2021 NFL Draft Grades
1 (10) - DeVonta Smith WR Alabama - A
2 (5) - Landon Dickerson C Alabama - C
3 (9) - Milton Williams DT Louisiana Tech - C+
4 (18) - Zec McPherson CB Texas Tech - A
5 (6) - Kenneth Gainwell RB Memphis - A
6 (5) - Marlon Tuipulotu DT USC - A
6 (7) - Tarron Jackson DE Tulane - C+
6 (40) - JaCoby Stevens S LSU - B-
7 (6) - Patrick Johnson OLB Tulane - B
- The draft started with a bang for the Eagles leapfrogging the Giants to land their guy DeVonta Smith. They were dying to land him at the receiver spot and were probably terrified at the possibility that he could have gone to the Giants. I know a lot of people are worried about his size, but he tortured the SEC at his slight size. So I see no reason why he cannot continue to play at a high level at his size. He has excellent route running ability and awareness at getting away from his defenders. They came back around in the 2nd round filling a need up front to retool this offensive line, but I have no idea why they took a guy who cannot play this year. Dickerson is going to be on the shelf for the year coming off his ACL injury in all likelihood. He could be the heir apparent for Jason Kelce, but he has been the only healthy veteran up front for them. I think going after a tackle or a guard would have been a better move here instead.
- The rest of the draft for the most part had a clear motive going heavy on the defensive side of the ball. Milton Williams is a good player, but I am not sure they should be adding depth to one of their only good units on their roster. They had bigger needs at linebacker, offensive line, and elsewhere. Sure they could be moving on from the likes of Brandon Graham, Fletcher Cox, and others soon to make room for younger options. I would prefer they just ripped the bandaid off in this case to give guys like Williams, Marlon Tuipuloto, Tarron Jackson, and Patrick Johnson more playing time. I loved the Tuipuloto pick since he could have gone much higher in the draft than here. He offers more size and strength compared to Williams. The two could be a dynamic one-two punch in the middle of the line for years to come.
- Tarron Jackson was another nice value pick later in the draft along with Zec McPherson. Both have a ton of talent and potential. McPherson probably more so than anyone in their draft class. He is a terrific athlete who has the same athletic traits of Jaycee Horn and Patrick Surtain. I would prefer them to get more of a sure thing at corner to help out their poor secondary, but he could be a great player in a year or two. Stevens is a tweener linebacker/safety type the Eagles and Howie Roseman has fallen in love with the past few years. I do not love the pick as we have seen guys like Alex Singleton and Nate Gerry all failing at the same role. Patrick Johnson has some athletic upside and a lot of experience during his time at Tulane. He could be a very nice rotational piece that they found in the 7th round.
- Overall, I think this draft had a lot of the future in mind. Which I would not mind if they just ripped the bandaid off. They drafted a ton of defensive linemen despite having starters already in place there. It will be hard for any of them to find the field if they keep the veterans around this season. All in all, this draft will need at least 2-3 years until we see any of it come to fruition. I would not be surprised if the Eagles turn out to be one of the worst teams in the league next year as they figure things out.