One of the biggest arguments against the Philadelphia Eagles trading down from No. 6 to No. 12 in the 2021 NFL Draft was the fear of missing out on special pass-catching talents such as Ja’Marr Chase and Kyle Pitts.
Wednesday’s pro day developments did nothing to assuage those concerns. Chase and Pitts absolutely crushed their workouts.
Chase caught everyone’s attention by running faster than expected. Many thought he would run the 40-yard dash in the 4.4s but he timed at 4.38 seconds.
40-yard dash times:— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) March 31, 2021
Ja'Marr Chase - 4.38
Justin Jefferson - 4.43
Stefon Diggs - 4.46
AJ Brown - 4.49
DeAndre Hopkins - 4.57 pic.twitter.com/xNKAVV8Bw9
Pitts, meanwhile, ran posted an unofficial 4.4 at 6’6” and 245 pounds. He also logged the longest wingspan measured by a tight end or wide receiver in the last 20 years, breaking D.K. Metcalf’s previous record.
40-yard dash times among TEs:— PFF (@PFF) March 31, 2021
Kyle Pitts - 4.44
Darren Waller - 4.46
George Kittle - 4.52 pic.twitter.com/aYfpZQITcJ
Kyle Pitts:— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) March 31, 2021
6' 5 5/8", 245 lbs
Wingspan: 83 3/8"
6'5", 239 lbs
40-yard: 4.35 pic.twitter.com/ZmjJaZAmZF
Now, me sharing these results isn’t to say the Eagles definitely done messed up by trading down. Strong workout numbers don’t necessarily guarantee NFL success. Chase and Pitts are hardly the only two draft prospects to have strong pro days.
There’s also no guarantee either one of them would have been available at No. 6. There’s been some buzz about the Atlanta Falcons taking Pitts at No. 4, though they’re also potentially in the mix to take the fourth quarterback selected at that point. There’s also been talk about Joe Burrow campaigning for the Cincinnati Bengals to take Chase at No. 5. Albert Breer wrote about how the Eagles traded down with Chase potentially being off the board in mind.
But if Chase and/or Pitts DO make it to No. 6 and then end up crushing it in the NFL, well, that’s not going to be very fun. It doesn’t necessarily mean the Eagles will have made the wrong move to trade down. If Philly can still get a good player at No. 12 and also maximize next year’s first-round pick (in terms of pivoting to a new franchise quarterback or building around Jalen Hurts), then the deal will have been worth it.
Until we see how it plays out, it’s only natural for one to wonder if the Eagles made a mistake.