The NFL Draft is fast approaching. After acquiring RB Jordan Howard From The Chicago Bears via trade The Philadelphia Eagles are one of the few teams in the NFL without many glaring needs going into the 2019 NFL season. Will GM Howie Roseman and Co. continue to draft the best player available regardless of position or will they draft their players with next season in mind? My guess is a bit of both as they plan to be serious contenders for at least the next few years if not longer.
Rd. 1 pick no. 25: Safety Nasir Adderly Delaware. While The Eagles currently have one of the best starting Safety tandems in the league with FS (coming back healthy) Rodney McCloud, and SS Malcolm Jenkins, The third Safety position in this defense gets a lot of playing time. Rodney is also on a restructured one year prove it deal. The Eagles could certainly trade back here to say pick no. 29 or 31 if another team wants to move up a few spots as they currently do not have a 3rd round pick. That said I think there are a few different ways they can get a third rounder. It’s quite possible that Adderly is taken as high as the top 15. In my mock, He falls briefly to The Eagles at no. 25. It would be the perfect fit for not only The Philadelphia Eagles but also for Nasir Adderly as he was moved around at both Safety spots in college at Delaware. He’s a bit like Malcolm Jenkins. That is obviously a huge compliment. He is also a hard hitter. Us Philly fans we appreciate a good clean hard hit that say breaks the rib of any player wearing a star on their helmet. Chauncey Garner-Johnson is a very similar player and could be the pick here, but ill go Adderly for now. The Eagles have met with them both. One awesome thing about Nasir: Some have compared him to former Eagle’s legend and Hall of Famer Brian Dawkins.
Rd. 2 pick no. 53: DE Zach Allen Boston College. Zach Allen is a beast. In most drafts, He’d be a top 15 pick. However, as Howie Roseman has previously stated this year’s DL class is historic, and I think The Eagles are going to get a couple of steals due to that fact. At pick 53 Allen is an absolute steal. His stats this past season: Allen totaled 61 tackles with seven sacks, seven passes batted, one forced fumble and 14.5 tackles for a loss in 2018. He played well for Boston College despite extra attention. Allen is a tough run defender and steadily puts pressure on the quarterback. He has good instincts, feel, and is a well-rounded player who has versatility for a 4-3. The kid had nearly 15 tackles for a loss while constantly harassing the opposing QB. It sounds like he defends the run like Vinny Curry, and gets after the QB like Brandon Graham. One of his pro comps by the way: Brandon Graham. I would love this pick.
Rd. 2 pick no. 57: RB Darrell Henderson Memphis. Henderson is a home run hitter on any given play. I know a lot of Eagles fans want Miles Sanders with this pick and while both backs should have good careers in the pros I personally think that Darrell Henderson has a higher ceiling based on his strengths alone. PFF focus describes him as not just fast but as a home run hitter but also as a back who’s elusive game has an electric feel to it. (Guess Devin Singletary isn’t the only back who reminds me of LeSean McCoy in his prime) He’s also a better receiver than Miles Sanders. Yes, he’s 5ft 9 199 pounds. Yes, The Eagles drafted a back that also had amazing college production who’s fizzled out in the pros two years ago in Donnell Pumphrey. I’m not worried. Henderson is bigger. He’s a good 2-3 inches taller and more importantly for an NFL RB he’s got 30 plus pounds on Pump. Two Philly Cheesesteaks and he’ll be over 200 lbs. This year alone Henderson had 11 TD runs of 50 plus yards and ran for a ridiculous 9 yards per carry. He is the perfect complement to The Eagles RB1 Jordan Howard (who is more of a bruiser and possession back) Even if The Philadelphia Eagles still trade for Duke Johnson I would make this pick. Henderson is a guy at best a dangerous weapon and likely a future starter for the Birds. At worst he’s Duke Johnson. A complimentary piece with some much-needed speed for the offense. For what it is worth The Eagles have been showing a lot of interest In Henderson. His pro comparison, by the way, is a guy they once tried to sign: Tevin Coleman.
Rd. 3 pick no. From The San Francisco 49ers for CB Sidney Jones: OT/G Dalton Riser Northwestern. Riser will start at OT at some point in his career but could use a year to develop. This doesn’t mean he wouldn’t play as a rookie with The Eagles because unless the team sees something in last years 6th round pick Matt Pryor that I haven’t seen yet he will. Future Hall of Famer Jason Peters is playing his last year in the NFL at age 37. LG Brandon Brooks may not be ready for opening day of the regular season and The Eagles should be able to give Peters aka The Bodyguard some rest late in games that they have a decent lead in as well. Riser could start the season at RG then be groomed for a year to be JPs replacement in 2020 after Brooks is cleared to go. He’s a heck of a player that The Eagles don’t have to throw to the wolves as a rookie at LT. No, I have not forgotten about last years massive 7th round pick Jordan Mailata who could very well be the answer in 2020 at LT. It’s 50/50 at the moment. Let’s say Jordan is the guy. Then you have still drafted a starting Guard who can start at T as well. You can never have enough good OL.
Rd. 4 pick no. 127: DT Isiah Buggs Alabama. Buggs is fast for a 6ft 5 285 pound DT. He’s proved that on tape. I honestly didn’t know much about Buggs before I watched said tape. He gets mocked to The Eagles a ton. He had 9.5 sacks last year and is an excellent run defender. From what I was seeing I think he’d be excellent at DT and DE. He’s a starter and likely a damn good one in the pros as he was in college. If it wasn’t such a historical draft at DL this year he’d likely be at least a second-round selection. Great value pick at this point in the draft. The Eagles should run up to the podium to draft him.
Rd. 4 pick no. WR Penny Hart. I love Penny Hart’s story. He wasn’t invited to the combine despite a great showing at the Senior Bowl. His college numbers are absolutely insane. After a really good pro day, he’s gone from an afterthought to a sure-fire early mid-round pick with starting ability. He once caught 8 TD passes in a high school football game and his friends that weren’t there to see it didn’t believe him based on his lack of size at a
position where coaches and scouts are beginning to slowly but surely care less about how tall you are and more about how fast you can run. He could start in the slot as a rookie which would allow the team to trade Agholor and his ridiculous 9.3 million dollar salary in 2019, and move to the outside in a couple of years, or they could keep Nelly at that price for one year and start Hart in the slot in 2020 and so on and so forth. Time will tell. Hart plays with a chip on his shoulder just like…you guessed it, Desean Jackson. The two have similar playing styles. Their both burners but are far more complete WRs than you’d think.
Rd. 5 pick no. 163: LB Germaine Pratt North Carolina State. Eagles DC loves former DBs turned into LBs. I think a lot of beat writers aren’t being fair to Kamu Grugier-Hill who has proven he can excel at Mike linebacker when he’s been asked to do so. I’m perfectly fine with him there and Pro-Bowler Nigel Bradham at strong-side LB or vice versa. Maybe L.J. Fort or Paul Worrilow play at Weakside, but I’d rather give Pratt a shot. Worst case scenario Pratts a good depth player at LB and a special teams ace. Best case he’s a starter at the position. The Eagles only start two linebackers in their defense, but it would still be ideal to see Pratt or another backer like him beat out Fort at Weakside LB. Why? So they can cut Fort so he does not count against The Eagles comp picks in 2020.
Rd. 6 pick no. 217 QB Kyle Shurmur Vanderbilt. I don’t care that his Dad is the head coach of the New York Giants for two reasons. The Eagles should very easily be able to sweep the woeful g-men again this season, and two fun facts aside he would be the best developmental QB left in the draft at this point. He would battle with QB Nate Sudfeld for the no. 2 QB job as a rookie. I think he winds up as the teams no. 3 QB unless Luiz Perez formerly of The AAF miraculously beats him out for that gig. The Eagles want a young QB that they can draft late and develop into a starting caliber QB behind the scenes that they can then trade one or two years down the road for a much higher draft pick. It’s a strategy they’ve been a fan of since the days of Andy Reid, and it’s worked well for them. They once traded former 5th round pick A.J. Feeley for a second round pick, and they also robbed Arizona Cardinals of a first and second rounder for fools gold in QB Kevin Kolb. (He actually may have been decent if not for several concussions, but never worth a first round pick.) It’s a QB needy league and it always will be. The Philadelphia Eagles are wise to use Head Coach Doug Pederson the QB whisperer ( The man was an NFL QB, so of course he’s damn good at coaching them. ) to their advantage in this way. It’s also not a bad idea to have a couple of good QBs around just in case franchise QB Carson Wentz suffers another setback. I like Suds, but he’s no Carson Wentz. Good God this had better be the year that Wentz stays healthy the entire season. moving on.
7th round pick From The Jacksonville Jaguars for WR Shelton Gibson: RB Elijah Holyfield. Holyfield is a projected 5-7 round back despite very good college production. Think Jay Ajayi but shorter. He runs quicker than fast, but like Ajayi used to do he does one thing extremely well. He converts on 3rd and short. He is not nearly as good. Given Josh Adams poor conversion rate from last season, this could be a good pick. Perhaps even good enough for the team to take him around earlier to be safe and a developmental QB here. The Eagles keep 4 backs. Howard, Johnson, (If acquired) and Derrell Henderson (or another rookie) make up your top 3 to start the season. Holyfield would battle Adams and Boston Scott for that final RB spot. I do think he’s better than Adams. To be fair to Scott I haven’t seen much of him. The Pre-season will be huge for that final spot in the RB room. If Cory Clement is healthy and can start playing as early as week 3 then this pick doesn’t happen, but that’s a big if as he could begin the year on the PUP list.
Rd. 7 pick no. 250 From The Indianapolis Colts for RB Wendell Smallwood: WR Vinny Papale Delaware. Ok, I’m having some fun here. The Philadelphia Eagles save a very small amount of cap space by trading the odd man out in their stable of RBs. Wendell is more likely to be cut than traded. WR Vinny Papale is also more likely to be an undrafted free agent than a late draft pick despite being a better pure WR than his father, and Philadelphia local Legend Vince Papale. Still, at least to me anyway, it feels like young Vinny it simply supposed to at least get a shot at fighting for the teams final WR spot, and maybe even return kicks, (something he did well in college.) because he is a legacy. There are few NFL legacies. As a fan, this would simply be very cool, and The Eagles have the luxury of using a late day 3 pick on the kid. For what it is worth they did have him in for a workout.
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