Exploring Eagles’ options at CB throughout the 2021 draft originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
The Eagles already traded down from 6 to 12 and still have 11 picks in the 2021 NFL Draft.
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While they might not make all 11 picks, they will have plenty of options during the three days of the draft, which begins on April 29.
Here’s a reminder of their 11 picks:
1st round: No. 12 (trade with MIA)
2nd round: No. 37 (own pick)
3rd round: No. 70 (own pick)
3rd round: No. 84 (trade with Colts)
4th round: No. 123 (trade with MIA)
5th round: No. 150 (own pick)
6th round: No. 189 (own pick)
6th round: No. 224 (compensatory pick)
6th round: No. 225 (compensatory pick)
7th round: No. 234 (own pick)
7th round: No. 240 (from 49ers as part of Marquise Goodwin trade)
This is the Eagles’ biggest need heading into the 2021 draft. The Eagles bring back Darius Slay but are in desperate need of a CB2. The Eagles haven’t had much luck drafting corners in recent drafts but they have to give it a go again.
Here are their options:
At No. 12
Patrick Surtain II, Alabama (6-2, 208): Surtain is the best corner in this draft. He’s athletic, technically sound and has off-the-charts football intelligence. If he’s available at No. 12, the Eagles shouldn’t even think about it. Go get a very good player who has Pro Bowl potential.
Jaycee Horn, South Carolina (6-1, 205): Some think Horn is the best corner in this draft. I don’t think he’s that now but he certainly has that potential and he showed that when he had just a ridiculous showing at his pro day. Take it with a grain of salt, sure, but the tape matches. He played at a very high level in the SEC.
Caleb Farley, Virginia Tech (6-2, 197): There’s no question Farley is a first-round talent, but his standing in this draft is tough to figure out. He opted out of the 2020 season and missed his pro day because of a back injury and surgery. There might be some real concerns from NFL teams with that back, but Farley might just be the most talented of the bunch. He was playing at a really high level when we last saw him in 2019.
In the middle rounds
Greg Newsome, Northwestern (6-0, 192): The Eagles might miss out on Newsome, who figures to be a late first-round, early second-round pick. But if he’s still there at 37, he’d be a great fit. There are some slight durability concerns with Newsome, who has missed games in each of his three college seasons, but when he’s on the field he’s been very good.
Asante Samuel Jr., Florida State (5-10, 180): A tad undersized but he has experience outside and inside. The son of former Eagles CB Asante Samuel, Samuel Jr., had three picks in eight games in 2020.
Eric Stokes, Georgia (6-1, 194): Stokes and his teammate Tyson Campbell both figure to be drafted in the second round after impressive college careers and impressive pro days. Stokes and Campbell are different players — maybe the Eagles would prefer Campbell — but Stokes has better speed and ball skills so I’ll give him the edge.
Ifeatu Melifonwu, Syracuse (6-2, 205): The brother of former UConn safety Obi Melifonwu, Ifeatu has great length and size on the outside. He has the frame and athleticism to turn into a really good corner at the NFL level and he’s not as raw as his brother was coming out a few years ago.
Paulson Adebo, Stanford (6-1, 198): Adebo opted out in 2020 and that came after he missed the end of the 2019 season with an injury so maybe some folks have forgotten about him. But he had eight interceptions in 22 games in 2018 and 2019.
Tre Brown, Oklahoma (5-10, 185): A shade under 5-10, Brown really competed on the outside in college but probably best projects as a nickel corner at the next level. He did run a 4.40 at his pro day and definitely has the requisite speed for the NFL.
Olaijah Griffin, USC (5-11, 176): Griffin obviously doesn’t have great size but has ball skills and battled against quality competition. A few durability concerns but worth a late-round pick. Also the son of rap legend Warren G.
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