The Philadelphia Eagles couldn’t help themselves when it came to making a trade with the Miami Dolphins to bump themselves back to the No. 12 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. The Dolphins had initially traded their draft pick to the San Francisco 49ers, but wanted to get themselves back into the top 10.
The Eagles made a pretty good decision to move back a few picks to No. 12 overall to add some additional picks to their roster this year, and they could look to make a big splash in the 2021 NFL Draft. The Eagles have made some strong additions to their roster this offseason and they could look to improve even more by stockpiling some young prospects.
Philadelphia made some major moves under their new coaching staff thus far, including trading away their quarterback Carson Wentz and signing Anthony Harris and Andrew Adams. The Eagles obviously still have a lot of work that needs to be done, but establishing a solid core in free agency is a great way to propel the team into a new era.
There is a lot of unknown surrounding the Eagles, but they’ll be looking to switch the vibe into a positive light. Let’s take a look at three players the Eagles could consider drafting in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft at No. 12 overall.
Number One: Rashawn Slater, Offensive Tackle, Northwestern
The Eagles need to put an emphasis on rebuilding the offensive line, just like every other rebuilding team does. The Eagles have some solid pieces in center Jason Kelce and offensive tackle Andre Dillard, but that’s about it. If the Eagles are given the opportunity to take Northwestern offensive tackle Rashawn Slater with their 12th overall pick, they would be crazy not to.
Sure, the most glaring need for the Eagles this offseason is adding some weapons for Jalen Hurts to throw to, but I beg to differ. Hurts won’t have anyone to throw to regardless if the Eagles’ offensive line can’t keep him upright and protected, but adding arguably the best offensive tackle in the 2021 NFL Draft could change that narrative.
Slater would be a top five pick in any normal draft, but the awe factor of Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell and the quarterback-heavy top 10 picks could put the Eagles in great shape to land a dominant prospect to add to their offensive line. He is as fundamentally sound as they come and he could be a plug and play guy from day one in the City of Brotherly Love.
Number Two: Kyle Pitts, Tight End, Florida
When the Eagles had the No. 6 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, everyone’s initial assumption was that the team was going to draft Florida tight end Kyle Pitts with the pick. However, due to the top 10 being overloaded with teams that need an offensive tackle, quarterback, or wide receiver, the Eagles may still be able to get their guy if he slides to pick number 12.
Pitts may be the most talented tight end prospect the league has ever seen and he could be one of the highest tight end NFL Draft sections in league history. Pitts has all the tangibles you look for in an NFL tight end and he would be able to replace Zach Ertz, who they’re actively shopping in trade talks.
In his career at Florida, Pitts hauled in 100 receptions for 1,492 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns. Pitts was actually so good in 2020 that he managed to finish 10th overall in Heisman Trophy voting, which is unheard of from the tight end position. Pitts could be a great weapon to add to the Philadelphia offense and he could help the squad get back on track in the near future.
Number Three: Devonta Smith, Wide Receiver, Alabama
If Kyle Pitts and Rashawn Slater are off the board, which isn’t unlikely at this stage in the first round, the Eagles could look to add some receiving talent to their roster. The Eagles have a dire and obvious need for some receiving talent, but I put receiver as their third-most valuable need due to the depth in this year’s receiving class.
LSU wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase is likely going to be off the board at this point in the draft, but the Eagles could be chomping at the bits with the selection of Alabama wide receiver Devonta Smith at pick number 12. Smith won the Heisman Trophy in 2020 as college football’s best player and he could be a huge asset to a needy Eagles’ receiving corps.
Devonta Smith could join 2020 first-round pick Jalen Reagor in the Eagles’ receiving unit and form a very solid and young duo at the position. Smith could be the type of player that the Eagles look back on and wonder how they snagged him at pick number twelve. Smith’s chemistry with former Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts could also come into play here in terms of final decision making.