Less than two months until Draft Day!
I do want to plug the most recent episode of From the Bleachers on BGN Radio, where I do a live seven-round mock draft. We’re going to making greater use of our YouTube channel going forward and my podcasts will appear on there. Subscribe and check it out!
Let’s get after it.
@AdmMorris: Where do you draw the line with trading out of the No. 6 draft spot? Who needs to be off the board for this to happen in your eyes?
I get the wisdom of trading down. For an Eagles team lacking talent so badly, the more lottery tickets and throws at the dartboard the better, right?
The Birds need a star though. A legitimate capital-S Star. The higher they pick, the odds go down that Howie Roseman is going to completely eff up the pick. Philly got crapped on both locally and nationally for their tankfest in Week 17 against Washington to guarantee they’d get a top-six pick. They’re really going to trade down after enduring that?
Just draft Ja’Marr Chase. Just draft DeVonta Smith. Just draft Jaylen Waddle. Just draft Penei Sewell. Remove the variables and luck and get the guy you want without getting cute about it. Roseman has a Danny Ainge-like ability to say, “The guy we wanted went just before us!” Don’t give me that. You’re high up. Grab a stud.
To entertain the question though, going out of the top 10 would have me throwing a Donovan McNabb McDonald’s bobblehead against the wall. The two teams that could be realistic to me are Carolina at 1-8 and Denver at 1-9. Both franchises could (and should) be looking for a new answer at the quarterback position. If Justin Fields falls or Trey Lance is sitting there and they don’t want to risk getting jumped themselves, maybe they make the leap.
I’m going to need a lot to be okay with trading down. If a team is trading up to get a QB, you need to be charging a premium. A 2022 first or a second in both 2021 and 2022 (including their own first-rounder this year, obviously) would be the line I hold.
If Chase and Smith are gone, I would really just sit there and take Waddle, but moving down in that scenario is the only acceptable option for me, provided they're getting the value I just detailed.
@lwrncjones: What positions should be prioritized with the top three picks?
Great question from my guy Lawrence.
I’m all in on a pass-catcher. It says just as much about the talent of Chase, Smith and Waddle (and, to some, Kyle Pitts) as it does about the Birds’ need there. Yes, the Eagles used a first-round selection on Jalen Reagor last year, but they cannot allow the hope for him to turn into a successful pro to stop them from acquiring more talent at the position.
Reagor might turn into an okay player, but are you passing on a superstar for that? No! He’d be miscast as a #1 receiver here and would certainly benefit from one of those dudes lining up on offense with him. Maybe Travis Fulgham is something (I still believe!). Maybe Quez Watkins turns into a serviceable player. It doesn’t matter. These receivers in the draft bring a transformative presence.
The Eagles have three Day 2 picks. Their own second-round pick, their own third and the Colts’ third via the Carson Wentz trade. I’m going defense on every single one! They have holes at corner, linebacker and safety. They could get younger on the interior and the outside on the defensive line. Get your prized pick early and then give new defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon something to mold.
This brings us to our next question...
@LargePetroleum: Favorite Day 2 draft prospects this year?
Good to hear from my boy Big Oil.
Building off the above Q from Lawrence, there’s a surplus of guys on defense that I’m digging.
Florida State cornerback Asante Samuel Jr., the son of the former Eagles All-Pro corner, is a guy that I’m all-in on. Florida State defensive backs have had a ton of success at the next level. Samuel has great footwork and is a ballhawk just like his father too.
This story about him training with Antonio Brown has me all kinds of hype:
Want to know why Asante Samuel Jr. is seen as a top CB prospect in this loaded class?— Matt Verderame (@MattVerderame) March 1, 2021
This story he told me about his work with @AB84 last year is everything you need to know.
Samuel spoke with @FanSided this weekend and laid out his path to success.https://t.co/ibyWnKLVeE pic.twitter.com/ymxloED5Bz
Another corner I’m keeping my eye on is Trill Williams from Syracuse. First of all, that’s a Hall of Fame name for a defensive back. There’s no way he can be bad! Trill played at outside corner, safety, and in the slot for the Orange. He’s long and rangy and projects best on the outside, which is perfect for an Eagles team in dire need of a guy opposite Darius Slay.
He seems to be getting less buzz than teammate and fellow corner Ifeatu Melifonwu, but I might like Williams more!
My “PLEASE DO ITTTTTTTTT” pick in the third round in LSU linebacker Jabril Cox. He’s athletic, can lay the wood, and is great in coverage. An SEC defensive player? Sign me up! Yeah, the Eagles took a linebacker on Day 2 last year, but comparing Davion Taylor’s immediate impact to that of Cox would be foolish.
That would be a lot of Cox on the Eagles’ defense. Mmmmm...
I’m not optimistic that he’ll be there, but in a mock draft I did today on The Draft Network, defensive tackle Christian Barmore from Alabama was available with the 37th pick. Dude, he’s a monster. For all we know, this could be Fletcher Cox’s last season in midnight green. Heck, he could even get moved this offseason! The Birds have historically always loved a lot of depth on the defensive line. With Cox getting older and increasingly banged up, having Barmore in the rotation could only help.
I’d keep an eye on ‘Bama offensive guard Deonte Brown in the third round. Much like on the defensive line, depth in the trenches is always a plus, especially given Brandon Brooks’ age and injury history on top of the possibility that Isaac Seumalo could shift to center for a retiring Jason Kelce. Eagles offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland is always about the Alabama connections too.
@ryenj__: Which current Eagle is most likely to post a major movie/TV spoiler on social media as Shady did with Avengers: Endgame?
Ryne is my dude. I like this.
Reagor has had a... contentious relationship with Eagles fans on Twitter. I don’t know if he’s an MCU guy, but would he spoil the finale of WandaVision?
Spoilers are most prominent in these big tentpole franchises for genre fiction. Your MCU movie/shows, your Game of Thrones, etc. Who are the big sci-fi guys on the roster? My gut says that person is Brett Toth. He might spoil The Falcon and the Winter Soldier this spring! Beware!
@lwrncjones: Which year two receiver makes the biggest jump?
The candidates here are Reagor, Watkins, and John Hightower. I was buying Hightower stock last summer, but I don’t even think he’s a lock to make the roster in 2021. Not gonna be him!
Reagor has the talent and the pedigree to improve upon his injury-riddled and uneven rookie campaign and perhaps, as I alluded to above, bringing in a Chase or Smith would make life much easier for Reagor.
The argument for Quez would be that he flashed a bit down the stretch when Jalen Hurts took over as the team’s signal-caller, a rapport that had been built during their time on the Birds’ scout team together. I’m dumping my Hightower stock for pennies on the dollar and buying into Watkins. He just looks... natural out there.
@LargePetroleum: How will Jim Belushi having the gas impact the Eagles’ draft and free agency plans?
Hopefully, Howie lays off the gas, Big Oil.