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Eagles Draft Picks Shakeup | What to Do At 12?

It’s a quiet offseason no longer. While most Philadelphians have been debating between Ja’Maar Chase and Kyle Pitts, the Philadelphia guys that actually matter had very different plans for the 2021 NFL Draft. Moments after the Miami Dolphins traded the No. 3 pick away to the San Francisco 49ers for their 12th pick, the Dolphins moved back up to No. 6 by trading with the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles traded No. 6 and No. 156 draft picks for No. 12 and 123 picks, and a 2022 first-rounder. It’s a big trade that really throws a wrench into any Eagles draft projections that currently exist.

Ja’Maar Chase, I Hardly Knew Ye

The biggest ramification for the Birds is that they are out of the Ja’Maar Chase sweepstakes. One of the best college WR prospects in years (which is saying something given how stacked WR has been recently) is now off the Eagles’ picks. There is no chance Chase falls to 12. To be fair, there was no guarantee he would be there at six either, but there was some chance the Eagles could snag him. Now there isn’t.

The Eagles trade also likely takes them out of the running for tight end Kyle Pitts, an absolute freak athlete that just ran a ridiculous 4.46 at his Pro Day. Given his 6-foot-6, 240-pound frame, he’s a once in a generation athlete. Unless his status as a tight end tanks his draft stock, he won’t be there for the Eagles either. The hard part is that one of them was a near-guaranteed to be there at the sixth pick. At 12, that’s just a pipe dream.

While the Eagles now look to be out of the running for those two top prospects, the extra first-round pick will be beneficial for next draft.

eagles draft picks trade
Credit: Jeff Fusco/phillymag

What Should the Eagles Draft at 12?

This probably happens every year, but people are calling this a fairly deep draft.  There are some promising options that should be available late. Devonta Smith has serious size concerns, which may drop his draft stock quite a bit. But let’s not forget he was the best player in college football last season. Jaylen Waddle, his teammate, missed most of the season with injury, but through the first few games he looked as good if not better than Smith did. That’s two wide receivers that could be available that could easily end up better than Pitts or Chase. 

Defense? We Need That Too

Cornerback is also a real need for the Birds. While it may have been too early to draft the position at six, that is not the case at 12. At least two of Jaycee Horn (who also had an amazing pro day), Patrick Surtain II and Caleb Farley should be around, and they are all strong choices. Finally, sticking with defense, Micah Parsons has a shot to be available at 12. He’s as much of a generational prospect as Pitts or Chase, but in a less valuable position. While the Eagles don’t usually value the linebacker spot highly, Parsons could be a Luke Kuechly-esque anchor in the middle of the defense for years. 

What to Make of this Eagles Draft Picks Trade

This is a major wait-and-see type move, and the ramifications of it probably won’t be truly understood for years to come. One criticism I have now? The Eagles should have been able to get more from Miami. The Dolphins extracted two firsts and a third from the 49ers to go down nine spots in the draft. It only cost them one first and a late-round swap to go back up six spots. At least a third or second should also be coming the Eagles’ way. Beyond that, there are major pros and cons to both sides. What side are you on? Fire Howie or trust the Roseman?

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