It’s no secret that a majority of Eagles fans want Philadelphia to select Ja’Marr Chase at No. 6 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft.
When Mel Kiper slotted Chase to the Birds in his late February mock draft, we asked our readers to grade the selection. 78% of 5,105 total voters gave it an “A” while 14% gave it a “B” rating. Chase also won the majority of votes when we gauged your preference of the top four pass-catchers in this year’s draft:
I’m going to go out on a limb, then, and guess that a number of you will be pleased to see the results of Kiper’s most recent mock draft that once again has Chase ending up in Philly.
The Eagles are another team that didn’t have the cap space to be spenders in free agency, and this could be the ideal scenario for general manager Howie Roseman and new coach Nick Sirianni. They don’t have the pressure to take one of the top four quarterbacks and let him compete with Jalen Hurts. Now, they can evaluate Hurts in 2021 alongside an elite wide receiver in Chase, then figure out next offseason whether Hurts is the guy around whom they want to build their team. This is a roster that has several holes, and Philadelphia has a long ways to go until it is back to being a Super Bowl contender. Chase would be a great addition to get this franchise back on track after a rough 2020.
As Kiper notes, he has FOUR quarterbacks going in the top five picks. This hypothetical outcome lines up with what NFL insider Adam Schefter recently said: “There will be four quarterbacks gone in the first six or seven picks in this draft, maybe earlier. Take that to the bank.”
Here’s Kiper’s entire top five:
1) Jacksonville Jaguars — Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
2) New York Jets — Zach Wilson, QB, BYU
3) Carolina Panthers (projected trade up) — Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
4) Atlanta Falcons — Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State
5) Cincinnati Bengals — Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
If you want the Eagles to take a quarterback, well, this isn’t an ideal outcome for you. But if you want the Eagles to stick with Hurts for a season, this is a great way for the board to shake out. Philly gets a crack at the second non-quarterback. And they don’t even have make a decision on Pitts, who continues to get top five buzz!
I’m sure some will be quick to notice that Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell is still on the board in this scenario. And it’s hardly impossible to imagine Philly taking him if he’s available since we all know the Eagles love to build through the trenches. The problem with that pick to me is not that it would be a terrible selection. It’s just that the Eagles have literally never been able to successfully draft and develop a wide receiver under Howie Roseman. Picking one at No. 6 this year feels like the best way to finally change that. If they don’t get a stud there, on what basis should anyone believe they’re going to find a solution elsewhere? By contrast, there’s reason to believe Jeff Stoutland can make either Jordan Mailata or Andre Dillard or someone work at left tackle.
Getting back to Chase, it’s not hard to understand why Eagles fans covet him. This dude profiles as a legitimate No. 1 wide receiver. He dominated the SEC at just 19 years old with 84 receptions for 1,780 yards (21.2 average) and 20 touchdowns. Chase not playing last season could be viewed as an added bonus since he’ll have even less wear-and-tear on him.
There’s hardly a guarantee that Chase will still be on the board when the Eagles pick. If he is, the Eagles have a chance to make their fans happy for once by doing the right thing and taking him.
Grade Mel Kiper’s latest mock draft pick (Ja’Marr Chase at No. 6) for the Eagles
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