Making the case for every position for the Eagles in the first round

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: JAN 01 Rose Bowl Game Semifinal Game – Notre Dame v Alabama
ARLINGTON, TX – JANUARY 01: Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver DeVonta Smith (6) celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the College Football Playoff Semifinal Rose Bowl Game between Notre Dame and Alabama on January 1, 2021 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX. (Photo by George Walker/Icon Sportswire)

The regular season has finally ended and the Eagles officially have the sixth pick.

This team has a boatload of needs, it can be argued that the Eagles should trade down and accumulate picks to address those needs. A case can be made for every position on offense and defense (I won’t bore you with writing about kickers and punters.. although Jake.. thin ice buddy).

Before you scream at me for suggesting any position other than WR or CB, let me try to convince you.


The factory is strong!

Many of you, including myself, wouldn’t be the happiest if a quarterback is taken at this spot, or even in a trade down, but with Doug Pederson and Howie Roseman still in charge, a QB will always be a possibility.

With reports coming out in droves that Wentz wants to be traded, the QB room looks to be Hurts, um.., uhh.., just Hurts. If teams come calling for Hurts, which I believe they will, the Eagles need a new quarterback. I mentioned on last week’s Flippin’ The Birds podcast that Jeffery Lurie would be wise to consider the “nuclear option” for the Eagles: trade both Wentz and Hurts and commit to a full reset of the franchise.

The draft capital from both Wentz and Hurts would be enough to fill the team with the necessary young talent to build a successful franchise with.

What if Hurts isn’t the answer? Are you willing to wait yet another year for the answer at QB? Or are you interested in seeing what the young gunslingers Justin Fields or Zach Wilson can do in Philadelphia?

Regardless of the situation turns out to be between Wentz and Hurts, the Eagles will most likely strongly look at this position with their first pick.

Targets: Justin Fields – Ohio St., Zach Wilson – BYU

Running back

With Doug Pederson back at head coach, it’s hard to imagine the Eagles targeting a running back at all in the draft. But the top talent this year is hard to ignore.

While they’re not the kind of talent to select in the top ten, this would be a big-time trade down scenario.

Did you see the kind of production that came from Sanders’ backups? Yeah, it wasn’t pretty.

None of the running backs in the top five in yards were drafted in the first round, so there isn’t a strong argument to be made there. But with Sanders set to be a free agent in 2023, it’s worth it to try and pair him with a top-flight RB from the draft to try and maximize this running attack. Imagine Hurts, Sanders, and Harris/Etienne? Yeah, defenses would be gassed quick.

Targets: Travis Etienne – Clemson, Najee Harris – Alabama

Wide receiver

This one really doesn’t need an explanation. The top target for the Eagles should be wide receiver, although there are a multitude of needs.

Reagor, although I still firmly stand behind his selection, left a lot to be desired when he did play. Fulgham disappeared (thanks Alshon), Hightower had a huge case of the dropsies, Watkins showed promise but hardly as a WR1, Ward is a nice guy.. that’s all, and JJAW… well.. yeah.

With Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson both unlikely to return in 2021, the Eagles need to surround whomever the quarterback is with a legit WR1. Despite seeing his playing time severely cut since week 12, Fulgham ends up as the team’s leading wide receiver. That’s not good.

There are a trio of wide receivers that would be well worth the pick, but Howie will most likely select the “try hard” from NJIT.

Targets: Ja’Marr Chase – LSU, DeVonta Smith – Alabama, Jaylen Waddle – Alabama

Tight end

The writing is seemingly on the wall for the departure of Zach Ertz. His brother, Nic, wrote a letter about Zach’s time in Philadelphia (the post has been deleted). It seems as though Sunday’s game was the last time we’ll ever see Zach in midnight green.

With his departure, the Eagles have a clear hole at tight end. Dallas Goedert slides into the TE1 role, but he’ll be on the last year of his deal. With no other tight ends on the roster signed for the 2022 season, the Eagles will need to make an investment in the position much sooner than later. With how heavy the Eagles run 12 personnel (37% – top in the league), it shouldn’t surprise anyone if a tight end is the selection here.

There’s only one tight end worth a pick this high, and he’s a good one.

Targets: Kyle Pitts – Florida

Offensive line

This won’t be a need if Jason Peters returns…. sorry.

Have you seen the state of the Eagles line this season? It didn’t matter who the quarterback was, the offensive line was a turnstile.

Not only are they old, they lack consistent health.

The line will be adding cyborg Brandon Brooks back into the fold, but will they have Jason Kelce? Will Lane Johnson be 100%? What about Andre Dillard? This line has way too many questions and not enough answers to be fully confident that adding a high draft pick would be the wrong choice.

There’s a generational talent at left tackle in this draft, as well as a few others worthy of a first round selection (albeit later in first).

Targets: Penei Sewell – Oregon, Christian Darrisaw – Virginia Tech, Rashawn Slater – Northwestern, Alijah Vera-Tucker – USC, Creed Humphrey – Oklahoma

Defensive arguments made on the page below.

Photo by George Walker/Icon Sportswire