Philadelphia Eagles 7-round 2021 NFL mock draft

BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA - DECEMBER 05: DeVonta Smith #6 of the Alabama Crimson Tide reacts during the game against the LSU Tigers at Tiger Stadium on December 05, 2020 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA - DECEMBER 05: DeVonta Smith #6 of the Alabama Crimson Tide reacts during the game against the LSU Tigers at Tiger Stadium on December 05, 2020 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /
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Philadelphia Eagles, 2021 NFL Draft
The Philadelphia Eagles select Heisman Trophy winner, DeVonta Smith, with the 12th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

Round 1

12. player. Scouting Report. Wide Receiver. Alabama. DeVonta Smith. 829. Pick Analysis

The Philadelphia Eagles enter the 2021 NFL Draft with multiple needs to address through the Draft. The Eagles should be expected to add depth and youth to their offensive line in an effort to establish a pocket around their young quarterback. The Eagles will look to add to their tight end group with the impending departure of Zach Ertz and will once again look to take advantage of a deep receiver class, with no clear number one receiver on the roster.

Defensively, Philadelphia will enter the Draft with a focus on their secondary and linebacker groups. While Philadelphia doesn’t have the worst linebacking unit in the NFL, their failure to address the position in free agency or the draft has led to the continued downward trajectory since their 2018 Super Bowl win. Likewise, with Darius Slay’s cap hit dropping to $6.5 million this offseason, the Eagles could look for a true shutdown corner at 12.

After trading down from the sixth spot, the Philadelphia Eagles stay at 12 and draft the top-rated player on their board. While Ja’Marr Chase and Alabama teammate Jaylen Waddle could go before the Eagles are up at 12, Philadelphia adds the most explosive playmaker at the receiver group. With Patrick Surtain II off the board at 10 to the Cowboys, the Eagles take Smith over Jaycee Horn and Micah Parsons.

Philadelphia has been looking for a game-changing receiver since the departure of Terrell Owens and finally lands a star with the former Heisman Trophy winner. DeVonta Smith became the first receiver to win the Heisman since Desmond Howard in 1991 on route to an Alabama title.

After the departure of Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs and an injury to Waddle, Smith stepped up as Mac Jones’s top receiver in a stacked unit at Alabama. The two accounted for 117 receptions for 1,856 yards and 23 touchdowns, leading to a significant rise in their 2021 NFL Draft status.

Smith is an incredibly talented route runner and is effective both in the slot and as a deep threat vertical option. Smith’s combination of speed, route running, and ability to shake defenders would generally make him an easy first-round selection. While his only knock entering the 2021 NFL Draft would be his size at 6-foot, 175 lbs., he has continued to dominate at every level and looks to be the next star to break the mold of the typical NFL receiver.

In addition to adding the best offensive talent available at 12, the Philadelphia Eagles add a former Alabama teammate of Jalen Hurts. Smith and Hurts played together at Alabama for two years before Hurts transferred to Oklahoma. Smith adds a dynamic playmaker opposite of Jalen Reagor and gives Philadelphia a talented receiver group for either Hurts or a future quarterback.

Round 2

Scouting Report. player. 804. Pick Analysis. Cornerback. Florida State. Asante Samuel Jr.. 37

With a deep talent pool at both receiver and cornerback, the Philadelphia Eagles opt-out of trading back into the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft and grab a starting quarterback with the 37th overall pick. While the Eagles have expressed serious interest in South Carolina’s Jaycee Horn, Philadelphia is in a position to draft a top corner in the early second.

Philadelphia could be in a position to trade up for Virginia Tech’s Caleb Farley, who entered the 2020 college football season as the top-ranked corner in the class. However, after opting out of Tech’s season and undergoing back surgeries, the Eagles instead sit on their potential three first-round picks in the 2022 NFL Draft and wait until the second to take their cornerback.

The Eagles could have their 2022 first-round pick, the first-round pick obtained from Miami, and a conditional second-round pick from the Colts which could become a third, the Eagles have plenty of Draft capital to play with. However, with both a rookie head coach and young quarterback, the Eagles hold onto their picks as insurance in the event they look to trade up for a new quarterback in the 2022 NFL Draft.

With a receiver already selected, the question becomes which top-end corner do the Philadelphia Eagles select in the second? Surtain II and Horn are likely both off the board by the mid-first with Farley and Northwestern’s Greg Newsome II selected by the end of the first. The Eagles would then likely find themselves picking their top corner between Georgia’s Eric Stokes, Syracuse’s Ifeatu Melifonwu, and Florida State’s Asante Samuel Jr.

Samuel Jr. is the son of the former Eagles Pro-Bowl corner and a three-year starter with the Seminoles. Samuel Jr. is the prototypical NFL corner and a lone bright spot from a struggling Florida State program. Samuel Jr. is a plug-and-play option as a nickel corner but will need time to develop into a number one corner at the NFL level, seeing his status fall into the early second round.

The Philadelphia Eagles get a day one starter in a secondary undergoing a massive rebuild with the hopes of turning Samuel Jr. into a top-end corner, similar to his father who was a three-time Pro Bowler in Philadelphia. Samuel Jr. can be used both inside and outside as a rookie, with a focus on taking over as the number one corner when the Eagles move on from Slay.