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Weekly NFL Draft Simulation: What happens when the Eagles don’t take a wide receiver first?

Previewing options in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Arizona v Oregon Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Welcome to the 2021 Draft Simulation Series! Every week, I will be firing up the Mock Draft Machine over via our friends at The Draft Network in order to outline different draft scenarios. These will change weekly as picks and players change hands while draft stocks rise and fall. Each week is an opportunity to explore all kinds of paths through the draft for the Philadelphia Eagles and the first one will present an unlikely, but exciting one.

No. 6 overall: Penei Sewell, Offensive Tackle, Oregon

Other Players Available:

  • Kyle Pitts, Tight End Florida
  • Jaylen Waddle, Wide Receiver, Alabama
  • Devonta Smith, Wide Receiver, Alabama

This would probably not be a popular choice, but it would be a very smart one. Despite having a need at receiver with great players on the board, the opportunity to draft an elite prospect at a premium position shouldn’t be passed on. Penei Sewell is one of the best offensive line prospects in memory and will only be 20 years old when the season starts. Even with the Eagles’ depth at offensive tackle, this is a no-brainer pick considering the talent, positional value and age.

No. 38 overall: Rondale Moore, Wide Receiver, Purdue

Other Players Available:

  • Najee Harris, Running Back, Alabama
  • Wyatt Davis, IOL, Ohio State
  • Creed Humphrey, IOL, Oklahoma

The Eagles luck out here with Rondale Moore on the board. Moore would be widely considered a first round talent if not for Covid shortening the Big 10’s season. Moore is a dynamic, big play threat who can make plays all over the field. Exactly what the Eagles need in their offense.

No. 70 overall: Javonte Williams, Running Back, UNC

Other Players Available:

  • Patrick Jones II, Edge, Pitt
  • Victor Dismukeje, Edge, Duke
  • Paris Ford, Safety, Pitt

With Doug Pederson, the Eagles will need a corps of dynamic running backs to run the offense. Javonte Williams is an athletic bruiser who would perfectly complement Miles Sanders and give the Eagles a deadly 1-2 punch in the backfield. This would also give Philadelphia flexibility where Williams can play in the backfield while Sanders lines up as a receiver.

No. 146 overall: Ar’Darius Washington, Safety, TCU

Other Players Available:

  • Elijah Moore, Wide Receiver, Ole Miss
  • Shi Smith, Wide Receiver, South Carolina
  • Tyler Vrabel, Offensive Tackle, BC

The Eagles finally dip into defense with Ar’Darius Washington. The TCU safety is one of the most gifted ballhawks in the class but could take a draft tumble due to his size. However his physicality, instincts and athleticism could put him in position to be a defensive difference maker sooner than later in his career.

No. 150 overall: Justyn Ross, Wide Receiver, Clemson

Other Players Available:

  • Shi Smith, Wide Receiver, Ole Miss
  • Tyler Vrabel, Offensive Tackle, BC
  • Abraham Lucas, Offensive Tackle, WSU

Justyn Ross missed all of 2020 after neck surgery and fell out of the conversation for top wide receivers this year. When Ross is on the field however, he is a dominant player who can run by defenses or make tough catches above the rim. There is a risk with taking him given the injury history, but if the 6’4” playmaker is healthy this would be a massive steal this late.

No. 184 overall: Tommy Kraemer, IOL, Notre Dame

Other Players Available:

  • Jaret Patterson, Running Back, Buffalo
  • Master Teague, Running Back, Ohio State
  • Dynami Brown, Wide Receiver, UNC

The Eagles continue to beef up their offensive like here with Tommy Kraemer. Kraemer doesn’t have any standout traits but is a solid, dependable player who will hold up well inside. Perfect to add guard depth to the roster.

No. 218 overall: Tyreke Smith, Edge, Ohio State

Other Players Available:

  • Johnathan Adams Jr., Wide Receiver, Arkansas State
  • Ronnie Bell, Wide Receiver, Michigan
  • CJ Verdell, Running Back, Oregon

Tyreke Smith doesn’t have a ton of playing experience but the 6’4” defender definitely has intriguing tools with his size, length and athleticism. He would be a great developmental defender this late in the draft.

No. 227 overall: Zach McCloud, Linebacker, Miami

Other Players Available:

  • Johnathan Adams Jr., Wide Receiver, Arkansas State
  • Ronnie Bell, Wide Receiver, Michigan
  • CJ Verdell, Running Back, Oregon

The Eagles will look for linebacker help all offseason. While it didn’t fit early in the draft, taking a flier on Zach McCloud this late makes a lot of sense. The redshirt senior defender is a high character guy with tools to be an impact player. Injuries and general lack of playing time drops him this low, but he’s worth a look.

No. 253 overall: DJ Daniel, Cornerback, Georgia

Other Players Available:

  • Ronnie Bell, Wide Receiver, Michigan
  • CJ Verdell, Running Back, Oregon
  • Tammorion Terry, Wide Receiver, FSU

Cornerback is another position the Eagles could decide to address early and often this year, but the board didn’t shake out that way in this simulation. DJ Daniel is an athletic six foot cornerback with long arms. His lean frame and lack of ball production is reason for concern, but drafting a raw cornerback with upside is exactly what the seventh round of the draft is for.