Without writing a book… Do you all remember when Owner JEFF LURIE got tired of the kinda close, but no cigar, ANDY REID era, and he made the bold move of firing ANDY and bringing in CHIP KELLY? He also took the reins away from HOWIE ROSEMAN because CHIP wanted total control. Remember how that didn’t work out so well and CHIP was let go, and LURIE wanted to sell the team? Then, remember how LURIE came to his senses and reinstalled ROSEMAN as head man, DOUG PEDERSON was hired, and CARSON WENTZ was drafted? Finally, the Eagles had their first Super Bowl win two seasons ago, and ROSEMAN is now one of the bosses many teams would like to hire away. He’s running this Draft show in Nashville this year, and here is my thinking on what he might want to do.
Round 1, Pick 25
JONAH WILLIAMS OT ALABAMA 6’5/302 PP# 26
The team needs some immediate help along their OL, as they try to squeeze another year out of the battered body of aged JASON PETERS. After all, PETERS is manning the blind side of QB WENTZ, who has been pretty brittle in his early Eagles career. JONAH is not everyone’s favorite OT, but any guy who can start 3 straight years out there for ‘BAMA, must be pretty good in my book. He can learn as a rookie, and earn experience backing up most of the OL positions. Then, he likely steps right in for PETERS in 2020, if PETERS lasts that long.
Round 2, Pick 53
DeANDRE WALKER OB/ER GEORGIA 6’2/251 PP#53
The Eagles are a bit thin in the LB group, and this guy is a pretty good edge-rusher, which is always useful in today’s NFL. WALKER reminds me a bit of LORENZO CARTER, his former teammate at UGA, who was a useful Rookie last year for the Giants. WALKER posted 45 tackles last season in Athens, which included 11 TFL, 7.5, of which, were sacks. He also was credited with 4 FF’s. He should be a useful contributor for the Eagles D.
Round 2, Pick 57
N’KEAL HARRY WR ARIZONA STATE 6’2/228 PP#57
To put it bluntly, I think this Pick would be their attempt to find the eventual replacement for ALSHON JEFFERY, who has been a solid receiving option for them the past couple of years. At 228 lbs. at the Combine, HARRY ran a 4.53/40 with a 38.5″ vertical. SOUND LIKE JEFFERY? I think so. His 9 1/2″ hand spread has solid appeal as well. HARRY should develop into a starter soon enough to still be earning money on a Rookie salary scale contract for several years. He’s a good get with this second round Pick.
Round 4, Pick 127
JAHLANI TAVAI LB HAWAII 6’2/250 PP#127
He’s an old fashioned ILB, a thumper and run stuffer, who was a tackling machine for Hawaii. He had more than 100 tackles per season in 2016 and 2017. Last season, he had 82 tackles, despite missing half the season with a shoulder injury. Word is, that he checked out fine medically at the Combine and will be ready to play as a Rookie. He is likely a running down IB only, but he should also make an excellent addition to the Eagles Special Teams unit immediately.
Round 4, Pick 138
ZEDRICK WOODS FS OLE MISS 5’11/205 PP#NR
I gotta admit, I am still trying to figure this guy out to move him up in my player rankings. You might recall that he blew up the Combine by running a blazing 4.29/40. His 7.00 3-cone wasn’t bad either. He was at the Shrine venue and held his own, but my eyes did not detect anything special from him. Then a few weeks ago, I saw that he was credited with being one of the surest tacklers in D1 last season. Special Teams may have to be his niche for now, but maybe pro coaches can unlock some other S qualities in him. It’s worth a try, when you can’t ignore the speed and on-field productivity he has shown.
Round 5, Pick 163
KENDALL SHEFFIELD CB OHIO STATE 5’11/193 PP#163
You can never have too many DB’s in today’s pass-happy NFL. SHEFFIELD was another 5 Star recruit at Ohio State, who came out early. Just like fellow Buckeye BILLY PRICE last year, SHEFFIELD suffered an injury at the Combine. He just cleared his re-check, and has been doing some workouts for individual teams. I think there is very little doubt that he has the speed and quickness to compete in the NFL. The injury probably allowed the Eagles to grab a Top 100 prospect in Round 5.
Round 6, Pick 197
ROSS PIERSCHBACHER OC/G ‘BAMA 6’4/306 PP#196
He spent most of his collegiate career starting at OG, but moved to OC for his senior campaign. He handled his new spot well, with better than average athleticism for your standard OC. He is not an elite quality player, but he plays smart and tough. He could work his way into a starting Interior OL spot in time, or be a 3-slot back-up on game day. I have a feeling, that in my final prospect rankings next week, this guy will move to a 4th Round grade. It would be a really solid value Pick if he can be gotten here. He’s not a potentially great player, but most definitely a quality one.
Round 6, Pick 208
CLAYTON THORSON QB NORTHWESTERN 6’4/222 PP#206
Just go check an updated version of the Wildcats record books for QB performance numbers, and you will find THORSON at, or near, the top of most statistical categories. He’s a throwback QB, having started for all 4 seasons at Northwestern. He improved his completion percentage every season, finishing 2018 at 61.1%. He’s clearly a leader, both on and off the field, leading mostly by example. He has enough mobility to buy time by moving the pocket, though not a scrambler per se. He has an NFL arm, but not a cannon. My concern is his career TD/INT ratio of 61/45. Those kind of college numbers translate to an INT machine at the pro level. He’s well worth the pick this late in an attempt to find a quality potential pro back-up QB.
This would be another valuable haul for Mr. ROSEMAN, in his continuing battle to beat the Salary Cap system. By the way I’ll bet Jeff Lurie is glad he put Roseman back in charge, and did NOT sell his team.