The Philadelphia Eagles are coming into the 2021 season looking to fight harder than ever after coming in last in the NFC East 4-11-1. The Eagles struggled with the quarterback position last season and sloppy offense that led to their downfall. Going into the 2021 NFL Draft the Eagles were looking to add depth to their defense with additions to their offense as well. After their Super Bowl win in 2017 and missing playoffs last year, the Eagles were eager to find talent to bring them close to the Lombardi Trophy once again.
Round 1, pick 10: DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
The Eagles knew exactly what they were doing trading up with the Cowboys to make this pick. DeVonta Smith, while having a unique size for an NFL player, it doesn’t slow him down. Smith has exceptional route running and dominates running the game. The Eagles were looking for someone to take charge and assert themselves on the field which Smith will look to do. While his size can cause opponents to toss him around, he is a great ball catcher and finds his way to utilize his size to sneak past opponents on routes. DeVonta will fight to join the team, making his mark alongside former teammate Jalen Hurts. Smith will definitely see his way into the starting lineup come September.
Round 2, pick 37: Landon Dickerson, C, Alabama
The Eagles, while getting a stand out player in Smith, still needed some help on the offensive line. Dickerson was just the guy for them as he is a NFL caliber player. Dickerson has excellent quick hands, great game mindset, and has a consistent grasp on technique to improve his game. While Dickerson is a strong player, he has had a multitude of injuries that have put him behind. A player who has consistent injuries can cause for the potential for more injuries down the line. As he is currently injured, it could derail him from making a big impact right away for this Eagles team. Dickerson will need to get healthy and get moving fast to see himself in the Eagles roster this upcoming season.
Round 3, pick 73: Milton Williams, DT, Louisiana Tech
Williams is an addition that doesn’t hurt or potentially help the Eagles overall. Williams is a great depth addition for the Eagles on the defense. Williams is a quick footed player who is a visible threat to taking a starting position down the road but needs some training for focus in the position. He is an NFL player who is a two-type athlete highlighting footwork and agility to find the endzone. While he is a great player on the field, he will need to work on adjusting his style to fit the NFL mind frame. Working on developing a personality to his game to grow his plays, techniques, and footwork for the position will find the potential to find himself in a uniform.
Round 4, pick 123: Zech McPhearson, CB, Texas Tech
McPhearson is one of many athletes in his family making him a natural-born athlete. McPhearson is full of strength and ball-eye coordination making him a future key player for the Eagles. He is a strong player who has been around football knowing the ins and outs of the game. However, despite growing up in the game, he has things he needs to work on to see himself on the roster come this upcoming season. McPhearson needs to work on running the routes and preparing his game to see himself on the Lincoln Financial Field. McPhearson has a strong chance of being part of the Eagles roster with some training and guidance from coaching staff.
Round 4, pick 150: Kenneth Gainwell, RB, Memphis
Gainwell is a strong player who was a standout in the Eagles eyes. A player who only has one year starting experience under his belt entering the draft was a decent choice for depth on the Eagles end. Gainwell focuses on the main routes, keeping aim on the endzone while not being affected by opponents. Gainwell is on the smaller end leading him to be targeted, get wiped easily and can be the target by opponents. Working with coaching staff to develop a plan of attack regarding plays and routes to prevent being targeted, can add depth to his game benefitting the team. With Gainwell’s fast-moving pace of the game along with fluid field vision to develop his game, he should see himself in the lineup soon.
Round 6, pick 189: Marlon Tuipulotu, DT, USC
Marlon Tuipulotu is a player who is average in size but powerful on the field. While Tuipulotu struggles in finding his own style on the field and struggles to keep momentum, those are things easy to learn. He has not always been an explosive player, but really found his game this past season where his defensive edge flourished. Growth throughout the practice and training sessions will teach things such as agility and knowledge of the professional game compared to high school and college. Tuipulotu has serious potential to see his way into a starting position once his game improves but he is a very good depth addition to the stout Eagles defensive line.
Round 6, pick 191: Tarron Jackson, DE, Coastal Carolina
Tarron Jackson is an explosive player ready to gear up for the Eagles this upcoming season. Jackson finds the gaps on the field and is able to get out of the run block to push back opponents. Jackson is a strong build of a player, but struggles with tightness in joints, it makes his speed and flexibility slower. With his explosive energy on the field, it does have downfalls as he lacks in maximizing on those leverage opportunities and the ability to find moving targets on the field. With training and preparation for the league, Jackson could see himself in the lineup adding depth to the Eagles defense.
Round 6, pick 224: JaCoby Stevens, S, LSU
JaCoby Stevens is a two-position player conflicted in which position better suits him. Becoming an average linebacker that isn’t quite up to size or an out-of-place safety. Stevens is someone who is naturally athletic and it shows in his ability to stop receivers. He also has the ability and willingness to learn, making him the perfect coachable candidate. His versatility in the positions could land himself a spot on the team faster than others. After coaching and growth of his plays, he will need to focus on one position and grow into the leadership role of the team for the Eagles. For being this late in the draft, it was not a bad pick up for the Eagles as long as he can grasp one role instead of two, pushing his game to the next level.
Round 7, pick 234: Patrick Johnson, OLB, Tulane
Patrick Johnson is someone who is a NFL build physically but doesn’t always show up on the field. With fluid movements for the most part and stiffness taking over leads him to struggle with the routes, becoming that explosive player the team is looking for. Johnson does very well in finding the points of attack and where he can hit opponents for the best outcome, whether quarterback or other positions. However, he can get tripped up in points of attack, leading to opponents finding easy gaps in the play. Johnson will need to grow into a player who can localize his plays, focusing on consistency and clean plays to help the Eagles put up and prevent points for the opposition. If Johnson shows the work and dedication, he could potentially see himself in the starting lineup but for now, he may see himself sitting on special teams.