity to grab an elite CB2 prospect, though Eichenberg or Davis could justifiably force Howie’s hand.
Charlie Campbell, Walter Football // Sage Surratt, WR, Wake Forest
Surratt declared for the Draft after opting out of 2020. Despite lacking elite speed, he has the size to fight for the 50/50 ball (6’3”, 215 lbs). He has the build to line up on the perimeter and move Jalen Reagor to the slot.
Ian Higgins, NFL Mocks // Paris Ford, S, Pittsburgh
He’s a big-hit guy who plays with plenty of emotion. Oh, and he had 3 interceptions in 7 games. Man coverage is his weakness, but surround him with corners who can lock down their assignment and watch him make quarterbacks pay.
Ben Natan, BGN (February) // Jabril Cox, LB, LSU
If Cox falls to 70th overall, this is a no-brainer. He would improve the position right away with his combination of talent, speed, and dual-threat in zone and man coverage alike.
Matthew Valdovinos, Pro Football Network // Tylan Wallace, WR, Oklahoma State
He’s a speedster at receiver who can stretch the field, though I’m not sure the Eagles need that right now. Nevertheless, his numbers in college were strong, and he’d open running lanes for Hurts.
David Esser, Section 215 // Josh Myers, C, Ohio State
This pick is drafting the Kelce replacement. Yet where Kelce is undersized and athletic, Myers is enormous and uses his size. =
Stoutland’s zone concepts might present Myers with some difficulty, but he will have time to learn.
Eliot Shorr-Parks, 94.5 WIP // Landon Dickerson, C, Alabama
Another Kelce replacement, Dickerson would be the superior option to Myers. He is more athletic and can start Day 1.
Shamus Clancy, NBC Sports Philadelphia // Deonte Brown, IOL, Alabama
Brown is fantastic and could redshirt behind Brandon Brooks and either Nate Herbig or Isaac Seumalo. The Eagles desperately need to get younger here, and Brown is a great solution.
Chad Reuter, NFL.com // Patrick Jones II, EDGE, Pittsburgh
Jones is purely a 4-3 edge rusher with minimal capacity for dropping into coverage. Unless Gannon makes changes, that shouldn’t be an issue. Plus, the kid had 17.5 sacks in 22 games. Whew.
Round 3 Summary
This round presents the Eagles with the flexibility to grab the best player available. There is a lot of talent in the selections above, but if Jabril Cox is available with the 70th pick, Howie would be a fool to choose otherwise.
Walter Cherepinsky, Walter Football // Dez Fitzpatrick, WR, Louisville
Fitzpatrick has the size and speed to be elite but never broke out at Louisville. Any team that can develop him will be all the better for it, though it will take plenty of work.
-Second Pick: Jabril Cox, LB, LSU
Ian Higgins, NFL Mocks // Monty Rice, LB, Georgia
Rice is on the smaller side, but he makes up for it with agility. He can cover the middle of the field incredibly well. The Eagles were torn to shreds by tight ends last season and could use Rice’s coverage ability.
-Second Pick: Zamir White, HB, Georgia
Higgins’ comp was Damien Harris in New England. He once ran a 4.4 40 and squatted 500 lbs, so he’s STRONG strong. His bruiser style would compliment Sanders well.
Ben Natan, BGN // Chuba Hubbard, RB, Oklahoma State
This is a home run pick if he falls this low. Dubbed “Chuba 2k” by me just now, he has the vision and can accelerate into gaps for the home run play. Sanders/Hubbard is a dangerous combo.
-Second Pick: Kelvin Joseph, CB, Kentucky
What he lacks in experience, he makes up for in potential. Joseph will need strong coaching to become a starter and has that in Gannon.
Matthew Valdovinos, Pro Football Network // Drake Jackson, C, Kentucky
Jackson’s strength is his experience, with 40 starts at Center (in the SEC, no less). Kelce will depart eventually, and investing in the position here could pay off enormously.
-Second Pick: Jeremy Ruckert, TE, Ohio State
Ruckert never reached his college potential, but he is still a solid option. He’d be second fiddle to Goedert, so he wouldn’t be rushed to realize that full potential on Day One.
David Esser, Section 215 // Daelin Hates, EDGE, ND
Hates thrives in the 4-3 and adds depth and talent besides Josh Sweat. Assuming Malik Jackson is released, this is a need that Hates answers.
-Second Pick: Thomas Graham Jr., CB, Oregon
Graham exclusively played outside, which bodes well, considering that’s where we need the most help. Pair him with Slay and put Maddox in the slot? Sounds good to me.
Eliot Shorr-Parks, 94.5 WIP // Buba Bolden, S, Miami
Bolden needs development to grow into either a strong or free safety and likely wouldn’t challenge K’Von Wallace for the #2 Safety position. I don’t love this pick.
-Second Pick: Aidan Hutchinson, DE, Michigan
Hutchinson’s value dipped because of a leg fracture that ended his 2020 campaign, but the kid is the real deal and can contribute next to Sweat.
Shamus Clancy, NBC Sports Philadelphia // Monty Rice, LB, Georgia
-Second Pick: Amari Rodgers, WR, Clemson
Clancy’s comp was Randall Cobb. I like Rodgers, but I wonder if he answers a need.
At just 5’10” and thriving in the slot, he doesn’t add size where we need it most.
Round 5 Summary
The halfbacks available in the fifth present strong RB2 options, while any other position would largely be a development option.
If the Eagles play the first three rounds right, this round should be a win-win. If they take Pitts with the 6th, however, a wide receiver is a must here.
Ian Higgins, NFL Mocks // DJ Daniel, CB, Georgia
Held Ja’Marr Chase to 3 catches for 41 yards and a touchdown which, by Chase’s standards, is really impressive. He represents immense value in the sixth round.
Ben Natan, BGN // Alaric Jackson, OL, Iowa
Jackson’s value dipped with the Big 10’s season being cut short due to COVID-19, but Jeff Stoutland knows how to develop linemen. Low floor, high ceiling pick.
Matthew Valdovinos, Pro Football Network // JaCoby Stevens, S, LSU
He’s a blitzing safety the size of a linebacker.
You want to hurt a quarterback? Look no further.
David Esser, Section 215 // Ihmir Smith-Marsette, WR, Iowa
Assuming Reagor doesn’t slide into the slot, Smith-Marsette is a quick receiver who could challenge Quez Watkins for that role. Not an ideal guy for the 50/50 ball, though.
Eliot Shorr-Parks, 94.5 WIP // Charlie Kolar, TE, Iowa State
Imagine Evan Engram, but worse. Not bad, but just not Evan-Engram-level good. Kolar benefits from playing behind Goedert and would be a strong TE2 (assuming Pitts isn’t the 6th pick).
Shamus Clancy, NBC Sports Philadelphia // Ali Gaye, EDGE, LSU
So long as Gannon keeps Philadelphia in a 4-3 scheme, the more edge rushers, the better. Gaye is underdeveloped, but it’s the 6th round: go crazy!
-Second Pick: Amari Burney, LB, Florida
Burney is the new-age type of linebacker: undersized, agile, and capable of playing safety or switching into coverage.
Certainly more of an outside linebacker, but not a bully.
Round 6 Summary
DJ Daniel and Alaric Jackson are the top options in this round, and there isn’t a close third.
This round and the next should be used on high-ceiling players who don’t need to contribute immediately.
Ian Higgins, NFL Mocks // Cory Durden, IDL, FSU
Strong run-defender and played alongside Marvin Wilson. Nothing to call home about, but he would add youth and depth at the position.
Ben Natan, BGN // Cade Johnson, WR, South Dakota State
Johnson flies under the radar because of his FBS status, but he is a bonafide stud.
Just watch his tape from the Senior Bowl: grabbing him in the 7th would be a steal.
-Second Pick: Trill Williams, CB, Syracuse
Williams was at the bottom of the Totem Pole at Syracuse, but their CB room was strong. It is difficult to muster too much enthusiasm over this pick despite a relatively high – albeit very hypothetical – ceiling.
-Third Pick: Tarron Jackson, EDGE, Coastal Carolina
Undersized edge rusher can contribute to special teams, but likely won’t amount to more than a rotational guy.
Matthew Valdovinos, Pro Football Network // CJ Verdell, RB, Oregon
Verdell in the 7th would be remarkable. He has 4th round potential given his ability to find space between the tackles. His receiving ability makes him a good third-down back as well.
David Esser, Section 215 // Trey Dean III, CB, Florida
Taking a risk on a 6’3” corner in the 7th round is a great decision. Dean could use some coaching but has fantastic potential.
-Second Pick: Rakeem Boyd, RB, Arkansas
Boyd plays like Jordan Howard, which went well last time we paired Jordan Howard with Miles Sanders. If no backs are taken by the 7th, Boyd is a strong option.
-Third Pick: Michael Clemons, EDGE, Texas A&M
Clemons didn’t play lights-out football, but at 6’5” and 270 lbs, he’s the kind of guy you take a risk on with the 255th overall pick.
Eliot Shorr-Parks, 94.5 WIP // Charles Snowden, LB, Virginia
Snowden has a lower ceiling than Davion Taylor but already has the all-around ability to play the position better than practically anyone on the Eagles’ current roster. The two working in tandem could be interesting.
Shamus Clancy, NBC Sports Philadelphia // Elijah Mitchell, RB, Louisiana-Lafayette
He’s a big back with plenty of experience and savvy with RPO. He’d be a great addition behind Sanders, and in the seventh, there is minimal risk.
Round 7 Summary
Cade Johnson would be a great pick, ad some of these Day 3 boom-or-bust picks could be fun.
Just be prepared for Howie to nab a Scandinavian cricketer instead.
Featured Image: Chris Parent/LSU Athletics