The Philadelphia Eagles came into the 2019 draft with some noticeable holes after an injury-ridden season. Still though, the team managed to make it to the playoffs in a tough NFC, and showed that this team is here to stay for the future. Let’s take a look at the selections that will be rocking the green and white come the summer time, and grade how they will fit into the team’s structure.
Round 1 Pick 22: Andre Dillard OT Washington State. The Eagles traded up three spots to get their guy, and this pick was clearly one that was rather future-oriented. Despite not being an “immediate need”, the Eagles got killed with injuries to their offensive line throughout the year. Dillard was going in the mid to late teens in many mock drafts, so once he fell, Howie Roseman hopped in. Current left tackle Jason Peters is on a one-year deal that many believe will be his final season in the NFL. The Eagles will have Dillard learn from one of the best in protecting Carson Wentz. The last time the Eagles went offensive lineman in the first round? Lane Johnson. Overall, not the most exciting of first round picks, but should definitely help. Grade: B+
Round 2 Pick 21: Miles Sanders RB Penn State. The Eagles added to their crowded depth chart of running backs with the Sanders pick. However, Sanders is a unique runner. Learning behind Saquon Barkley, Sanders had a phenomenal year at PSU with 1,278 rushing yards and 9 touchdowns. The 5 foot 11 inch 211 pound running back is arguably the second best RB on the depth chart from day 1 behind Jordan Howard. Wendell Smallwood, Corey Clement and Josh Adams will now most likely be fighting for the 3rd spot, and former Eagles Jay Ajayi and Darren Sproles still remain unsigned. Did I mention it’s crowded? Grade: B
Round 2 Pick 25: JJ Arcega-Whiteside WR Stanford. The Eagles were thin at wideout, so this pick made a lot of sense. JJ has nice size at 6 foot 2 and 225 pounds, but has the ability to beat a defender deep. In his 12 games last year, JJ caught 63 balls for 1,059 yards and 14 TDs. With many experts thinking that #3 wideout Nelson Agholor is on the trading block, JJ should be able to compete for snaps right away behind Desean Jackson and Alshon Jeffrey. Grade: A-
Round 4 Pick 36 (Compensatory): Shareef Miller DE Penn State. This really was the only head scratcher that the Eagles front office had throughout the draft. As much as this was a feel good story for a Philly prospect to play for his hometown team, defensive end was not a need for the Eagles right now. Even if Chris Long retires, they still have Brandon Graham, Derek Barnett, Vinny Curry and Josh Sweat that will be contributors. Despite Miller’ solid junior year at PSU, they probably should have gone a different direction with this pick. Grade: D
Round 5 Pick 29: Clayton Thorson QB Northwestern. After trading down in this round, the Eagles snagged the backup quarterback that they needed after Nick Foles departed. Thorson completed a career high 61% of his passes but also capped his senior year with a career high 15 interceptions. Overall though, he will be competing with Nate Sudfeld for the backup QB position; a position that has come into play the last two seasons. Grade: B-
Overall, the Eagles made moves at skill positions that will make themselves better in the long run. However, other than wideout, the front office failed to address the pressing need this team has at the safety and linebacker positions. There is a difference when it comes to liking specific picks and those picks being the best fit for the team. There’s a good chance the Eagles are wheeling and dealing before training camp begins. Overall Grade: C+