Now that the dust has settled a little on the blockbuster trade by the Eagles to move back to the 12th pick in the first round in the 2021 NFL Draft after failing to secure pick number three to draft Zach Wilson (insert Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor grunt), I still hate it. Why is giving Howie Roseman MORE first round draft picks a good thing? Not to mention, I believe there is a significant talent gap from six to 12. Instead of Ja’Marr Chase, Patrick Surtain II, or Kyle Pitts, the Eagles could be eye balling DeVonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle, Jaycee Horn, or Micah Parsons. While I understand all these players are extremely talented, the Eagles needed to capitalize on a near top-five pick.

After trading with the Eagles, the Dolphins are almost certain to draft Chase, and improve a team that was already on the rise last year. Finishing 10-6, which was good enough for pick 18 of this year’s NFL Draft, I’m not optimistic the pick coming to the Eagles next year will be much lower than that. To add insult to injury, reports of performance and measurements from their respective pro days, Chase, Surtain, and Pitts impressed.

But, here we are. The fact is we have the 12th pick in the draft. There is much to be played out in picks one through 11 to predict exactly what the Eagles are going to do, but I kept an eye on a few potential draftees’ pro days who may be sitting there for the taking at 12; Smith and Parsons. For in-depth analysis of cornerback Horn, another great potential option at 12, peep Q’s article from last week https://www.phlsportsnation.com/2021/03/28/jaycee-horn-should-be-the-selection-at-pick-no-12/. While all players honestly impressed, I wanted to key in on a couple key takeaways from their pro day efforts.

DeVonta Smith

Alabama’s pro day was obviously stacked with an abundance of future NFL players. Although no Eagles representation was present, its hard to imagine Smith is not on their radar. What stood out first is Smith did not owe anyone anything as far as a pro day workout, as he is recovering from injury, and is a surefire day one selection. Teammate Waddle elected not to workout, as he is also recovering from injury. We already know the talent he could bring to a team, but he showed he’s a loyal teammate to run routes with his former quarterback and fellow NFL-prospect Mac Jones. My second takeaway from his pro day workout was his speed. Yes, we already knew this, and probably didn’t help he was splitting routes with Najee Harris, but he looked explosive off the line, quick off his cuts, and blazing speed down the field for a couple deep balls. My last takeaway is the finger is definitely not healed, but he made a couple aggressive fingertip grabs, which alleviated any concern. Plenty of time for a full recovery before OTAs. I’m slowly starting to come around that Smith would not be a bad option here.

Micah Parsons

Parsons is a guy who may have performed his way into a top-10 selection after his pro day, but potential off-field concerns will determine how far he drops. There are rumblings that Parsons could end up going to Detroit with the seventh pick or to Denver with the ninth pick. My first take away was how fast he moved for his size, running a 4.39 in the 40-yard dash, just a mere .01 seconds slower than the NFL Scouting Combine record for a linebacker. To see a guy who is 6’3″ and 246 pounds move THAT fast was just impressive. His size and speed remind me a lot of Isaiah Simmons, the Clemson linebacker from last year’s draft, who was selected at pick eight by the Arizona Cardinals. My second take away is how fresh he looked, considering he opted out of the season last year. This man is ready to get in there and knock some heads. Parsons helped himself so much with his pro day performance, that snagging him at the 12th pick would be a steal in my eyes. You never know how much a potential draftees off-the-field antics will effect his draft stock, but I don’t see his character being an issue.

NFL – Youtube

I do not think the Eagles could go wrong with any of the players mentioned above. Not only would they fill team needs, they are amongst the best overall available players in the draft. Don’t overthink this Howie.

 

 

Featured Image: Joe Hermitt –PennLive/The Patriot-News

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