To note, we used The Draft Network’s simulator for this exercise. I also discussed my picks with Jimmy Kempski — who revealed his final mock as well — on the latest BGN Radio podcast episode, which you can listen to below or by [clicking here]:
1st round (No. 12) - DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
I already wrote about how the Eagles shouldn’t talk themselves out of Smith if he’s available at No. 12. The weight concerns are overblown. This is a player who hasn’t had durability issues and regularly excelled at getting off press coverage in the nation’s top college football conference. The Eagles have never successfully drafted and developed a wide receiver under Howie Roseman. There’s a good chance Smith is a solution to their long-time problem at that position. Smith can line up at multiple positions in Philly.
2nd round (No. 37) - Gregory Rousseau, DE, Miami
There’s thought Rousseau could go in Round 1 but he fell to me in this simulation. The 21-year-old has limited playing experience due to missing most of 2018 with an ankle injury and opting out of the 2020 season. But he dominated in 2019 with 19.5 tackles for loss, 15.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles. Edge rusher is a premium position for the Eagles. It’s also a need with Brandon Graham aging and both Derek Barnett and Josh Sweat only under contract through 2021. Even if Rousseau isn’t the exact selection, I envision the Eagles going with a lineman with at least one of their first three picks.
3rd round (No. 70) - Paulson Adebo, CB, Stanford
Adebo doesn’t seem to be getting much pre-draft hype after opting out in 2020. It feels like people have kind of forgotten about him, which is a mistake. This 21-year-old had great ball production with eight interceptions, 27 passes defensed, and one forced fumble in 22 games played. The Eagles desperately need outside cornerback help and the 6-1, 192 pound Adebo is a contender to start from Day 1.
3rd round (No. 84) - Daviyon Nixon, DT, Iowa
Defensive tackle is an underrated need for the Eagles. Fletcher Cox turns 31 this year and has a lot of mileage on him. Javon Hargrave needs to be better this year than he was last season. Behind them, the Eagles have ... nothing to feel great about. Hassan Ridgeway has been a solid option when healthy but he’s been injured more often than not. This year’s interior defensive line class doesn’t seem to be very deep but the Eagles find a quality option here. Nixon, who projects as a 3-technique, had 13.5 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, and one forced fumble last year.
4th round (No. 123) - Quinn Meinerz, C, Wisconsin-Whitewater
The Eagles turn to Division III for Jason Kelce’s potential replacement. Meinerz excelled at the lower level, earning an invite to this year’s Senior Bowl. Part of what makes him so good is his elite athleticism. It’s also probably worth noting that Meinerz said the Eagles are showing the most interest in him out of any team leading up to this year’s draft.
Quinn Meinerz is a OC prospect in the 2021 draft class. He scored a 9.98 RAS out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 2 out of 494 OC from 1987 to 2021. https://t.co/jcwLVpRI54 #RAS via @Mathbomb pic.twitter.com/K15ksX6Tqu— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) April 6, 2021
5th round (No. 150) - Richard LeCounte III, S, Georgia
If LeCounte went by “Dick,” his nickname could be DLC III. Just a thought. Anyway, RLC3 made my mock in part because of how BGN’s Ben Natan has previously talked him up. LeCounte’s athletic testing was disappointing, which is discouraging, but that’s part of why he’s still available at this point. This is still a player with eight interceptions, 10 passes defensed, and four forced fumbles. The Eagles could really afford to add more depth on the back end with Anthony Harris (age 30 season) and Rodney McLeod (age 31 season) only signed through 2021.
6th round (No. 189) - Garret Wallow, LB, TCU
Well, you know the Eagles love themselves some TCU tape (see: Jalen Reagor, Big V, Matt Pryor). Wallow kind of profiles as another Alex Singleton. He’s an inside linebacker praised for his leadership and tackle production. Might end up being more of a special teams guy, which is acceptable for this stage in the draft. Honestly not the most inspiring option given the Eagles’ need at linebacker but I had to have them take one at some point. Maybe they’ll get lucky.
6th round (No. 224) - Josh Imatorbhebhe, WR, Illinois
The pronunciation here is “ee-MAT-or-bay-bay” for those curious. Imatorbhebhe is a high-ceiling, low-floor prospect worth taking a chance on due to his explosive leaping ability. NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein wrote that he’s the “most explosive leaper coming out of the college game that I’ve ever seen.” Just check out his spider graph (and that top athletic comparison!). We all know the Eagles can’t resist a jump-ball wide receiver.
6th round (No. 225) - Landon Young, OT, Kentucky
The Eagles pick up a former five-star high school recruit later on Day 3. Young posted a “great” relative athletic score with good size (6-6, 310), okay agility, and great speed and explosion. His experience comes at left tackle, though there’s thought he might have to move to guard in the NFL. Another developmental offensive lineman for Jeff Stoutland to work with.
7th round (No. 234) - Elijah Mitchell, RB, Louisiana
Had to include this Dan Klausner favorite in my mock. A very productive running back with 527 college carries for 3,267 yards (6.2 average) and 41 touchdowns. He didn’t demonstrate much pass-catching prowess, which isn’t really ideal for the type of running back the Eagles should be looking to add. But with a late Day 3 pick, it’s worth taking a shot to see if he can work his way into the running back rotation.
7th round (No. 240) - Manny Rugamba, CB, Miami (OH)
The Eagles should really double-dip at both corner and receiver in this year’s draft. Rugamba rounds out the list here as a player who did some nice things in 2019 before disappointing last year. He projects as a slot player in the NFL.
- The Eagles have too many holes to fill through just one draft. I’m disappointed I couldn’t manage to find a tight end. Then again, maybe the team can find a gem out of UDFA or their developmental projects (Tyree Jackson, Hakeem Butler).
- I’m all for drafting for volume but the Eagles have too much quantity over quality towards the end of their draft. They should be looking to package some of those late Day 3 picks, if possible.
- I probably should’ve projected a Zach Ertz trade. My thought is that the Eagles could realistically look to package Ertz and No. 123 to move up earlier on Day 3.
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