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NFL Mock Draft Roundup: Multiple outlets have Eagles passing on Ja’Marr Chase to pick Kyle Pitts

Mock draft madness.

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South Carolina v Florida Photo by Evan Lepak/Collegiate Images/Getty Images

The 2021 NFL Draft is merely 38 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.

Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida — Pro Football Focus (Brad Spielberger)

It cannot be understated how genius it was for the Eagles to lose their Week 17 matchup against the Washington Football Team. In doing so, Philadelphia leap-frogged three teams desperate for their next franchise quarterback — the Lions, Panthers and Broncos. Recent comments from the Eagles about prioritizing building around Jalen Hurts could be a smokescreen, and they may stay at No. 6 and draft Justin Fields to be their next franchise quarterback or even make a move up. But taking Philadelphia at their word, they’re in an exceptional position to trade down and recoup major draft capital as they look to rebuild and get younger at several positions. Zach Ertz will likely be traded this offseason, potentially before the draft on April 29. Kyle Pitts and Dallas Goedert will form the new unstoppable tight end duo for the Eagles. Pitts’ season at Florida was nothing short of remarkable — he put up 17.9 yards per reception and was deployed all over the field. His 59 snaps lined up out wide was third among all tight ends, and he’s a willing inline blocker, as well.

Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida — NFL.com (Lance Zierlein)

Rare combination of length, speed and ball-winning talent helps make Pitts a matchup nightmare — and a great addition for Jalen Hurts to throw to.

Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida — DraftTek (Broz)

The Eagles are two days into the “Legal Tampering Period” as I write this, and as expected no real moves have been made. That’s not to say Philly is staying out of the Rumor Mill, as they have now been linked as possible strong suitors in the Deshaun Watson sweepstakes. In this week’s CMD I selected Kyle Pitts (770 YDS, 12 TDs). Not TIGHT END Kyle Pitts...rather, I selected featured X-WR Kyle Pitts, who punked every CORNERBACK that’s listed here in RD1 that he went up against. One caveat: if Chase really were available, I’d take him, but I don’t think he will be so we’re exploring different options here. To all the “We can’t draft a TE”-people: if Florida had simply called him a WR instead of a TE, with THIS exact same game tape, you’d be screaming for this guy, right?

Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida — The Draft Network (Joe Marino)

If Jalen Hurts is going to have a chance to succeed at quarterback for the Eagles, Philadelphia needs more weapons in the passing game. Pitts might be listed as a tight end but he’s capable of winning from a variety of alignments across the offensive formation and providing a height/weight/speed mismatch. His ball skills are exceptional and his fluidity as a route-runner doesn’t make sense for a man with his frame. He’s rare.

Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida — NBC Sports Philadelphia (Adam Hermann)

The Eagles are reportedly being directed by owner Jeffrey Lurie to build around Jalen Hurts as the team’s starting quarterback in 2021, so Howie Roseman sits at No. 6 and gets to choose between two potential monster weapons: the tight end Pitts or Alabama’s Heisman-winning wide receiver Devonta Smith. This is a huge call, and Roseman decides to go with the red-hot commodity in Pitts, continuing to chase that Patriots-style two TE dominance while also hoping Pitts’ upside allows him to become a hybrid TE/WR who breaks games open every single week with his size (6-6, 240) and natural athletic ability.

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

Zach Ertz is going to be traded at some point: it is just time for both parties to move on. Philadelphia has been looking to upgrade its pass attack and everyone’s mind immediately races to wide receiver. The Colts spent a modest 21% of snaps in 12 personnel (1 running back, 2 tight ends) last season but they did not have two performers like Dallas Goedert and Pitts. I think the Eagles could find a lot of success working off play-action in 12 personnel with Miles Sanders in the backfield.

Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida — TouchdownWire (Mark Schofield)

TERMS OF TRADE. Carolina receives: 2021 1st round selection (6 overall). Philadelphia receives: 2021 1st round selection (8 overall), 2021 3rd round selection (73 overall) and a 2022 2nd round selection. So the Philadelphia Eagles slide down a few spots and still get a player who was in their sights at six overall, in Florida tight end (in name only) Kyle Pitts. If the goal of this off-season is to help Jalen Hurts as much as possible, providing him with an absolute matchup nightmare is one way to achieve that goal. Howie Roseman does just that by adding Pitts into the fold. During this past season you were just as likely to see him running by cornerbacks as you were linebackers and safeties. The Eagles could look to roll out a 12 personnel package with both Pitts and Dallas Goedert on the field, or use the rookie as more of an X receiver in some offensive sets. Lots of options for new head coach Nick Sirriani to play with. And before Eagles fans start to clamor that this is “just another tight end,” Pitts is…not just another tight end.

Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSUCBS Sports (Ryan Wilson)

Chase consistently wins at the line of scrimmage, plays with the type of physicality you rarely see in college wideouts, and is at his best in contested-catch situations. However the QB situation resolves itself in Philly, Chase immediately improves the WR corps.

Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU — CBS Sports (Chris Trapasso)

Although I don’t necessarily believe them right now, the Eagles have said they want to move forward with Jalen Hurts at quarterback.

Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU — Mike Kaye (NJ.com)

The Eagles have done basically nothing in free agency thus far. With Justin Fields still on the board, the Eagles have some discussion in their draft room but ultimately go with Chase, who might be the X receiver they’ve been looking for since TO left town 15 years ago. Jalen Hurts is the QB1 this year in Philly.

Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU — FOX Sports (Rob Rang)

The Eagles have more needs than receiver, but if they’re going to fly with Jalen Hurts, they will need to surround him with weapons. A bully with the ball in his hands, Chase would be an ideal complement to last year’s top pick Jalen Reagor.

Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama — Football Outsiders (Benjamin Robinson)

I very much wanted to mock Florida tight end Kyle Pitts to the Eagles here, especially since he’s a Philly native, but in my data from Grinding the Mocks the Eagles have targeted wide receiver much more often than any other position. With Ja’Marr Chase off the board at Pick 3, this selection comes down to the fact that the next wide receiver whose EDP is rising is Jaylen Waddle. Don’t be fooled by his name—Waddle can scoot.

Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama — Pro Football Network (Matt Williamson)

Jalen Hurts will be the Eagles’ starting quarterback, and Philadelphia should have a very potent running game. With his amazing downfield speed, a guy like Jaylen Waddle would make it much more challenging for defenses to crowd the line of scrimmage.

Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama — The Athletic (Chris Burke)

Bo Wulf put odds at 35 percent that the Eagles target a QB this year. “I still think the most likely outcome is a full season of (Jalen) Hurts,” Wulf wrote. And, if that’s the case, Hurts needs help from his skill positions — help that hasn’t really come yet from 2020 first-round WR Jalen Reagor. Waddle is a home-run player who can open up any offense. Plus, don’t forget, the Eagles added multiple picks to fall back into this spot.

Justin Fields, QB, Ohio StateThe SB Nation NFL Show (Benjamin Solak)

“With Carson Wentz in hand, a player they believed to be a franchise quarterback ... which, this was just a year ago. They were like ‘Yeah, he’s a franchise quarterback.’ How far we’ve come. At 53, with needs at safety, with needs at corner, with needs at linebacker, with needs at wide receiver, they took Jalen Hurts. And they said it’s because quarterback is the most important position. ‘We are so smart. We are going to be so set at quarterback. We’re going to invest in quarterback constantly. [...] If they were willing to add to a quarterback last year with a second-round pick [...] they’re going to be willing to add to it again.”


SUMMARY

TE Kyle Pitts - 7
WR Ja’Marr Chase - 4
WR Jaylen Waddle - 3
QB Justin Fields - 1

TE - 7
WR - 7
QB - 1

Offense - 15
Defense - 0


THOUGHTS

  • NFL free agency has hardly impacted the Eagles’ draft plans thus far considering they haven’t done much besides sign Anthony Harris to a one-year deal.
  • Waddle was the most popular pick in last week’s roundup. Fell off a bit this week but he’s still in the conversation at No. 6, perhaps more than some might think.
  • For all the “Pitts isn’t just a tight end!” talk, this aforementioned PFF stat hardly paints him as a full-time wide receiver: “His 59 snaps lined up out wide was third among all tight ends [...]”
  • The latest NFL draft buzz indicates the Atlanta Falcons have interest in Pitts at No. 4. It could be nice for the Eagles to not have to make a decision on him! Also potentially helps Chase fall to No. 6.
  • Of the seven mocks that have the Eagles taking Pitts, three of them have Philly passing on Chase. Not going to be a popular outcome in reality.
  • Who do you want the Eagles to draft?