Eagles Select WR Brandon Aiyuk in 2020 Re-Draft
What if the Eagles had a chance to go back in time and redo last year’s NFL draft?
The 2020 draft class was deep with wide receivers and had plenty of depth elsewhere, with plenty of rookies making an impact during the 2020 season.
So what if the Eagles had a chance to do it all over again?
Bleacher Report had a re-draft of the 2020 draft, with every team picking in their original spot and no trades allowed.
Instead of taking TCU wide receiver Jalen Reagor with the No. 21 pick, the re-draft has the Eagles selecting former Arizona State and current San Francisco wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk.
The Eagles passed on Aiyuk in favor of Reagor in the real world, but Aiyuk outproduced Reagor in almost every way during the 2020 season. Considering that they were similarly graded receivers in the first place, that gives the Arizona State alum the edge in this situation.
Among rookies, Aiyuk trailed only Jefferson with 62.3 receiving yards per game. Injuries and drops were a factor, but there are going to be warts when you get beyond the top 20 while working with NFL tape and results.
After missing the start of the season due to injury, Reagor never really found a role in the Eagles offense, and the poor play of Carson Wentz didn't help. The wide receiver recorded 31 catches for 396 yards and just one score in 11 games during his rookie campaign.
But just because Reagor didn't have a major impact or role with the team, doesn't mean they Eagles shouldn't have taken a wide out.
Aiyuk led the 49ers with 60 receptions for 748 receiving yards and seven all-purpose touchdowns. Aiyuk's 96 targets are also a team-high mark, impressive considering he played in just 12 games.
Reagor ended up falling out of the first round, but there was an Eagles player drafted in the first-round of the re-draft, quarterback Jalen Hurts.
The re-draft consider taking Hurts for the Eagles, but felt with Wentz on the roster and such a need at wide receiver, Aiyuk was the pick.
The elephant in the room is quarterback Jalen Hurts, who impressed enough as a rookie that the Eagles appear to be intent on giving him the first shot to replace the departed Carson Wentz in 2021. But do they like him enough to sacrifice Reagor or Aiyuk? Considering that they're loaded with draft capital over the next two years, it's possible they'd gamble here and hope Hurts isn't redrafted anyway.
Worst-case, they navigate the first-round 2021 draft board for one of this year's top five quarterbacks or pursue somebody like Jimmy Garoppolo on the trade market. It's a close call, though.
Hurts ended up being taken in the first-round by the New England Patriots, who owned the 23rd pick in the 2020 draft.
So much for that gamble from the Eagles that Hurts might go un-redrafted. The Patriots were widely considered a good fitfor Hurts and a potential suitor for him ahead of last year's draft, and there's little reason to believe that would be any different now.
After all, the Oklahoma product put on a show with 106 rushing yards in leading the Eagles to a victory over the New Orleans Saints in his first career start and went on to post eight passing/rushing touchdowns to three interceptions in a short run as Philly's starter. And that all went down while Cam Newton was wrapping up a disappointing season as New England's starter.
Newton is back, but he hasn't been himself for years and is making backup money. With no option for the Pats to trade back here and with the prime offensive linemen and receivers off the board, Hurts is a no-brainer.
As for the rest of the NFC East, Dallas ended up with wide receiver Jerry Jeudy from Alabama instead of CeeDee Lamb at pick 17. New York selected Tampa tackle Tristan Wirfs from the University of Iowa, instead of tackle Andrew Thomas. Washington went with quarterback Justin Herbert from Oregon, who went to the Chargers, instead of taking Chase Young.