Good morning, Eagles fans! The first full week of the new year is in the books. Although there are plenty of things going on in the world, I hope it was a good one for all of you. The Eagles had a busy week with more work looming. Jim Schwartz officially stepped down Thursday, and the offensive staff will be without at least Rich Scangarello and Marty Mornhinweg going into next season.

Now that we’re in the offseason, it’s time to start doing some draft homework.

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EJ Smith (earlybirds@inquirer.com)

Who ya got?

Mock draft season is upon us.

The Eagles’ are fresh off their worst finish in eight years, but there is some good news: Help is on the way. Thanks to their 4-11-1 finish, the team has the sixth pick in April’s NFL draft. Aside from the 2016 draft, when they traded up and selected Carson Wentz second overall, this is the highest the Eagles have drafted since they got Lane Johnson with the fourth pick in 2013.

Here’s an early look at whom the mock drafters project them to take:.

Todd McShay, ESPN: Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State

The Eagles haven’t drafted an off-the-ball linebacker in the first two rounds since 2012, when they took Mychal Kendricks at No. 46 overall. But wow, is Parsons special. He can drop in coverage, wrap up in run defense or get to the QB when turned loose on a blitz. While wide receiver remains a problem even after drafting Jalen Reagor in the first round last April — and LSU’s Ja’Marr Chase will be tempting — this WR class is deep and still offers playmakers when Philly is back on the clock on Day 2. Trading back is an option, but if the Eagles stay home, this pick at No. 6 is all about the best player available: Parsons.

It’s possible McShay knows something the rest of us don’t, but the Eagles’ devaluing of linebackers is well-documented. Parsons is widely considered one of the most talented players in the draft. He could easily become an immediate three-down linebacker who improves the Eagles defense.

But using such a high pick to fix the position would be quite the about-face. It’d be more possible if the Eagles replace Schwartz with a defensive coordinator who values linebackers more, but the decision to limit the investment in the position is more of an organizational philosophy stemming from general manager Howie Roseman than one solely held by Schwartz.

Josh Edwards, CBS Sports: Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU

Philadelphia may have lost on Sunday Night Football intentionally, or maybe not. No one will remember nor care two months from now. They take the top wide receiver off the market as the next step to overhauling that room.

The Eagles had one of the worst receiving corps in the NFL for the second consecutive season even though they had a league-high $40 million invested in the position. The team will likely release Alshon Jeffery and might even part ways with DeSean Jackson. This will leave room for at least one more starting receiver, but the front office has invested a lot of draft capital in the position already. Roseman might say “uncle” with drafting receivers high after taking Jalen Reagor in the first round last year and JJ Arcega-Whiteside in the second round the previous year, or the team can keep throwing resources until it gets it right.

Chase opted out of the 2020 season but established himself as a well-rounded, ultra-productive receiver in 2019 and has a good chance of being the first receiver off the board. He might not be the fastest or biggest receiver, but if you look at the catch leaders in the league each year, they’re usually filled with guys who have a combination of route running, hands, and speed like Chase.

Michael Renner, Pro Football Focus: Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota St.

You don’t have to look much further than Jalen Hurts‘ benching in Week 17 to see the Eagles still need a quarterback. Debate the ethics of it all you want, but Hurts has not played nearly enough to be considered the “guy” going forward. Lance brings a similar athletic skill set but with a cannon for an arm that can open up the downfield passing game.

PFF has been about as low on Jalen Hurts as anyone since the rookie took over for Wentz in the final quarter of the season. Still, it’s hard to imagine the Eagles’ trading one North Dakota State quarterback only to draft another, especially considering Lance and Wentz are apparently close.

If the Eagles were going to go for a hard reset at quarterback, I think it’d be more likely to see them trade up for Justin Fields, who might be QB2 this year behind Trevor Lawrence but would be the first pick in most draft classes.

Joe Marino, The Draft Network: Micah Parsons

The Eagles were among the biggest disappointments of the 2020 season and reinforcements are needed on both sides of the football. With that said, Philadelphia can let the board fall to them and select the best player available. In this case, that’s Micah Parsons, who has the size, physicality, and athleticism to be a second-level enforcer in the NFL and the quarterback of the Eagles’ defense. His toughness, ability to play in space, and leadership are needed in Philadelphia.

No need for commentary here. See above.

What you need to know about the Eagles

From the mailbag

Will Press Taylor be back? — from BirdsEyeView (@9ramone1) on Twitter

Thanks for the question. I’m not sure even the Eagles know for certain whether Press Taylor will be back as the team’s passing-game coordinator and quarterbacks coach, but I would say there’s a good chance his role will be adjusted at the very least. As my colleague McLane reported on Thursday, Pederson is expected to hire a conventional offensive coordinator this summer after going without one last year. If he does, Taylor’s role will have to change, and he’d have at least a little less responsibility.

If both Wentz and Taylor are back, I could see the coach keeping his title and primarily serving as the leader in the quarterbacks room. I’m not sure how much difference it will make, honestly. I know some fans blame Taylor for the Eagles’ offensive struggles this past season, but it’s important to remember that Pederson calls the plays and constructs the offense first and foremost. Wentz has clearly regressed on Taylor’s watch, so that’s a fair criticism, but it might not change the look of the offense much if he’s not back.