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Philadelphia Eagles ‘up to something’ leading up to 2021 NFL Draft

Matt Johnson

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The Philadelphia Eagles have been very busy this offseason with a new coaching staff brought in, blockbuster trades made and free-agent additions. As the 2021 NFL Draft approaches, it seems general manager Howie Roseman might have another card up his sleeve.

Philadelphia kicked things off this spring by firing Super Bowl-winning coach Doug Pederson and replacing him with Nick Sirianni. Before long, months after he privately asked for an opportunity to play elsewhere, the Eagles trade Carson Wentz to the Indianapolis Colts.

The Eagles weren’t done making huge moves. They struck an unexpected deal with the Miami Dolphins, moving down from No. 6 to the No. 12 pick, picking up a 2022 first-round selection as a result. With only a few days remaining until Roger Goodell takes the stage for the 2021 NFL Draft, the Eagles might be planning another big move.

Related: 3 Philadelphia Eagles trade options for the 2021 NFL Draft

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported on SportsCenter that many in the NFL believe the Eagles are up to something in the days leading up to April 29 and there could be a draft-day trade that shakes things up.

Philadelphia isn’t just shopping its draft picks. Pro Bowl tight end Zach Ertz is on the trade block and his days with the organization are numbered. Coming off an injury-riddled season, though, the Eagles haven’t received the kinds of offers they hoped for.

Read More: Philadelphia Eagles expected to get minimal return in Zach Ertz trade

The Eagles might use Ertz to move up the draft board, but he might be a secondary piece in a much larger trade package. Fortunately, Philadelphia has plenty of draft picks to use in both the 2021 and 2022 NFL Draft.

Who will the Eagles draft in 2021?

If Roseman wants to move up from the No. 12 pick, there will be no shortage of opportunities. The Dolphins, Detroit Lions, Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos and Dallas Cowboys are all open to a trade down. So, if the right player falls, Philadelphia will have plenty of options.

NFL rumors: Philadelphia Eagles exploring 2021 NFL Draft trade for top-10 pick?

In terms of fits, a deal with the Panthers might make the most sense. Carolina is thin at tight end and after losing Curtis Samuel, its offense needs more weapons. While Ertz is entering a contract year and doesn’t fit perfectly into the team’s timetable, a deal is still possible.

  • Philadelphia Eagles trade: 12th pick, 84th overall pick, Zach Ertz
  • Carolina Panthers trade: 8th overall pick

In this scenario, Carolina moves back a few spots, fills a need and lands a top-90 pick. They could then draft an offensive tackle or cornerback at the No. 12 spot and be satisfied knowing the deal provided Sam Darnold with another weapon.

Philadelphia Eagles mock draft: Full 7-round 2021 NFL Draft projection

As for the Eagles, the 8th pick might be an ideal location. Four quarterbacks will likely be taken within the first seven picks. If that happens, there’s a possibility either Jaylen Waddle or Kyle Pitts is available. Either player would be a fantastic addition for an offense that desperately needs playmakers.

There’s another idea to consider. Multiple NFL executives believe if Philadelphia is trading up, it will be for Pitts or a quarterback. Meanwhile, recent NFL Draft rumors indicate that the 8th overall pick is the floor for Justin Fields.

While the Philadelphia Eagles like Jalen Hurts, they aren’t committing to him as the starting quarterback in 2021. Fields is an elite prospect, drawing comparisons to Dak Prescott with some believing he could be a better pro than Trevor Lawrence. If he slides outside the first six picks, don’t be surprised if Philadelphia tries to trade up for him.