We interrupt the Philadelphia Eagles’ lead up to a huge Week 16 game against the Dallas Cowboys to bring you just one of the first of many, many mock drafts that have the Birds taking a wide receiver. ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay published Version 1.0 of his 2020 NFL Mock Draft on Tuesday and here’s who he has the Eagles taking with their projected first-round pick.
18. Philadelphia Eagles — Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama
Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor lead the Eagles’ wide receivers in yards with 490 and 363, respectively. And both have dealt with injuries this season. Last year’s second-rounder J.J. Arcega-Whiteside has just eight catches. Plain and simple: Philly must have speed and difference-makers at the position, and while Ruggs needs some development as a route runner, you can’t coach his 4.3 speed. He just explodes off the line of scrimmage.
The Eagles need a receiver like Doug Pederson needs vanilla Häagen-Dazs ice cream. It’s less than certain if Jeffery will be back and, even if he is, he’ll be 30 years old and coming off a long recovery due to his foot injury. DeSean Jackson will be under contract but how much can the Eagles count on the 33-year-old coming off an injury? Agholor is going to leave in free agency. Arcega-Whiteside hasn’t shown anything to make the team to believe he’s a sure-fire solution at the position. Greg Ward has done some nice things but his presence shouldn't be altering the team’s draft plans.
McShay’s assessment that the Eagles need “speed and difference-makers at the position” is spot on. If Ruggs can truly provide that, the Eagles should draft the hell out of that guy.
BGN’s Michael Kist wrote about Ruggs earlier this month:
Just how fast is he? Back in the summer Ruggs blazed a 4.25 40-yard dash at the Alabama junior Pro Day. Watch him on Saturdays and you don’t need a stop watch to know the guy has a serious case of the juice. How would Ruggs fit the Eagles? It’s really simple. The 6-foot, 190-pound Ruggs has plenty of slot experience at Alabama, runs like a cheetah, and is a yards after catch factory. Over three years in an absurdly loaded ‘Bama wide receiver room, Ruggs has accumulated 96 catches, 1,689 yards, and 24 touchdowns with an eye-popping 17.6 yards per catch.
In other mock draft news, The Draft Network also has the Eagles taking a receiver. Shocker!
16. Eagles — CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
The Philadelphia Eagles have to get better on the perimeter both offensively and defensively and CeeDee Lamb is the best prospect at this point to improve the roster in one of those areas. Lamb has elite ball skills, body control and route-running skills which destine him to be a dynamic playmaker.
Lamb on the Eagles would be fantastic; he’s pretty fun to watch. Dude is averaging 20.8 yards per reception this season.
If the Eagles beat the Cowboys to win the NFC East, awesome. If not, well, the silver lining is they’ll have a better chance of landing one of these incredible receiver talents. Would be pretty nice of the team to give Carson Wentz some dynamic weapons for 2020 and beyond.