By Bill Speros | | 6 mins
Philadelphia Eagles 2021 NFL Draft Betting Guide, Preview
Fans of the Philadelphia Eagles are often vocal critics during the NFL Draft when their team’s first-round selection is made.
In recent years, they have jeered and cheered the likes of Jalen Reagor, Andre Dillard, Derek Barnett, Carson Wentz and Nelson Agholor in Round 1. The past three first-overall picks for the Eagles are still with the team. However, Wentz and Agholor no longer play for Philadelphia.
This year, the angst got started early across when the Eagles joined in on a three-way transaction that rattled the order of the first round.
Eagles fans seeing the team trade its sixth pick in the draft: pic.twitter.com/zR3SDUDOTR— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) March 26, 2021
The Eagles were the third team in a deal with the Dolphins and 49ers that left San Francisco with the No. 3 overall pick in the draft. The Eagles and Dolphins subsequently swapped their first-round picks, leaving the Eagles at No. 12 and Miami at No. 6.
Moving down in the first round in a QB-heavy draft was a blow for some given that the Eagles dealt Wentz to the Colts for a third-round pick this year and a conditional pick in 2022. The Eagles signed Wentz in 2019 in what was at the time a record-setting, four-year contract extension worth $128 million set to kick in in 2021. Meanwhile, Agholor jumped to the Patriots via free-agency.
Eagles Completely Rebuild Coaching Staff, Roster
General manager Howie Roseman has made it clear his team is all-in on Jalen Hurts at quarterback. In case of emergency, the Eagles will break glass and use Joe Flacco. Perhaps Roseman is still nursing those second-degree burn wounds caused by trading up for Wentz back in 2016.
Roseman’s overhaul started at the top by firing coach Doug Pederson – just three years removed from a Super Bowl title – and brining in former Indianapolis offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni.
Given their salary cap constraints, a 4-11-1 finish in 2020 and a new coaching staff, it’s really not that surprising that the Eagles weren’t ready to strike big at the top end of this draft. They took a $33.8 million dead cap hit in dealing Wentz, the largest in NFL history, according to Spotrac.
Eagles fans and bettors (the team went 6-10 ATS last season) are again looking to next year for greener pastures. It’s been that way in Philly every year but once since 1960. And the Eagles couldn’t bench Nick Foles fast enough after he won them their lone Super Bowl.
If it’s ever possible to move past the emotion of the moment – always a challenge in Philadelphia – the Eagles might indeed have done the right thing in moving down in the draft this year.
Eagles Draft Options
But what can we except between now and the draft for the Eagles. The Eagles have three potential options: Staying put at No. 12, dealing up or dealing down. Let’s take a look at each.
Staying Put At No 12
The most likely scenario. There will be lots of talent available at that spot. Don’t expect the top wide receiver, tight end or any of the five coveted QBs to be among them. Depending on the mock draft of your choice, the Eagles could be leaning toward a linebacker, wide receiver, or cornerback.
Jalen Hurts was asked to name an Alabama player who he thinks will have the best career from this upcoming draft...— Tyler Steege (@TSteegeNFL) March 8, 2021
His answer: Jaylen Waddle
In terms of offensive lineman, Penei Sewell of Oregon likely won’t be available at No. 12, but either Rashawn Slater (Northwestern) or Alijah Vera-Tucker (USC) – both 300-plus pounders – would help to shore up the offensive line. At wide receiver, Ja’Marr Chase, Devonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle are the top three, but one may slip past No. 10 depending on what happens with the Falcons and/or Broncos. Hurts played with both Smith and Waddle at Alabama.
Going with defense in the first round is often a less-popular choice but can be proven to be shrewd in the long run. LB Micah Parsons out of Penn State or South Carolina CB Jaycee Horn are seemingly can’t-miss picks at that spot. (How can you go wrong with a linebacker from Penn State?)
Who doesn’t want to deal up? The Eagles have draft capital if they choose to move up perhaps to grab one of the aforementioned receivers or the top lineman of their choice. When the Eagles swapped places with Miami, they also picked a 2021 fourth-round pick and a 2022 first-round pick. Moving up a spot or two would give Eagles fans a bit of a lift. If the right player is available and someone is willing to deal, this option is not completely out of the realm of possibility.
Unlikely, given the potential reaction and the overall level of talent that will certainly be available in the No. 12 spot. This fanbase can only take so much rebuilding at one time.
How To Bet The Philadelphia Eagles In The 2021 NFL Draft
The Eagles committed themselves to getting at best the second-best player available at either linebacker, cornerback, wide receiver or offensive line when they dealt down with Miami. That means Philly is likely comfortable with the depth at each position. If you’re looking for value, you might want to grab Slater as the first overall offensive lineman drafted at +375 at BetMGM. Sewell is the favorite at -1100. DraftKings has Waddle’s over/under draft position at 11.5, while Horn is slotted at 13.5. We like the over on Waddle at -125 and the under on Horn at -112, with the Eagles getting one of these two.
The Eagles will impact the number of players chosen at whatever position they choose. PointsBet has the number of offensive linemen taken in the first round at 6.5. The under there looks strong at -140. The over at 4.5 wide receivers taken at -180 is another wise wager, despite the high price.
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