The EAGLES ended up with another draft effort rather short on picks to make. They ended up with only 5 picks in 2018, as well. So when you are picking light, so to speak, it is important to strike for quality. Please note their dead-on Pigskin Paul rank/Pick match up in Round 3.
Round 1, Pick 22
ANDRE DILLARD OT WASHINGTON STATE
6’5/315 5.00/40 PP#13
Speaking of quality, let’s talk about their move up by 3 slots to grab DILLARD. They clearly had concerns about others being ready, to jump up to nab DILLARD before their Pick at 25, so they made the move, giving up 4th & 6th rounders to get their eventual replacement for JASON PETERS. PETERS is back for 2019, but his body is battered and beaten after 14 NFL seasons. DILLARD was my top rated OL in this draft. I felt that he answered any questions about his run blocking ability with his work at the Senior Bowl, and he can probably pass-protect in his sleep after playing in a MIKE LEACH Offense as a 3-year starter. If PETERS can hold up thru 2019, and mentor DILLARD on the side, the team may be set for another decade out at LT, protecting the blind side of MR. WENTZ.
Round 2, Pick 53
MILES SANDERS RB PENN STATE
5’11 211 4.50/40 PP#40
Let’s start out by saying that he is not SAQUON BARKLEY. Then again, no one in this Draft group is. However, he should make a solid pro, and a slightly lesser version of the superstar who he sat behind in Happy Valley. He is a solid combination of a running and receiving threat like BARKLEY, just a notch below in overall talent. With the addition of JORDAN HOWARD from the BEARS, SANDERS should get some time to refine his game, while still getting a solid amount of work. They should make a nice tandem to split most of the load in the Eagles running game. Smart Pick of a talented player.
Round 2, Pick 57
J.J. ARCEGA-WHITESIDE WR STANFORD
6’2 225 4.60/40 PP#57
I know that he was measured at the Combine, but when I see game tape of this guy, he sure looks longer than 6’2 to me. It might be his 33 1/4″ arms and the ups of a basketball athlete, which both of his folks were in Europe. He should make a very dangerous and productive red zone weapon, just as he did in college. In 2018, he caught 63 balls for 1,059 yards and 14 TD’s. He is not fast enough, or quick enough, to get great separation at the end of misroutes, but will win the vast majority of jump balls that come his way from an accurate QB. What I see here is a carbon copy replacement for ALSHON JEFFERY in the near future, when JEFFERY reaches the end of his current contract, on the wrong side of 30.
Round 4, Pick 138
SHAREEF MILLER DE/ER PENN STATE
6’5 255 4.70/40 PP#154
The EAGLES place a lot of defensive emphasis on their DL group to stop opponents, both in the run game, as well as providing pass rush pressure. MILLER had his moments at PENN STATE, and with some serious coaching work by Defensive Coordinator SCHWARTZ and DL Coach DANIELS, as well as weight room work to buffer his weight and strength, he could be ready to move into their DE rotation in place of VFA returnee VINNY CURRY, in another year or so. Let’s call him a productive college player with some pro upside.
Round 5, Pick 167
CLAYTON THORSON QB NORTHWESTERN
6’4 225 4.85/40 PP#162
I have mixed emotions about the pro potential of THORSON, as most NFL teams clearly do, as indicated by a middle round Pick. Many NFL teams subscribe to the “draft a new QB every other year” approach to their QB position group. THORSON was a heady, productive player, who was a 4-year starter for Coach FITZGERALD. He has a decent arm and decent mobility. At times, I would question the time it takes him to decide on his target selection. By the time he makes up his mind, defenders are often reading his eyes, and already on their way to meet the receiver at the ball. In the NFL, that hesitation often leads to a QB who basically becomes an INT machine. He will get a long look in Training Camp this summer.
VP and Personnel guru HOWIE ROSEMAN has shown himself to be a multi-approach personnel decision maker. He trades, he drafts, and he works the VFA route. Since coming back from exile at the end of the CHIP KELLY experiment, he has retooled their roster, and established a solid work g relationship with HC DOUG PEDERSON. This is a solid, though small, draft class, and he has signed a promising looking URFA group to bolster the roster depth. The real fruits of this Draft, however, may not be felt until the 2020 season. I really like the 3 guys at the top of their Draft.