If this report is accurate, it says a lot about what the Eagles’ original draft plans were. Ja’Marr Chase is one of (if not the) top receivers in the draft.
The 21 year old sat out in 2020, but his 2019 was something special: he had 1780 receiving yards and 20 touchdowns.
From the Bengals’ perspective, Chase at five makes some sense. The receiver built a great repertoire with current Cincy QB Joe Burrow at LSU.
However, there’s always a chance the Bengals’ in Chase interest could be draft fog. They aren’t hurting at the wide receiver position, as they have two stellar young players in Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins.
They also have other positions that struggled, mainly the offensive line. The Bengals allowed 48 sacks in 2020, sixth-most in the league. Oregon’s offensive tackle Penei Sewell has been frequently mocked to the Bengals.
If Chase to Cincinnati had as large of an impact on Philadelphia’s draft decision as it seems, then the Birds should be hoping Chase isn’t still there at sixth. Otherwise, that would be a massive sting to miss out on such a touted player.
Eagles Clearly Feel That After Chase, There Isn’t A Huge Difference in Talent From 6 to 12
It also seems that the Eagles feel that after Chase, the talent of rest of the players that would have been available around that pick (which includes Florida’s Kyle Pitts and Alabama’s Devonta Smith) is equivalent to the talent in the early ‘teens.
If the Eagles had been committed to one of those players, then perhaps they would have stayed put.
Instead, opting to trade back shows they can still grab a player of high value while also having an additional 2022 first-round pick in hand.
At the very least, it’s nice to see the team is focusing on wide receivers. There’s a chance Smith could fall to the Birds at 12th, and Jaylen Waddle (another Bama receiver) should still be available.
Both Smith and Waddle have familiarity with QB Jalen Hurts, which could go a long way in regards to development.