If you’ve watched any Philadelphia Eagles football over the last few seasons, the receiving group they trot out on any given Sunday has been downright laughable. With the 12th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, they could be looking to further address their issues at the wideout position.
So where do things currently stand with the Eagles offense? They recently traded away former quarterback and first-round pick Carson Wentz after selecting former Alabama/Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts in last year’s NFL Draft with hopes of him becoming their new signal-caller.
Each year, we hear about top receivers going in this area of the draft. In 2020, Henry Ruggs was the first wideout off the board at this very pick. For the second year in a row, I predict a receiver from Alabama being the 12th pick in the NFL Draft. That leads to the Philadelphia Eagles selecting Jaylen Waddle at this spot in the On Tap Sports Net mock draft.
Meet The Prospect
The first name that will come to mind for Eagles fans upon viewing Waddle’s highlights is DeSean Jackson. Waddle possesses top-end speed, elite route-running ability, great hands, and the unique ability to go the distance anytime his hands touch the football. He can run all the routes and has shown the ability to go up and get the 50/50 ball despite his size. Additionally, Waddle is a skilled return threat with three return touchdowns in his career.
Waddle was a matchup nightmare for defensive backs in the SEC over the last three seasons, as he finished his career at Alabama with 106 receptions, 1,999 yards 17 touchdowns, and an 18.9 YPC average over 34 games. Waddle made an instant impact his freshman season, and prior to his injury this past season, he was regarded as the favorite to win the 2020 Heisman Trophy. That award eventually went to his Alabama teammate, Devonta Smith. In all honesty, Waddle very well could have won the Heisman Trophy last season had it not been for the injury, as a majority of his targets went to Smith in his absence.
One of the most impressive notes from Waddle’s career at Alabama was the fact that he played with three different quarterbacks and his production never seemed to taper off. Now, unless Mac Jones goes outside the second round, all three of those quarterbacks Waddle played with will have been first- or second-round draft picks.
But if the Eagles select Waddle at 12th overall, he will have a chance to reunite with his former teammate, Jalen Hurts. The Eagles shouldn’t even blink if Waddle is available at 12. Allotting Hurts some familiarity in Philly and getting the offense on track with a clear-cut impact player in Jaylen Waddle makes this pick an obvious and impactful one.