PHILADELPHIA - Like bees swarming that annoying hive that always seems to be constructed above your front door or just outside your second-floor window, the buzz is strong around Jaylen Waddle.
Jim Mora Jr told me last week that is who he believes the Eagles will draft the Alabama receiver with pick No. 12. Then Mora changed his mind and said, no, he’ll be gone by then, so he changed to Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II.
On Monday, Gil Brandt went with Waddle for the Eagles.
“I think they have to, provided his ankle is OK, pick Waddle,” said Brandt. “I think Waddle is really, really a good player. They’ve failed picking a wide receiver in the last four or five years and they have this draft pick they took two years ago (J.J. Arcega-Whiteside) that was going to be so good and he hasn’t turned out to be much of anything and that’s hurt them. They have a retooling job.”
Brandt and Mike Dominik, who each host their own shows on SiriusXM NFL Radio, held an hour-plus conference call on Monday afternoon. Both worked previously for many years in NFL front office roles.
Dominik took away some of the Waddle's sting when he was asked a question about GM Howie Roseman’s decision to trade down from No. 6 to No. 12 last month.
“I think he looked at his football team, and at 12, he felt he had a chance to pull a Surtain or if Jaycee Horn is there, they can still get a top-tier corner, which is what I think they’re looking for,” said Dominik. “And the main thing is you have two number ones (maybe three) next year. So, if Jalen Hurts doesn’t pan out the way they expect him to, they have the ammunition to make another move next year to get himself back in position to get that quarterback.
“I like the move because they want to see what Jalen can do, but they also understand if it doesn’t pan out, he positioned his football team in 2022 to be able to overcome that.”
Brandt’s take on Roseman’s trade down:
“What Howie Roseman is doing, I think is a smart thing. I think that next year is going to be a very bountiful year. … I think Howie Roseman does a pretty darn good job. People criticize him. He does a pretty good job looking to the future and doing alright for the future. I still think they made the right choice with the quarterback from North Dakota State (Carson Wentz), but it didn’t turn out the right way. But they did get the team to the Super Bowl and won a Super Bowl.”
One issue with predicting the Eagles to draft either Waddle or Surtain is that Roseman and the Eagles front office don't typically take players from Alabama, for whatever reason. The last time they drafted in anyone from the Crimson Tide was in 2002 when they took WR Freddie Milons in the fifth round.
Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s EagleMaven and host of the Eagles Unfiltered Podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.