The 2021 NFL Draft kicked off last night at 8 PM. Thirty-two draft prospects will now begin their professional career across the NFL, as all eyes were on the top ten.
In that position, the Dallas Cowboys — the first team in the NFC East to make their draft selection. But before the pick was in, the Philadelphia Eagles made a last-minute trade, taking over the No. 10 overall spot.
Their move landed Alabama’s wide receiver DeVonta Smith, earning the Eagles an A after night one, according to NFL.com.
PHILADELPHIA’S FIRST ROUND PICK
The Eagles entered 2021 with the No. 6 overall pick after finishing their 2020 season with a 4-11-1 record.
In March, Philadelphia struck a deal with the Miami Dolphins that would place them back at No. 12 overall. But it also guaranteed them a 2022 first-round pick and a fourth-round pick (swapped from a fifth-round selection).
The real winner — Eagles’ general manager, Howie Roseman. Roseman knew it would be near impossible to obtain Pitts and Chase and ultimately acquired more out of the trade by coming to terms with reality.
However, Roseman didn’t stop there. After rumors regarding a trade back into the top ten, the Eagles swapped with the Dallas Cowboys, dealing the 12th and 84th overall picks.
EAGLES NFL DRAFT GRADE: A
With the help of Philadelphia’s biggest rival, the Eagles were able to jump the New York Giants to secure DeVonta Smith.
Smith, an Alabama alum, is Philly’s first Heisman Trophy winner since 1964. He finished his collegiate career with 235 receptions, 3,965 receiving yards, and 46 touchdowns. Known as the “Slim Reaper,” he not only bears the Heisman Trophy but was a Unanimous All-American, SEC Offensive Player of the Year, and a two-time first-team All-SEC, among others.
The wide receiver also has a history with Jalen Hurts. Smith stated earlier this week that he was looking forward to being reunited with the team’s newest starting quarterback.
Following the Eagles’ selection, Smith admitted that he was “shocked that they had traded up for me.”
Philadelphia, though, is lucky to have him. Smith is quick, agile, has impeccable body control, and states, “I can play everything.”
The Eagles, who have already released DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery, are looking for an upgrade at this position. Unfortunately, Jalen Reagor, who was a top draft pick last year failed to prevail. The same can be said for Travis Fulgham (who led receivers with only 539 yards), Greg Ward, Quez Watkins, and John Hightower.
After the Eagles chose Smith, the Giants, who initially sat at No. 11, traded down to No. 20 in a move with the Chicago Bears. New York also received the 164th pick overall, a 2022 first-round pick, and a 2022 fourth-round pick.
The Giants chose Florida’s wide receiver, Kadarius Toney — solidifying that Roseman made the right move yet again.
Hopefully, the Eagles will continue their streak tonight with the No. 37 (second-round) and No. 70 (third-round) overall pick. The 2021 NFL Draft continues at 7 PM.