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NFL Mock Draft Roundup: 10 different options for the Eagles at No. 6

No consensus here.

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College Football Playoff National Championship - Clemson v LSU Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The 2021 NFL Draft is merely 60 days away! Let’s pass the time together until then by looking at who mock drafts have the Philadelphia Eagles taking with the No. 6 overall pick.

Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSUESPN+ (Mel Kiper)

After trading away Carson Wentz, 2020 second-round pick Jalen Hurts tops the Eagles’ quarterback depth chart. And my feeling is that he has earned a chance to start in Week 1 next season and try to be Philly’s long-term answer, even though he completed just 52% of his passes last season. The Eagles have major salary-cap issues, and this is not going to be a one-year rebuild for new coach Nick Sirianni. I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re picking in the top 10 next year as well. Drafting Chase here will allow a better evaluation of Hurts in 2021; he’s a true No. 1 wideout with a high ceiling. After opting out of the 2020 season, Chase will get a chance to work out for teams at LSU’s pro day on March 31, and there’s a chance he could wow scouts and coaches there and end up as the No. 1 receiver in this class.

Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU — The Draft Network (Drae Harris)

The Eagles receiving corps is among the worst in their division. After recently releasing DeSean Jackson, getting younger and better at the position will be critical to their success. Chase opted out of the 2020 season, but he was a difference-maker and dynamic playmaker for LSU before that.

Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU — Sporting News (Vinnie Iyer)

The Eagles did use a first-rounder on Jalen Reagor last year, but they have plenty of other issues at wideout for new starting QB Jalen Hurts and could use Chase as their true go-to “X” outside to complement Reagor as a speedy “Z.” Chase posted 84 catches for 1,780 yards and 20 TDs during the national championship season and can join former teammate Justin Jefferson in lighting up the NFL as a versatile playmaker.

Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU — 94WIP (Eliot Shorr-Parks)

Chase is the obvious pick here and the one the Eagles will likely make if he is on the board. He is the best receiver in the draft, and like Justin Jefferson, he proved he can dominate elite-level competition. He doesn’t have the size concerns that DeVonta Smith does, can play both inside-and-outside, he can stretch the field and he is a danger after the catch. There is a chance Roseman doesn’t pick a receiver, but the good news for Eagles fans is that there aren’t natural fit at No. 6 at positions Roseman value more. There isn’t a clear-cut edge rusher. There isn’t really an offensive tackle, especially if Penei Sewell (OT, Oregon) is already off the board. Patrick Surtain (CB, Alabama) is a possibility, but chances are the best-player-available will be a skill player. If Justin Fields (QB, Ohio State) or Trey Lance (QB, North Dakota) are on the board, things could get interesting. Trading back is also a possibility if Roseman wants to collect more picks and get a player at a different position (OT, DL).

Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU — Pro Football Network (Ben Rolfe)

The Eagles have many options when it comes to projecting their first-round selection in a 2021 NFL Mock Draft. They could take any position across the board. However, their passing offense has been a major concern, thanks in part to the lack of a dominant receiver on the outside. Ja’Marr Chase fits the mold for the Eagles here. He would provide a focal point of the offense and give Jalen Hurts a big-time target over the next few seasons.

Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU — USA Today (Nate Davis)

There’s already speculation that they could take another quarterback to compete for the starting job following the decision to part with Carson Wentz. But it makes more sense to give second-year passer Jalen Hurts a fair shot to flourish, and no better way to do that than by enlisting the supremely gifted Chase – he averaged 21.2 yards per catch in 2019 while playing with Burrow and is a weapon at every level of the field. Teaming him with 2020’s first-round wideout, Jalen Reagor, who isn’t nearly the player Chase is, helps the entire unit.

Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU — Action Network (Matthew Freedman)

The Eagles need pass-catching help. Veterans Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson are entering the final year of their contracts, and there’s a chance that neither will actually make it onto the 2021 roster. On top of that, 2020 first-rounder Jalen Reagor and 2019 second-rounder J.J. Arcega-Whiteside have both underwhelmed in their brief NFL careers. Enter Chase. He opted out of the 2020 season, but in 2019 he — not Justin Jefferson — was the No. 1 receiver on the title-winning Tigers with a nation-high 1,780 yards and 21 touchdowns.

Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida — Bleeding Green Nation (Ben Natan)

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.

Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida — NFL.com (Daniel Jeremiah)

I don’t envision Zach Ertz being on the Eagles’ roster for the 2021 season. However, Philadelphia still ensures its QB1 — whomever that ends up being — has an outstanding duo at tight end in Pitts and Dallas Goedert.

Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida — Mile High Report (Joe Rowles)

Philly has one of the worst cap situations in the league and will probably have needs across the roster by Draft day. Rather than chase a quarterback, Howie Roseman elects to give Jalen Hurts a chance. Pitts is the kind of hybrid tight end who should develop into a blue chip player and foundational part of Nick Sirianni’s offense.

Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida — CBS Sports (Chris Trapasso)

Pitts would give Jalen Hurts a serious weapon down the seam.

Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida — CBS Sports (Josh Edwards)

Zach Ertz is not going to be around long in Philadelphia. The Eagles need pass catchers and are not limited to wide receivers. Kyle Pitts is a unique weapon who is not going to be pegged as a traditional inline blocker. He can be flexed out and moved around in Nick Sirianni’s offense.

DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama — PhillyVoice (Jimmy Kempski)

In 2019, Smith led Alabama in receiving yards and TDs, despite playing alongside a pair of first round picks in Henry Ruggs and Jerry Jeudy. Smith could have declared for the 2020 NFL Draft, but he stayed in school for his senior season, which turned out to be a wise move, as he’s now in position to be a top 10 pick in the 2021 draft. In 2020, Smith had a monster season. I mean, obviously. He was the Heisman trophy winner. On the season, he had 117 catches for 1,856 yards and 23 TDs. He also had a 21.5 yards per return average on 11 punt returns, including a TD. Smith is a smooth route runner, he gobbles up yards after the catch, he has great hands, and he can make spectacular catches in traffic. The concern that teams are going to have about Smith is his lack of size. He opted not to be weighed at the Senior Bowl. He’s listed at 175, but does he even weigh 170? Certainly, he plays much bigger than his slight frame.

DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama — DraftTek (Broz)

The Wentz trade finally happened, and Eagle fans as usual are going nuts. However, I ask you to look at the Wentz era through my following point-of-view, then come to your own conclusions (once I tell you exactly how to think, of course): the Eagles drafted Wentz, and he gave us exactly the same number of Championship seasons that Aaron Rogers and Drew Brees gave their fans. Then, Howie Roseman bailed out when things unraveled quickly, and in 2022 will be free and clear of Wentz’s albatross contract with likely an extra RD1 pick to boot! In this CMD, the Eagles nab Devonta Smith again (117 REC, 1,856 YDS, 24 TDs). I like Smith, but he’s truly my Plan C after Chase or Sewell (Plan B), or a trade back/draft haul with some team that covets Trey Lance (Plan A).

DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama — NFL.com (Charley Casserly)

With the Eagles moving on from DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery this offseason, the team needs to add another pass catcher.

Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State — Akron Beacon Journal (Dan Kadar)

As expected, the Eagles jettisoned faltering quarterback Carson Wentz, sending him to the Indianapolis Colts for draft picks. The safe assumption is that Jalen Hurts is now the team’s starting quarterback. Not so fast. As The Athletic’s Sheil Kapadia notes, the Eagles could go after a quarterback in the first round. Hurts is intriguing, but he was bad in Philadelphia’s final game of the season. Against Washington, Hurts completed just seven of 20 passes for 72 yards and an interception. It was not a good last impression. If the Eagles like Fields — and there’s a lot to like about him — they could commence their rebuild with him as the quarterback.

Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State — Eagle Maven (John McMullen)

This will be the fifth time the Eagles have selected in the top 10 of the draft and twice in the previous four times in that position they have taken a quarterback - Donovan McNabb in 1999 and Carson Wentz in 2016. They make it three times in five trips to the top 10 with this pick of Fields.

Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State — FantasyPros (Kyle Yates)

No matter what my Twitter mentions may say, QB is absolutely on the table for the Eagles here at No. 6 overall. Jalen Hurts showed some positive signs in his limited starts last season, but he’s still an unproven commodity. The Eagles are hitting the reset button at QB this off-season and with Fields still on the board, it’s impossible for them to pass him up. If Hurts beats Fields out in training camp, the Eagles have another QB that they can keep on the roster or sell off to a team in desperate need of a QB. If Fields turns into the NFL superstar that many, myself included, think he can eventually become, Philadelphia has insurance behind him at the QB position. That’s never a bad thing.

Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama — Pro Football Focus (Anthony Treash)

Waddle missed most of the 2020 season due to a fractured ankle, but the Bama receiver was truly an explosive play waiting to happen in the four games he appeared in. He generated a Power 5-best 4.68 yards per route run, averaged 10.7 yards after the catch, teamed up for a perfect passer rating of 158.3 on his 29 targets and hauled in 329 deep receiving yards. The latter still ranks 13th among all Power 5 receivers despite appearing just four times all year. The speed he possesses is truly rare and makes him a threat to house it on any given play.

Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama — CBS Sports (Tom Fornelli)

There’s a chance the Eagles could go for a QB here, but with the top three off the board, I think they’d prefer to address a serious need at receiver. Waddle missed most of the 2020 season with an injury, but he is a multi-dimensional talent that can break a game open any time he touches the ball. Philly could use some of that.

Zach Wilson, QB, BYUNBC Sports Philadelphia (Adam Hermann)

Is Jalen Hurts the guy? It’s not set in stone just yet. The quarterback board falls to the Eagles at No. 6, and they get their pick of the non-Lawrence options. Howie Roseman opts for the high upside pick of Zach Wilson, the intriguing BYU riser who threw just three interceptions in 2020 and has received favorable comparisons this past week to the current best in the game, Patrick Mahomes. And we get a fun storyline: with Roseman choosing Wilson over Ohio State’s Justin Fields, let’s see if the general manager made the right decision, or if his recent draft woes continue.

Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State — Matt Miller (The Draft Scout)

If you aren’t sure your guy at quarterback is the guy, you better make a move to improve the position. The new Eagles’ head coaching staff is not tied to Jalen Hurts and general manager Howie Roseman is tied to no one, it seems. This wouldn’t be my pick—I’d give Hurts a year to prove himself and add DeVonta Smith (WR, Alabama), but this pick has a ton of buzz right now.

Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon — Zach Berman (The Athletic)

The Eagles would have likely pounced on one of the top three quarterbacks or top two wide receivers. In fact, they’d probably be a trade-down candidate at this point. But if this is what the board looks like at No. 6 and they’re making the pick, the Eagles would have a hard time passing up a potential blue-chip left tackle even though they have two options (Jordan Mailata and 2019 first-round pick Andre Dillard) at the position. The Eagles are a roster in transition, and the organizational priority is building along the lines. Sewell is the second-ranked player on the Big Board of The Athletic’s draft expert Dane Brugler. Mailata and Dillard might be promising, but that’s not the reason to pass on Sewell. Trey Lance (yes, another North Dakota State quarterback) and Kyle Pitts (a Philadelphia native) were also under consideration.

Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern — CBS Sports (Ryan Wilson)

It’s still unclear why the Eagles all but gave up in their Week 17 game to go from the No. 9 to the No. 6 spot in the draft, especially if they aren’t eyeing a QB. (This, of course, makes us think they’re eyeing a QB.) As it stands, with Chase off the board, we get current starting QB Jalen Hurts some much-needed help along the offensive line. Slater can play all five O-line positions and should be a Day 1 starter.

Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia TechCBS Sports (Pete Prisco)

Their line was a disaster last year, so they need help in the worst way. They could also go corner here as well. But Darrisaw is a guy scouts love maybe more than draft media.


SUMMARY

WR Ja’Marr Chase - 7
TE Kyle Pitts - 5
WR DeVonta Smith - 3
QB Justin Fields - 3
WR Jaylen Waddle - 2
QB Zach Wilson - 1
QB Trey Lance - 1
OT Penei Sewell - 1
OT Rashawn Slater - 1
OT Christian Darrisaw - 1

WR - 12
TE - 5
QB - 5
OT - 3

Offense - 25
Defense - 0


THOUGHTS

  • Not a single defensive pick! Reasonable, though, with the Eagles very likely going offense at No. 6.
  • The feeling here is that the Eagles can’t go into this year’s draft with the idea they’re taking a quarterback at No. 6 no matter what. Don’t want to see them force it like that. If they’re totally in love with Fields (or someone else), then QB is a reasonable pick. The overall aim should be to acquire an elite-level difference-maker, almost regardless of position.
  • Obviously too early to say with certainty but it’s sounding like Trevor Lawrence and Wilson will be off the board by No. 6. At that point, Fields is the most intriguing quarterback to me. Really like what I’ve seen in terms of him putting the ball where it needs to be. Fields was the most accurate quarterback on downfield throws in all of college football last year, according to PFF.
  • There’s just so much unknown with Lance. Too many questions to feel confident about his NFL projection.
  • There’s something too good to be true about the Eagles getting Chase, right? Like, it’s a no-brainer pick if he makes it there. But it’s hard to believe it’ll actually happen until we see it.
  • I’ve warmed up to the idea of taking Pitts at No. 6. I can’t say I still don’t have apprehension. I just don’t want to hear about “12 personnel” as a selling point for it. He better be able to play straight up at wide receiver, not unlike how Chase Claypool turned out.
  • Can’t rule out the Eagles taking an offensive tackle at No. 6 given Howie Roseman’s penchant to build through the trenches. Would be an underwhelming pick in terms of excitement, though.