PHILADELPHIA – Three weeks and counting until the 2021 NFL Draft begins its three-day journey.
Mock drafts will fill the space between now and then, and it’s always interesting to take a look at what Daniel Jeremiah is predicting since he has worked in the Philadelphia Eagles organization at one time, and during that period Howie Roseman was there, too.
So, there is a familiarity, a relationship.
With that in mind, Jeremiah released his third mock draft earlier in the week and had the Eagles taking Alabama’s Patrick Surtain II calling him the top cornerback in the draft.
Jeremiah has South Carolina CB Jaycee Horn – a popular pick to the Eagles in many other mock drafts, including my 2.0 version – going a pick after Surtain at No. 13 to the Los Angeles Chargers.
Typically, Jeremiah does at least four mock drafts, so he still has one to go.
Here is what he predicted in his final mock drafts dating back to 2017, when he correctly predicted the pick, nailing it when he wrote, “The Eagles need a cornerback, but (Derek) Barnett might be too tempting to pass up.”
For the record, I too tabbed Barnett as the choice at No. 14 that year.
It was the last year the Eagles have drafted a defensive player, though Jeremiah had them taking a defender each year since making Barnett his pick.
Jeremiah got it right in 2018 when the Eagles owned the final pick of the first round after winning the Super Bowl in the previous season. The NFL draft expert predicted Philadelphia would trade down into the second round, which it did, doing a deal with the Ravens and taking tight end Dallas Goedert with the 49th overall selection.
In the last two drafts, however, Jeremiah has missed the mark.
In 2019, he had the Eagles taking Clemson defensive end Clelin Ferrell, and maybe they would have had the Raiders not splurged on Ferrell and taken him with the fourth overall pick. It’s selection they may come to regret, with Ferrell having just 6.5 sacks in his first two seasons while playing only 11 games and 42 percent of the snaps last year.
The Eagles went with OT Andre Dillard that year, trading up to get him. Jeremiah had Dillard going No. 8 to the Texans two years ago.
In 2020, Jeremiah had the Eagles taking linebacker Kenneth Murray. It was a bold decision given the fact that the Eagles do not value linebackers in the first round.
At least Jeremiah isn’t falling into the same trap again this year by making Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons the pick at No. 12. He has Parsons sliding right on by the Eagles and being taken by the Patriots at No. 15.
Last year, the Eagles let Murray slide on by them at No. 21 and picked receiver Jalen Reagor, who Jeremiah had going three picks later to the Saints. He also had Justin Jefferson – still on the board when the Eagles made Reagor the pick – going No. 13 to the 49ers.
For the most part, though, Jeremiah does a decent job with his mock drafts.
They aren’t easy and, obviously, nobody ever gets them all right no matter the level of expertise, though it never fails to amuse when some in the Twitterverse think they have it all figured out.
Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s EagleMaven. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.