The Eagles let Nick Foles walk in free agency meaning they have confidence in the health of Carson Wentz. They also lost some key defensive pieces in free agency. The draft is somewhere they can make up the difference.
The Philadelphia Eagles have reassured Carson Wentz that he is their franchise quarterback by letting Nick Foles walk in free agency. With that being said it may be wise to invest a late round pick in this draft on a backup in case Wentz gets injured again.
The offensive line was middle of the road last season ranking 19th in run blocking and 17th in pass protection. The running back position is up in the air with many options at the helm. Josh Adams is the incumbent starter, Darren Sproles is the receiving back, and they just traded a 2020 6th round pick for Jordan Howard.
The tight end position is incredibly strong for the Eagles. They employ one of the top three tight ends in the league in Zach Ertz and an up and coming part of the offense is Dallas Goedert. They just traded to bring Desean Jackson back to the team and have Alshon Jeffrey and Nelson Agholor at the helm. This group is very inconsistent and it would be smart to add some competition to the bring out the best in them.
The defensive line is area of strength for the Eagles. They lost Michael Bennett to free agency but resigned Brandon Graham and have rising star Derek Barnett coming back from injury. Malik Jackson was also signed this offseason to play alongside Fletcher Cox in the middle which is a very underrated signing.
The team is quite thin at linebacker having lost Jordan Hicks in free agency. For now the employ Nigel Bradham as their best linebacker joined by L.J. Fort and Kamu Grugier-Hill. Grugier-Hill may be the most interesting of the group as he played very well in limited action last season but they should still add some more bodies in the draft.
The secondary needs vast improvement as the cornerbacks gave been a glaring weakness for the team. Sidney Jones was a high draft pick but is still unproven, Jalen Mills was recently arrested, Rasul Douglas played well last season but was picked on often and Ronald Darby is returning from yet another injury. Adding a top cornerback in this draft would be wise. At safety the Eagles are getting a little old with Rodney McLeod and Malcolm Jenkins and should add somebody who can learn from these two.
Round 1, Pick #25 Byron Murphy, Cornerback- Washington
Byron Murphy has as good ball skills if not better than anybody else in this draft. He is not the biggest or most athletic corner in the draft but he makes up for that in football IQ. His ability to read the quarterback and receiver routes is unbelievable and usually beats his receivers to the throw. In college he only played two seasons but showcased six interceptions and 20 passes defended. With the Eagles taking him in the first he might actually be the best corner on the team.
Trade: The Eagles trade Round 2 Pick #53 to the Dallas Cowboys for Round 2 Pick #58, Round 4 Pick #129 and Round 4 Pick #137
Round 2, Pick #57 Mitch Hyatt, Offensive Tackle- Clemson
Mitch Hyatt is a four-year starter with Clemson having won two National Championships with the school. He may not even know what losing tastes like. The coaches at Clemson credit Hyatt with being one of the men who changed the culture of the offensive line with the team. What Hyatt lacks in strength he makes up for in footwork and speed.
Hyatt foot speed allows him to be a guard in an inside scheme or play tackle with an outside blocking scheme, something that the Eagles run. Hyatt may seem like a second round reach but his ability in the outside zone makes him a very smart pick here. If Hyatt can bulk up a bit in strength, he can become one of the better tackles in the NFL.
Round 2, Pick #58 Juan Thornhill, Safety- Virginia
Thornhill is a very nice combination of size, speed, and ball skills. He lined up everywhere from cornerback to both safety positions last season for Virginia. Thornhill ran a 4.42 second 40 yard dash at the combine and put up 21 reps on the bench press and had an amazing 44 inch vertical. During his college career he totaled 206 tackles, 12 tackles for a loss, 1.5 sacks, 26 passes defended, a whopping 13 interceptions and a forced fumble.
With Jenkins and McLeod playing safety for the Eagles this year Thornhill may be used as a corner. It is in the Eagles best interest though to make the move to safety sooner than later as he has a very bright career at the position.
Round 4, Pick#128 Terrill Hanks, Linebacker- New Mexico St.
Terrill Hanks was a hot name before the draft combine came where he tested poorly. Hopefully teams do not use the athletic testing to be the only thing grading Hanks. His production on field was very strong for Hanks in college. During his four-year career he totaled 391 tackles, 43.5 tackles for a loss, 11 sacks, 14 passes defended, eight interceptions, seven forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and a touchdown. Looking at his playmaking, the 11 sacks, eight interceptions and seven forced fumbles are what teams need to look at.
Hanks is sometimes too aggressive in his approach to the game and sometimes over commits to plays. This is all coachable though and his three straight years over 100 tackles should be quite appealing. Hanks would make a nice addition to the Eagles linebacker corps.
Round 4, Pick #129 Sheldrick Redwine, Safety- Miami (FL)
Redwine is a former cornerback turned into a safety. He has excellent ball skills and high point tracking while also never shying away from laying a hit on somebody. In his two years as a starter he totaled 123 tackles, six tackles for a loss, eight passes defended, five interceptions, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. Matching up against tight ends is no problem for Redwine. When the Eagles set up in sub packages Redwine could line up at the nickel corner position. Redwine and Thornhill could be the future Jenkins and McLeod for the team.
Round 4, Pick #137 William Sweet, Offensive Tackle- North Carolina
William Sweet’s size traits are what give him consideration here in the fourth round. His tape is very uneven at best as he shows low functional speed against speed rushers. Sweet does have very long arms and is most effective if he can get his hands on defenders first. If he does get his hands on you Sweet finishes out his blocks with good drive.
The Eagles still have long time impressive tackle Jason Peters though he comes with age and injury concerns. Sweet can come in this season and learn from Peters for when he is gone or even move inside to guard where his lack of speed becomes less of an issue.
Round 4, Pick #139 Landis Durham, Edge- Texas A&M
Durham was a productive two-year starter for the Aggies. He totaled 105 tackles, 21.5 tackles for a loss, 17.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. His hips are a little tight and he does not have much bend on the edge. What Durham does do well is use his hands to keep lineman off him and off-balance. He has solid counter moves and chop with his hands that get him to the backfield.
The Eagles have Barnett and Graham at the edge positions but Graham us getting older and finding somebody to pick up some of his snaps would be benefitial.
Round 5, Pick #164 Bryce Love, Running Back- Stanford
Bryce Love was a Heisman Trophy finalist after his 2017 campaign. During that season he finished with 2,118 rushing yards at 8.1 yards per carry and 19 touchdowns. He decided to come back for his Senior season to try to raise his draft stock for the 2019 draft. His Senior season was plagued by a nagging ankle injury and later tore his ACL ruining his chances at becoming a first round pick. Outside of an injury riddled Senior campaign Love averaged 7.67 yards per carry over his other three healthy seasons.
The Eagles gave up next to nothing for Jordan Howard so it is worth seeing what he can do and Josh Adams was solid in spurts. With that said Bryce Love has the ability to be the superior running back on this team. With one season to rehabilitate from his ACL injury he may be able to come back healthy and compete for the starting job.
Round 6, Pick #199 Tyree Jackson, Quarterback- Buffalo
Tyree Jackson is a polarizing figure at the position at 6’7 and 249 Lbs. and ran a 4.59 second 40 yard dash at the combine. He has very good ability as a passer but makes great use of his legs as well. For his career he totaled 6,999 passing yards with a 55.8 completion percentage and 49 touchdowns to 24 interceptions. Jackson also has a career 757 rushing yards and 16 rushing touchdowns to add to his resume.
With Foles gone the Eagles need to look for a capable backup at quarterback. Wentz needs to prove he is fully healthy and if not the Eagles will need somebody to step in. Jackson is more than capable and if Wentz is not able to be full go than Jackson can step right in and play until Wentz is able to.
The Eagles were able to swap second round picks with the Cowboys while also adding two more fourth round picks. In the first round the Eagles grab a cornerback with amazing ball skills in Byron Murphy who will instantly make an impact for this defense.
The first selection in the second round for the Eagles was Mitch Hyatt who does have strength limitations but excels in zone blocking. With the second of the teams second round picks they add versatile defensive back Juan Thornhill. He is the future at the safety position but could make an impact anywhere in the secondary.
After the trade with Dallas the Eagles are left with four fourth round picks. With their first selection they pick playmaking linebacker Terrill Hanks. His athletic limitations should not be too much of an issue as his college production hopefully translates to the NFL. Pick two in the fourth they select another safety of the future and possible nickel corner Sheldrick Redwine from Miami. Redwine and Thornhill could be a solid safety tandem of the future for the Eagles.
With the third pick in the fourth round the Eagles select offensive tackle William Sweet to add to the line. The final pick in the fourth is edge rusher Landis Durham. He will be there to provide a breather for Brandon Graham. They add Bryce Love in the fifth in hopes he can regain his 2017 form when he returns from his rehab. With the teams final pick they select backup quarterback Tyree Jackson out of Buffalo. A polarizing sized quarterback with great athletic traits, maybe he is the next Nick Foles.
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