What does day 3 of the NFL Draft hold for the Eagles?

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Day three of the NFL Draft is finally here which is great news for Eagles fans. After just one pick in 3 rounds, the Super Bowl Champions will be running rampant throughout the remaining rounds of the draft, with four selections to their name. So what can we expect after the Dallas Goedert pick?

Picks:
The Eagles came into this draft with minimal draft capital and that doesn’t look set to change any time soon. The Birds traded away a fifth round pick to Indianapolis last night in order to move up and draft Dallas Goedert, leaving them with four picks on day three. Here’s how that situation will play out:

2nd Round: Dallas Goedert |TE | South Dakota State

3rd Round: (No pick)

4th round: No. 125

4th Round: No. 130

5th Round: (No pick – Traded to Indianapolis)

6th Round: No. 206

7th Round: No. 250

 

Needs:
Surprisingly, the Eagles spent their most valuable draft pick (acquired by trading out of their 32nd overall selection) on a tight end. While this now arguably gives the Eagles one of the most dangerous offenses in the NFL, replacing what they’re losing in Trey Burton in an incredibly athletic pass-catcher, they do have some key needs to tick off on day three.

 

Linebacker:
The Birds may have their long-termm solution in Nigel Bradham, but with Jordan Hicks entering his contract year and the future of Mychal Kendricks still a wild unknown, the Eagles would be wise to add some developmental talent. Corey Nelson and Paul Worrillow will carry the tide over, but outside of an injury hindered Joe Walker, the Eagles are light at a key position in the Jim Schwartz defense.

 

Safety:
It’s clear at this stage that the Eagles aren’t looking for a new starting safety. Instead, they want to bring in a third defensive back who can hold the back line along with McLeod while Malcolm Jenkins utilizes his versatility and run riot. This is a position that can be targeted in round 6 and beyond due to the depth of DB’s in this draft.

Interior guard:
The Eagles have light depth at center and interior guard positions, especially considering how long it took the battle at left guard to settle last season. Some more developmental talent would surely be in the team’s best interests as day 3 looms.

 

Nickel cornerback:
Jalen Mills has experience at the nickel spot, but the team would be wise to invest in a devout nickel corner who can grow under Jenkins and the impressive young defensive backfield. It’s easy to forget that Mills was a 7th rounder just a few years ago. Corey Undlin is a fantastic coach and the world development is what stands out here.

 

Running back:
Don’t be surprised if the Eagles do aim to bring in a running back in the 4th round. Joe Douglas has drafted a running back in an average round of 4.6 since his time in Baltimore and with some big names remaining, there could be a perfect third head to the Eagles committee monster just falling into their laps.

 

 

Sleeper Targets:

 

Tray Matthews | S | Auburn
After a solid 2015 season that saw Matthews play with a torn labrum in both of his shoulders, he began to rekindle the fire that made him such a touted high school prospect. After being dismissed from Georgia in 2014, Matthews has come along way from both a physical and mental standpoint…but we’ll learn more about that in the weeks to come.

Matthews amassed 59 tackles, 1 sack, 2 TFL and 2 passes defensed last season for Auburn, embracing the hard-hitting underdog label placed on his shoulders. At 6’1, 209 lbs, Matthews has the size needed to develop into a reliable safety and with the Eagles needing some extra depth behind Jenkins and McLeod, Matthews would be a great addition to the DB room.

 

K.J Malone | G | LSU
With an NFL-ready frame (6’4, 321 lbs), the son of NBA Legend, Karl Malone, was a key cog in LSU’s emphatic rushing efforts during the last few years. Malone is quick with his footwork and shows the Football IQ needed to handle both DT’s and DE’s with his thick base and impressive lateral movement to seal edges.

He’s also played at every spot on the offensive line, which as we all know, is something the Eagles covet. For their last pick in the draft, bolstering the trenches should be a priority.

 

Daurice Fountain | WR | Northern Iowa
A small-school sleeper in every sense of the word, Fountain could be seen as a project deep-threat prospect for the Eagles. At 6’1, 210 lbs, Fountain has the makeup of a burner. A true athlete in every sense of the word, he may not possess the ball-skills needed to make an immediate impact, but nor did Shelton Gibson.

The first-team All-Missouri Valley Football Conference honoree snagged 66 receptions for 843 yards and 12 scores in his final season with Northern Iowa and while many will see him as a one-dimensional athlete, his impressive Shrine game outing that saw him make a stunning 38 yard catch en-route to a 61-yard game will have certainly quietened that notion a little. Fountain could be a perfect fit for the Eagles, who love late-round receivers who bring what I like to call ‘the Chris Hogan effect.’

 

John Kelly | RB | Tennessee
Kelly adds almost a perfect blend of everything the Eagles try to do with their running backs. At 5’9, 212 lbs, Kelly plays far outside of his build and while his numbers (1,573 yards in 3 years) may not scream an elite talent, being drafted into the right system, like his former teammate Alvin Kamara, could be all he needs. Nine of his fifteen scores came last season, along with 778 yards on 189 carries and 299 receiving yards.

Kelly runs hard and never shies away from contact. His aggressive style sees him push through blocks, give violent stiff-arms and be a key factor in pass-protection. Kelly does come with some character concerns, but for a 4th round pick to be so agile yet so physically imposing, it’s worth taking a punt for a Head Coach who can get every last bit of talent out of him.

 

Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

 

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