It appears that there’s yet another mock NFL draft floating around that links Justin Jefferson to the Philadelphia Eagles at 21.
April approaches, and tension mounts. The Philadelphia Eagles still haven’t done anything to fix their wide receiver problem, and their general manager, Howie Roseman, seems clueless about how to draft one. Early on, in this process. We thought we had things figured out, and at that time, Justin Jefferson wasn’t a part of the thought process.
There were rumblings that the Eagles would wind up with Henry Ruggs III once the NFL Draft rolled around. Then, he had to go run a 4.2-second 40-yard dash, and the secret that Philly was trying to hide from everyone was out. We all knew that Ruggs was fast, but not everyone knew that he could cook like that.
Now, the secret is out, and it appears that he won’t be around by the time the ‘Birds’ are on the clock at 21. That’s when the attention turned to free agency, Amari Cooper, and Justin Jefferson.
Despite the fact that there were quite a few Eagles fans who seemed allergic to the idea of adding two former Dallas Cowboys to the roster, Cooper and Byron Jones’ names starting circulating around the Eagles gossip circuit. Cornerback and wide receiver were Philly’s two biggest holes on the roster. Cooper and Jones were seen as the best potential free-agent options at their positions. Then, the plot thickened.
The Cowboys re-signed Cooper for a small fortune. That wasn’t seen as being tragic though. There were still options at wide receiver from a free-agency standpoint. Philadelphia was projected to have $40 million to spend once the new league year started, and they were planning to go all-in on landing Jones. Surely they wouldn’t have any issues with landing him.
Well, we were all wrong that one. Jones signed on with the Miami Dolphins. Philly’s first major move of the offseason was adding a defensive tackle albeit a great one and promising to pay him $13 million a season, and it appeared that the Eagles brass’ was venturing off course.
In many minds, Philly wasn’t addressing their issues. They were moving further away from the plan. Sure, they landed Darius Slay, but that didn’t soothe the irritation of anyone who found out that they were close to landing DeAndre Hopkins in a trade before they backed away from the negotiating table altogether. The discomfort of failure had crept in yet again, and that’s not all. Everyone who was available in free agency from a wide receiver’s standpoint kept landing on other rosters.
It appears Philly’s decided any need that they have at that position will be addressed in April’s draft. That brings us back to Justin Jefferson. Now that Jerry Jeudy, CeeDee Lamb, and Henry Ruggs II have been identified as the best collegiate prospects at the wide receiver position, the theory is Philly could get their hands on the guy seen as being the fourth best, Justin Jefferson. Sure, Howie Roseman has screwed up a few drafts by taking the wrong guys, but not even he can mess this up. At least that’s what Eagles fans are hoping.
If Philly lands Jefferson, there may be a celebration or two. Mocks are a hot topic at this time of year. ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. recently released his third of the offseason. Cue a little more Jefferson hype as, according to Kiper, Philly takes the former LSU Tigers star at 21. Here’s a quote.
"Philadelphia addressed its hole at cornerback by trading for Darius Slay. The next hole that needs to be filled is at wide receiver, where Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson had injury-plagued 2019 seasons and rookie second-round pick J.J. Arcega-Whiteside struggled. That resulted in a tough year for Carson Wentz and the Eagles’ offense, although they still went 9-7 and won the NFC East. Since this is a deep class of wide receivers, the Eagles should come out of the first round with their guy. Jefferson, who caught 111 passes from Joe Burrow last season, is a great fit."
There isn’t much that needs to be said after that one. Let’s hope things go according to plan, this time at least.