clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Weekly NFL Draft Simulation: Eagles take Devonta Smith at No. 6

A shot in the arm for Philly’s offense.

CFP National Championship Presented by AT&T - Ohio State v Alabama Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images

A lot has happened since our last draft simulation with the firing of Doug Pederson and an ongoing search for a new head coach. Without someone at the helm of the team, it’s difficult to project the Eagles’ preferences going into the 2021 NFL Draft. So here we are working off basic needs and obviously good fits, regardless of who the coach could be.

Pick 6: DeVonta Smith, Wide Receiver, Alabama

Other Players Available:

  • Jaylen Waddle, Wide Receiver, Alabama
  • Kyle Pitts, Tight End, Florida
  • Patrick Surtain II, Cornerback, Alabama
  • Kwity Paye, Edge, Michigan
  • Caleb Farley, Cornerback, Virginia Tech

The Ja’Marr Chase v. DeVonta Smith debate becomes a lot easier if Chase is off the board by the sixth pick, as he is in this simulation. I have not been shy in my love for the Alabama playmaker and the Eagles would be smart to target him regardless of who is coaching the team. There isn’t a scheme where DeVonta Smith isn’t a game-changer.

Pick 38: Wyatt Davis, Interior Offensive Lineman, Ohio State

Other Players Available:

  • Mac Jones, Quarterback, Alabama
  • Christian Barmore, Defensive Lineman, Alabama
  • Jay Tufele, Defensive Lineman, USC
  • Alex Leatherwood, Offensive Lineman, Alabama
  • Jaelan Phillips, Edge, Miami

Besides offensive tackle, there isn’t a spot on the Eagles roster that doesn’t need some addressing. The offensive line was a revolving door in 2020 and showed the importance of quality depth. Wyatt Davis is an outstanding offensive lineman who could play any interior spot with relative ease.

Pick 70: Shaun Wade, Cornerback, Ohio State

Other Players Available:

  • Trevon Moehrig, Safety, TCU
  • Jevon Holland, Safety, Oregon
  • Jabril Cox, Linebacker, LSU
  • Paulson Adebo, Cornerback, Stanford
  • Richie Grant, Safety, UCF

With some great players on the board, this was a tough pick, but Shaun Wade feels like a steal 70 picks into the draft. The Eagles desperately need a cornerback to play across Darius Slay and Shaun Wade could start on day one.

Pick 149: Caden Sterns, Safety, Texas

Other Players Available:

  • Joshuah Bledsoe, Safety, Michigan
  • Javian Hawkins, Running Back, Louisville
  • Shi Smith, Wide Receiver, South Carolina
  • Whop Philyor, Wide Receiver, Indiana
  • James Wiggins, Safety, Cincinnati

The Eagles had a lot of secondary problems in 2020. Injuries and pre-existing bad depth really stretched the unit thin. This offseason needs to stabilize the back seven of the Eagles defense and Caden Sterns would be welcome in that effort. The 6’1” tackling machine does well near the line of scrimmage as a “Big Nickel” who can defend the run and cover the slot. He has also shown off some skills as a deep coverage defender. The safety position has a few question marks right now and Sterns would give the team flexibility, youth, and competition.

Pick 153: Shi Smith, Wide Receiver, South Carolina

Other Players Available:

  • Joshuah Bledsoe, Safety, Michigan
  • Javian Hawkins, Running Back, Louisville
  • Whop Philyor, Wide Receiver, Indiana
  • James Wiggins, Safety, Cincinnati
  • Tyree Gillespie, Safety, Missouri

Shi Smith has all the makings of a mid-round receiver who contributes early in his career. Smith is a smaller receiver at 5’10” and 190 pounds. He was never a featured part of the South Carolina passing game, an aerial attack that wasn’t very prolific to begin with. However, Smith was a dependable pass-catcher who ran excellent routes, always caught the ball, and played much bigger than his size. The Eagles would love to have a player like Smith in their young receiving corps.

Pick 187: Jaret Patterson, Running Back, Buffalo

Other Players Available:

  • Khalil Herbert, Running Back, Virginia Tech
  • Demetric Felton, Running Back, UCLA
  • Cade Johnson, Wide Receiver, South Dakota State
  • Adrian Ealy, Offensive Tackle, Oklahoma
  • Austin Watkins, Wide Receiver, UAB

The Eagles would benefit from adding another playmaking running back to their roster. Even with Miles Sanders poised to be a big part of the offense in 2021, having talented players who can spell the lead back is crucial. Jaret Patterson scored 52 touchdowns in the last three seasons at Buffalo. Patterson’s blend of tough running, vision, and patience makes him a consistent force in the backfield. The Eagles would be lucky to get him so late.

Pick 221: Erroll Thompson, Linebacker, Mississippi State

Other Players Available:

  • Myles Jones, Cornerback, Texas A&M
  • Dax Milne, Wide Receiver, BYU
  • TJ Vasher, Wide Receiver, Texas Tech
  • Tamorrion Terry, Wide Receiver, FSU
  • Chris Evans, Running Back, Michigan

This is not a great draft to need a linebacker as badly as the Eagles do. The team has bigger needs at more valuable positions, but there is no doubt the team would benefit from the addition of some talent in the middle of their defense. Erroll Thompson would be a pretty great consolation prize this late in the draft. Thompson started 39 games at Mississippi State and is one of the most prolific defenders in school history. He is a physical, downhill thumper with a great nose for the football. While his ceiling is more of a role player on defense than a centerpiece, this is a value pick at this point.

Pick 230: Jaelon Darden, Wide Receiver, North Texas

Other Players Available:

  • Myles Jones, Cornerback, Texas A&M
  • Dax Milne, Wide Receiver, BYU
  • TJ Vasher, Wide Receiver, Texas Tech
  • Tamorrion Terry, Wide Receiver, FSU
  • Chris Evans, Running Back, Michigan

Jaelon Darden was quietly one of the most productive receivers in the country last year. The 5’9” home run hitter scored 19 times on his 74 catches and averaged over 16 yards per reception. Darden can score from anywhere in the formation and taking a bet on a playmaker at this point in the draft makes too much sense.

Pick 256: Lorenzo Neal Junior, Defensive Tackle, Purdue

Other Players Available:

  • Marquez Stevenson, Wide Receiver, Houston
  • Warren Jackson, Wide Receiver, CSU
  • Dez Fitzpatrick, Wide Receiver, Louisville
  • Brenton Nelson, Cornerback, UVA
  • Trevon Grimes, Wide Receiver, Florida

After missing all of 2019 with an injury, Lorenzo Neal Junior only had a few games to add to his resume in a shortened 2020 season. The son of the All-Pro fullback Lorenzo Neal, Junior has NFL roots that teams tend to love. At 320 pounds, Neal is a classic space-eater in the middle of a defense and could be a two-down role player in any type of defense.