LSU WR Leads Eagles Draft Prospects, Path to Playoffs Still Exists

JaMarr Chase

Getty LSU WR JaMarr Chase will be the top-rated receiver in the 2021 NFL draft class.

The Philadelphia Eagles still have two games remaining on the schedule — as Doug Pederson so eloquently pointed out after Sunday’s loss — and their path to another NFC East crown isn’t closed. In fact, it’s really not all that hard to envision.

The reigning division champions currently reside in last place carrying a 4-9-1 record, but the team only needs a few dominoes to fall for them to host a home playoff game. First, the Eagles need to beat the Dallas Cowboys in Week 16 and the Washington Football Team in Week 17. Those two things are non-negotiable.

Then Philly would need Washington to lose their final two games and New York to drop one. So, it’s far from impossible. Pederson knows it. The whole Eagles football team knows it.

“We got a little light at the end of the tunnel,” Brandon Graham told reporters on Sunday. “We’re just hoping that somebody mess it up next week, and we go out and we do what we’re supposed to do and let it come down to that last game, and hopefully we’re the ones that have that shirt on in the end.”

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Predicting Philly’s Draft Position in 2021

Miracle playoff runs aside, the Eagles should probably be looking toward next year’s draft for answers. It doesn’t matter which guy is under center — Jalen Hurts or Carson Wentz — because the team needs to upgrade at wide receiver.

Case in point, DeAndre Hopkins who almost single-handedly helped the Arizona Cardinals win on Sunday with 169 receiving yards. (Remember, GM Howie Roseman passed on Hopkins in the offseason). The Eagles would hold the seventh overall pick in the 2021 draft, per Tankathon. That should put them in prime position to take LSU stud Ja’Marr Chase.

The 6-foot, 208-pounder opted out of the 2020 seasons due to COVID-19 concerns but it’s not going to hurt his draft stock. He had 84 receptions for 1,780 yards and 20 touchdowns as a sophomore while leading the Bayou Tigers to a national championship. NFL scout Daniel Jeremiah called him a “special talent” and a “complete wide receiver” in his evaluation:

His competitiveness is off-the-charts impressive. He just refuses to give himself up. You never see him run out of bounds with the ball in his hands. He will lower his shoulder against defenders and, like most outstanding wide receivers, he can find another gear when he needs it. Once the ball goes up in the air, you can see him accelerate and separate. He’s a special, special talent.

Jeremiah also compared Chase to former NFL stars Steve Smith Sr. and Anquan Boldin, with a little JuJu Smith-Schuster in his game.

Pederson: ‘No Quit’ in 2020 Eagles

There has never been any panic or quit in Pederson’s teams over the years. Players have repeatedly said they believe they can overcome the odds seemingly at will.

There’s something about playing with their backs against the wall that motivates them. So it was no surprise to hear the head coach continue to pound that message home after Sunday’s 33-26 defeat.

“There’s no quit,” Pederson told reporters. “They keep fighting right to the end, 60-minute football games and giving ourselves a chance to win, and my message to the team is still that. We still have two football games left and anything is possible and we got to continue to work and that’s what we’re gonna do.”


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