Could Eagles’ draft plans benefit from free agency shockwaves?

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The NFL’s legal tampering period (and the new league year) started yesterday, and we saw a lot of movement in the WR landscape across the NFL

  • One of the best WRs in the game, DeAndre Hopkins was traded to Arizona for basically a 2nd round pick and an injured RB in David Johnson.
  • Former Vikings WR Stefon Diggs got sick of Kirk Cousins, and after his 2 year extension with the team, Diggs got moved to Bills for a slate of picks, including a first rounder this year.
  • Amari Cooper re-signed with Cowboys for 20 mil/year (funny when they decided to bench him in their crucial matchup vs Eagles in 2019)

These moves beg the question: Are the chances of a top WR slipping to the Eagles at 21 suddenly a lot bigger? Let’s have a look.

1. Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals have one overwhelming need: Quarterback. And they will select Joe Burrow…

Next.

Risk assessment: Neglectable

2. Washington

Terry McLaurin proved to be a major steal in last years draft, and Kelvin Harmon was a diamond in the rough late as well. The Redskins shouldn’t pass on a top edge rusher in Chase Young, which is a big need for them.

Risk assessment: Neglectable-low

3. Detroit Lions

Lions are pretty much set at WR with Golladay, Jones Jr, Amendola, and Jermaine Kearse. The need for CB and help on the defensive line is too much to start getting cute with more pass catchers.

Risk assessment: Neglectable-low

4. NY Giants

There are some decent pass catchers available for Daniel Jones. They spent fairly big on Golden Tate, drafted Darius Slayton last year, and Sterling Shepard is very serviceable. The big need for G-men is OT, and this is the spot to do it.

Risk assessment: Low

5. Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins need help everywhere, but the biggest – and most important need – is help on the OL, and maybe even a QB, should they not have faith in big ol’ Fitzie and Josh Rosen. I’m not too worried about Dolphins here. The emergence of Davonte Parker makes WR a luxury.

Risk assessment: Low

6. LA Chargers

No. They don’t need WRs. Keenan Allen, recent 1st round pick Mike Williams, and Travis Benjamin.

Oh and they need a QB.

Risk assessment: Neglectable

7. Carolina Panthers

DJ Moore was a first round pick in 2018, Curtis Samuel a 2nd round pick in 2017, and the need for a QB (if Cam is not back), DL, or CB heavily outweights a WR here.

Risk assessment: Low

8. Arizona Cardinals

If you asked me yesterday, I would say: Fitzgerald has been old since last century, they spend 2nd round picks on Andy Isabella and Christian Kirk the last two seasons but not slam dunk guys, and Hakeem Butler hasn’t caught a pass yet.

One day later, and they have arguably the best WR core with the addition of DeAndre Hopkins. And they still have a first-round pick… What?!

Risk assessment: Neglectable

9. Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars have needs in a lot of places, especially on defense. What once was considered a great group, now is dismantled. With guys like D.J. Chark, a 2nd round pick in 2018, Marqise Lee, Keenan Cole, and Dede Westbrook, WR is not a huge strength, but also not a primary need.

Look for Jags to go best available DEFENSIVE player at this point

Risk assessment: Low

10. Cleveland Browns

Heavily invested in offense, the Browns locked up Austin Hooper to the biggest contract for a TE in the league. Add that to Njoku, OBJ, Juice Landry, and Rashard Higgins, and the offensive playmakers should be fine. Help on the offensive line, on the other hand……..

Now, if the quiet rumors about trading OBJ becomes a reality, things may change drastically. But for now, they are not a threat.

Risk assessment: Low

11. NY Jets

This is where it gets interesting. Robby Anderson is likely to leave in free agency, which leaves the team with Jamison Crowder, old man Demaryius Thomas, Josh Doctson, Quincy Enunwa.

Considering the need for help on the offensive line, they may want to lock that up here, and wait till 43 to select a WR, considering the depth at WR in the draft. However, with no WRs taken so far, they may also look at a potential big star at WR that can grow with mono-Darnold.

Risk assessment: Moderate-High

12. Las Vegas Raiders

Nothing spectacular here: Hunter Renfrow a 5th round pick, Zay Jones who they traded a late pick for last year, and Tyrell Williams who they signed last offseason to 11 mil/year.

With two first-round picks in this draft, they will select a WR with one of them. The question is whether it will be here, or at 19. Considering one of the big three (Ruggs, Ceedee, Jeudy) is available, they probably do it here.

Risk assessment: High

Continued on page 2 below.

Mandatory photo credit: AP Photo/Vasha Hunt

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