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NFL Mock Draft Roundup: Eagles take North Dakota State quarterback

Mock draft madness.

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Butler v North Dakota State Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images

The 2021 NFL Draft is merely 110 days away! Let’s pass the time together until then by looking at who mock drafts have the Philadelphia Eagles selecting with the No. 6 overall pick.

DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama — Bleeding Green Nation (Ben Natan)

Without knowing whatever craziness the next four months have in store, DeVonta Smith makes the most sense as the clock strikes triple zeroes on this season. DeVonta Smith was the Crimson Tide’s leading receiver in 2019 when he was splitting targets with Henry Ruggs III and Jerry Jeudy, yet he decided to come back to school. That turned out to be a great idea as he is probably going to win the Heisman after catching 20 touchdowns and being one of the most dynamic receivers in the country this season. Smith gives the Eagles a true number one wideout after they’ve missed out the last two years looking for receivers in the draft. He can be the top target from day one, giving Philly’s quarterback a dependant, consistent player who can turn any target into a touchdown. Smith’s presence should also take some pressure off of Jalen Reagor and hopefully allow him to develop as well. Given the dearth of playmakers on the Eagles offense, DeVonta Smith makes the most sense.

DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama — CBS Sports (Chris Trapasso)

The Eagles could pick a quarterback if they aren’t too excited about what Jalen Hurts showed down the stretch. If they don’t, another receiver would be sensible.

DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama — USA Today (Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz)

The quarterback situation is murky. The defense needs reinforcements. Why, then, would the Eagles take a wide receiver, let alone a 175-pound one with a ho-hum physical profile? Simple: Smith is a well-rounded and refined target capable of elevating a Philadelphia passing attack that otherwise looks to be in disrepair.

DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama — FOX Sports (Jason McIntyre)

Let’s see what shakes out in free agency on the offensive line, but you can’t go into another season with guys like DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery outside. The Smith vs. Chase debate will rage in Philly, but the Eagles can’t miss like they did on Jalen Reagor vs. Justin Jefferson.

Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSUPhillyVoice (Jimmy Kempski)

Would the Eagles take a receiver in the first round two consecutive seasons? Well, considering Travis Fulgham led the team with 539 receiving yards, I’d say that it’s not such a stretch.Chase would be an excellent fit as an X receiver in the Eagles’ offense, and would (in theory) pair nicely with Jalen Reagor as the Z, assuming Reagor can live up to his potential. In 2019, Chase caught 84 passes for 1,780 yards (21.2 YPC) and 20 TDs. He was clearly a better prospect than teammate Justin Jefferson, who went 22nd overall to the Vikings, had 1,400 receiving yards this season, and should be the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. Chase might not run in the low 4.3’s and he’s not 6’5, but he’s plenty athletic, and he’s certainly big enough for the NFL. As far as his skill set goes, there isn’t much to nitpick. He has great hands, he runs good routes, he’s physical when beating press, he breaks tackles, and he can track the ball in the air. Despite being a legitimate star player, he’ll also do the dirty work, and is thought of as a good blocker. Don’t get cute. If Chase if there, just be thankful and take him.

Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU — CBS Sports (Ryan Wilson)

The Eagles really wanted the No. 6 pick and with it they take Chase, a game-changing WR for whomever ends up under center next season. (By the way, what if the Eagles wanted the No. 6 pick because they love a QB — like, say, Trey Lance, who played at North Dakota State just like Carson Wentz? This is all speculation and conspiracy theory but it’s something to think about.)

Ja’Marr Chase, WR LSU — CBS Sports (Josh Edwards)

Philadelphia may have lost on Sunday Night Football intentionally, or maybe not. No one will remember nor care two months from now. They take the top wide receiver off the market as the next step to overhauling that room.

Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State — SB Nation (James Dator)

Philadelphia needs help in a lot of areas, and while wide receiver might be the biggest area that needs improvement, I don’t have the mock breaking in a way where it’s in the team’s best interest. Pass rushing is a key need for the Eagles as well, and getting Parsons from their own backyard will help in that regard. Arguably the best pure pass rusher in the class, I don’t think him skipping the 2020 season will really hurt. I think it’s a trap to think Parsons can only excel in a 3-4 base defense, with coordinators getting more creative in using weapons. With a player this good you just take him, and work out how to slot him in later.

Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State — ESPN (Todd McShay)

The Eagles haven’t drafted an off-the-ball linebacker in the first two rounds since 2012, when they took Mychal Kendricks at No. 46 overall. But wow, is Parsons special. He can drop in coverage, wrap up in run defense or get to the QB when turned loose on a blitz. While wide receiver remains a problem even after drafting Jalen Reagor in the first round last April — and LSU’s Ja’Marr Chase will be tempting — this WR class is deep and still offers playmakers when Philly is back on the clock on Day 2. Trading back is an option, but if the Eagles stay home, this pick at No. 6 is all about the best player available: Parsons.

Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State — The Draft Network (Joe Marino)

The Eagles were among the biggest disappointments of the 2020 season and reinforcements are needed on both sides of the football. With that said, Philadelphia can let the board fall to them and select the best player available. In this case, that’s Micah Parsons, who has the size, physicality, and athleticism to be a second-level enforcer in the NFL and the quarterback of the Eagles’ defense. His toughness, ability to play in space, and leadership are needed in Philadelphia.

Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon — Bleeding Green Nation (Ben Natan)

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.

Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama — TouchdownWire (Mark Schofield)

I was tempted to put a quarterback in this spot, given that Philadelphia is the “QB Factory” after all … but I restrained myself. The Eagles have pressing needs at two levels defensively: linebacker and cornerback. Micah Parsons would be a tremendous pick for them, but something tells me that Howie Roseman might not pay a premium (in terms of draft capital) for an off-ball linebacker. So they look to find a cornerback to put opposite Darius Slay. That leads them to Tuscaloosa and Patrick Surtain II. The Alabama cornerback has started for the Crimson Tide since his freshman season, when he was named to the SEC All-Freshman team and Freshman All-America squad. A sticky man-coverage cornerback could be the missing ingredient to the Philadelphia secondary.

Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State — Pro Football Focus (Michael Renner)

You don’t have to look much further than Jalen Hurts‘ benching in Week 17 to see the Eagles still need a quarterback. Debate the ethics of it all you want, but Hurts has not played nearly enough to be considered the “guy” going forward. Lance brings a similar athletic skill set but with a cannon for an arm that can open up the downfield passing game.

SUMMARY

WR DeVonta Smith - 4
WR Ja’Marr Chase - 3
LB Micah Parsons - 3
OT Penei Sewell - 1
CB Patrick Surtain II - 1
QB Trey Lance - 1

WR - 7
LB - 3
OT - 1
CB - 1
QB - 1

Offense - 9
Defense - 4

THOUGHTS

  • Smith and Chase are likely going to dominate the conversation about the Eagles’ pick until late April. I prefer Chase but I don’t think he’ll be there. I’d gladly settle for Smith as a consolation prize.
  • The draft is 110 days away and I’m already tired of seeing Parsons projected at No. 6. It’s just not going to happen and we all know it. The Eagles don’t value linebackers like that.
  • The Eagles drafting another quarterback from North Dakota State ... one can only imagine the reaction to such a development. I don’t think QB can be ruled out at No. 6 but we obviously need to see what happens with Carson Wentz.
  • Who do you want the Eagles to draft?