The Philadelphia Eagles made five selections in this year’s draft. By most accounts, the Eagles had a good draft. In addition to the selections they made this year, they received a second-round pick from the Baltimore Ravens in the 2019 NFL Draft. They traded out of the first round, but still managed to acquire a lot of talent in important positions.
2nd round (49th pick) – Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota State
This is a great pick, not only in the quality of the player taken, but in the fact that he was kept off a divisional rival’s team as well. The Philadelphia Eagles had traded back to the 52nd overall pick, but traded back up to 49th just before the Dallas Cowboys to draft Goedert.
Goedert is heralded as a Zach Ertz-like playmaker, who has also received comparisons to Travis Kelce and Jimmy Graham. These comparisons are no doubt best-case scenarios. However, Goedert should more than make up for the losses of Brent Celek and Trey Burton in this offseason.
The Eagles added a talented player in a position of need and kept him from helping the Cowboys, who are still reeling from the surprise retirement of Jason Witten. What a win!
4th round (125th pick) – Avonte Maddox, CB, Pittsburgh
Maddox is a bit undersized for a corner at 5-foot-9, but that does not take away from his abilities as a corner.
While he is on the small side, he makes up for it with his toughness and athleticism. He possesses a great combination of both long speed and short area quickness, meaning that he will be a great fit in Philadelphia’s secondary as a slot corner. In addition, Maddox should match up well with quick slot receivers in the NFC East like Dallas’ Cole Beasley.
However, he is not guaranteed to start this season. The Eagles are loaded at the corner position. Ahead of him on the depth chart are Jalen Mills, Ronald Darby, Sidney Jones and Rasul Douglas. Maddox will face an uphill battle if he wants to earn the starting slot position.
There may have been some slightly better prospects available to draft at this spot, but Maddox is certainly not a bad choice.
4th round (130th pick) – Josh Sweat, DE, Florida State
Josh Sweat is an athletic freak. He stands at 6-foot-5, 251 pounds and has nearly 35-inch arms. Yet with this massive frame, he still managed to run a 4.53 in the 40-yard dash.
Sweat was a true luxury pick for Philadelphia as they have an extremely talented defensive line. However, Sweat has first-round talent and slipped this far in the draft only because of injury concerns.
If his knee issues are indeed behind him, he could end up becoming one of the biggest steals in this draft.
6th round (206th pick) – Matt Pryor, OT, TCU
Matt Pryor was not graded extremely well, nor did he test amazingly at the combine. He does, however, have immense size at 6-foot-7, 332 pounds.
He is very strong, but could struggle with speed rushers in today’s NFL due to his slower speed. In addition, there are concerns about his lack of effort and issues of weight maintenance. Those issues, combined with his lack of lateral speed, caused him to fall into the sixth round.
Overall, Pryor could develop into a good tackle or guard and has value because of his ability to play both positions.
7th round (233rd pick) – Jordan Mailata, OT, South Sydney Rabbitohs
Jordan Mailata was a rugby player for the South Sydney Rabbitohs and is an absolute giant. Mailata stands 6-foot-8, 345 pounds with an athletic build.
He is a project, as he has never before played American football. This means the leap to the NFL will be a big jump mentally. He will probably need a couple years to develop as an NFL player before he even comes close to starting. However, if he can learn the game and an NFL playbook, he could use his huge frame and athleticism to dominate as an offensive tackle.
If you have not seen any of his rugby tape, do yourself a favor and watch this video from the NFL’s twitter.
The @Eagles just drafted Australian rugby player Jordan Mailata.
— NFL (@NFL) April 28, 2018
Taking a flyer on a project in the seventh round is a good idea. After all, the Pittsburgh Steelers took a chance on a former Eagles defensive end (Alejandro Villanueva) and turned him into one of the best offensive tackles in football. With the athleticism that Jordan Mailata has, anything is possible.
Overall opinion of the draft class
Take this with a grain of salt as you never know how good a player is going to be until they play for a few years. For example, Nelson Agholor was considered a bust until his breakout season this year.
That being said, the Eagles drafted at least two future starters in Dallas Goedert and Josh Sweat, as well as a potential future slot corner in Avonte Maddox. Mailata and Pryor could surprise and turn out to be starters as well, At the very least, Pryor should turn out to be a decent backup swing tackle in the mold of Allen Barbre.
The Eagles also managed to acquire what could amount to a early second-round pick next year as well, which is always something to keep in mind when considering the success of a draft.
Overall draft grade: A
Featured image from 247 Sports
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