Eagles

Eagles

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After months of speculation, it will all be over by this time next week. Starting tonight, we'll all have a much-needed escape from reality.  

The Eagles enter this draft with eight picks, including No. 21. They traded away two picks last month for cornerback Darius Slay. 

Let’s get to my final Eagles-only mock draft: 

Round 1-16: Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU

For a long time, I thought the Eagles could sit at 21 and get Jefferson, but I’m not convinced anymore. I think there’s a good chance they’ll have to move up a little bit to take one of the top four receivers in this class and I think it’s worth it. If not, then I’m not sure there’s a receiver really worth the 21st pick. It’s not that I dislike Denzel Mims, but I want more of a sure thing and Jefferson fits. 

There has been some smoke around the Falcons’ wanting to move up but if they’re unable to, why wouldn’t they trade out? If they’re willing to move up it’s probably because they don’t love the value at No. 16. And with just six picks, they could pick up another fourth-rounder. 

So here’s the trade: 

Eagles get: 16, 229 

Falcons get: 21, 127, Rasul Douglas 

So this is basically a swap of a fourth-round pick for a seventh-rounder and the Eagles throw in Douglas for a team that needs more depth at cornerback. Douglas has reportedly been available in a trade and his long frame might be a better fit for Atlanta’s Cover 3 scheme. 

 

In 2018, the Bills traded up from No. 22 to 16 and did so with a swap of third- and fifth-round picks. The Bills got 16 and 154, while the Ravens got 22 and 65. I sort of based this trade on that one. 

As for Jefferson, I just like the player. I know some people are worried about the fact that he projects as a slot receiver first at the NFL level. But that doesn’t bother me as much. He was explosive at that position at LSU and he can be very productive at that same spot in the NFL. This isn’t some 5-foot-10 volume receiver. He can be a game-breaker playing inside and has the type of speed the Eagles desperately need everywhere. 

(If the Broncos decide to take Jefferson at 15 and Henry Ruggs III is still available, the Eagles would obviously be happy to do this trade for him too.)

Round 2-53: Terrell Lewis, DE, Alabama  

Opinions are really split about Lewis. And there are some questions about him. He played in just 26 college games and had some serious injuries. A key point here is that Lewis reportedly made his visit to the NovaCare Complex before top-30 visits were shut down. If he hadn’t, I wouldn’t expect the Eagles to take him. But if the Eagles feel comfortable about his medicals, they could land a really good player. 

At 6-5, 262 pounds, Lewis is a tall and lanky edge player with serious pass rush upside. He could begin his career as a third-round rusher (stand-up or three-point) and would eventually become a starter with a high ceiling. His frame looks like it can handle more weight too. 

The Eagles this season bring back Derek Barnett and Brandon Graham, so defensive end might not seem like a desperate need. But Graham is over 30, Barnett hasn’t turned into a star and their top rotational player is Josh Sweat. 

Round 3-103: Jordyn Brooks, LB, Texas Tech

The Eagles might not use their first-round pick on a linebacker but there would be value if they use a Day 2 pick on one and Brooks might be the guy. 

At 6-0, 240 pounds, Brooks had at least 84 tackles in all four of his college seasons and had 108 in 2019. He also had 20 TFLs and three sacks as a senior. He has decent size compared to some modern-day linebacker types in this draft and still ran a 4.54 time in the 40 at the combine. He’s an athletic linebacker with the speed to play sideline to sideline. 

Brooks needed shoulder surgery after the season but that shouldn’t affect his draft stock too much. 

There’s no question that the Eagles need some help at linebacker right now. Their top LBs are Nathan Gerry, T.J. Edwards, Duke Riley and Alex Singleton. Recent bargain bin tries haven’t worked out, so this is a chance to use a Day 2 pick to solve a problem. 

 

Round 4-145: K’Von Wallace, S, Clemson

I’ll be honest: Wallace is one of my favorite players in this draft and I don’t understand why he isn’t getting more Day 2 buzz. That could work out great for the Eagles, though. 

Wallace (5-11, 206) obviously isn’t the tallest guy in the world but he was a three-year starter at Clemson and was versatile, playing free safety, strong safety and occasionally nickel. There are versatile options who will go in the second round and I’m not sure some of those guys are that much better than Wallace. 

Maybe some teams are scared off by his lack of height but that doesn’t bother me, especially when you see his athletic profile. 

The Eagles this offseason let Malcolm Jenkins go, then brought back Rodney McLeod, brought back Jalen Mills to move to safety and signed Will Parks. None of those moves should prevent them from taking a safety in this draft. 

Round 4-146: Gabriel Davis, WR, UCF 

Aside from my firm belief that the Eagles will leave this draft with at least two receivers, I think it would make sense for them to draft complementary receivers. So they get a dynamic slot in Round 1 and now they follow it up with a 6-2, 216-pound outside weapon, who can become an X receiver for the Eagles. 

In 2019, Davis caught 72 passes for 1,241 yards (17.2) and 12 touchdowns. He ran a 4.54 and is more of a long-strider but there’s nothing wrong with that. There might be a fear that he won’t be able to separate at the next level — I get that — but there’s enough nifty moves at the top of routes that make me think Davis will be able to find at least some space in the NFL. 

Davis would theoretically project to battle it out with J.J. Arcega-Whiteside at the X position. That’s fine. Because if JJAW beats him out for the job, that means the Eagles would finally be getting something out of their second-round pick from 2019 and after what happened last season, depth is always a good thing. 

Round 5-169: Hakeem Adeniji, OL, Kansas 

At Kansas, Adeniji played right tackle and left tackle but might project best as a guard in the NFL. He got some work there at the 2020 Senior Bowl. So he’s versatile. 

But he’s also athletic, as you can see by this filled-in spider chart. 

Adeniji (6-4, 302) isn’t the biggest guy. If he were, he’d probably go a little higher. But he has enough athletic traits, versatility and proven availability (he didn’t miss a game at Kansas) to be worth a Day 3 pick. 

Round 6-191: L’Jarius Sneed, CB, Louisiana Tech

Sneed is 6-foot, 192 pounds and ran a 4.37 at the combine. That alone is worth a flyer in a late round. But Sneed also had eight career interceptions as a safety and a corner. While Sneed switched to safety in 2019, he has the ability to play corner, as he did in his first three college seasons. 

The Eagles might use a higher-round pick on a cornerback because that position isn’t settled right now. They have Darius Slay, Avonte Maddox and Sidney Jones and Rasul Douglas if they’re both still on the roster. So a late-round pick like this could have a good shot at a roster spot. 

 

Round 7-228: DeeJay Dallas, RB, Miami 

Dallas (5-10, 217) is a hard player to take down. He’s a tough runner with good balance whose legs don’t stop churning. Not a burner — he ran a 4.58 — but he’s fast enough to get the job done. And he’d be a solid complementary piece to add to the Eagles’ running back rotation. 

In three years at Miami, Dallas averaged 5.8 yards per attempt and had 17 touchdowns. What’s also a positive is that he wasn’t overused. He had just 265 college carries. Dallas actually has fewer carries in his college career than Miles Sanders had coming out of Penn State last year; Sanders’ minimal workload was a positive for the Eagles in 2019. 

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