Ask Andrew: Good Day 2 LB Options For Birds
In an effort to streamline all draft-related questions and interact with our readers, we’ve hatched the concept of Andrew’s NFL Draft mailbag.
Though the mock drafts continue, big boards shift, and pro day numbers trickle in as the calendar shifts to April, the 2021 NFL Draft is merely a month away.
This week produced another slew of fantastic questions that covered a ton of territory. So, let’s get to it!
From Twitter: Leo Pien (@Chilei76):
If Gannon is looking for a LB that has the potential to be a dominant player under his defensive scheme early day 2, someone like his former star LBs like Darius Leonard or Anthony Barr, what are the players that fit the mold of Leonard/Barr in your opinion?
A: Early Day 2, I’d be looking at Missouri’s Nick Bolton or Ohio State’s Baron Browning. Browning, especially, has the requisite size and athleticism teams covet, but it’s his innate coverage acumen that sets him apart. He’s a plug-and-play defender in the mold of the new-age NFL linebacker. I’m also partial to LSU’s Jabril Cox, although he’s likely to come off the board later in the second-round.
From Twitter: Jeffrey Trainer (@jeffrey_trainer):
Why is D. Smith getting picked apart so much for his size? I know he is 170, but was anyone able to prevent him from getting off the line? I didn’t see it.
A. Well, when you’re contemplating selecting a slender, 170-pound wideout with a premium pick, there are going to be concerns as to whether he can withstand the rigors of a full slate of games at the pro level. Furthermore, you are expecting that prospect to be an every-down receiver rather than a complementary piece. Despite Smith’s gaudy college resume, he will be challenged at the line of scrimmage at the next level and unable to roam free. He navigated college football secondaries with ease, but creating separation against NFL defensive backs with regularity is hardly a given.
From Twitter: Andrew Price (@AJPrice613):
Any day 3 QB prospects that could interest the Eagles?
A. Yes, in fact. Stanford quarterback Davis Mills boasts an intriguing skill set that warrants Day 3 consideration. Delivers short-to-intermediate throws with remarkable accuracy and timing and has shown a willingness to uncork enough deep shot to keep a defense honest. Not an elite athlete by any means, but a scrappy, competitive signal-caller who would be a worthwhile development project.
From Twitter: Manu Don’t Know (@Manu_99U):
If you had to categorize each of the top 10 picks as bands from the 80s, who would be whom?
A. Ah, man! I appreciate the creativity, my friend. This one is tough to answer, but here goes:
Trevor Lawrence: Def Leppard
Penei Sewell: Van Halen
Justin Fields: Guns N’ Roses
Zach Wilson: Metallica
Ja’Marr Chase: Motley Crue
Kyle Pitts: Whitesnake
Jaylen Waddle: Ratt
Devonta Smith: Dokken
Patrick Surtain: Vinnie Vincent Invasion
Trey Lance: Scorpions
From Facebook: Sean Patrick Eltringham
What do u think of the Eagles drafting a better slot Wr with legit speed and quickness ala Rondale Moore or Elijah Moore?!
A. I totally understand your logic, but I think investing a premium pick on a slot WR is a bit rich. Moore would be a valuable asset for Jalen Hurts and an immense upgrade over the speed-deficient, albeit sure-handed, Greg Ward. The position could be adequately addressed by selecting a Day 3 pass-catcher such as Shi Smith or Jaelon Darden.
From Facebook: Chris Glover
Is there a punter in this draft worth spending a 7th on? It’s a position of immediate need.
A. Yeah, it is an overlooked need, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see a couple UDFAs added for a camp battle. Should the Eagles opt to go that route in R7, I’d look at Kentucky’s Max Duffy. The Australian punter may be 27 years old, but Duffy was a Ray Guy Award Winner in 2019, along with first-team All-SEC, and earned second-team All-SEC honors in 2020. Averaged 46.0 yards per punt over his 34-game collegiate career.
From Facebook: Aaron Puga
If they don’t go CB in the first round, is this CB deep enough to find an immediate contributor in the later rounds?
A. To be honest, Aaron, if the Eagles don’t go CB in R1, I anticipate them taking one at the top of Day 2. Sure, the class is deep, but there will be players available in the second-round who can start right away. The team must come out of this draft with a surefire starter and building block at cornerback. However, there is one Day 3 CB that I believe to be plug-and-play in the slot: Oregon’s Thomas Graham.
From Facebook: Kevin Turney
Do you think the Eagles go DE first round after the trade back to 12?
A. I do, actually. I think that player would be Michigan’s Kwity Paye. Plenty of viable options at 12 –Jaycee Horn, Jaylen Waddle, etc. – but the team has a rich history of prioritizing the trenches, and Paye is a top 12-15 player in this class.
From Facebook: Deprece Reddick
With 11 picks do we stay put (howie needs as many shots as he can get) or do we trade back up into the first and take a player who falls??
A. Honestly, it all just depends on how the board falls and where the team has said player ranked. They have ample ammo to do so. That said, I think the best course of action would be to keep all 11 picks to fill out the roster and expedite the youth movement.
– Andrew DiCecco (@ADiCeccoNFL) is a Staff Reporter/Content Producer for InsideTheBirds.com.