The 2020 NFL Draft is somehow only 18 days away! Let’s pass the time in quarantine together until then by looking at who mock drafts have the Philadelphia Eagles selecting with the No. 21 overall pick.
Rotoworld (Hayden Winks) - Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
Philly addressed their CB1 hole with Darius Slay, so it’s now time to upgrade that receiver group. Jefferson was awesome in the slot at LSU but showed enough athleticism to be a fit on the outside in the Eagles’ heavy two-TE offense. He’s simply one of my favorite prospects in the class. You can read my early scouting report and statistical eval on Jefferson here.
NFL.com (Peter Schrager) - Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
If the Eagles don’t trade up for one of the “Big Three” receivers (Ruggs III, Lamb, Jeudy), they could end up feeling pretty good about sitting tight and scooping up Jefferson. Crazy statistics in last year’s championship season (111 catches, 1,540 yards, 18 TDs) matched by great interviews and surprising speed at the combine (4.43 40) make this a perfect fit.
Sports Illustrated (James Eisner) - Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
With Fulton and Gladney off the board, the Eagles’ decision to add a wide receiver here becomes much easier. Jefferson should step in and immediately take over Nelson Agholor’s slot role, although he could develop into more of an outside WR as needed down the road. Jefferson has great hands, something that couldn’t be said for Agholor, and is a strong route-runner. He’s exactly what Carson Wentz needs to complement Alshon Jeffery, Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert.
Sports Illustrated (Corey Parson) - Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
The Eagles have a glaring need at the wide receiver spot. They haven’t addressed the position in free agency so the thinking is that they will do it on draft day. There are rumors that the Eagles are trying to trade for Sammy Watkins. If that happens, they won’t need to draft a receiver this early. Jefferson is a hybrid wideout who can lineup anywhere on the field. His route running is not the best but his run after the catch is excellent. Fantasy Fit: Jefferson would be the Eagles’ top wide receiver on day one. He has a ton of upside in what could be one of the top offenses in the league. Jefferson will raise the fantasy stock of Carson Wentz.
Bleacher Report (Matt Miller) - Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
Pick the best wide receiver on the board and assign him to the Philadelphia Eagles. That’s the mock draft strategy. Eagles fans will no doubt be excited their team landed a sure-handed, fast route-runner who has the Week 1 skills to start opposite Alshon Jeffery. Gone are the days of slow-footed receivers with shaky hands. Jefferson’s ability to play inside or outside and use crafty routes with quick feet and deep speed to get open will be a welcome addition. Jefferson is the WR4 in this loaded, historic class, but it’s fair to say that in a “normal” year of receivers he would be ranked much higher. He would have been the top wideout in the 2018 and 2019 classes.
CBS Sports (Will Brinson) - Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
Is there a more widely-mocked pick than the LSU wide receiver to the Eagles?
CBS Sports (Josh Edwards) - Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
Philadelphia needs to address the wide receiver position this offseason and next. Jefferson is not a reach at this point. He carries a first round grade from me.
CBS Sports (Jordan Dajani) - Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
The Eagles have to get help for their passing game — there’s no getting around it. Jefferson would give Carson Wentz some much-needed help right away.
CBS Sports (Sean Wagner-McGough) - Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
No need to overcomplicate things here. The Eagles don’t have enough quality receivers on their roster. Alshon Jeffery is coming off a major foot injury. DeSean Jackson is 33. Nelson Agholor is gone. Jefferson would be a quality addition to an offense that was decimated at receiver a year ago.
NJ.com (Mike Kaye) - Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
With the top three wide receiver prospects off the board, the Eagles decide to add the sure-handed Jefferson to the team’s current position group. While the debate over Jefferson’s versatility has become a polarizing conservation on Twitter, there’s no doubt that the LSU playmaker would instantly make life easier for Carson Wentz. Upon arrival, Jefferson could share Z receiver responsibilities with DeSean Jackson in 12 personnel and move into the slot in three-receiver sets. Jefferson has the speed to play outside, but his most consistent role will probably be in the slot. That’s fine, as he can make catches in droves and get open with ease. While the need for speed is evident, last year’s wide receiver woes were largely due to a lack of separation and inconsistent hands. Jefferson alleviates both of those concerns. While there’s some debate about Jefferson’s impact on tight end Zach Ertz’s role, the two players could actually complement one another. Jefferson’s ability in the slot should free Ertz up for mismatches on the outside. The rookie’s inclusion and featured presence in the offense will also allow for a steady rotation between 11 and 12 personnel. The Eagles want to create mismatches and make consistent plays, Jefferson can help them accomplish both feats for years to come.
PennLive (Daniel Gallen) - Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
At this point, if the Eagles are going to address wide receiver this offseason, it’s most likely going to be through the draft. And at this point, Jefferson — who boosted his stock with his combine performance — is the best receiver on the board.
EagleMaven (Ed Kracz) - Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
Let’s assume the Eagles don’t/can’t trade up for the Big Three. There are plenty of options here and I’m switching away from Denzel Mims because, well so what if Jefferson is considered more of a slot option after operating last year in the offense of Joe Brady, now the OC in Carolina? Use him there until he can develop on the outside, which may take some time since it is unlikely there will be any OTAs or minicamp. Maybe not even much of a training camp.
Los Angeles Times (Sam Farmer) - Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
Jefferson caught 111 passes from Burrow last season. Carson Wentz needs another reliable target.
FantasyPros (Mike Tagliere) - Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
While it’s tempting to say they take Kenneth Murrayhere, as linebacker is a huge need, they need to add weapons for Carson Wentz. Jefferson is the perfect prospect for them, too, as he played a ton of slot at LSU and he’d transition right into the role they had Nelson Agholor playing. Jefferson would excel in this system.
FantasyPros (Bobby Sylvester) - Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
Although Jalen Raegor would be an option here, as well as Murray if he falls or a corner, Jefferson is the most natural fit. He is a mismatch in the slot waiting to happen and with Nelson Agholornow gone, Jefferson fills the gap perfectly.
Sporting News (Vinnie Iyer) - Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
The Eagles took care of cornerback in free agency by trading for Darius Slay, so they can focus on wide receiver here even with Ruggs off the board. Jefferson (6-1, 202 pounds), with massive production catching passes from Joe Burrow, emerged in LSU’s passing game as a quick, efficient route-runner with good hands. He also has underrated speed.
Bleeding Green Nation (Ben Natan) - Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor
With a few very good players on the board, this was a hard decision. However, I am increasingly intrigued by Denzel Mims’ fit in Philly. Mims is incredibly athletic with great size. He can burn down the field and dominate the catch point. He is a true playmaker, partially evident in the fact that he accounted for 50% (!!!) of Baylor’s receiving touchdowns last year. Wouldn’t be so bad to have that in the Eagles offense.
The Draft Network (Joe Marino) - Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor
It’s no secret the Philadelphia Eagles need to revamp their receiving corps and Denzel Mims is an exciting addition. His blend of size, athletic ability, elusiveness and ball skills makes him a dynamic weapon that Carson Wentz can take advantage of at all levels of the field. In addition, he’s the best blocking receiver in the class and will help the Eagles create offense in more ways than just catching the football.
Pro Football Focus (Eric Eager) - Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor
This is a position of need for the Eagles, and luckily the draft is deep enough at the position for the Eagles to get some value on the outside for Carson Wentz. With DeAndre Hopkins and D.J. Chark as two of his comps, Mims projects as the all-around WR the team has lacked since Jeremy Maclin left for Kansas City in 2015.
DraftWire (Luke Easterling) - Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor
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.
Pro Football Network (AJ Schulte) - Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor
Philadelphia’s wide receiver corps last year was decimated by injuries and their top weapons are aging in Alshon Jeffrey and DeSean Jackson. Mims adds a new explosive element to the offense that Philly doesn’t quite have at the moment and allows more rotation in their personnel.
NFL.com (Cynthia Frelund) - Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama
Much more than just a speed merchant. According to Pro Football Focus, Ruggs dropped just five passes during his three college seasons. And he’s a highly efficient route runner.
Sports Illustrated (Kevin Hanson) - Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama
[BLG Note: Trade up to No. 15] Carson Wentz became the first quarterback to throw for 4,000 yards without a 500-yard wide receiver as the Eagles’ wide receiver corps was decimated by injuries. The trio of Alshon Jeffery (10), DeSean Jackson (three) and Nelson Agholor (11) played only 24 games in 2019. Few players can match the 4.27 speed of Ruggs, who has scored on one-quarter of his career touches at Alabama, and he would provide that field-stretching element they expected when they brought back D-Jax in 2019.
USA Today (Nate Davis) - Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama
Agholor is gone, while DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery are aging and unreliable physically. With sub-4.3 speed, Ruggs is an elite deep threat who opens the field the way Jackson used to – the type of player aggressive GM Howie Roseman could target ... even if it costs No. 21 and a second-rounder to move up five spots.
Establish The Run (Evan Silva) - Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson
Justin Jefferson ran 80% of routes in slot at LSU. I wouldn’t say he’s a poor fit but I’d say [the Eagles] need more of a field stretcher [like Higgins]. But if they did take Jefferson, I think it would be a great pick. He’s a baller.
NFL.com (Charles Davis) - Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson
No sense overthinking this selection. The WR corps needs to be upgraded, and Higgins provides a big target on the perimeter for Carson Wentz.
Pro Football Focus (Steve Palazzolo) - Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson
The Eagles still have a solid group of receivers on paper, but there’s an obvious need for an infusion of youth. Higgins has the catch radius that plays well with an aggressive quarterback like Carson Wentz, and he adds yet another red-zone weapon to the Eagles’ offense. Higgins had the seventh-best receiving grade in the class when targeted on single coverage in 2019.
DraftTek (Broz) - CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
BOOM!!! Here’s the trade you Eagles draft addicts have been jonesing for. For months, I’ve been trying to project a true impact player at #21. The guys available have all had question marks: Justin Jefferson (talented and productive, but is he solely a slot WR?), A.J. Epenesa (safe pick, questionable ceiling), Denzel Mims (could be a boom-or-bust player), etc. There is definite demarcation line in the first round that separates the real blue-chippers from the 2nd tier of guys that might be interchangeable from #18 to #40. In this week’s CMD, the Eagles throw away their Casios and saunter up to the Rolex display case. For the cost of Philly’s RD2 pick (it would cost more than this in the real Draft), the Eagles strike a deal with the Jets’ Joe Douglas to jump up and have their choice of any WR in the Draft. Jerry Jeudy was VERY tempting: amazing route-runner, creates great separation, awesome burst off the line, etc. While maybe not quite as safe a pick, I went with CeeDee Lamb. His route-running is just a shade behind Jeudy’s, and he’s not quite as fast; however, Lamb gets the nod in athleticism, YAC ability...and his violent hands are the best in the draft.
CBS Sports (Chris Trapasso) - Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
[BLG Note: Trade up to No. 13.] The Eagles are glued to their televisions as Jeudy falls, and they can’t help themselves. The 49ers would love the extra Day 2 picks.
TouchdownWire (Mark Schofield) - Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU
Down the stretch last season, Carson Wentz was throwing to a cast of thousands at the wide receiver spot. His most consistent target was likely Greg Ward Jr., a former college quarterback who grew into a role as a slot receiver. Even though Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson are slated to come back from injury, the Eagles need more help at wide receiver. Enter Jalen Reagor, who despite poor quarterback play at TCU put enough on film — and performed well enough at the combine — to lock up a first-round selection. Reagor is scary after the catch but still has enough in the tank to get open deep, making him almost an ideal fit for Doug Pederson’s West Coast offense. Watch as he gets inside of this defender and then stacks him on his back. Only a poor throw prevents the touchdown. But before you classify him as just a burner, watch the footwork on this Dino post route. His route-running, vertical awareness and ability after the catch will make him a huge asset in the Eagles’ offense.
SB Nation (Dan Kadar) - Laviska Shenault Jr., WR, Colorado
The Eagles brought in Slay to bolster their cornerback group, squarely making wide receiver their biggest first-round need. Coming into last college football season, Shenault was considered by many as the top wide receiver prospect in the nation. Other option: This could be the landing spot for Baylor wide receiver Denzel Mims, this year’s “draft process” superstar.
ESPN (Todd McShay) - Patrick Queen, LB, LSU
The void at wide receiver hasn’t gone away, and the Eagles will have to think long and hard about whether they are ready to enter the 2020 season with the oft-injured Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson, along with J.J. Arcega-Whiteside off a disappointing rookie campaign, as their wideouts again. Justin Jefferson out of LSU is for sure in play at No. 21. But Philadelphia also could really use a spark in the middle of the defense. Queen is a rangy, off-ball linebacker with burst and great tackling ability.
CBS Sports (Tom Fornelli) - Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma
In this mock, the Eagles decide to wait on addressing the need at WR and instead fill a need at linebacker with Murray. He’s a sideline-to-sideline player that can get a bit overzealous at times but has a good chance of being a solid NFL starter.
NBC Sports Philadelphia (Dave Zangaro) - C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida
While Ohio State’s Jeff Okudah is the consensus top cornerback in this year’s class, many think Henderson is CB2 and I agree. Most mock drafts have Henderson going in the teens but if there are a bunch of offensive linemen and a bunch of quarterbacks that go in the top half of the first round, it could theoretically push Henderson down. And if one team that needs a corner likes Kristian Fulton or Jeff Gladney a little more, all of a sudden, Henderson is available. Then the Eagles would have a decision: Either take the next best receiver or take a player with more value at a position where there’s still need. At 6-1, 204, Henderson has the potential to be an elite outside corner. And in an off-season where the Eagles have been focused on getting faster, the idea of adding a 200-pound corner who ran a 4.39 at the combine should be pretty exciting. And Henderson’s speed shows up on the field too — he can close a gap quickly. In his three years as a Gator, Henderson had 6 INTs, 20 PBUs and 4 sacks. While he’s not known as a great tackler — Jim Schwartz does value that — his skills as a cover corner more than make up for it. Sure, the Eagles have what I think is a pretty desperate need at receiver heading into this draft but cornerback is a need too. Darius Slay is on the team, but the Eagles are committed to the 29-year-old through just the next two seasons. And if the season started today, they’d likely have 5-foot-9 Avonte Maddox starting opposite him.
CBS Sports (Ryan Wilson) - K’Lavon Chaisson, DE, LSU
We’ve routinely had the Eagles taking a cornerback here for weeks (OK, months), but now that Darius Slay is in the fold the attention turns elsewhere. Receiver is a popular pick too, and Justin Jefferson would make sense, but with the No. 2 edge rusher still available Philly instead decides to address that position.
Baltimore Beatdown (Adrian Charcharlis) - Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama
The Eagles let go of Malcolm Jenkins just this offseason, and in the process, created a need at safety. After re-signing the consistent Rodney McLeod, adding Xavier McKinney to the mix at safety would give the Eagles, who’ve had a weak secondary for the past few seasons, a secondary with solid potential.
WR Justin Jefferson - 16
WR Denzel Mims - 5
WR Henry Ruggs III - 3
WR Tee Higgins - 3
WR CeeDee Lamb - 1
WR Jerry Jeudy - 1
WR Jalen Reagor - 1
WR Laviska Shenault Jr. - 1
LB Patrick Queen - 1
LB Kenneth Murray - 1
CB C.J. Henderson - 1
DE K’Lavon Chaisson - 1
S Xavier McKinney - 1
WR - 31
LB - 2
CB - 1
DE - 1
S - 1
Offense - 31
Defense - 5
- Another week where Justin Jefferson is the clear first round favorite. I think the Eagles are going to be less concerned about his fit and more interested in the idea that he’s actually a good player. Read more about Jefferson in Michael Kist’s wide receiver rankings.
- And speaking of receivers ... there are eight different ones connected to the Eagles in the first round!
- I’ve mentioned this before but I don’t think the Eagles are going to think they’re in position to take a boom-or-bust guy like Mims. They can’t afford to get an absolute nothing at receiver. Same line of thinking when it comes to Shenault’s injury history. They’re probably not the team most qualified to take these risks.
- Hey, Higgins is back in the mix. Not a fan. I thought Kist put it well: “Great size, good production, uninspiring film, bad jumps and an abysmal 10-yard split (1.66)... I’ll let somebody else take that swing and try to figure it out.”
- I’m not counting on the Eagles trading up in a big way.
- I really struggle to view a non-receiver as a viable first round option. If the Eagles pass on a wideout at No. 21, they essentially MUST address the position at No. 53. And that’s not a great spot to be in. There could easily be a big run on pass catchers before that second-round pick. Teams are going to know the Eagles’ intentions and they’ll be motivated to jump ahead of Philly. The Eagles aren’t going to have great leverage to pull off a trade up of their own since teams will realize their desperation. These potential issues speak to why I don’t get the team passing on veteran options in the free agent and trade market. The Eagles aren’t in a strong position to pass on receiver at No. 21 should a better prospect become available to them.
- Howie Roseman has never not drafted a quarterback or lineman in the first round. That seems bound to change this year, but ... will it?
- Who do you want the Eagles to draft?