Now that the 2021 NFL Draft is over, it is now time to grade the Eagles selections. These grades will be based on the Eagles team needs before the draft, how they performed in college and if it’s a good fit for the Eagles. Check out the team needs on the 2021 Philadelphia Eagles NFL Draft Profile. This article will cover the draft grades of round 1-4. Be on the lookout for rounds 4-7 within a few days of this article being posted. This is the 2021 Eagles Draft Grades: Rounds 1-4.
Eagles Draft Grades: Round 1
10th Overall : Devonta Smith, Wide Receiver, Alabama
Leading up to the draft, it was well known that the Eagles most needed to fill a hole at the wide receiver position. The Eagles did that by selecting DeVonta Smith, who should be able to bring immediate production within this position in 2021. Smith has good route running and has the speed and strength to create space from defenders. He will also bring production to a lackluster Eagles wide receiving core. Smith should be a beast for the Eagles in the coming years.
Eagles Draft Grades: Round 2
37th overall: Landon Dickerson, Guard/Center, Alabama
This pick puzzled Eagles fans and NFL fans alike. It was thought that the Eagles would go for either a corner or linebacker in this round since the positions are thin. Other than the questionable selection based on their team needs, Landon Dickerson has the ability to do great things for the Eagles. Dickerson has a lot of athletic ability for a guy who’s 6-foot-6 and weighs 330 pounds. He has the strength to block defenders and protect the quarterback. Jason Kelce has mentioned retirement and the Eagles will look to Dickerson fill in that hole once he retires.
Dickerson is by all accounts a great leader and should be able to provide the team with a great attitude before games. The question with Dickerson is his injury history. He has had a lengthy past with ACL tears including the most recent in the 2020 season. If the Eagles can keep Dickerson healthy and on the field, then this pick will be well worth it in the end.
Eagles Draft Grades: Round 3
73rd overall: Milton Williams, DL, Louisiana Tech
The Eagles bolstered their defensive line with their third-round pick drafting Milton Williams. Williams should be able to help the Eagles stop the run and produce multiple stops for the Eagles defense. The defensive linemen had 44 tackles in the 2020 season. He ranked third in Conference USA in tackles for losses in 2020, which is a great quality to have. He has the athleticism to get the Eagles off the field on key downs. Milton also got to the quarterback 4.5 times throughout the season.
Williams has all the athleticism he needs to be a solid defensive linemen for the Eagles. He may not produce much out of the gate, but with the more reps he gets through the season, the better he will be. This may have not have been the most pressing position on the field, but it gives the Eagles depth on the line.
Eagles Draft Grades: Round 4
123rd Overall: Zech McPhearson, CB, Texas Tech
In the days leading up to the draft, it was pretty well covered that the Eagles should select a cornerback with one of their earlier picks in the draft. Instead, they chose to pick one in the middle rounds, which is not horrible as long as they have a plan to pick someone up in free agency. Zech McPhearson is a 5-foot-11 cornerback that can create points off turnovers. He got ahold of two fumbles that he returned for touchdowns in his 2020 season with Texas Tech. He also had four interceptions during his final season with the Red Raiders. McPhearson brings a lot of speed and has the ability read the quarterbacks eyes to get in the right position to make plays on the ball.
As hinted earlier in the last paragraph, this fills part of the hole at safety. It would suit the Eagles well to find another experienced cornerback out of free agency or even trade for one. Slay, along with the others, are going to need as much help as they can going into the 2021 season.