We’re in prime mock draft season with the 2021 NFL Draft only a little over one week away. The latest one from ESPN is actually a combo from both Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay, who alternated picks in a mock that goes three rounds deep. Here’s a look at how it played out for the Philadelphia Eagles.
12. Philadelphia Eagles (via MIA through SF) — McShay’s pick: Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama.
Philly can exhale: The Eagles moved back to No. 12 and still got one of the top four pass-catchers. Waddle is the most dangerous player in the class with the ball in his hands.
Not a bad start. I’m partial to DeVonta Smith in part because I think he projects to be much more of a sure thing at the NFL level. But Smith went off the board at No. 11 and Waddle is reasonably the best player available at a big position of need. Waddle could give the Eagles what they thought they were getting in Jalen Reagor.
37. Philadelphia Eagles — Kiper’s pick: Nick Bolton, LB, Missouri
This is a great fit for the Eagles, who need a sideline-to-sideline middle linebacker in new coordinator Jonathan Gannon’s defense. Bolton is a tackling machine.
We all know about the Eagles not drafting a linebacker in the first round since 1979. In addition to that, Howie Roseman has never drafted one higher than when he took Mychal Kendricks at No. 46 in 2012. So, this would be a historic pick for Philly’s current front office. Not impossible to envision, though, with Jonathan Gannon coaching in environments that prioritized the linebacker position much more than the Eagles have for some time. Bolton could compete for a starting job as a rookie.
70. Philadelphia Eagles — McShay’s pick: Ifeatu Melifonwu, CB, Syracuse
Melifonwu needs some refining, but he has a lot of upside as a press corner. The Eagles are lacking depth at the position beyond Darius Slay and Avonte Maddox (who could be a free agent in 2022).
Ifeatu is the younger brother of Obi and, most importantly, a friend of The SB Nation NFL Show. I’m sure some won’t be thrilled to see the Eagles wait this long to address cornerback given the barren state of that position. But Philly is gambling on upside here. Melifonwu is only 21 and, not unlike his big bro, offers an intriguing blend of size and athleticism. Check the spider graph for this 6-2, 205-pound corner:
84. Philadelphia Eagles (via IND) — McShay’s pick: Andre Cisco, S, Syracuse
Cisco is a ball hawk on the back end, hauling in 13 interceptions over 24 career games. The Eagles were one of four teams in the single-digits in that category last season.
The final pick has the Eagles double-dipping in the Orange’s secondary. It’s hard not to like Cisco’s ball production. In addition to the picks, he also had 14 passes defensed, two forced fumbles, two sacks, and one defensive touchdown. Cisco has a knack for being aggressive, which others may coin as reckless. His 2020 season was cut short after he “collided with a teammate during pregame warmups.” Cisco’s NFL success seems especially dependent on a coaching staff that can really play to his strengths and mitigate his weaknesses.
Obviously, this is just a look at one of the many different ways how the Eagles’ draft could play out. I do like them prioritizing an offensive weapon and boosting the defense here.
What say you?
Grade ESPN’s latest mock draft haul for the Eagles
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