Philadelphia Eagles 2021 draft class: What NFL experts are saying

DeVonta Smith, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
DeVonta Smith, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

Perhaps it’s different in your time zone, but Eastern Standard Time will screw you up or get you off schedule every time. Hours and days seem to fly by, especially as you get older. The Philadelphia Eagles wrapped what can only be seen as ‘a grind’ from April 29th from May 1st as they shuffled, bargained, and finagled their way into what wound up being nine new prospects who, for one reason or another, have Birds fans everywhere talking.

It began with that trade back into the top ten that everyone was talking about despite the fact that said trade was with a rival, the Dallas Cowboys. That one cost Philly one of those third-round selections. That was the bad news.

The good news was this. Landing last season’s Heisman Trophy winner kept DeVonta Smith out of the hands of another rival, the New York Giants. Fans were happy as Philly makes 6 an ally as opposed to someone that they’ll have to chase around twice a year for the next ten seasons.

Here’s more good news if you’re a Philadelphia Eagles fan.

Sure, Birds fans have dissected each new prospect that was added to the nest. They wouldn’t be fans of this team if they didn’t, but while some of the topics of conversation all offseason will, no doubt, hover around things like whether or not it was wise to take a cornerback so late and why Philly only drafted one cover guy (and no real ‘safeties’), most of the feedback about this class has been positive.

Here are the thoughts of two respected writers from Pro Football Network and ESPN, Nick Farabaugh and Tim McManus. We begin with an excerpt from McManus’ take, one where he calls Smith an “instant upgrade” and Zech McPhearson, the only cornerback Philly landed, someone with “ball skills and a fairly high ceiling”.

McManus said this about Landon Dickerson, Philly’s second-round selection:

"The Eagles go to the Alabama well once again to select Dickerson, a team leader with experience at guard and center. The primary concern here is his injury history. Dickerson is coming off an ACL tear suffered in the SEC Championship in December. He has another ACL tear and an ankle injury in his past as well.The Eagles no doubt did extensive work on his medicals, but with cornerback Asante Samuel Jr. and defensive tackle Christian Barmore available at the time, there’s an argument they should have gone in a different direction."

Here’s some of what he said about Milton Williams, the 2021 draft’s 73rd-overall selection.

"Williams (6-foot-3, 284 pounds) is a lighter-framed interior linemen with good footwork and strength. The Eagles believe in investing heavily in the offensive and defensive lines, so it’s no surprise they would address defensive tackle, even with the presence of Fletcher Cox and Javon Hargrave, and Williams has the versatility to move all over the line. Still, there are more pressing needs across the roster."

Here’s one more opinion on the Philadelphia Eagles draft class.

You were promised the opinion of Pro Football Network’s Nick Farabaugh, and this is it. He delivered with a very interesting report card for each new Eagle taken. He calls Smith “one of the best pure technicians to come out of the draft in recent memory”. He sees Philly’s final selection, Patrick Johnson, as someone who was “projected best as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme”.

Trending. Early ideas on what the Eagles do in 2022. light

No one received a grade lower than a B. If his analysis is correct, and many of those guys from last year’s Birds draft class can step up in Year 2, big things could be on the horizon for these Philadelphia Eagles