Building the Philadelphia Eagles 2021 NFL Draft big board

SYRACUSE, NY – OCTOBER 20: Syracuse Orange Defensive Back Ifeatu Melifonwu (23) breaks up a pass intended for North Carolina Tar Heels Wide Receiver Antoine Green (13) during the second half of the game between the North Carolina Tar Heels and the Syracuse Orange on October 20, 2018, at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, NY. (Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire)

The NFL Draft is now just over a day away and the Philadelphia Eagles, like all other NFL teams, will be putting the finishing touches on months of hard work. How will their big board look going into tomorrow’s event? Here’s my rough guess:

Side notes:

*The Eagles will probably have a very different looking big board because of the information gathered through lengthy scouting and interactions. It may also look surprisingly different to how we expect.

*The board consists of 32 players which is coincidentally the same number of players that will be taken in the first round. This does not mean this is just one big mock draft. It’s simply a ranking of the 32 prospects who best fit the Eagles based on positional need and individual talent.

Moving up

#1 Kyle PittsTEFlorida
#2 Ja’Marr ChaseWRLSU
#3 Penei SewellOTOregon
#4 Trey LanceQBNDSU

If the Eagles are going to move back up into the top-10, these should be the four players with red circles around them. I don’t think Kyle Pitts or Ja’Marr Chase are going to be logical options here unfortunately barring a very ‘Liam-like’ up between the 5-8 range.

However, with noise surrounding Atlanta shopping Julio Jones and the potential selection of Ja’Marr Chase, there is a chance that Sewell slides. If the Bengals decide to Bengal then the Eagles should absolutely consider moving up for the top tackle in this class.

Trey Lance remains an intriguing option if you can get past the whole NDSU thing. He’s a fun quarterback to watch and if there is any sense of uncertainty surrounding Jalen Hurts from within and Lance is within reach, a short jump up to keep Chicago and New England out of the equation wouldn’t be the most shocking choice in the world…although probably one of the most frustrating.

*I’m not including Justin Fields here as I think someone is absolutely going to grab him before the Eagles even have a chance to consider it. Be it a natural selection or a team making an aggressive trade, he’s absolutely a better prospect than Mac Jones and should be very promptly drafted if the Niners do decide to go all-in on the Bama QB.

Stand at 12

#5 Jaylen WaddleWRAlabama
#6 Patrick Surtain IICBAlabama
#7 Jaycee HornCBSouth Carolina
#8 DeVonta SmithWRAlabama
#9 Kwity PayeEDGEMichigan
#10 Alijah Vera-TuckerIOLVirginia Tech
#11 Rashawn SlaterOTNorthwestern

Jaylen Waddle is the most electric wideout in this class and it isn’t close. If he didn’t pick up an injury, I don’t think DeVonta Smith would’ve won the Heisman. Although he’s more well-rounded than Waddle, Smith does of course have some size concerns. Shifting Reagor inside and using Waddle as a Z receiver makes way more sense than using Smith as an X.

Both of this year’s top corners rank above Smith for me. Surtain is an absolute baller and while Horn is cut from a very different cloth, both would offer shutdown potential for years to come, which is exactly what the defense is crying out for.

DeVonta Smith should rightly rank above Kwity Paye however, while Rashawn Slater only falls behind AVT here because the need for a guard is a little more pressing than a backup tackle (where the Eagles are very comfortable right now). Brandon Brooks is coming off of a second Achilles tear and there’s very little depth behind Seumalo. There’s a big drop off behind AVT so if both are on the board at 12, while many will be drawn to Slater, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Eagles decide to jump the Vikings and poach the Virginia Tech guard.

Eagles look to drop back a few spots

#12 Jaelan PhilipsEDGEMiami
#13 Jeremiah Owusu-KoramoahLBNotre Dame
#14 Jamin DavisLB Kentucky
#15 Najee HarrisRBAlabama
#16 Rashod BatemanWRMinnesota
#17 Greg Newsome IICB Northwestern
#18 Christian BarmoreDTAlabama

The big absentee here is Micah Parsons, but we’ll touch on that later. Jaelan Phillips would be a nice player to pick up in a cheap and cheerful trade back, while JOK for me is the top linebacker prospect in this class and his speech on a fit with the Eagles only solidifies that further.

Jamin Davis is a fun linebacker to watch and he should rank just ahead of Najee Harris here. Depending on how far the Eagles trade back in this scenario, picking up a true downhill bowling ball to coincide with the skillset of Miles Sanders would make a lot of sense here. Just look at what Sirianni accomplished in Indianapolis with an eclectic backfield over the past few years.

Rashod Bateman is the best of the rest when it comes to wideout and ranks above Greg Newsome II pretty comfortably due to the rangy corner’s injury concerns.

Barmore is pretty low in these rankings for no other reason than the need for a DT is obviously a lot less prominent.

Down down, deeper and down

#19 Kadarius ToneyWRFlorida
#20 Zaven CollinsLBTulsa
#21 Trevon MoehrigSTCU
#22 Teven JenkinsOLOklahoma State
#23 Caleb FarleyCBVirginia Tech
#24 Elijah MooreWROle Miss
#25 Micah ParsonsLBPenn State

This is where the fun begins. I love Kadarius Toney and if the Eagles want to add a receiver who can line up all across the line of scrimmage and be lethal in open space, then this is the way. Pitches, screens, and reverses galore please.

Zaven Collins and the rest of this group rank above Parsons for one reason and one reason only: Character concerns. The Eagles cannot afford to be taking risks in the first round and while Parsons may be the most impressive prospect on the field, there are some glaring omissions from his personal resume that should absolutely cause enough fear to rank him below the top safety in the class, a solid offensive lineman, a Sidney Jones-esque CB, and another impressive Ole Miss WR.

Eagles trading up?

#26 Azzeez OjulariEDGEGeorgia
#27 Travis EtienneRBClemson
#28 Teven JenkinsOTAlabama
#29 Rondale MooreWRPurdue
#30 Landon DickersonIOLAlabama
#31 Carlos BashamEDGEWake Forest
#32 Ifeatu MelifonwuCBSyracuse

The bottom end of this board is filled with players the Eagles could be eyeing up at 37 if they continue to fall or be willing to pull the trigger on if they really feel the need to move up and secure their services.

Azeez Ojulari is one of my favorite players in this class. At 20-years-old he screams Derek Barnett 2.0 but with a much more ruthless skillset. Barnett’s game is based on finesse and some scary bend, while Ojulari has an explosive first step and ridiculously violent hands. He’s a little undersized which is why he ranks below players like Teven Jenkins, but there’s a lot of potential to be harnessed.

I love Travis Etienne but I feel like he would clash with Miles Sanders a little.

Rondale Moore is a spicy player to watch if you can get past the size concerns. He’d be a lot wideout for the Eagles but would provide a ton of special teams value which the team also lack right now.

Carlos Basham and Ifeatu Melifonwu sneak up due to the needs at both CB and DE.

Basham would be a very solid pick if he fell that far down and trading for his services wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world. He’d immediately fill that EDGE4 void and partner Josh Sweat while offering the Eagles some real long-term security and upside as Barnett once did.

Melifonwu has ‘star’ written all over him, he just needs a little more work than the ultra-polished pro-ready top guys. That’s fine for a team who could very easily double dip or use him as a CB3/4 to begin with and are afforded that time to watch him grow.

Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire