Welcome to the weekly NFL Draft mailbag! Remember to send any draft-related questions to BGDMailbag@gmail.com. Here are the great questions this week…
“My main question for the draft is now that we have brought an Offensive-minded coach into the fold, does that guarantee Offense at #6?” - Justin
Nick Sirianni’s hiring affirms that the team is interested in building their identity around the offense. Whether or not that is reflected in their first-round pick is hard to say definitively, but signs would suggest it makes the most sense. After all, Sirianni’s pedigree is in wide receivers which is the weakest positional group on the team.
This could either mean a wide receiver makes the most sense at No. 6, or that Sirianni trusts himself and his staff to get more out of the current roster while maybe taking a pass catcher later. Personally taking a receiver in the first is a no-brainer. There are at least three game-changing pass-catchers in this draft and the Eagles would be silly to pass on them for a defensive player.
The only way I could be talked out of a receiver in the top ten is if the Eagles change course radically and decide to draft a quarterback (unlikely) or if Penei Sewell falls to them. Still, offense should be the direction but there is nothing to suggest it's a lock.
“Know this is pretty far down the 9000-page scroll that is the Eagles list of roster needs, they clearly have wanted to have a power running back on the roster in the past (LeGarrette Blount, Jordan Howard, plus the interest last year in JK Dobbins) and Sirianni’s history with Marlon Mack and Jonathan Taylor indicates he’ll want one as well. What late round guys/veteran minimum FAs do you see making sense for the Eagles?” -Anon
Adding a third back to the Eagles running game has been something I’ve advocated this offseason. Nick Sirianni has worked with a few different running backs in Indianapolis and deployed them in a variety of ways. Miles Sanders is a do-it-all back and Boston Scott is a solid backup, but adding a power back could give the team lots of flexibility to move Sanders around while still keeping a threatening runner in the backfield.
Javonte Williams is probably my favorite running back in the class and he will likely go sometime day two. He is a powerful, punishing runner who also has the juice to make guys miss and run away from defenses. Trey Sermon is another runner whose blend of toughness and consistency would be an asset in the Eagles backfield.
“Does the hiring of Nick Sirianni increase the likelihood of a TE target Day 2 of the draft?” -Joe
Sirianni’s usage of tight ends definitely makes them a roster priority, especially if Zach Ertz ends up leaving. Dallas Goedert has the potential to take a big step in 2021, but Sirianni’s offense will thrive with a duo of talented tight ends.
If the Eagles do end up needing a tight end but want to wait until the second day to address it, Brevin Jordan could be an impact draft pick in the second round. The 6’3” tight end is a great athlete and could be flexed around the offense while Goedert plays inline. This draft definitely has some big names at tight end, but the Eagles drafting one high will depend on what happens with Zach Ertz.
“With the 6th pick and so many holes to fill, do you draft by biggest need or player with the biggest boom for their position?” -DH
The “Talent v. Need” debate happens every year, but the answer is never as black or white. The Eagles are picking in the top ten in part because their roster is a mess. Realistically, any quality player would be a valuable pick on a roster that so badly needs an influx of talent. Even at the deepest positions like defensive line or offensive tackle, the Eagles having a chance to draft a blue-chip player would make the team better because they would just have more talent and assets to work with.
This draft, luckily, flattens that question a bit because the needs and talent match up pretty accordingly. The top end of this draft is a good place for skill players on both sides of the ball. If the Eagles drafted a Ja’Marr Chase, DeVonta Smith, Kyle Pitts, or Jaylen Waddle at six, they would be taking one of the best players in the draft. Same if they drafted Pat Surtain II. Penei Sewell would probably be the one player that would be considered a “talent over need” pick, but Sewell would make the offensive line better on day one so even then taking the best player often ends up supplementing a need.