The Philadelphia Eagles added five players in the 2019 NFL Draft. Tanner Elliott grades each pick and analyzes the impact each rookie can have on the team.
The Philadelphia Eagles only had five picks in the 2019 NFL Draft after they traded up in the first round. After those five picks, you can tell the Eagles draft strategy was the best player available. The Eagles still have plenty of holes on their roster such as secondary and linebacker, even though they filled some in wide receiver and offensive line. Here we look at how each pick fits and impact the Eagles going forward
Round 1, Pick 22: Andre Dillard, OT Washington State
When the Eagles traded up to the 22nd pick in the draft, everyone thought it was for a defensive back or a wide receiver. Instead, they drafted Andre Dillard. This pick shows that the Eagles believe Jason Peters days in the NFL are numbered. Dillard, on the other hand, is a great player. He was one of the best pass blockers and smartest lineman in this draft. The thing about his game that is different than other is his kick step. Dillard’s kick step is small, but it is effective. Dillard can be a day one starter so it will be interesting to see if he plays guard until Peters is gone.
Overall Grade: A-
Round 2, Pick 21: Miles Sanders, RB Penn State
The Miles Sanders pick was a bit of a surprise due to the Eagles’ depth at running back. The Eagles just traded for Jordan Howard this offseason. Josh Adams, Wendell Smallwood, and Corey Clement are all solid options as well. Now that Sanders is on the roster, do not be surprised if both Clement and Smallwood are both looking for jobs later on this year. Sanders, on the other hand, is an excellent player. He only started one year, but that is because he was Saquon Barkley’s back up. Having to backup Barkley, Sanders learned a lot and plays a similar style to his former college teammate. If the Eagles can find the right balance of using both Howard and Sanders, the Eagles running attack could be deadly.
Philly looking to get their ground game going— Bleacher Report NFL (@BR_NFL) April 27, 2019
Eagles go with Penn State RB Miles Sanders pic.twitter.com/CbTNvpeYzX
Overall Grade: B
Round 2, Pick 25: J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, WR Stanford
The Eagles finally pick a player who fills a huge need. After trading for Golden Tate halfway through the year last year, they let him walk in free agency. Tate brought more to the Eagles offense than fans realize. When Tate was on the field, opposing defenses could not double team Alshon Jeffery as often, making him open more. Whiteside still will not have that impact from day one but he will still draw some attention. The Eagles would have been better off drafting a guy who excels in YAC, since Jeffery and Whiteside have the same skill set. Therefore, Nelson Agholor could potentially still be an Eagle in 2019. Whiteside said himself that he models him game after Jeffery and having two big body guys will make the Eagles passing attack one dimensional.
Overall Grade: B
Round 4, Pick 36: Shareef Miller, EDGE Penn State
Picking an edge rusher over a defensive back is a huge head scratcher. The Eagles have Brandon Graham, Derek Barnett, and potentially Chris Long. Shareef Miller is seen as a developmental type player that may never pan out. The Eagles secondary is also very thin on both players and talent. Even though Miller has a lot of potential, the Eagles wasted an opportunity to improve the weakest part of their team. If Miller does not pan out to be, at the least, a good situational player, the Eagles will regret this pick.
Overall Grade: D+
Round 5, Pick 29: Clayton Thorson, QB, Northwestern
Backup quarterback was a sneaky need for the Eagles. Even though the Eagles did not need to select one here, it was still a good pick. The Eagles selected a quarterback with their last pick in the draft because they did not know who would become an undrafted free agent. Due to that, the Eagles took the guy they wanted. With Carson Wentz having season ending injuries the past two years, having three quarterbacks on the roster is a must. Clayton Thorson and Nate Sudfeld will battle it out during training camp to see who becomes the back up quarterback .
Overall Grade: C+
Overall, the Eagles draft was good but they definitely could have done some things differently. Failing to address the secondary and getting a YAC receiver could come back to bite them. Due to their lack of picks, the Eagles felt pressured to make boom picks throughout the draft.