Last week, we simulated the 2021 NFL Draft, post-Carson Wentz trade, by taking a quarterback with the Eagles’ top pick. This week, I wanted to run through a scenario where the Eagles commit to Jalen Hurts for a year and use their draft capital to add playmakers on both sides of the ball.
I am using the incredible draft simulator from our friends over at The Draft Network.
Pick 6: Kyle Pitts, Tight End, Florida
Taking a tight end this high will always draw some scrutiny and the position tends not to translate to the NFL as quickly as wide receivers. With that being said, Kyle Pitts has unbelievable upside as a versatile pass catcher and will only be 20 years old when his rookie-year starts. Pitts can quickly grow into a physical, reliable target for Jalen Hurts and Nick Sirianni will love moving him around the formation. There are a few options at receiver for the Eagles here, but Kyle Pitts in this offense is hard to pass up.
Pick 38: Asante Samuel Junior, Cornerback, FSU
While Jonathan Gannon likes longer cornerbacks on the outside, he has shown some affinity for scrappy playmakers playing slot cornerback. Asante Samuel Junior is a smaller defender, but his ball skills and willingness to make big tackles gives Gannon the Kenny Moore II type player in Philadelphia that will help this defense take the next step. The Eagles desperately need playmakers in their secondary and Asante Samuel has 29 career PBU and four interceptions to prove he can fill that gap.
Pick 70: Jabril Cox, Linebacker, LSU
I will say it once, I will say it a thousand times: Get Jabril Cox to Philadelphia. The athletic Cox is a perfect defender for the new NFL and would immediately be the most talented player in the Eagles linebacker group.
Pick 84: Tylan Wallace, Wide Receiver, Oklahoma State
Two seasons from now, we will wonder why so many teams passed on Tylan Wallace. The Oklahoma State receiver is one of this year’s top playmakers and was regularly putting up highlights for the Cowboys. Wallace is a big play machine who can burn defenses and go above the rim to make tough catches. A dip in production and a deep class hurts his stock, but the Eagles can capitalize.
Pick 151: Richard LeCounte III, Safety, UGA
Safety remains a need for the Eagles defense as they get younger at all levels. While Richard LeCounte III might not be an immediate upgrade, it is hard not to like his fit in the secondary. LeCounte III is an incredibly intelligent player who had many responsibilities in the Georgia defense. LeCounte III thrived in the slot and on the back end as a free safety. He also found the ball quite a bit, picking off eight passes in the last years while forcing four fumbles. LeCounte’s ability to quarterback a secondary will be highly valuable in the NFL and gives the Eagles a potential starter who can move around the defense.
Pick 157: Shaka Toney, Edge, Penn State
The Eagles still have one of the deeper, more talented defensive lines in the NFL. However, it can never hurt to add another player whose upside could keep the unit dangerous down the line. Shaka Toney is a pass rush specialist whose burst off the snap and speed around the edge was overwhelming for his opponents in college. He is a talented, but raw player, not dissimilar to Josh Sweat a few years ago. Toney developing under Tracy Rocker’s tutelage is a very exciting prospect.
Pick 191: Shi Smith, Wide Receiver, South Carolina
As college football keeps producing massive wide receiver classes, the Eagles should keep swinging until they’ve hit on a few players. Shi Smith is a solid, well-rounded receiver whose toughness and route-running savvy made him a favorite target at South Carolina. His upside is as a dependable slot receiver, but you can never have too many sure-handed players for a young quarterback to throw to.
Pick 220: Jermar Jefferson, Running Back, Oregon State
Jermar Jefferson is coming off his best college season where he rushed for almost 1,400 yards and scored 12 times. At 5’9” and over 215 pounds, Jefferson is a small but power running back whose great vision and patience made him a dangerous back at the college level. While his lack of long speed might limit his NFL upside, it is hard not to love a hard running, consistent running back who can spell Miles Sander and contribute in the passing game.
Pick 228: Cade Johnson, Wide Receiver, SDSU
I am once again asking the Eagles to consider drafting Cade Johnson at some point. Cade Johnson’s ability as a downfield threat in college was nothing to scoff at then and he deserves a shot at a similar role in the NFL. Johnson will be another high upside player in a young Eagles receiver group. Having all those guys together is bound to produce a solid group of pass-catchers.