Ten prospects the Eagles have shown interest in ahead of NFL Draft
We are finally on the cusp of the 2021 NFL Draft, which starts tomorrow, April 29th. Fans across the league are awaiting who will become the newest players for their franchise, and some already have their guy penciled in. For the Eagles, per usual, it is entirely chaotic, with nobody having any clue what Howie Roseman plans on doing. With that in mind, numerous players have been linked to the Eagles, and here is a look at several possible selections for the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Alabama wide receiver is one of the biggest fan favorites amongst Eagles fans and has passed teammate DeVonta Smith on several draft boards. According to Albert Breer, Waddle has been linked to the Eagles in the possibility that they are unable to land Jaycee Horn or Patrick Surtain. Waddle is an explosive wideout, recording nearly 600 yards for the Crimson Tide in six appearances in 2020.
Jaycee Horn & Patrick Surtain:
Following up on that previous report, Breer initially said that Philly would be looking to trade up in hopes of selecting one of these two corners. Horn is more likely to fall to 12, but there is a realistic chance both could be gone by then. The South Carolina corner has proved his worth facing some of the best wideouts in the SEC like Waddle and Florida TE Kyle Pitts.
Surtain is the consensus top cornerback but has been linked to numerous teams inside the top ten, including the Eagles’ division rival, the Dallas Cowboys. There have been no reports showing a link between the Eagles and Surtain outside the one just mentioned, so Philly could be bracing that he is out of the realm of possibility.
Continuing the trend of Alabama prospects, another has been defensive tackle Christian Barmore. Barmore was reported to be linked to the Eagles by uStadium and has shown very boom or bust potential like the rest of the early defensive line prospects. Taking Barmore this high is a bit of a reach as he is currently expected to fall somewhere in the late teens on Thursday.
Paye might be the most upsetting rumor for Eagles fans, with not much appeal for the Michigan edge rusher. Paye produced very lackluster numbers during his time at Michigan and is undersized for the position, and doesn’t provide many upsides compared to other prospects. Pro Football Network has reported the Eagles “love” the Michigan defensive end and see him as a clone to current edge rusher and former Wolverine Brandon Graham.
Terrace Marshall Jr.
Although he is not the LSU receiver Eagles fans were hoping for initially, Marshall has an incredible amount of upside and could very well be the best WR after Waddle/Smith. According to Kyle Brandt, Marshall and Philly have had many conversations, and it will be a tricky situation to manage.
Marshall isn’t as NFL-ready compared to other receivers projected around him, but he could still go in the first round. If Howie can land Marshall alongside Horn or Surtain, that will be a massive win for the Eagles and provide a significant boost on both sides of the football.
Etienne isn’t a heavily linked rumor, but Travis posted some interesting clips on his Instagram story. A few weeks ago, Etienne posted a video of an Eagles flag and proclaiming he was in the City of Brotherly Love. There isn’t much need to add another back alongside Miles Sanders, so hopefully, this was just a stupid post and coincidental. Etienne is a great running back, but there are numerous other needs, and grabbing the Clemson back instead of a corner or another position makes little sense.
You can never have enough offensive line depth, and Quinn Meinerz can fill the much-needed void that the Eagles have upfront. The division III center is ranked as one of the best center prospects in this draft and has shown a lot of love for Philly and current center Jason Kelce. The Eagles desperately need to line up a replacement for when Kelce decides to hang them up and Quinn might be a perfect fit.
Quinn stated he felt Kelce was a legend, and it would be an honor to learn from the star. During his interview with Geoff Schwartz, Meinerz said he had talked a lot with the Philadelphia Eagles, and they have shown the most interest out of any NFL team so far.
Safety depth is much needed this offseason following the ACL tear of Rodney McLeod, and the Northwestern safety could be much needed in the late rounds or as a possible undrafted free agent. The Draft Network reported that the Eagles were one of three teams taking a look at Pace and could be interested in picking him up late in the draft.
The 6-1 safety played four years with the Wildcats, being a key contributor since his sophomore season. During that 2018 season, he had over 82 tackles, three sacks, and four interceptions in a stellar year. Philadelphia has 11 draft picks and many open roster spaces to fill, and Pace can be an excellent addition to bring into Philadelphia and develop on the practice squad.
Adding some depth in the backfield during the final selections of the draft or a UDFA could be helpful to the Eagles backfield, who lost several of their backups this offseason. According to Pro Football Network, Tucker, the running back from Louisiana Tech, has drawn interest from the Eagles.
Tucker played four years with the Bulldogs, having received a bulk of the carries since 2018. In 2020, Israel had over 640 yards rushing with 4.3 yards per carry. During his pro day, Tucker had a 4.46 40-yard-dash and over a 38 inch vertical. The 5-9 back could grow nicely alongside Miles Sanders and company with the proper coaching.
Mandatory Credit: Dwayne Mclemore, The State