With picks finalized, the Eagles already have their pre-draft strategies ready for April. The draft is a huge part for any team, and after last season’s draft being disappointing on a level of value, I’m here to show you what a draft would look like based upon my feelings of a player. The Eagles took a lot of risks last season with the players that were drafted, and it’s safe to say that the picks didn’t perform to the level we were expecting them to. With a new head coach this season in Nick Sirianni, the Eagles are going to look different offensively. Sirianni could be looking to change things around schematically this season, and with that comes a variety of different options with the sixth overall pick.
With that in mind, let me show you what I feel a Eagles draft could look like this season…
Round 1 Pick 6: Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
The Eagles struggled majorly on the offensive line with lots of injuries in 2020, and the o-line is starting to get on the older side. With that being said, they need to find a way to improve their offensive line to help Carson Wentz out and protect him in the pocket. On top of the need to protect Wentz, they also need to find a way to open up the run game and allow some of the pressure that was on Wentz to be put on the run game. Sewell is one of the best offensive tackle prospects I’ve scouted, and given the glaring need on the o-line, Sewell would be a fantastic fit.
Sewell has shorter arms that are ideal for the tackle position, however I don’t think that should matter too much. He offers the ability to play well in pass protection and succeed in run blocking as well, which should allow the offense to fire on all calibers. The good thing about Sewell though is the fact that with the right coaching, he could become a very good interior offensive linemen as well. With Andre Dillard/Jordan Mailata and Lane Johnson at the tackle position, you could look to move Sewell to left guard for his first season and create a very solid line for Carson Wentz and Miles Sanders to succeed behind.
Round 2 Pick 38: Chazz Surratt, LB, North Carolina
It’s no secret that the Eagles have a lot of holes to fill on the defensive side of the ball. I did a lot of pre-draft film watching on the defense, and linebacker was a big problem that I saw from the defense. They struggled majorly in the linebacker position, but that could be an easy fix with this pick here in Chazz Surratt.
I watched Surratt in action in multiple games in 2019 and 2020, and even when trying to watch Trevor Lawrence, Sage Surratt, or Ian Book, Surratt was always the one who stood out on film. Surratt roams over the middle half of the field and displays phenomenal run stopping ability, pass rush ability on blitz packages, and the ability to play in coverage. His versatility with the middle half of the defense is what makes him such an asset to any team.
The Eagles drafted Davion Taylor last season who, despite this past season not becoming much, could still become a good linebacker alongside Surratt. Surratt, who has a very high ceiling at the next level given how athletic he truly is, could become someone the Eagles could build around starting next season. Surratt would only be filling one of the holes of the defense, but it’s a good start.
Round 3 Pick 70: Hamsah Nasirildeen, S, Florida State
Nasirildeen was one of my favorite preliminary prospects to start the 2020 season. After being a guy I wanted to keep an eye on before announcing his return last season, he found his way to stay on my radar. Florida State has produced so many talented players in the secondary like Jalen Ramsey and Derwin James, and soon Nasirildeen could be included in that talent conversation.
After watching his film from the season, I did have multiple concerns that made him fall into the mid-third round for me. I stayed in touch with his games after he came back from his injury and saw a completely different player. He was playing much more aggressive at the point of tackle, he also displayed a lot more speed, length, and ball skills. He showed the ability to play in the nickel but it wasn’t until his time at the Senior Bowl that I officially saw the ceiling he has as a player. He was showing great effort with his ability to keep the receiver at the line in press man, and when beaten, he had the speed to make up the ground and recover.
The Eagles have struggled with the secondary for the last couple years. But with Darius Slay returning and the possible addition in Nasirildeen, this secondary would start to be looking up.
Round 5 Pick 149: Tommy Kraemer, IOL, Notre Dame
Notre Dame has a long history of producing top line offensive linemen, and although Kraemer isn’t nearly as talented as some of those other guys like Zack Martin, and Quenton Nelson, he still learned in the same system. Kraemer is a very good pick especially in the middle rounds. His ability to play the guard position will be somewhat scheme dependent, but he still offers the ability to learn and develop his skills.
Kraemer is a strong run blocker, and given his ability to play well in the run, he could be a guy who’s in there for first down and situational (ie goal line) plays. The problem with that however will be the fact that he struggles in pass protection and so it will be known that he is probably only going to be in on run plays. With Jeff Stoutland as his possible position coach, he could find himself in a spot where he could look to developing a bigger role as his skillset progresses, and possibly be a future replacement for Brandon Brooks.
Round 5 Pick 153: Tamorrion Terry, WR, Florida State
Terry is one of the best mid-round receivers in this draft class. The Eagles have struggled majorly with finding offensive weapons, and keeping them healthy. With DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffrey likely out the door and Jalen Reagor not proving himself yet, the team needs to find more options for the offense.
He is a very tall (6’4) receiver from Florida State who is better known as “Scary Terry”, and his name precedes himself. Given his frame you would think he would add a big man threat, but he is able to take the top off the defensive with good speed downfield. He displays great athleticism, and given the options the Eagles have, it would be beneficial to them that they add another receiver who can add a different dimension to the offense, especially if Reagor were to go down with injury in the future.
Round 6 Pick 187: Matt Bushman, TE, BYU
This would be a pick to more or less fill a void that Zach Ertz will inevitably leave since he is not expected to be on the 2021 roster. Bushman doesn’t have a very high draft stock at the moment, but he still can offer the offense a little extra something. Bushman is the kind of talent that won’t be able to develop given his skillset, but is a good enough player that he can be thrown into an offense and become a possible weapon.
BYU had standout quarterback Zach Wilson, and that greatly benefited Matt, but after observing his film, he didn’t have a big receiving role in the offense. He was used greatly as a blocker and extra protection as well as quick option off the block. He doesn’t hold a super high caliber talent, but the team will need to find a reliable TE2 behind Dallas Goedert if they want to continue using 12-personnel on offense.
Round 6 Pick 221: Dez Fitzpatrick, WR, Louisville
Fitzpatrick is actually one of my personal favorite receivers in this draft class. He has a very high ceiling due to his elite speed, catch radius, and route running. The Senior Bowl showed scouts and teams what he could offer them should they take a chance on him, and after watching his film at the University of Louisville, and Senior Bowl recap, I’m sold that he can be a threat to a defense at the next level. Fitzpatrick complemented Tutu Atwell well in the Louisville system and made some remarkable plays that caught my eyes.
The Eagles, as stated previously, have lacked weapons that can put some fear into the defense, but Fitzpatrick has all the attributes to be that guy for Philadelphia. He has versatility to become a strong weapon as a complete WR2 for a team. He shows the ability to erupt on plays even as simple as a wide receiver screen. He is a very explosive player, and given his tremendous catch radius that allows him to bring down 50/50 balls, his presence in the receiving core should be known in no time at all.
Round 7 Pick 230: Benjamin St-Juste, CB, Minnesota
St-Juste is one of the guys that I feel could be a very developmental, yet terrific pick for any team that takes a chance on him. He comes out of the University of Minnesota, and although they don’t often produce too many great cornerbacks, St-Juste has the ability to make something of himself.
Before the Senior Bowl, I hadn’t even really heard his name mentioned, but his name started to come across as a riser after showing some very good plays in 1v1’s and in 7v7s. He has a great frame, and shows great potential at the line of scrimmage to stuff and keep the receiver from being able to release. That part of his game is something to keep an eye on, and it’s a great trait, but the best part about his game is his ability to recover with great speed. With a cornerback who can challenge some of the bigger receivers in the game, and the ability to match up well with the speed he has, he would be a very promising prospect.
Round 7 Pick 256: C.J. Marable, RB, Coastal Carolina
The Eagles have had a lot of problems with injuries in their backfield in recent seasons, and that is more of an issue than some would think. When running backs are on the field and present themselves as a threat, it makes it much harder to gameplan if you're a defense. With a solid running back lined up in the backfield, you can find your offensive playbook to open up greatly with play action passes, bootlegs, and draw plays.
Marable is a lower end running back with a lot of talent to his name. He has long distance speed and runs quick and hard for positive yards on his carries. I have him currently listed as a sixth round pick, and so a seventh round pick value is actually a great pick. With Miles Sanders' injury history and Boston Scott being a lower end backup, Marable could be an answer to the Eagles prayers if they want to become a constant running team.
The Eagles have a lot of holes that need to be filled and not a lot of cap to do so. Shall the eagles follow a script similar to the one I have laid out, they could find themselves making a huge step in the right direction to competing in 2021.