Daniel Jeremiah makes a case for Eagles going WR in Round 1 again

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The Eagles used their first-round pick last year on Jalen Reagor out of TCU, so despite the ongoing need at the position it might be a tough sell for them to use their first-rounder on a wide receiver for a second straight year.

In fact, the Eagles have never used back-to-back first-round picks on receivers.

And in the modern era, the Eagles have drafted players at the same position in the first round in back-to-back seasons just once. They did it in 2005 and 2006, when they drafted defensive tackles Mike Patterson and Brodrick Bunkley.

So would they really do it again?

On a national Zoom call Wednesday, NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah was given a hypothetical situation: The Eagles are on the clock at No. 12 and the Alabama trifecta of Jaylen Waddle, DeVonta Smith and Patrick Surtain II is still on the board.

What would he do?

The former Eagles scout pointed out that any of those three would be a worthwhile pick at No. 12 before giving his answer.

“But I would take Waddle,” Jeremiah said. “He's too intriguing to me with what he can do, and in a league where you need explosive plays, he gives those to you. He's going to take a lot of pressure off the quarterback. He's going to have an influence on the run game, as well. Anything that you might have liked about Jalen Reagor, Jaylen Waddle does all those things infinitely better. To me at least you put him out there, you hope Reagor continues to grow and now you've got a track team with those two guys out there because they can both fly. That would be the way I go.

“Again, I like Devonta Smith. He is ranked right behind him, 5 and 6 on my list, and Surtain is my top corner. It comes down to guessing what they want to do. I would say if I am guessing what they would do in that situation, I would say it would be hard for them to go receiver in back to back years. I would guess they would go corner. I would take Waddle.”

In his latest Top 50 prospect rankings, Jeremiah has Waddle at 5, Smith at 6 and Surtain II at 10, as his top corner. So any of those three would be a good value pick.

And if we’re looking at this from a value perspective — and Howie Roseman always looks at the value in drafts — the real question becomes this: What is a more valuable combination? Corner-receiver or receiver-corner with those first two picks? That’s probably oversimplifying because there’s no guarantee the Eagles use their first two picks on those two positions. But it’s a worthwhile way to think about this. If the drop-off at either position is precipitous, that might end up being a tie-breaker.

But it’s fascinating to think about what Waddle could do in the Eagles’ offense. Speed is so important in the modern NFL and adding him to the Eagles’ roster would be fun to watch.

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