Former Eagles wide receiver Jason Avant has been studying up ahead of this month's NFL Draft, and he hears - and understands - Eagles fans who want a first-round wide receiver.
He just thinks it's the wrong idea.
Avant appeared on 97.5 The Fanatic's "Fanatic Mornings" show on Tuesday to talk all things NFL Draft and NFL offseason with Marc Farzetta, who asked Avant what kind of receiver the Eagles need to give Carson Wentz in order to succeed in 2020.
Avant said he likes the idea of "a guy that can get open on his own", like first-round prospect Justin Jefferson.
"If you add one dynamic player, this turns the tide," Avant said. "That's why I'm in favor of going for an explosive player in this draft, rather than a safe choice, because I think one explosive player will put the offensive over the top and make them a Chiefs, 49ers, Saints-type offense."
But Avant listed some wide receiver names - Jalen Reagor and K.J. Hamler chief among them - that could be available in the second round, rather than the first, because Avant thinks the Eagles need to focus on defense:
Everyone wants a receiver in the first round. I don't think the Eagles should take a receiver in the first round of this draft. I think you have to go with a linebacker. You have two options that you'll have, that's going to play for the next 10 to 12 years, because that's how good these guys are.
Avant said he likes the upside of LSU linebacker Patrick Queen, and then he gave a head-turning evaluation of Oklahoma linebacker Kenneth Murray that should have Eagles fans very interested.
Kenneth Murray is a faster version of Jeremiah Trotter. He's a banger. That's what he is. Jeremiah Trotter had his weaknesses in coverage, at times? That's where Kenneth Murray - he can run, but he's going to have to learn coverage. I think he has a chance of being a better cover guy than Jeremiah Trotter, but that's the type of player he is. He's a big, physical player that loves to run.
I don't think Eagles fans would have any issues with adding an upgraded version of Jeremiah Trotter, a player who was beloved during his time in Philly. Murray racked up 36.5 tackles for loss, 9.5 sacks, and 325 total tackles in three years with the Sooners. That's pretty good!
Earlier this offseason, we explored on this very website the Eagles' recent history of devaluing linebackers. With Nigel Bradham gone, the position is in sore need of a face-lift, and Howie Roseman largely side-stepped addressing that need in free agency.
NBC Sports Philadelphia's Mike Mulhern wrote this week that Murray might, finally, be the kind of talent to make Roseman re-think his position on drafting a linebacker in the first round, and now Avant agrees.
Eagles fans might be mad if the 21st pick is a defender instead of a pass-catcher, but if Murray pans out, they'll probably get over it.
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