Mel Kiper’s Mock Draft 4.0 Has Eagles Beefing Up Defense
Another day closer to the 2021 NFL Draft and another mock draft, this one from ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr.
The long time ESPN draft analyst is one of the more respected voices when it comes to the NFL Draft, and has the Eagles landing a player that not to many have making it to No. 12.
Alabama corner, Patrick Surtain II.
The Eagles traded out of the top 10 and moved to No. 12, which essentially took them out of the quarterback race. They could also miss out on the top wide receivers; I suspect they would jump at Waddle if he made it here. Just looking at this roster, though, corner should be a priority, and they'd have their pick of all of them if the board shakes out this way. Surtain is the most fundamentally sound defensive back in this class.
As Kiper notes, the Eagles moved back, taking them out of position to land guys like Kyle Pitts or Ja'Marr Chase, but states if Alabama wide receiver Jaylen Waddle falls to No. 12, they might pull the trigger on him.
Surtain, who ran a 4.46-second 40, is a big shutdown corner at 6-foot-2, 183-pounds. Surtain has ideal length, size and physicality for Johnathan Gannon's cover-2 scheme.
The interesting part about this selection is that Dallas traded back with New England to No. 15 and was still able to land a corner, taking South Carolina's Jaycee Horn, while Virginia Tech's Caleb Farley went No. 16 to Arizona.
IN round two, Kiper adds to the defensive side of the ball, with the Eagles selecting Missouri linebacker Nick Bolton at pick No. 37.
The Eagles signed Eric Wilson to a one-year deal, but Bolton could be their long-term middle linebacker. He's great against the run -- he had 195 tackles over the past two seasons. This is a step toward turning around the Philly defense under new coordinator Jonathan Gannon, who was with new coach Nick Sirianni in Indianapolis as the cornerbacks coach.
As Kiper notes, the Eagles signed Wilson, who is solid in coverage but not as good against the run. Bolton would provide a run-stuffing middle linebacker to the team, providing a nice complement to Alex Singleton and Wilson.
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