Whom should the Eagles draft at No. 12?
The risk in trading out of the top 10 in the NFL draft is that you seriously reduce your chance in finding an elite player. The Eagles did that in trading back from sixth to 12th this year. The benefit? To get an additional first-rounder in 2022.
But if the run on quarterbacks materializes as many predict, the Birds could still draft a difference-maker who would fill a glaring need. In Thursday’s first round, I would be fine if the team selected either of the two excellent Alabama wide receivers, Devonta Smith or Jaylen Waddle, or the top two cornerbacks, South Carolina’s Jaycee Horn or ‘Bama’s Patrick Surtain II.
That Crimson Tide offense was just filthy and either of those wideouts would be a significant upgrade. And both guys are good enough to go in the top 10, so the Eagles may have taken one of them at No. 6 anyway. LSU wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase would probably have been the club’s pick if he were available at six but Smith and Waddle are pretty close behind in ranking.
The Birds are also desperate for cornerbacks, and Horn and Surtain are the best corners in the draft.
Go for best available
I just don’t want the Eagles to overthink the process, which they tend to do, and end up with a player who isn’t the best available on the board. Like last year, when they took WR Jalen Reagor with WR Justin Jefferson sitting right there. Jefferson, of course, enjoyed a tremendous rookie season with the Vikings while Reagor (who may eventually be a fine player) was mostly a nonfactor.
The Birds can’t afford to miss in the 2021 draft, after so many poor drafts in recent years led to the current mess.