2021 NFL Draft Grade: Philadelphia Eagles
Round 1 Pick 10: WR Devonta Smith
Round 2 Pick 37: C Landon Dickerson
Round 3 Pick 73: DT DT Milton Williams
Round 4 Pick 123: CB Zech McPhearson
Round 5 Pick 150: RB Kenneth Gainwell
Round 6 Pick 189: DT Marlon Tuipulotu
Round 6 Pick 191: DE Tarron Jackson
Round 6 Pick 224: S JaCoby Stevens
The Eagles seem set for a true rebuild. They traded Carson Wentz to Indy, and Jalen Hurts looks like the starter for 2021. The wide receiver room is essentially empty outside of Jalen Reagor, and with Reagor having an underwhelming rookie year, the Eagles needed to make sure they hit with a wide receiver pick this year. The Devonta Smith pick is an attempt to do just that.
The Heisman winner had a historic season with Alabama, recording 1856 receiving yards and an incredible 23 TDs. Smith capped it off with a ridiculous national title game where he recorded 215 yards and 3 TDs just in the first half. Of course, people have questions about Smith’s 170-pound frame, specifically about his health. It’s easy to speculate about health, but here’s what we do know: Smith has missed a total of one half of football in his four-year collegiate career due to injury.
Philadelphia also worked to improve the trenches with picks of center Landon Dickerson and defensive tackle Milton Williams. Dickerson is one of the best run blockers in this draft when healthy, but his health is exactly the question. He very nearly retired from football before transferring to Alabama, and he is now coming off an ACL tear suffered in the SEC title game. On the other side of the line of scrimmage, Milton Williams has great size and athleticism as a DT. The question with him will be whether or not he can keep up with NFL talent as he spent his collegiate career destroying inferior competition.
Overall, the Eagles drafted guys with a lot of talent. In a vacuum, this draft class would be one of the best. That said, there are a ton of questions after the Devonta Smith pick. Smith seems like a surefire star, but who knows what will happen with their other picks. Not only could Dickerson and Williams have growing pains on their way into the league, but the injury history with Dickerson is a massive concern.