Three quarterbacks came off the board as expected with the first three picks.
Then the QB spigot was turned off, making for quite the dilemma when my turn to make a selection for the Eagles arrived at No. 12.
Justin Fields or Trey Lance. They were sitting right there.
Further complicating matters was the Heisman Trophy winner from 2020, DeVonta Smith, was staring me in the face, too.
Who wasn’t looking back at me at pick 12?
Jaylen Waddle, Jaycee Horn, or Patrick Surtain II.
What to do, what to do?
First, some background.
Each of the NFL team site publishers in the SI.com network decided to do a mock draft on Monday. No trades were allowed.
The first two picks were as expected – Trevor Lawrence at No. 1 went to the Jaguars; Zach Wilson at No. 2 went to the Jets.
If it goes any differently when the first round begins and ends on the evening of April 29 in Cleveland, that would be an upset along the lines of Villanova beating Georgetown to win the 1985 national title in men’s basketball title.
It got a little trickier with the 49ers’ pick at No. 3. Publisher Gant Cohn gave some serious thought to taking Kyle Pitts there, but ultimately thought better of it and went with Alabama QB Mac Jones.
And that was it. The last of the quarterbacks that went before the Eagles – and me - arrived on the clock with the 12th overall selection.
This was how the rest of the mock went leading up to pick 12 after the three QBs went 1-2-3:
4. ATL - Pitts
5. CIN - T Penei Sewell
6. MIA - WR Ja’Marr Chase
7. DET - LB Micah Parsons
8. CAR - T Rashawn Slater
9. DEN - Horn
10. DAL - Surtain II
11. NYG - Waddle
This is what I filed when I made the pick:
Biggest Needs: CB, Edge, WR, LB
Two quarterbacks – Justin Fields and Trey Lance – have inexplicably slipped, as has the Heisman Trophy-winning WR, DeVonta Smith, but the Eagles resist the urge and, with an NFL-high 11 picks in this draft and possibly at least two first-round selections in 2022, and probably a third depending on Carson Wentz’s snaps percentage in Indy, roll the dice on a boom-or-bust prospect. They drafted a Michigan edge rusher in 2010 in Brandon Graham, who has become an icon in team history and go back to that school here.
The pick: Kwity Paye, Edge, Michigan
Some serious thought was given to Smith, who I think would be a great fit in Nick Sirianni’s system, throwing caution into the whipping fall winds at Lincoln Financial Field regarding his lithe 170-pound frame.
Some other thought, though maybe not as serious, was taking Northwestern CB Greg Newsome II, though No. 12 felt too high for him.
For what it’s worth NFL media’s Daniel Jeremiah has Newsome going No. 20 to the Bears. Also for what it’s worth, Jeremiah has Paye going No. 10 overall to the Cowboys.
So, Paye got the nod here.
What would you have done in this same scenario, remembering that no trades were allowed so you cannot go backward?
Here’s how the publisher’s picks played out after my selection of Paye:
13. LAC - Smith
14. MIN - Fields
15. NE - Lance
16. ARIZ - Newsome II
17. LV - T Christian Darrisaw
18. MIA - LB Zaven Collins
19. WASH – LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Notre Dame
20. CHI – CB Caleb Farley, Virginia Tech
21. IND – OT Teven Jenkins, Oklahoma State
22. TEN – LB Azeez Ojulari, OLB, Georgia
23. NYJ – OT Alijah Vera-Tucker, USC
24. PIT – RB Najee Harris, Alabama
25. JAX – S Trevon Moehrig, TCU
26. CLE – CB Ifeatu Melifonwu, Syracuse
27. BAL – WR Terrace Marshall, LSU
28. NO – CB Asante Samuel, Florida State
29. GB – DT Christian Barmore, Alabama
30. BUF – RB Travis Etienne, Clemson
31. KC – WR Rashod Bateman, Minnesota
32. TB - DL Levi Onwuzurike, Washington
The breakdown by position went this way:
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.
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