Philadelphia Eagles Draft/Off-season Recap and Outlook
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Season Recap

Jalen Hurts

The Eagles came into last season with high hopes and lofty expectations, however it was a season to forget for many reasons after finishing the season 4-11-1. To start things off their big contract ‘Franchise’ Quarterback, Carson Wentz, had a terrible season and eventually got benched in Week 13 for for second round pick Jalen Hurts. The Eagles also dealt with a bunch of injuries all season long and also had a bunch of internal issues within the team, most notable being in Week 17 when former coach Doug Pederson chose to bench Jalen Hurts for Nate Sudfeld. That move was puzzling and seemed more as a slight to the Giants since it kept the Giants chances of making the playoffs even slimmer than that already were. The NFC East was by far the worst division in football last season as not one team went above .500 with the Washington Football Team winning the division with a 7-9 record.
The Eagles do have some upside however, especially on the offensive side, as it looks like that might have found their QB of the future with Hurts.
Their WRs also showed some promise this season with Travis Fulgham, Greg Ward and TE Dallas Goedbert all had decent seasons. Miles Sander also showed what he is capable of this past season rushing for 867 yards and six touchdowns. Their defense was a problem for most of the season as well, giving up over 100+ rushing yards per game.
The Eagles definitely needed to make some improvements in the off-season on the defensive side of the ball and could definitely stand to improve a bit on the offense as well. Let’s see how they did in this years draft bolstering their roster.

Eagles Draft Picks

Round One: No. 10 overall, Devonta Smith, WR, Alabama 

Jalen Hurts

With their first round pick in the draft the Eagles decided to go with offense and grabbed the reigning Heisman Trophy winner in Devonta Smith. Smith was an absolute freak at Alabama last season making 117 receptions for 1,856 yards and 23 TDs.  Smith is incredibly quick and has great hands which he showed off often last season.  The one concern about him is his size, he’s 6 ft 0 in but weighs only 166 pounds which is incredibly small for a WR in the NFL, however this didn’t affect him in college and the Eagles are hoping they’ll get similar results out of him.  He’s also reunited with former Alabama teammate Jalen Hurts, the Eagles are hoping this factor will benefit both players for years to come.  Smith will instantly become a huge part of the Eagles offense loving forward and have tremendous hopes for him. 

Round Two: No. 37 overall, Landon Dickerson, OL, Alabama

Landon Dickerson-Alabama

     With their second pick the Eagles stayed on the offense and picked Offensive Guard/Center Landon Dickerson.  Another Alabama product, Dickerson is a big man, weighing 333 pounds and is 6 ft 5 in.  He was a team leader in college and has great hands and is extremely effective at blocking big men in the middle.  A major concern about him though is his injury history.  He’s coming off an ACL tear that occurred in the SEC Championship and has had another ACL tear and ankle injury in the past. Having a big, strong offensive lineman is always helpful but with defense being an issue last season it was a little strange they didn’t grab one of the top defensive players left at the time.

Round Three: No. 73 overall, Milton Williams, DT, Louisiana Tech

     With their third pick in the draft the Eagles finally went to the defensive side grabbing a defensive lineman in Milton Williams.  He’s 6 ft 3 in and weighs 284 pounds and is a smaller framed lineman, what he lacks in size though he makes up for with strength and speed and has magnificent footwork.  He is also extremely versatile and can play many positions across the line which will come in handy.  This wasn’t the Eagles biggest concern but was still a decent pick.

Round Four, No. 123 overall: Zech McPhearson, CB, Texas

     In the fourth round the Eagles finally decided to address a huge weakness for them last season grabbing Cornerback Zech McPhearson.  He’s a ballhawk as was evident last season as he led the Longhorns with four Interceptions and six pass deflections.  He as an All-Big 12 First Team selection and showed off all season his great ball skills.  He’s 5 ft 11 in and 191 pounds which is a nice size for a cornerback.  His game could use some fine tuning overall but with how thin the Eagles are in the secondary he could find himself being used often next season.

Round Five: No. 150 overall: Kenneth Gainwell, RB, Memphis 

     In the fifth round the Eagles picked up a running back in Ken Gainwell.  He rushed for 1,459 yards and had 13 rushing touchdowns, he also caught 51 passes for 610 yards and three touchdowns.  He’s a great dual-threat in the backfield and will help take some workload off of Miles Sanders.  He’s known for his slashing ability and is a great pass-catcher and looks like he can be a reliable third down back in the near future.

Round Six: No. 189 overall: Marlon Tuipulotu, DT, USC

   In the sixth round the Eagles picked another defensive lineman in Tuipulotu.  He’s 6 ft 2 in and weighs 307 pounds.  He’s a big men and is incredibly strong, he also has a lot of experience as he was a three year starter for USC, collecting 8.5 sacks and 15 tackles for loss in his collegiate career.  The Eagles are pretty deep in defensive lineman at the moment and he will have to fight to earn a spot in the rotation next season.

Round Six: No. 191 overall: Tarrin Jackson, DE, Coastal Carolina

     With their next pick in the sixth round the Eagles stayed on the defensive side and scooped up a defensive end in Tarrin Jackson.  In his last two seasons for Coastal Carolina he collected 18 sacks and 26.5 tackles for a loss.  He is the reigning Sun Belt defensive player of the year, however he lacks some of the ideal typical skills of a defensive end but he has tremendous upside and with the Eagles needing new blood in this position was a great late round pickup.

Round Six: No. 224 overall, JaCoby Stevens, LB/S, LSU

Jacoby Stevens-LSU

     With their last pick in the sixth round the Eagles grabbed another defensive player in Stevens.  A former Wide Receiver he moved over to the defensive side and had lots of success.  He led LSU in tackles last season and also collected three fumble recoveries as well as three sacks and four passes deflected.  The Eagles are hoping to move him to linebacker so it will be interesting to see how he develops as he is once again switching positions.  The Eagles can use help in ball sides of the defense so whatever position he ends up playing he will help the Eagles in the long run.

Round Seven: No. 234 overall: Patrick Johnson, LB, Tulane 

     With their final pick in the draft the Eagles grabbed one more linebacker in Patrick Johnson.  He’s 6 ft 2 in and weighs 240 pounds, he was tied for second in 2018 with ten sacks and has 21 total sacks in his three years at Tulane.  Johnson is used to playing in a 3-4 scheme which is going to be interesting since Defensive Coordinator Jonathan Gannon runs a 4-3.  If he’s able to make the roster it’s unknown how they will utilize him going forward. 

Eagles Draft Recap and Grade

The Eagles biggest needs coming into the draft this year were clearly on the defensive side of the ball which was strange they waited until the third round to start addressing it.  They grabbed a great player in Devonta Smith but their second round pick was puzzling to say the least.  They ended up grabbing a handful of defensive players in the mid to late rounds but it might have been too late to find any real talent that will be useful to them in the near future. 

Eagles Draft Grade: C-

Anthony Harris

Eagles marquee free agent signing to date is Safety Anthony Harris.  He had a stand out year in 2019 on the Vikings, but was exposed a bit in the 2020 season.  Considered to be a great “center fielder / ball hawk” but not a great tackler.  The Eagles did however have salary cap issues and as mentioned before needed help on defense.  

Prediction – Eagles finish 3rd in the NFC East going 5- 12


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