A lot has been written about the Eagles’ potential interest in drafting Kenny Pickett or Malik Willis with one of their three first-round picks in the upcoming NFL draft.
Pickett, a Monmouth County native who rewrote Pittsburgh’s record book during his four seasons as the university’s starting quarterback, wowed scouts during his school’s pro day over the weekend, which Eagles quarterbacks coach Brian Johnson attended. There are also an outsized interest in his hand size, which increased since the NFL combine earlier this month.
So could the Eagles really be looking for a potential replacement for Jalen Hurts in the draft? Not according to ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter, who told 97.5 The Fanatic host John Kincade Wednesday the Birds don’t appear to have interest in drafting another quarterback.
“I don’t view the Eagles as being a big player in the quarterback market today. Now, I could be wrong, but that’s not how I view it,” Schefter said. “My sense is they think they have a pretty good team, that they can win now, they think it’s a good draft, and they’re going to help themselves with other players.”
“When I think of teams in this draft in on quarterbacks, I think of Washington, I think of Pittsburgh, I think of Carolina, I think of Atlanta. I think there are teams that have a much greater need at that position than the Eagles.”
Willis also seemed to impress onlookers during Liberty University’s pro day Tuesday. But to Schefter’s point, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin and Panthers head coach Matt Rhule were the only two head coaches in attendance, according to ESPN (though the Falcons and Commanders sent their general managers).
In his latest NFL mock draft, ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. has Pickett being drafted by the New Orleans Saints with the No. 18 pick, while he has Willis going to the Steelers with the No. 20 pick. His colleague Todd McShay has the same prediction in his most recent mock draft. But it’s early, and we know these mock drafts are rarely accurate.
In terms of the Eagles, Kiper Jr. has them drafting Florida State defensive end Jermaine Johnson II, Ohio State wide receiver Chris Olave, and Utah linebacker Devin Lloyd. McShay also has the Birds selecting Johnson II and Olave, but thinks they’ll also take LSU cornerback Derek Stingley Jr.
The NFL draft begins April 28, and will air on ABC, ESPN, and the NFL Network.
As for Deshaun Watson, Schefter told 97.5 The Fanatic that the Eagles were never that into the sweepstakes. The Inquirer’s Jeff McLane has reported how the Eagles did their due diligence on the former Houston Texans quarterback, who is accused of sexual misconduct by 22 women and still faces civil lawsuits and a possible suspension by the NFL. But beyond reaching out to the Texans, as McLane reported, Schefter said things didn’t go much further.
“Deshaun Watson and the Eagles never came up this offseason, not once, not once, from their standpoint or his standpoint,” Schefter said. “That was never even in the realm of possibility this offseason. It never went anywhere.
“I think that anything that would have transpired between the two sides occurred last offseason. Both sides had answers to information that they needed ... and they didn’t revisit it at all this offseason.”