The 2021 NFL Draft has finally come to an end. The Eagles season ended on January 3rd, and ever since all Eagles fans have been focused on the draft. These past 4 months has been the longest year of my life. However, the draft is over and it is time to start hyping up the 2022 draft. I am only kidding, lets recap how the Eagles did in this years draft.
10. DeVonta Smith WR Alabama
After trading back from 6 to 12, the Eagles again traded up. After trading up to 10, the Eagles selected the Heisman Trophy winner from Alabama. He is extremely quick and can be played in multiple different areas for the Eagles. The Eagles have had had a need for an elite speedy WR for a long time. Smith is going to fix that need. His catch radius is the best in this draft, and if Jalen's accuracy issues continue, Smith's radius can help solve that problem. The big area of concern with him is his weight. Weighing in at 170 lbs is extremely worrisome. I have him compared to Tyreek Hill. If the comparison comes true, well we have ourselves our new franchise WR for the long haul.
37. Landon Dickerson C Alabama
How does the song go "Sweet Home Philadelphia?" The Eagles took Alabama center Landon Dickerson with their first selection day 2. Let me start with why people hate this. The injury concern is very worrisome. He is coming off an ACL injury in the SEC Championship game. Other people are upset because there are bigger needs like CB. However, I am here to inform you, this was an insanely good draft pick! When healthy Dickerson is a easily a top 10 talent. He has very few flaws as a blocker. He is a large athletic man who fills up a lot of space on the line. It is scary how big he is and how easily he can move. I expect the Eagles use him at left guard and when Jason Kelce retires possibly moving him to center. I will say this last thing. The value on Jalen Hurts and Miles Sanders just increased. Our run and pass blocking went from bad to good. Remember how many injuries we had at oline and how Carson had zero protection. Why not guarantee Jalen's safety in the pocket?
73. Milton Thompson DT Louisiana Tech
There is not a prospect in this draft that is more athletic than Milton Thompson. I saw this man twice while in college when he played against Marshall. In both games, you can tell who the best athlete on the field was. Thompson was able to rush from the edge with ease or go down the middle with ease. His speed and athleticism are next to none. The Eagles are about to start a long rebuild. You rebuild through the trenches. Our CB's won't be productive if the QB has all the time in the world to throw or the RB is running through the line with ease. Thompson will rip through offensive lines and cause chaos for years.
123. Zech McPhearson CB Texas Tech
Here you all go. The Eagles finally addressed the CB position. It might not be the player you wanted, but he is still a solid prospect. McPhearson's biggest asset is his versatility to multiple schemes. He played at Penn State and Texas Tech and the transition was flawless. He can play outside and in the slot (2 areas the Eagles needed.) I expect him to line up opposite of Darius Slay. If you are an Eagles fan and are mad that this is the CB you got, would you be happy if we did what the Cowboys did a took a CB who was projected to not even be a undrafted free agent in the 3rd round. Be happy with the player we got not the position. We got a great player.
150. Kenny Gainwell RB Memphis
This may be my favorite pick of them all. I love the G5 and have been high on Kenny Gainwell from his time at Memphis. He played in a loaded RB room in Memphis and they all have had huge success at the NFL level. Gainwell is better than all of them. I expect the Eagles to use him in the running game and as a slot receiver. His ability to make defenders miss and how smooth he runs made him RB3 for me in this draft. When you add in his ability to be a top slot receiver, it makes him a addition. Another weapon for Jalen Hurts and takes pressure off Sanders.
189. Marlon Tuipulotu DT USC
It is clear that the Eagles are really not happy with their defensive line since this is the 2nd of 4 picks to help the line. Like I said earlier, you rebuild through the trenches and that is exactly the goal for the Eagles. Marlon is a guy that is very balanced. There truly is not a trait that he is "elite" at. He is going to be a depth position player, and that is okay. We need depth in the trenches and defensive line gets hurt every week. He is going to provide much support on both run and pass plays. A very balanced player who will be a great addition.
191. Tarron Jackson DE Costal Carolina
College Football's most exciting team in 2020 was easily Costal Carolina, so therefore the Eagles needed to make sure one of their picks was from there! This is the definition of a work in progress. Jackson is far from a finished product and has a very high ceiling. If he can continue to improve, I feel he can turn into a solid player. He is not going to provide you those occasional big flashy plays. However, he will be a consistent threat for offensive lines and that is super appealing to this team.
224. JaCoby Stevens S LSU
Let me start by saying this, this years safety class was weak. If you did not get one of the top 3 players, you were not going to get a solid player. Stevens best qualities were his size and physicality. He is not a player that will play deep, and you will see him playing close to the LOS very often. I fully expect him to not even play on defense. LSU used him on special teams and he was very productive for the Tigers. He will provide depth on the defensive side of the ball at multiple positions and be solid special teams player.
234. Patrick Johnson DE Tulane
How Patrick Johnson fell to the Eagles in the 7th round is mind boggling to me. He was college football's most underrated defender. Here is my expectation for Johnson. Here is the linebacker the Eagles drafted in this years draft. "But Adam he is an EDGE rusher." Tulane used him as a LB and an EDGE. His run defending is some of the best in this draft and he can easily play in zone. In a division that features Zeke, Antonio Gibson, Saquon Barkley, run defense is super important. We just drafted a true diamond in the rough with out run defense from the LB position.
AATB's Draft Team Consensus Draft Grade= B+
I understand people were unhappy with the fact that the Eagles did not address defense until the 3rd round and did not address the CB position until the last day. However, if the Eagles would have drafted a CB at 37 or 73, it would have been a reach. Top tier CB's were already off the board. We need to look at the player the Eagles drafted, rather than position, and where we are in the draft. No reason to reach on a player when we can fill other holes as well.
The Eagles addressed all of their major needs in this draft. DeVonta Smith is the elite WR we have begged for. DIckerson is going to continue the success of the Eagles offensive line. We got a CB to play alongside Darius Slay, and we found a diamond in the rough at the LB position. We are in a rebuild and we are rebuilding that defensive line first with some major freak athletes. This draft would have been higher if we got higher caliber players at CB or LB, but again we did not reach and that is a success.
Dallas took a CB in the 3rd round. That 3rd round pick was rated as one of the worst rated CB prospects ever. They addressed their CB problem, but did they fix the problem? No, they totally reached on a player. I personally feel the Eagles fixed a lot of problems including CB. Just because the Eagles took a long time to address your top problem does not mean it was not fixed.
This year's journey of the NFL Draft has been crazy. A lot of fun debating with you all on different team needs and different prospects. Next year's draft is only going to be crazier. To quote Vera Lynn's song " We'll meet again, don't know where, don't know when, but I know we will meet again some sunny day!"