Philadelphia Eagles’ winners and losers from the 2021 NFL draft

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Glenn Erby
·4 min read
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The 2021 NFL draft is over and despite the Eagles earning one of the higher graded classes overall, several players in Philadelphia were impacted by how things worked out.

Winners and losers are a yearly debate and we’ve highlighted a few Eagles who were on both sides of the outcome.

QB Jalen Hurts

Philadelphia Eagles Jalen Hurts (2) in action against Washington Football Team during an NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Rich Schultz)

Big Winner The Eagles didn't draft a quarterback, drafted the smoothest wideout in the draft and their first-round pick has played with Hurts at Alabama. Hurts is the biggest winner as the Eagles continue to build around him despite coveting Deshaun Watson. Kenneth Gainwell adds another receiving option and the Birds drafted in the trenches.

Jalen Reagor WR

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jalen Reagor (18) eludes the grasp of Arizona Cardinals linebacker Dennis Gardeck during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Winner We were tempted to paint Reagor as a loser in this situation because Smith's selection ensures that the 2021 first-round pick will never be the Eagles' top dog at wide receiver. Reagor actually wins in this scenario, because Smith now gets the pressure that he's long been accustomed to, while the former TCU wide receiver can settle in as the second or third option and make plays without the microscope.

TE Zach Ertz

Lose Ertz loses in this situation because he wants to move on or receive a new contract and neither scenario has happened.

Matt Pryor OG/OT

October 4, 2020; Santa Clara, California, USA; Philadelphia Eagles offensive guard Matt Pryor (69) before the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Lose Pryor loses here because Nate Herbig and Sua Opeta are younger, less expensive options that offer the same potential. With Landon Dickerson's addition, one of the hybrid linemen will the odd man out and Pryor has had more than enough snaps to prove his worth.

T.J. Edwards LB

Nov 1, 2020; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Eagles linebacker T.J. Edwards (57) tackles Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott (21) during the second quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Winner The Eagles drafted JaCoby Stevens to play a hybrid linebacker role and linebacker Patrick Johnson to play the edge rusher role. Neither player was among the top true linebackers on the board, thus allowing T.J. Edwards to hold on to his role as the run-stuffing middle linebacker in base schemes.

RB Miles Sanders

Philadelphia Eagles' Miles Sanders (26) celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Derik Hamilton)

Lose Sanders and the Eagles can start talking new contracts at any point and the 2019 second-round pick is one of the top young running backs in the NFL. It'll be hard for Sanders to get Alvin Kamara money if he doesn't produce like the Saints star running back. Sanders will lose third-down touches to Kenneth Gainwell and the lack of pass-catching opportunities for the former Pen State star could be something to watch.

Andre Dillard LT

Philadelphia Eagles tackle Andre Dillard (77) stretches during NFL football training camp at the team's practice facility, Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020, in Philadelphia. (Tim Tai/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP, Pool)

Winner The Eagles didn't go Sewell or Rashawn Slater in the first round and they didn't draft a left tackle with any of their 9 picks. Howie Roseman knows what he has in Jordan Mailata and he's invested in Dillard, the former Washington State left tackle that Philadelphia snagged in 2019.

Hassan Ridgeway DT

Lose Ridgeway and T.Y. McGill will likely lose snaps to Milton Williams at some point and If the athletic marvel can flip the switch early on, one or two veteran defensive tackles could be in trouble.

J.J. Arcega-Whiteside WR

Jan 3, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside (19) makes a reception in front of Washington Football Team cornerback Kendall Fuller (29) at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Lose A former second-round pick with less than 20 career catches watches his team draft the Heisman Trophy winner, then sign two tall and talented stud wide receivers in Trevon Grimes and Jhamon Ausbon.

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