With the recent report that the Eagles plan to build around quarterback Jalen Hurts this offseason, the options with the No. 6 in the upcoming NFL Draft opens immensely. Drafting a quarterback is now completely off the table.
This year’s class is absolutely loaded with blue-chip prospects. And assuming there will be at least three quarterbacks taken in the top-5, the Eagles will essentially have their pick of the litter with these marquee players.
While I personally wouldn’t mind if the team decided to go defense at 6 (Caleb Farley or Patrick Surtain preferably), it feels like the front office is going to go offense. We know owner Jeffrey Lurie wants to be on the cutting edge of offensive football, along with the fact that he wants to build around Hurts, so picking one of the best offensive prospects at 6 makes sense.
Here are the top-5 offensive prospects the Eagles should target with their sixth overall selection.
5. OT Penei Sewell, Oregon
Oregon’s Penei Sewell is probably the best overall prospect I’ll talk about on this list, but offensive tackle isn’t a glaring need for this team.
Lane Johnson should be fully healthy, and with Andre Dillard and Jordan Mailata set to battle it out for the left tackle position, I like where the team is at right now along their offensive line. Of course, Sewell is such a great prospect that if he falls to 6, you still probably take him.
He’d instantly be the starting left tackle over Dillard and Mailata, but there are clearly bigger needs on the offensive side of the ball. And the Eagles will have the opportunity to fill those needs at 6.
4. WR Jaylen Waddle, Alabama
Depending on who you talk to, Jaylen Waddle is either the first or second best wideout prospect in this entire draft. I tend to place him behind both Ja’Marr Chase and DeVonta Smith, but Waddle is still a hell of a prospect.
He’s a dynamic playmaker who can line up all over the field, something that every offensive minded coach loves to have. Waddle is going to force opposing defenses to account for him on every play.
The only reason I’d like to see the Eagles take someone like Chase or Smith is because Waddles feels too much like Jalen Reagor, the team’s first round selection last year. You’ll always have the scouts who say, “you can never have too much speed on offense,” and while that is true, I’d like to the Eagles add a more prototypical wideout in this year’s draft.
I’m not saying I’d be upset with selecting Waddle by any means, I just believe there are more nuanced receivers the team could snag at 6.
3. WR DeVonta Smith, Alabama
This year’s Heisman Trophy winner, Alabama’s DeVonta Smith is a big play waiting to happen whenever he’s on the field. The National Championship game against Ohio State was pretty much the DeVonta Smith show. By halftime, Smith had 12 receptions for 215 yards and three touchdowns. Ohio State had 191 yards of total offense at halftime. Need I say more?
Some will point to his small frame (6-foot-1, 175 pounds) as a drawback, but his size doesn’t have a clear effect on his game when you put on the tape.
Smith has great hands and body control, along with crisp route running ability. He may not be the shiftiest receiver in open space, but his long strides allow him to create separation with ease. His understanding on the nuances of route running give him the edge against corners more often than not. Smith was asked to run every route in the route tree at Alabama, which bodes well for him at the next level.
He’d be a great fit in Nick Sirianni’s west coast offense with that great route running ability. Regardless of his size, Smith will likely slot in as the Z receiver in Philly, with the ability to switch over the X when called upon.
I’ve seen some scouts rank Waddle higher than Smith in recent weeks, which I just don’t understand. Smith is the better all around receiver in my book, and he’d be a great fit for the Eagles at 6.
2. TE Kyle Pitts, Florida
Taking a tight end as high as 6 is unheard of, but labeling Pitts as purely a tight end is selling him short. Standing at 6-foot-5, 239 pounds, Pitts has the ability to lineup all over the formation.
With Dallas Goedert already slotted in as the starting tight end, Sirianni could use Pitts out wide, in the slot, or in line at the traditional tight end spot. The possibilities are endless with this guy.
While the bigger need for this team is obviously at receiver, Pitts will still fill that need to a certain extent. If Sirianni’s offense looks anything like Frank Reich’s, the tight ends will likely be the focal point of his passing attack. Having two guys like Goedert and Pitts will cause matchup nightmares for every defense the Eagles face.
Some draft analysts believe Pitts may not even slide all the way to 6 given how rare of a talent he is. But if he does find his way to the Eagles at sixth overall, fans should be ecstatic.
5. WR Ja’Marr Chase, LSU
To me, Ja’Marr Chase is the best overall pass catching prospect entering this year’s draft. If he was able to enter the draft last year, it’s very likely that he would’ve been the first wideout taken. He broke the SEC record for receiving yards (1,780) and receiving touchdowns (20) during his sophomore campaign in 2019.
The only drawback that some scouts will have on Chase is that he only produced when he had a Heisman winning quarterback in Joe Burrow and offensive coordinator Joe Brady. Ideally, you’d like to have a larger sample size to work with, but given how dominant that small sample size is, it’s hard not to fall in love with Chas as a prospect.
He’d immediately become the No. 1 wideout for the Eagles and he’d be a great sidekick to Jalen Reagor on the opposite side. Chase is a bigger, more possession oriented receiver who can make every catch if you put it in his vicinity. He’s also great with the ball in his hands, making him a big play threat every single play.
Of all the pass catchers listed here, Chase excites me the most due to his fit in the Eagles system. He’s exactly the type of receiver I’d like to see the team add opposite Reagor. And I’m sure if he’s there at 6, the Eagles won’t let him slip away.