With the 2021 NFL Draft order getting a shakeup late last week, all the mock drafters have been legally required to update their simulations. Todd McShay joined the party on Thursday with a new mock for ESPN that goes two rounds deep.
Here’s who McShay has for the Philadelphia Eagles, who are now picking at No. 12 overall:
Micah Parsons, ILB, Penn State
Let’s start with the bad news: As we thought might be the case, the Eagles miss out on the top four pass-catchers in the class after their trade out of No. 6 overall. That’s a problem. The WR room has Jalen Reagor, Greg Ward and Travis Fulgham as the top three options, not leaving QB Jalen Hurts in the best position to find success in an evaluation period. But here’s the good news: The Eagles hold 11 picks this year (the most in the NFL) in a draft with a deep receiver class, the 2022 first-rounder received in the trade will certainly prove valuable, and Philly can still land a guy like Parsons here. He can do a little bit of everything in the middle of this defense.
McShay previously had the Eagles taking Parsons at No. 6 back in January. We wrote at the time that it just wasn’t a realistic projectable outcome. The Eagles weren’t about to break a 42-year streak and take a first-round linebacker for the first time since Jerry Robinson in 1979.
The feeling here is that Parsons is still unlikely to be the Eagles’ pick.
Sure, Philly has a new defensive coordinator in Jonathan Gannon who might value the position more than his predecessor. The Indianapolis Colts invested an early Day 2 pick in Darius Leonard, who’s been a key member of their defensive success. Gannon was on the Minnesota Vikings’ coaching staff when they selected Anthony Barr at No. 9 overall and Eric Kendricks with a second-round pick.
But the Eagles’ devaluation of linebackers seems to extend beyond the coaching staff. It’s an organizational philosophy. I’m not saying it’s impossible that Parsons is the pick but it certainly shouldn't be counted on as a likelihood.
With that said, there’s a case to be made he’s truly the best player available on the board in this scenario. Here’s how the first 11 picks played out in McShay’s mock:
1) Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
2) New York Jets: Zach Wilson, QB, BYU
3) San Francisco 49ers: Mac Jones, QB, Alabama
4) Atlanta Falcons: Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
5) Cincinnati Bengals: Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU
6) Miami Dolphins: DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
7) Carolina Panthers (projected trade up): Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State
8) Detroit Lions (projected trade down): Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
9) Denver Broncos: Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama
10) Dallas Cowboys: Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina
11) New England Patriots (projected trade up): Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
On the bright side, there’s a sense of relief to be had with neither Chase nor Pitts being available at No. 6. Losing out on both the next two wide receivers and top two cornerbacks isn’t fun, though.
The Eagles are realistically left to choose from Parsons, Penei Sewell, Rashawn Slater, and [enter top defensive line prospect here]. At that point, who would be surprised to see an organization that prioritizes building through the trenches taking another lineman?
Ultimately, this mock portrays just one scenario and it’s quite possible it doesn’t play out this way. But this scenario doesn’t do much to leave one thrilled with Philly’s trade down to No. 12. Unless you’re a big Sewell fan, I suppose. I’m not as keen on going offensive tackle in the first round.
Here’s who McShay has the Eagles taking at No. 37 overall:
Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
OK, exhale, Philadelphia. The Eagles got a receiver — and a good one — in the second round after missing out on a top guy in Round 1. Bateman has a little JuJu Smith-Schuster to his game — he is versatile with good hands and underrated speed, and he isn’t afraid to work the middle of the field.
BGN’s Ben Natan wrote about Bateman in his “underrated wide receivers in the 2021 NFL Draft” series:
Rashod Bateman has been a playmaker for Minnesota and while he isn’t a freak athlete, he wins every rep with great technique and physicality. Bateman’s lack of “wow” traits is going to push him out of the top 20 in the draft, but the team that drafts him will get a dependable target with the potential to be the top threat in an offense. Low-end comparison: Van Jefferson. High-end comparison: DeVante Parker.
Some are high on Bateman. Natan, for example, has him as his No. 17 overall prospect. Others are more skeptical. Bateman checks in at No. 48 on Daniel Jeremiah’s top 50.
The book on Bateman seems to be that he’s good but nothing truly special. The Eagles really don’t have anything at wide receiver to feel amazing about and adding Bateman doesn’t necessarily change that dynamic. But he could certainly help improve upon what’s arguably the league’s worst receiving corps.
So, how do you feel about this haul?
Grade Todd McShay’s two round mock (Parsons, Bateman) for the Eagles
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