What the Eagles could be thinking now at No. 12 in the NFL Draft

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When you got the notification that the Eagles traded down from the 6th position in the NFL Draft to 12th overall, you probably didn’t know what to think.

Does this mean Hurts is ‘the guy’ going forward?

Are they going defense?

Why did we tank with Nate Sudfeld in Week 17 just to move back?

Well, you’ll never get an answer on that last one.

One thing is clear – a huge splash is likely not coming.

However, that doesn’t mean it’s the wrong move.

Especially because a first round pick from the Miami Dolphins next season could make this all worth it in the wrong run.

Which is why we’re here to give you an inkling into their thought process once April 29th hits.

First thing is first, this basically solidifies that they won’t be going with a quarterback in the first round.

There has been thoughts that the first four of six picks could be quarterbacks, and some even saying that the first four alone (Jaguars, Jets, 49ers, Falcons) could be taking new signal callers.

It’s not necessarily that the Eagles didn’t like what they saw from the young crop of QBs, but that they have faith in giving Jalen Hurts a full season with the keys.

So where do they themselves go at #12 and is there a target position they are showing their hand towards?

Defense, defense, defense.

Yes, Nick Sirianni is coming in as an offensive mind brought here to fix the 9th-worst offense in the league last year (334.6 YPG).

But defensive departures and injuries can’t plague this team again.

More importantly, Philadelphia is in need of a spark plug for a bottom-third rush defense, a menacing gap plug could be the answer.

First option: LB Micah Parsons – Penn State

Yes, I was legally obligated to write this one.

The Nittany Lion is already a household name in Pennsylvania and many saw him as a top-5 pick once the college football season came to a close.

But then started the quarterback frenzy.

This has dropped Parsons down a couple of spots in the eyes of many as an offensively-obsessed league continues to find ways to put up points and prioritize the scoreboard run up.

But if Tampa Bay taught us anything this past season, it’s that sideline-to-sideline roaming linebackers can win you a Super Bowl.

Shaq Barrett and Devin White are the prototypes for today’s NFL linebacker.

That’s Parsons.

If the Eagles want stability at that position for the next decade and jersey sales to go through the roof for the local kid, they’re grab the Harrisburg native if he drops that far.

Second option: CB Jaycee Horn – South Carolina

Horn has found a way to go under the radar – which in the SEC is shocking.

He’s a PFF darling with statistics like boasting the lowest completion percentage in the conference at 33.3%.

The Eagles also lost CB Jalen Mills to the New England Patriots in free agency so a young cornerstone could be the first step in defining the way this team wants to go about defending receivers in the division like Amari Cooper and Terry McLaurin.

Also, he has the attitude to live rent-free in your head for 60 minutes and that swagger is desperately needed for a team lacking positive buzz on and off the field in the last calendar year.

Third option: WR DeVonta Smith – Alabama

Two months ago, this would have never been an option for the Eagles.

Not because the Eagles don’t need a receiver – trust me, they do.

Smith wasn’t dropping past the third overall pick in the eyes of many not long ago.

The Heisman winner absolutely tormented secondaries to the tune of nearly 1,900 yards and 23 touchdowns including a freakish 12 catches, 215 yards, and three touchdowns in the first half of the National Championship Game vs. Ohio State.

This is also the stage of the offseason where teams overthink things.

Smith is evidence of that.

People wonder if his frame will hold up in the NFL, which is a fair second thought.

But fair enough to drop him to #12?

If teams overlook Smith and his production against elite competition in college time and time again, this could be an absolute godsent for the Eagles.

The Eagles receiving core has been a tragedy that not even Shakespeare could wrap his mind around since their 2017 Super Bowl run.

Not that they were main contributors in 2020, but the team also released Alshon Jeffery and Desean Jackson this offseason so the need is there.

Philadelphia would have no choice but to pounce on Smith if he’s somehow available that far into the NFL Draft.

There are still a lot of dominos yet to drop before the clock starts ticking on Philadelphia in April.

There are needs all over the field for a team that finished in the cellar of the worst division in football last season.

One thing is for certain, all eyes will be on Howie Roseman (as they always are) to make sure this trade down was the right decision.

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