Evaluating Eagles' haul in McShay's 1st mock draft


There are still four games to go in the 2021 regular season, but it’s never too early for draft chatter.

Especially when the Eagles are going to have three first-round picks.

Carson Wentz is very close to giving the Eagles a third first-rounder from the Colts, which means the Eagles will have that pick, their own pick and a first-rounder from the Dolphins. Via Tankathon, those picks are lining up to be No. 10, 11 and 21.

In my most recent mock draft, I had the Eagles loading up on defense, which isn’t much different from Todd McShay’s strategy for them.

The ESPN draft analyst released his first mock draft of the season and has the Eagles using their first two picks on defensive players before drafting a receiver in the first round for the third straight season. McShay also predicted his draft order, so he has the Eagles picking at 10, 14 and 20.

Here’s how he picked for the Eagles with bits of each blurb:

10. David Ojabo, Edge, Michigan

“Philly jump-starts its three-pick Round 1 party with an explosive pass-rusher. Ojabo's first step is lightning fast, and he closes on the QB extremely well -- his 11.0 sacks and 14 tackles for loss this season prove it. Brandon Graham will be 34 years old and returning from an Achilles injury next season, and only two teams have fewer sacks this year than the Eagles' 21.”

My thoughts on the pick: Ojabo isn’t a sure thing like his teammate Aidan Hutchinson. But he was still a dynamic player for Michigan this season. Because Ojabo really has just one productive college season under his belt and because he’s generally inexperienced overall, there’s some risk involved with this pick. But there’s tremendous upside with Ojabo as anyone who has watched him play this year will tell you. He’s also the fourth edge player off the board, following Hutchinson, Kayvon Thibodeaux and George Karlaftis.

The Eagles need an edge rusher. It’s a position I’d put very high on their list of needs. Josh Sweat is back after signing an extension but Derek Barnett is set to be a free agent and Brandon Graham is going to be 34 and coming off an Achilles injury next year. This is a position the Eagles really value and they desperately need to find another stud.

14. Devin Lloyd, ILB, Utah

“Lloyd -- who has 96 tackles, 20 tackles for loss, 7.0 sacks and four interceptions for Utah this season -- is rangy and moves around the field like a 235-pound safety. He could quickly become a QB on defense for Philadelphia. Cincinnati cornerback Ahmad Gardner and USC receiver Drake London might also be in play.”

My thoughts on the pick: McShay points out that the Eagles don’t use first-round picks on linebackers. He says the last time they did was when they drafted Marcus Smith in 2014, but Smith was really an edge rusher. The last time they drafted an off-ball linebacker in the first round was 1979. So why would things change? Well, having three picks in the first round might allow the Eagles to feel more comfortable using one of them on a ‘backer. There’s no question the Eagles need a young, talented linebacker. In my mock, I had them taking Nakobe Dean from Georgia, but McShay has him off the board in the top 10. Lloyd is his second linebacker off the board.

20. Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State

"Wilson's body control in adjusting to the ball in the air is incredible, he has the wheels to make the big play downfield and he shows a nose for the end zone (12 TDs this season). Cornerback is another position to watch, especially with Auburn's Roger McCreary still out there."

My thoughts: It seems crazy that the Eagles would draft a receiver in the first round in three consecutive drafts but, again, having three picks in this first round gives them a bit of a luxury. There are some who think Wilson is the top receiver in this class, so getting him in the 20s would be strong value, which we know the Eagles care about. It looks like the Eagles whiffed on Jalen Reagor but hit on DeVonta Smith, which still leaves the receiver position a little light. They could perhaps go after a veteran in free agency to pair with Smith — there will be some good ones this offseason — or they can try their hand at drafting one again. It probably isn’t likely but it isn’t crazy either.

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