The 2021 NFL draft is being held Thursday through Saturday and every Philadelphia Eagles draft pick will be analyzed here.
After last season’s virtual draft, Cleveland is playing host to festivities this year with a handful of potential draft picks present and socially distanced because of COVID-19.
Here’s a pick-by-pick look at how each player Philadelphia has selected will fit.
Round 1, No. 10 overall: DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
My take: The Eagles didn’t let size scare them off of the most productive wide receivers in this draft. The reward for that leap of faith could be tremendous. Smith led the NCAA in receptions (117), receiving yards (1,856) and receiving TDs (23) en route to a Heisman Trophy last season. Concerns about his weight — he is reportedly at 166 pounds — affected his draft stock, as he was the third wideout taken behind LSU’s Ja’Marr Chase and Alabama teammate Jaylen Waddle. While it’s legit to wonder how he’ll do against press man at the next level, his upside is similar to another similarly-built wideout of the past: former Indianapolis Colts receiver and Hall of Famer Marvin Harrison.
• Kiper’s Round 1 recap: Who won?
• McShay answers first-round questions
• Best available players | Draft order
• NFL Nation analysis | Trade tracker
• Rankings: Kiper | McShay | Legwold
• Scouting reports | More draft coverage
A Tide reunion: Smith is teamed up once again with his former signal-caller at Alabama, Jalen Hurts. Smith had 12 career receptions, 207 receiving yards and two receiving TDs from Hurts during their two seasons together at Alabama. Even though the Eagles haven’t officially named Hurts the starting quarterback, their actions — including this draft pick –suggest they are trying to set Hurts up for success as he tries out for the starting gig in 2021.
Instant upgrade: The Eagles’ wide receivers combined for 2,082 receiving yards last season, the third fewest in the NFL behind the New England Patriots (2,063) and Baltimore Ravens (1,729), according to ESPN Stats & Information. Travis Fulgham led the Eagles in receiving yards last season with 539 yards — the lowest by a team leader last year. Smith has a real chance to be the Eagles’ top receiver his rookie season.
What’s next: Philadelphia still has nine picks remaining, including No. 37 overall, despite giving up one of its third-rounders to move up and select Smith. The Eagles might have missed out on top cornerbacks Jaycee Horn and Patrick Surtain II, but believe good defensive backs are available in Round 2.
Check out some of the best plays that contributed to Alabama OL Landon Dickerson’s impressive college career.
Round 2, No. 37 overall: Landon Dickerson, OL, Alabama
My take: The Eagles go to the Alabama well once again to select Dickerson, a team leader with experience at guard and center. The primary concern here is his injury history. Dickerson is coming off an ACL tear suffered in the SEC Championship in December. He has another ACL tear and an ankle injury in his past as well.
The Eagles no doubt did extensive work on his medicals, but with cornerback Asante Samuel Jr. and defensive tackle Christian Barmore available at the time, there’s an argument they should have gone in a different direction.
Round 3, No. 73 overall: Milton Williams, DT, Louisiana Tech
My take: Williams (6-foot-3, 284 pounds) is a lighter-framed interior linemen with good footwork and strength. The Eagles believe in investing heavily in the offensive and defensive lines, so it’s no surprise they would address defensive tackle, even with the presence of Fletcher Cox and Javon Hargrave, and Williams has the versatility to move all over the line. Still, there are more pressing needs across the roster.
What’s next: The Eagles gained an extra sixth-round pick by moving back in the round, and now have four sixth-rounders in all. Philadelphia Defensive back remains a clear need.