Philadelphia Eagles

Ultimate Philadelphia Eagles Draft primer: Everything you need to know

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The Philadelphia Eagles are just hours away from their most pivotal draft in recent memory. In case you need a refresher, here is everything you need to know ahead of the big day.

How we got here:

A tumultuous end to the 2020 campaign resulted in the Eagles pulling Jalen Hurts in week 17 in a bid to elevate their first-round pick. While this worked, it acted as the straw that broke the Camel’s back. Doug Pederson was later fired by the front office after a torrid year, while Jim Schwartz decided to take a year off from coaching…before taking a job with the Titans.

While all of this chaos was happening, the team traded Carson Wentz to the Colts in exchange for a 2021 third-round pick and a 2022 second-round pick that should become a first. This officially ended the Wentz-Pederson era and enlisted Jalen Hurts as the quarterback of the future, despite plenty of rumors and whispers that suggested otherwise.

The Eagles front office then hired former Colts offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni and a plethora of former Colts coaches along with him. Jonathan Gannon will now coordinate the defense and looks set to implement a version of the Mike Zimmer defense.

And now we’re here. Sirianni and his bright persona has been working hard with the Eagles front office to get on the same page and ensure that they leave the draft with strong group of players to kickstart a new era of Eagles football.

Players lost:

P – Cameron Johnston
RB – Corey Clement
S – Rudy Ford
S – Jalen Mills
DE – Vinny Curry
LB – Nate Gerry
QB – Nate Sudfeld
OT – Jason Peters
CB – Cre’Von LeBlanc
CB – Nickell Robey-Coleman
LB – Duke Riley
TE – Richard Rodgers

Losing two nickel cornerback tears open a need ahead of the NFL Draft and it’s one that the team didn’t use free agency to fill.

Elsewhere, losing Jalen Mills and Rudy Ford seemed like a significant deal at the time, but a pair of free-agent signings very much negated that.

Cameron Johnston’s replacement Arryn Siposs was already on the roster.

Nate Gerry being exiled might be the biggest win of the entire offseason.

The Eagles haven’t replaced Vinny Curry yet, leaving a pretty significant hole at the EDGE4 spot to fill during the NFL Draft.

Players gained

S – Andrew Adams
S – Anthony Harris
QB – Joe Flacco
LB – Eric Wilson

Anthony Harris is an absolute stud and is the first of two former Vikings players to join this roster and reunite with former coaches. LB Eric Wilson is the second and coming off of an exceptional 2020 campaign. Both were signed to one-year contracts so long-term security remains up in the air, but this pairing should play a pivotal role for the Eagles defense in 2021.

The signing of Joe Flacco was a confusing one. He hasn’t got a great track record of mentoring younger quarterbacks and that was further re-enforced with his confusing debut Eagles presser in which he basically voiced that he’s here to compete and win football games. Fab.

Players retained

RB – Jordan Howard
DT – Hassan Ridgeway
RB – Boston Scott
LB – Alex Singleton
WR – Greg Ward

Retaining the trio of Scott, Singleton, and Ward was key. They were all ERFA’s anyway so it would’ve been especially impressive to lose them, but they should all have a pretty strong impact on the team in 2021. Singleton absolutely has the highest ceiling after breaking out for a 100+ tackle season despite not becoming a regular starter until a quarter of the way into the campaign. He and Eric Wilson will likely be the two main backers in nickel and dime packages.

Hassan Ridgeway’s return is a big one for an interior pass-rush that has lacked consistent explosiveness in recent years.

Draft picks:

Round 1, pick 12 

Round 2, pick 37 

Round 3, pick 70

Round 3, pick 84 

Round 4, pick 123 

Round 5, pick 150 

Round 6, pick 189

Round 6, pick 224

Round 6, pick 225 

Round 7, pick 234

Round 7, pick 240 

Positions of need:

Cornerback

The Eagles don’t have a viable CB2 candidate right now and there is no depth beyond Avonte Maddox in the nickel. Given how strong the division is becoming at the WR position and that Darius Slay won’t be around forever, the Eagles need to jump-start the cornerback conveyor belt asap.

Wide receiver

An X-receiver would be optimal, but the Eagles are much higher on their current crop of wideouts than the fans are. Many of them are young and unproven anyway and several of the top candidates would clash in terms of skill-set with those recently acquired. However, should a player like Rashod Bateman become viable in a trade scenario, expect the Eagles to explore it.

Defensive end

Brandon Graham headlines a trio of edge rushers who all have some kind of cloud looming over them, be it age, production, or durability. There is no real long-term option outside anymore and now may be the perfect time to start developing future heirs to the thrones of players like BG and Derek Barnett.

Tight end

Zach Ertz may still be on the roster, but nobody knows how long that will remain the case. On top of that, both he and Dallas Goedert are entering contract years. Drafting a pass-catching target early makes sense.

Offensive line

Injuries, age, and heavy contracts loom over what was once a dominant offensive group. Whether it’s a backup for Jason Kelce, some potential re-enforcements at guard, or a shake-up at tackle, the Eagles will surely be active in bolstering a group that allowed their QB to be slaughtered time and time again in 2020.

Linebacker

This isn’t as prominent due to the signing of Eric Wilson, but the Eagles might want to draft a MIKE to learn behind the proven veteran in preparation for his potential departure after this season.

Draft timings and how to watch

If you don’t have access to NFL Network or ESPN, don’t worry. We will be live-streaming the entire Draft over at our YouTube channel where you can hang out with us and discuss every pick!

In terms of televised coverage:

Round 1: Tonight 8PM ET
Rounds 2-3: Friday 7PM ET
Rounds 4-7: Saturday 2 PM ET

TV channelsNFL Network, ABC, ESPN, ESPN

Photo by Roy K. Miller/Icon Sportswire

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Liam is a 25-year old sports journalist from the UK and founder of the Philly Sports Network. In just five years he turned a hobby into one of the fastest-growing Philadelphia sports sites in the world, amassing 7,000,000 views and writing over 3,000 articles. Drawing attention from the likes of CSN, NJ.Com and Bleacher Report in the process, Liam is set on changing the way Philadelphia sports teams are reported on forever.

You can contact him here: Phillysportsnetwork@gmail.com

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