2021 NFL mock draft roundup 4.0: Wild quarterback scenarios

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Dave Zangaro
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Wild quarterback scenarios in latest Eagles mock draft roundup originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

NFL free agency begins in less than three weeks and the draft isn’t far behind it.

The Eagles hold the No. 6 pick in the draft and they have plenty of intriguing options.

Let’s take another look:

CBS Sports, Ryan Wilson

Mac Jones, QB, Alabama

What they said: Who knows what the Eagles will do with the No. 6 pick, but it's hard to imagine they no-showed in that Week 17 game just to take a wideout or offensive lineman. And with Carson Wentz now in Indy, there has to be a Plan B behind Jalen Hurts, who is reunited with his former Alabama teammate, Mac Jones.

My take: Wow. This would be surprising for a few reasons. One, Jones isn’t considered by most to be among the very top group of quarterbacks in this class. Two, drafting him at 6 would probably not be the best value play. If the Eagles really end up liking Jones, that’s fine but they might be able to move down and still get him. Would they risk that? Not sure. But I know the draft for Howie Roseman is all about value.

SI.com, Ryan Roberts

Trade up to 3: Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State

What they said: WE HAVE A TRADE! The Philadelphia Eagles trade their 2021 first-round pick (#6 overall), a 2021 third-round pick (#84 overall) and defensive end Derek Barnett to the Miami Dolphins for the #3 selection.

We have another trade! With Penei Sewell off the board and an array of talented pass-catchers to choose from, the Dolphins become another key trade back piece. With the recent Carson Wentz deal, the Eagles are left toying with the idea of whether second-year pro Jalen Hurts is the starter moving forward. An odd selection from the start, a former second-round pick with four career starts, isn’t going to prevent Philadelphia from selecting a quarterback they like.

While Trey Lance might offer a higher upside than Fields long term, it might be a hard sell to the fan base, taking another North Dakota State quarterback after how the Wentz era ended. From a talent perspective, Fields is well worth this selection. The inability to cultivate that talent will be crucial for new head coach Nick Sirianni and company.

My take: There’s a lot to go over here. This draft started with Trevor Lawrence and then the Bengals’ trading up to take Penei Sewell from Oregon. So the Eagles move up to take Fields. While I’m not sure about the price, I don’t think the possibility of the Eagles’ trading up to get a quarterback is that crazy. It’s probably not what I would do but if taking a quarterback at No. 6 is an option then trading up to take one better be an option too. Because if the Eagles identify THEIR quarterback in this draft, then they need to do whatever they can to get him. If that means trading up to 3, then it makes sense.

CBS Sports, Josh Edwards

Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida

What they said: Zach Ertz is not going to be around long in Philadelphia. The Eagles need pass catchers and are not limited to wide receivers. Kyle Pitts is a unique weapon who is not going to be pegged as a traditional inline blocker. He can be flexed out and moved around in Nick Sirianni's offense.

My take: Pitts is a really intriguing option. Some folks wouldn’t be happy with this because he’s a tight end and I get that. But he’s a dynamic player who is going to create crazy matchup problems at the next level. Edwards mentions Sirianni’s offense, which is important. Sirianni has a clear affinity for the tight end position and emphasizes creating matchup problems with tight ends. So I wouldn’t rule out this possibility. But in this mock draft, four quarterbacks go before the Eagles’ pick and Sewell goes at 5. So the Eagles in this scenario leave all three of the top receivers to take Pitts. I wouldn’t pass on Ja’Marr Chase.

NFL.com, Daniel Jeremiah

Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida

What they said: I don't envision Zach Ertz being on the Eagles' roster for the 2021 season. However, Philadelphia still ensures its QB1 -- whomever that ends up being -- has an outstanding duo at tight end in Pitts and Dallas Goedert.

My take: In this mock, Chase goes at No. 3 to the Dolphins. In that case, I think the likelihood that the Eagles take Pitts increases.

NFL.com, Charley Casserly

DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama

What they said: With the Eagles moving on from DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery this offseason, the team needs to add another pass catcher.

My take: Smith has been a popular pick for the Eagles and with Chase off the board at 3, Casserly has the Eagles’ taking the next best receiver in this class. This mock draft was interesting for other reasons. Casserly has Pitts lasting until 15 and Fields lasting until pick No. 24. So one mock draft this week has the Eagles trading up to get Fields at 3 and another has him falling to 24.

The Draft Network, Trevor Sikkema

Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon

What they said: Maybe Howie Roseman will draft a wide receiver this early? But I doubt it, especially if an offensive line upgrade can be had. The Eagles plan to have Lane Johnson and Brandon Brooks back, and hopefully Jason Kelce, too. They also hope health will be much more on their side in 2021. There is reason to believe they could go with Andre Dillard or Jordan Mailata as their left tackle, but why risk such a crucial offensive line spot on belief if a sure thing like Sewell is on the board? I don’t think they would.

My take: We probably haven’t been talking about Sewell as much as we should. If he’s available at pick No. 6 then he’ll definitely be in play. The Eagles and Roseman have never been shy about wanting to build around their lines, specifically their OL. The presence of Jordan Mailata or Andre Dillard shouldn’t stop the Eagles from taking a top talent at the tackle position if Sewell is available. My guess is that it wouldn’t. But passing on Chase in this scenario would be tough to swallow.

USA Today, Nate Davis

Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU

What they said: There’s already speculation that they could take another quarterback to compete for the starting job following the decision to part with Carson Wentz. But it makes more sense to give second-year passer Jalen Hurts a fair shot to flourish, and no better way to do that than by enlisting the supremely gifted Chase – he averaged 21.2 yards per catch in 2019 while playing with Burrow and is a weapon at every level of the field. Teaming him with 2020’s first-round wideout, Jalen Reagor, who isn’t nearly the player Chase is, helps the entire unit.

My take: If he’s there, Chase would be my pick. He was the best receiver in the country two years ago and unless he forgot to play football in the last year, he’s going to be good in the NFL.

ESPN, Mel Kiper Jr.

Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU

What they said: After trading away Carson Wentz, 2020 second-round pick Jalen Hurts tops the Eagles’ quarterback depth chart. And my feeling is that he has earned a chance to start in Week 1 next season and try to be Philly’s long-term answer, even though he completed just 52% of his passes last season. The Eagles have major salary-cap issues, and this is not going to be a one-year rebuild for new coach Nick Sirianni. I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re picking in the top 10 next year as well. Drafting Chase here will allow a better evaluation of Hurts in 2021; he’s a true No. 1 wideout with a high ceiling. After opting out of the 2020 season, Chase will get a chance to work out for teams at LSU’s pro day on March 31, and there’s a chance he could wow scouts and coaches there and end up as the No. 1 receiver in this class.

My take: All makes sense to me. I like the idea of the Eagles’ seeing what they have in Hurts, but I also think they’re going to do their homework on these quarterbacks too. If they don’t fall in love with one of them, then they should give Hurts a chance and drafting Chase at this spot would help.

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