The Philadelphia Eagles officially go on the clock in a matter of hours. All the mock drafts have been filled out. All the scouting reports have been turned in. And there are plenty of clues to decipher on whom the Eagles might select at pick No. 12.
The most popular names in the first round include DeVonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle, Jaycee Horn, Patrick Surtain II. Of course, general manager Howie Roseman could decide to trade up and grab a shiny new quarterback. Or buck the trend of recent drafts and take a stud linebacker like Micah Parsons. Offensive tackle Christian Darrisaw wants to block for Jalen Hurts, too.
The Eagles released an interesting hype video on Wednesday morning in an attempt to elicit excitement from the Philly fans. It worked. Big time. In it, two potential draft picks are featured prominently: Alabama quarterback Mac Jones and Florida receiver Kadarius Toney. Coincidence? Probably. But it’s worth noting that these are the only two college players in the video.
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) April 29, 2021
Could the Eagles land both guys tonight? Not likely but not impossible. Jones is expected to go to the San Francisco at third overall, although some mock drafts have him dropping to No. 7 or as far down as No. 15.
For Toney, the consensus of experts has him going late first-round or early second-round. In addition to the 12th overall pick, Philadelphia holds 11 total picks in the draft including one second-rounder (pick 37) and two third-rounders (pick 70, pick 84).
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Kyle Pitts Talks Hometown Football Team
The Eagles were looking hard at taking Kyle Pitts at No. 6 before they traded down in that blockbuster deal with the Miami Dolphins. The explosive tight end out of Florida has all the tools: speed, size, system. He was originally thought to be a guaranteed top-five pick, possibly to the Atlanta Falcons at No. 4. However, Pitts has been falling in mock drafts in recent days with the 245-pounder dipping down to No. 9 or No. 20.
— Mike Honcho (@raguna_beach) April 26, 2021
If Pitts started to free fall — it’s not a likely scenario, by the way — then the Eagles would have to consider trading up to steal him. Remember, the 20-year-old is a Philadelphia native who attended Archbishop Wood High School and grew up an Eagles fan. He also played for current Eagles quarterbacks coach Brian Johnson since he served as the offensive coordinator for Florida last year. That’s too many local connections to ignore.
“That would be special to get the chance to (get) back home just because people don’t get the opportunity to do that,” Pitts said, via 24/7 Sports. “Playing at the Linc, never played there, so to actually suit up and have my family there if I were to wear those (Eagles) jerseys — that would be something special. My grandfathers loved the Eagles, both of them. That would be crazy.”
NFL Films stopped by this afternoon to walk the halls with Archbishop Wood Alumnus @kylepitts__ (AWHS Class of 2018). Congratulations Kyle on your journey so far, we are so proud of you and look forward to what is ahead! #WeAreVikingSpirit pic.twitter.com/lWYr9jcpk2
— Archbishop Wood (@ArchbishopWood) April 13, 2021
No Scouting Combine, No Problem
The COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on the traditional draft process for a second straight year. The NFL Scouting Combine was canceled and replaced by unofficial pro days, with one-on-one interviews condensed to Zoom calls. To put that in perspective, the Eagles personally met with Carson Wentz four times before they drafted him in 2016. They got to know him, something that’s a bit more difficult in the virtual environment.
— EJ Smith (@EJSmith94) April 21, 2021
However, teams are making the best of it and getting creative. Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni revealed his “Rock, Paper, Scissors” method last week. And Eagles vice-president of player personnel Andy Weidl walked reporters through some other parts of the process.
“There were a ton of us that went down to the Senior Bowl this year. We did have the Senior Bowl. We got a lot of work done there,” Weidl said. “Typical years we interview 15 to 16 guys. This year we interviewed every player down there, so that was about 128 interviews, and we got to know those players and we got a feel for them. Then we brought that information home, we relayed it to Howie and Nick, and we had Zoom interviews, follow-ups, and it was their chance to get to know them after we had the initial experience down in Mobile, Alabama.”