The Philadelphia Eagles badly need young talent at wide receiver. Howie Roseman has whiffed on many of his recent draft picks at the position, so he’s under immense pressure to hit on one Thursday night. Roseman needs to spend the Eagles’ first round pick on a wideout, but not just any wideout. His selection can make or break the future for Carson Wentz and the Eagles’ offense. So, who should Roseman target on Thursday?
Justin Jefferson, LSU
Justin Jefferson is the name many expert mock drafts have going to the Eagles at 21. The LSU product is a big-bodied receiver who excelled in the slot last season. He led the country last year with 111 receptions. Jefferson was also second in the FBS with 18 receiving touchdowns. He played his best when the bright lights were on him, too. Jefferson recorded 23 catches, 333 yards, and three touchdowns in LSU’s two playoff games last year.
However, one has to wonder how much of his production last year was due to catching passes from Joe Burrow. The Heisman winner made everyone he played with look like a star.
Still, Jefferson is widely considered a top-five receiver in the 2020 NFL draft. He might be the best player available by the time Philadelphia gets on the clock. If Roseman doesn’t trade out of the 21st pick, Jefferson will most likely be the Eagles’ best receiving option left.
Jalen Reagor, TCU
NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein recently put out a mock draft that had TCU’s Jalen Reagor landing with the Eagles at 21. Zierlein said the Eagles are “enamored with Reagor’s speed and explosive potential.”
The Eagles have been keeping tabs on Reager for a while now. They interviewed him at the NFL combine and FaceTimed him as well. The team even reached out to the TCU coaching staff recently to ask about Reager.
Selecting Reagor at 21 would be viewed as a reach by some, but Roseman might believe he’s a better prospect than Jefferson.
CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma
CeeDee Lamb is considered by some the best all-around receiver in the 2020 NFL draft. He has incredible hands, good size, and the ability to make people miss in the open field. WalterFootball.com says teams think Lamb is the next DeAndre Hopkins or Davante Adams.
Roseman would have to trade up to at least the 12th pick to snag Lamb, but the price would be worth it. The Eagles need a certified stud to pair with Carson Wentz for the next decade, and Lamb can be that guy. If Roseman believes Lamb is the best receiver in the draft, he should trade up to make sure he’s wearing midnight green next season.
Will the Eagles trade out of the first round in the NFL draft?
The Eagles could very well trade up in the draft to snag Lamb or another top receiver, but it’s just as possible they trade out of the first round. If Roseman’s favorite options are gone by 21, he could punt on the pick and add another second-rounder.
In that case, the Eagles could take two middle-of-the-pack receivers such as Tee Higgins from Clemson, Denzel Mims from Baylor, or K.J. Hamler from Penn State. Trading back would give them an extra shot at nabbing a future star, but it would be riskier than pulling the trigger on a top-five stud.
If the Eagles can’t make a deal to move up and grab Lamb, they should stay at 21 and select Jefferson or Reagor. Both players can win jump balls and separate from defenses, two things the Eagles desperately need on offense.