It is NFL draft day and we have three days of picks, excitement, and hot takes ahead of us. After a bunch of simulation runs of the NFL Draft, here I will say what I would do and pit it against my prediction for what the Eagles will do. (I am using the incredible draft simulator from our friends over at The Draft Network.)
My Pick: Justin Fields, Quarterback, Ohio State- Fields falling to the Eagles could be a franchise-changing dream scenario. Fields is my second-ranked quarterback in this class and undoubtedly a high upside and skilled passer. Starting fresh with a new head coach and a quarterback with Fields’ talent would be incredible.
Howie’s Pick: Jaycee Horn, Cornerback, South Carolina- The team wants to get physical and more athletic in the secondary. Jaycee Horn has the highest ceiling of any cornerback in this draft and a true alpha mentality as a defender. He would be a great fit in the new-look Philadelphia defense.
My Pick: Gregory Rousseau, Edge, Miami- Gregory Rousseau didn’t play this year and would probably be a much higher pick if he did. The talented edge defender is one of the best pure pass rushers in this class and would be a phenomenal rotational player to start his career before growing into an every-down defender.
Howie’s Pick: Jayson Oweh, Edge, Penn State- I could see Howie wanting to deepen the defensive line but doing so with a different philosophy. Jayson Oweh is a special athlete whose potential probably has a lot of NFL teams interested. He is raw, but he could become a special player with the right coaching.
My Pick: Tylan Wallace, Wide Receiver, Oklahoma State- One of my favorite players in the draft, Tylan Wallace will become a dependable playmaker for whoever is throwing the ball in Philadelphia. Wallace has great ball skills, hands, and underrated deep speed. A down year in Stillwater is the only reason he is falling to the third round.
Howie’s Pick: Pat Freirmuth, Tight End, Penn State-This would be an awesome pick too. Zach Ertz has likely played his last down in Philly and we all know Nick Sirianni is going to want lots of tight ends on the field. Freiermuth has great hands, athleticism and is tough as hell to bring down after the catch. Pairing him with Goedert would make for a formidable duo.
My Pick: Amon-Ra St. Brown, Wide Receiver, USC- Another wide receiver pick. Amon-Ra St. Brown’s dependability and potential as a slot receiver make him a great pick at this point. St. Brown might not have blazing speed, but he will be a contributor for a long time in the NFL.
Howie’s Pick: Amon-Ra St. Brown, Wide Receiver, USC- I think the team still sees wide receiver as a big need even if they’re high on the young guys in the building. Adding competition is crucial and a guy with St. Brown’s dependability will be valuable to the offense immediately.
My Pick: Dylan Moses, Linebacker, Alabama- Linebacker is a big need in Philadelphia and they should target it here at the latest. Dylan Moses was a leader down in Tuscaloosa and could have his best football ahead of him as he distances himself from a lower-body injury.
Howie’s Pick: Jaylen Twyman, Defensive Lineman, Pitt- More defensive linemen! Jaylen Twyman is a disruptive interior defender who can rush the passer and stop the run. With the current line getting up there in age, it makes sense for the Eagles to add a bunch of young contributors in a class with depth in the middle rounds.
My Pick: Marco Wilson, Cornerback, Florida- The Eagles obviously still have needs in the secondary and Marco Wilson makes a lot of sense to add depth to the group. Wilson is a very experienced corner with good size and great athleticism. He could push for starting time early on and would be a great project for Jonathan Gannon to develop.
Howie’s Pick: James Wiggins, Safety, Cincinnati- Another athletic defensive back, James Wiggins had a solid 2020 after missing all of 2019 with a knee injury. As he gets more comfortable, he could get back to his 2018 form where he showed range, versatility, and physicality on every snap. The Eagles have some decent stop gap players at safety right now and don’t need an immediate starter, making this pick a smart one.
My Pick: Paris Ford, Safety, Pitt- Paris Ford was a valuable and versatile member of the Pitt defense. Bad athletic testing really impacted his stock but the tape is still good enough for him to be drafted. The Eagles need smart, physical players in their secondary.
Howie’s Pick: Justin Hilliard, Linebacker, Ohio State- Howie finally adds depth to the linebacker group with a senior member of the Ohio State football team. Hilliard played for six years in Columbus, Constantly battling injuries to get on the field. When he did see the field, he played an aggressive, physical brand of football that could get him drafted.
My Pick: Jaelon Darden, Wide Receiver, North Texas- Jaelon Darden is one of the premier playmakers in this class. While he didn’t see stiff competition at UNT, his domination is enough to realize he can game with whomever. Darden would be a steal at this point.
Howie’s Pick: Simi Fehoko, Wide Receiver, Stanford- The JJ Arcega Whiteside saga is no reason to avoid Stanford players, even Stanford Wide Receivers. Simi Fehoko is immensely talented but immensely raw and the team might want to bet on a guy with his size, speed, and ball skills.
My Pick: Alaric Jackson, Offensive Lineman, Iowa- Alaric Jackson’s size and physicality projects him as an NFL guard. He would be a great fit under Coach Stoutland and could grow into a solid interior blocker in a few years.
Howie’s Pick: Alaric Jackson, Offensive Lineman, Iowa- Offensive line depth is always important, even if the Eagles are in better shape up front than a lot of NFL teams.
My Pick: Deommodore Lenoir, Cornerback, Oregon- The Eagles need as much competition in their secondary as they do at wide receiver. “DeDe” Lenoir is a scrappy, smart cornerback who could eventually compete to play in the slot.
Howie’s Pick: Malcolm Koonce, Edge, Buffalo- The team drafting a few defensive linemen feels on brand. Malcolm Koonce is a high motor defender who rushed the passer and defended the run well in the MAC.
My Pick: Sage Surratt, Wide Receiver, Wake Forest- One more wide receiver for my draft. Sage Surratt falls in this class because of depth and his lack of blinding athleticism. Nonetheless, his size and ball skills deserve a spot on an NFL team. I would bet on him outplaying his draft position.
Howie’s Pick: Demetric Felton, RB/WR, UCLA- Nick Sirianni values versatility from his players and Demetric Felton strikes me as the type of gadget player Sirianni would love. Felton can line up in the backfield, slot or on the outside… can run the ball and return kicks. He is a do it all type of player and the team might want that at this point in the draft.