The Eagles have a pretty obvious and pressing need at wide receiver as the 2020 NFL Draft nears and here’s some good news:
NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah, on a national conference call Friday afternoon, called this class of receivers “phenomenal,” adding that he has 27 (!) receivers with top-three round grades.
With all that in mind, I asked Jeremiah which receivers might be available when the Eagles pick at No. 21 and which players of that group would really fit what they do offensively.
One name rose above the rest.
If you were to say, ‘Home run pick for the Eagles, who is it?’ Henry Ruggs. Just because how much speed and juice he would give to that offense.
In his first mock draft of the season released on Jan. 21, Jeremiah actually had the Eagles taking Ruggs with the 21st pick. But on Friday said he expects Ruggs to be “long gone” by the time the Eagles on on the clock at 21.
Ruggs (6-0, 190) didn’t put up monster numbers at Alabama but there’s a chance the Eagles this year won’t care about college production as they have in the past. And Ruggs certainly has one key attribute: speed.
Jeremiah, who was once a scout with the Eagles, said he thinks the Birds will prefer the element of speed, which Ruggs certainly has. There’s a chance Ruggs might blow the doors off the combine, which would only hurt the Eagles’ odds of landing him.
An interesting thought is a possible trade up. The Eagles are expected to have a total of 10 picks in this draft and perhaps they could use some of those picks to move up and take a player like Ruggs.
But if they don’t, Jeremiah said the Eagles could use different styles of receivers and had some other options with that No. 21 pick:
Justin Jefferson: The 6-3, 192 LSU receiver is coming off an incredible junior season. He caught 111 passes for 1,540 yards and 18 touchdowns.
“I think Justin Jefferson has got a chance to be a high, high volume slot receiver who is a lot like Keenan Allen,” Jeremiah said. “He can fill that role, he can work in traffic, he’s really good down in the red zone. He led the entire draft class down in the red zone this year. He had 12. He’s a point producer and he’d be a great fit for them.”
Brandon Aiyuk: At 6-1, 206 pounds, Aiyuk is known for his YAC ability. He averaged 18.3 yards per catch in 2019 (65 catches, 1,192 yards, 8 touchdowns).
“I love Brandon Aiyuk from Arizona State,” Jeremiah said. “I think he’s a stud. He’s tough, competitive, run after catch guy. Needs a little polish but he can return as well so has some value there.”
Tee Higgins: At 6-4, 215, Higgins is a very different player than a guy like Ruggs. He did catch 59 balls for 1,167 yards and 13 touchdowns in his junior season at Clemson.
“And then Tee Higgins will probably be there, who’s long, tall and rangy,” Jeremiah said. “You’re hoping you’re drafting A.J. Green but I don’t think he’s on that level. But that’s the style which he plays. There’s a little bit of concern with him just getting off press. Some of the better competition he played later in the year, he struggled a little bit with that.
“I would say that group of wide receivers is the one they’ll be staring at.”
Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.