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Would the Eagles really draft a tight end in the first round? Here’s why it could happen. | Early Birds

The Eagles have the sixth pick in the April draft. Taking a tight end such as Florida star Kyle Pitts isn't out of the question.

Florida tight end Kyle Pitts, shown running for a big gain against Missouri last season, is an option for the Eagles in the first round.
Florida tight end Kyle Pitts, shown running for a big gain against Missouri last season, is an option for the Eagles in the first round.Read moreJohn Raoux / AP

Good morning, everyone. Well, Eagles fans woke up this morning wondering once again whether today is finally the day that Carson Wentz gets traded. The answer: Maybe yes, maybe no.

It’s all up to general manager Howie Roseman. He must decide whether he’s already received the best offer he’s going to get for Wentz, or whether waiting a few more days might prompt one of the current bidders — the Bears or Colts — to improve their offer, or possibly encourage another bidder to step forward. But let’s stop obsessing about Wentz for a little bit and talk about what the Eagles might do with their first-round pick. One of the country’s most respected draft analysts has them taking Florida tight end Kyle Pitts in his latest mock draft.

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Another interesting draft option for Eagles

The Eagles have the sixth pick in the draft, and everybody has an opinion on what they should/will do with that selection.

Trade down for multiple picks? Take a wide receiver again? Grab the best linebacker in the draft, Penn State’s Micah Parsons?

Get a difference-making cornerback partner for Darius Slay — say, Virginia Tech’s Caleb Farley or Alabama’s Patrick Surtain? Or double down on the quarterback position if Ohio State’s Justin Fields somehow slides to them?

NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah went in another interesting direction this week in his latest mock draft. With the sixth pick in the draft, he had the Eagles taking, drumroll please, Florida tight end Kyle Pitts.

Taking the 6-foot-6, 246-pounder, who had 43 catches for 770 yards and 12 touchdowns in just eight games this past season, actually makes a lot of sense.

For starters, there’s a pretty good chance that Zach Ertz won’t be returning. And if he does, it will be for just one more season.

It’s still way too soon to know what the Eagles offense under new head coach Nick Sirianni and offensive coordinator Shane Steichen will look like. But the Indianapolis Colts, where Sirianni served as Frank Reich’s offensive lieutenant last season, ran their fair share of 12-personnel (two tight ends). So finding another tight end to pair with Dallas Goedert is going to be a priority.

Pitts, an Archbishop Wood graduate, has been favorably compared to Las Vegas Raiders tight end Darren Waller, who had 107 catches for 1,196 yards and 9 touchdowns last season. He has wide receiver speed and can line up all over the formation — inline, on the wing, in the slot or out wide. He can stretch the field.

He has a huge catch radius and is exceptional on 50-50 balls. He’s an effective red-zone weapon. He needs to add weight and strength and improve his blocking. But he would have an immediate impact as a receiver.

A couple of other things. The Eagles have a coach who is very familiar with Pitts. Quarterbacks coach Brian Johnson was Florida’s offensive coordinator last season when Pitts averaged 17.9 yards per catch and caught those 12 touchdowns, which were the second most by a tight end in SEC history.

In addition, Roseman was a University of Florida grad.

Pitts finished his college career strong. He had seven catches for 128 yards in a 31-19 December win over Tennessee, then had seven catches for 129 yards and a touchdown in the Gators’ SEC Championship Game loss to Alabama.

Pitts elected not to play in Florida’s Cotton Bowl loss to Oklahoma.

What you need to know about the Eagles

  1. Mike Sielski weighs in on the likely departure of tight end Zach Ertz.

  2. Yet another insightful and informative Q&A with former Eagles president Joe Banner.

  3. Marcus Hayes feels Jeffrey Lurie made a major mistake when he fired Doug Pederson.

  4. Les Bowen reports on why it’s taking so long for the Eagles to trade Carson Wentz.

From the mailbag

If Eagles do get a one for Wentz, will they trade back a few spots to acquire many draft picks (lots of holes) or stay put and pick best available? Wayne Rodman (@waynejrodman) on Twitter

Wayne: I’m not overly optimistic that they’re going to get a No. 1 for Carson Wentz. At least not one in this year’s draft. Whether they end up with two first-round picks or one, I think it would be Roseman’s preference to trade down and add even more picks. But I don’t think that’s a decision they’ll make until they’re on the clock on draft day and know what’s available to them with the sixth pick. I also think that if they get a second No. 1 and stay at 6 with their own pick, it increases the chances of them trading down with the pick they acquired for Wentz.


Does Howie’s continued employment rely more on Hurts’ ability to play or whether Wentz leaves and is successful? In other words, will he keep his job if both are bad next year? Assuming a trade happens, what if Hurts is OK, but Carson is incredible? Thoughts? — Walt Rizzo (@RizzoWalt) on Twitter

Walt: For starters, you and other Eagles fans need to stop obsessing about Roseman’s job situation. Like it or not, Jeff Lurie did not consider firing him this year and certainly isn’t going to consider firing him next year after what is expected to be a rebuilding year. Also, how Wentz does at his next place of employment will have zero impact on anything at One NovaCare Way.

The Eagles’ first choice was to keep Wentz and try to fix him. He’s the one who doesn’t want to stay. He’s the one who asked for a divorce. He’s a very good quarterback. Given the right circumstances, he likely will be very successful at his next stop. The Eagles know that. The key for Roseman is how Jalen Hurts, or whoever ends up being the Eagles’ long-term starting quarterback, performs.