It’s that time boys and girls! Okay, maybe it’s a bit too early, but some people are on mock 3.0+, so spare me. Currently, the Eagles project to have the 19th overall pick. With the addition of two more teams to the playoffs, it is no longer a definite “bottom 20” pick in the draft if you make the playoffs. If the Eagles make it to the playoffs and lose in the first round, they will have the 19th pick.
This team has SO MANY needs. It’s hard to hone in on one specifically for the first few rounds, but my order of priority goes:
- OL, namely IOL
- sneaky: TE
Linebacker is such a huge need, I cannot imagine it continues to be overlooked. But if Jim Schwartz is back, look for another day 3 “high motor” guy to be the only addition.
The entire offensive line has been hampered with injuries throughout the season, with six different starting lineups in eight games, so stability is needed. Jason Kelce is one minute away from retiring, also.
Brandon Graham is having a dominant year, but he’ll be 33 in 2021. Behind him, who can you pick and say “he’s the future”? I’d argue no one.
The rest is self-explanatory, feel free to yell at me on Twitter to argue which is a bigger need. But let’s see if my three-round mock agrees with my needs:
1st Round – Pick 19
Linebacker: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (Notre Dame)
I do not think Jim Schwartz will be back in 2021. This being said, I think the Eagles will finally break the 1979 curse and draft a first-round linebacker. JOK is a phenomenal player, although he’s undersized. He’s 6’1″ 215 lbs so he’ll have to add on some weight, but 6’0″ 225 lb Patrick Queen is doing pretty well so far.
He has 35 tackles so far in seven games, with 8.5 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, one recovery, and one interception.
Even if Schwartz is retained, he still fits the bill of a Schwartz player. The Draft Network’s Kyle Crabbs calls JOK “Davion Taylor with high-level instincts” and says he may transition to a “big nickel” role. Hmm.. sounds familiar.
A Week 10 #CFB Top Performance
LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah – Notre Dame
• 9 Tackles
• 2 Tackles for Loss
• 1 Sack
• 1 Forced Fumble
• 1 TD pic.twitter.com/iEoN6tFj9b
— NCAAF Nation (@NCAAFNation247) November 9, 2020
A botched handle from Travis Etienne allows Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah to score 💥 #GoIrish pic.twitter.com/TQlTzr3ltR
— Notre Dame on NBC (@NDonNBC) November 8, 2020
- Tight End Pat Freiermuth (Penn State)
- Cornerback Shaun Wade (Ohio State)
Round 2 – Pick 51
Offensive Tackle: Christian Darrisaw (Virginia Tech)
Darrisaw is a left tackle. WAIT. Let me explain.
With Jason Peters back (ugh) and Lane Johnson also returning, Jordan Mailata has been relegated back to the bench. However, Mailata showed some promise at right tackle versus the Cowboys. If Mailata continues to be the “Australian Big V” and gains experience along the line, he may not be in line for starts in 2021, instead being kept on the bench as insurance.
With Peters probably, hopefully, retiring in 2021, and Andre Dillard not looking great so far (maybe trade bait?), left tackle is a need for 2021 and beyond.
Darrisaw is extremely athletic for his size (6’5″ 315 lbs) and is exceptional in the screen game. His athleticism allows him to get to the second level with ease and could provide an upgrade at the position for the running game. His pass protection needs some honing in, but Jeff Stoutland is still the Eagles offensive line coach.
The top lineman in College Football😤
(➡️ @PristineAuction) pic.twitter.com/VDZgM4sAUR
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) November 5, 2020
If Darrisaw continues to play at a high level, he’ll definitely make his way into the first round.
- Cornerback Asante Samuel Jr. (Florida State)
- Cornerback Paulson Adebo (Stanford)
- Defensive Tackle Marvin Wilson (Florida State)
- Quarterba… sorry
Round 3 – Pick 82
Guard: Ben Cleveland (Georgia)
Back to back offensive linemen!
Have you seen the number of sacks the Eagles have given up? 32. The most in the NFL. They are on pace for 64, which would be fourth-most ever. Yeah, they need some depth along that line.
With Kelce very close to retirement, it’s possible Isaac Seumalo moves over to center. Cleveland could provide some depth at guard while Jack Driscoll could be in line to start, if given the chance.
Cleveland is PFF’s highest-graded guard so far in 2020, with a grade of 78.7. He’s the only guard, according to their grading, to grade in the top five in both pass blocking and run blocking. He’s yet to give up a sack this season and has only allowed three hurries.
Cleveland is a STRONG dude. Teammates have told stories about how Cleveland hit 50 reps of 225 lbs on the bench press and had to be stopped from doing more. That type of strength is needed along NFL lines. Do you want to see guards on skates like Jamon Brown? Thought so.
The Eagles offensive line is getting older at center, right guard, and right tackle. The team should invest in youth to protect their $128 million quarterback.
- Running Back Chuba Hubbard (Oklahoma State)
- Linebacker Monty Rice (Georgia)
- Wide Receiver Sage Surratt (Wake Forest)
Yell at me on Twitter, @Infante54.
Photo by Roy K. Miller/Icon Sportswire