Philadelphia hasn’t been shy about making blockbuster deals this offseason. It traded away Carson Wentz for future draft picks and Pro Bowl tight end Zach Ertz will likely be gone by Day 3 of the NFL Draft. Meanwhile, general manager Howie Roseman traded down from No. 6 to the 12th overall pick for a 2022 first-round selection.
This year’s draft class is deep, especially in areas of need for the Eagles. With five quarterbacks likely to be taken within the first nine picks, there’s a great chance an elite talent at cornerback or wide receiver falls. But the Cowboys, holding the No. 10 pick, stand in Philadelphia’s way. It seems Roseman is looking to change that.
According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, the Eagles have been active in trade discussions this week with the hope of climbing ahead of Dallas. Many in the NFL believe the two teams are targeting the same position, a cornerback who can help shut down top wide receivers.
Who will the Eagles draft in 2021?
When the Eagles held the No. 6 pick, they had their choice of top prospects. While the front office expected Ja’Marr Chase to be off the board, there would still be fantastic options.
Jaylen Waddle, viewed as the second-best receiver in this draft class, draws some comparisons to Tyreek Hill. Opponents could never handle his speed or route-running ability at the college level, making him one of the most explosive players in football.
Devonta Smith, Waddle’s teammate, is the reigning Heisman Trophy winner. There are reasons for NFL teams to be concerned about how a 166-pound receiver will transition to the physicality of the NFL. But Smith is a unique player, someone who played bigger than his weight indicates. He thrives at creating separation from cornerbacks, especially in man coverage, projecting as a go-to weapon in the NFL.
This is a deep class at receiver, especially in the top-40 range. The Eagles are exploring all trade-up options, including the possibility of acquiring another first-round pick.
More likely, if Philadelphia wants to keep a player from Dallas, it’s Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II. He is the No.1-ranked defensive back in the 2021 NFL Draft and is No. 10 on our top-100 draft board. Surtain brings prototypical size, athleticism for the position and boasts outstanding instincts for such a young player.
In our final Eagles’ mock draft, Philadelphia traded up to the No. 8 pick for Surtain. Not only could the price be reasonable, but the Eagles would address a major need and they would prevent the Cowboys from landing their top target.