The NFL last week decided to forge on with free agency and it was a pretty wild few days.
Several big names are going to new cities and there are some likely changes in the first round of the draft.
While free agency is far from over, it’s time to see if that initial wave has had a big impact on mock drafts, specifically as it pertains to the Eagles:
Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
What they said: It's hard to imagine Jeudy as WR4 and lasting until the 22nd pick, yet here we are. This is more about the talented WR class and less about Jeudy, who was the best route runner in college last season. Either way, the Eagles get a much needed playmaker for Carson Wentz.
My take: The Eagles would probably run this card up to the stage — or whatever the digital equivalent of that will be this year. One major thing that happened last week that should help the Eagles is the Cardinals’ trade for DeAndre Hopkins. That means they’re another team that likely won’t take a WR and will push some down toward the Eagles’ range. Wilson has CeeDee Lamb going at No. 11 and Henry Ruggs III going at No. 12. Then he has Baylor WR Denzel Mims going at No. 15 to the Dolphins. That would be the big surprise to push Jeudy down to the Eagles and I just can’t see that happening.
Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
What they said: A badly needed target for Carson Wentz with Alshon Jeffery on his way out, he’s 6-1, 202 pounds with 4.43 speed and a 92.3 percent contested catch rate with Burrow.
My take: Jefferson has taken over as the favorite for the Eagles in mock drafts. He was always a bubble first-rounder and then he had a good combine so he’s firmly in the first round now.
In Serby’s mock, Jeudy, Lamb and Ruggs come off the board from 13-17, if you’re wondering how far the Eagles would need to go to get one of the top three guys.
Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
What they said: Carson Wentz became the first quarterback to throw for 4,000 yards without a 500-yard wide receiver as the team's wide receiver corps was decimated by injuries. The trio of Alshon Jeffery (10), DeSean Jackson (three) and Nelson Agholor (11) played only 24 games for the Eagles in 2019. Jefferson has outstanding hands, ran a faster-than-expected 40-yard dash (4.43) and is coming off a prolific season (111/1,540/18) for the national champions.
My take: In Hanson’s mock, he has Ruggs going at No. 20 to the Jaguars. That would be a blow to a lot of Eagles fans who have become fixated on the Alabama speedster. But I like Jefferson and would have no problem with the Eagles taking him at 21. He’s a good, versatile receiver and I think he’s going to be a good pro.
This was a three-round mock from Hanson, who has the Eagles taking Auburn CB Noah Igbinoghene in the second round and Clemson iOL John Simpson in the third round. I like the idea of coming back with a corner in Round 2 and Igbinoghene is an explosive player who ran a 4.48 at the combine and is probably faster than that. The Eagles don’t need to take a guard but Simpson started at left guard for the Tigers and could be an eventual replacement for Isaac Seumalo when Jason Kelce eventually retires and Seumalo slides to center.
Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
What they said: Jefferson has excellent ball skills and was terrific when working from the slot in 2019. He can play inside or outside and offers an upgrade for the offense.
My take: Again, fine with this pick if it goes this way. Jefferson is a good player and solid value at 21.
Patrick Queen, LB, LSU
What they said: Hear me out: I know there are holes at receiver and cornerback still, but the draft is longer than one round. The Eagles should take the best player available and they need an athletic presence in the middle after patchworking it over the past few seasons. Patrick Queen brings a high upside and instinctive talent to the middle of a defense that has added some impressive pieces in Javon Hargrave and Darius Slay.
My take: I agree with everything Reid said except the part where the Eagles take a linebacker in the first round of the draft. Ain’t gonna happen. As a reminder, the Eagles have taken just two linebackers since Howie Roseman came back into control in 2016 and one was in the seventh and one was in the fifth. The Eagles just aren’t going to put a resource like a first-round pick into linebacker.
After that, Reid has the Eagles taking WR Laviska Shenault from Colorado at 53 and CB Amik Robertson from Louisiana Tech at 103. Sheanault is a really good player but the injury history scares me and will likely scare the Eagles. I don’t know much about Robertson other than he’s 5-8 corner who played outside at LA Tech but would probably need to move inside as a nickel in the NFL.
Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor
What they said: After filling their biggest need on defense by trading for Darius Slay, the Eagles free themselves up to do the same for their offense with this pick. Mims backed up his strong film by blowing up the NFL Scouting Combine, showing off the size and athleticism it takes to be a top target at the next level.
My take: Easterling has Mims as the fourth receiver taken after Ruggs (11), Jeudy (12) and Lamb (13). The other receivers off the board were Jalen Reagor at 25 and Jefferson at 30. I still like Jefferson more at 21 but Mims is a 6-3, 207 pound wideout who had a tremendous combine.
In Indianapolis, Mims ran a 4.38 time in the 40 at 207 pounds. And he also put up the best time of all receivers in the 3-cone drill with a time of 6.66 seconds.
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