The NFL Draft is in the books and there are five new Eagles who will be flying to the nest over the coming days. It’s an exciting time to be an Eagles fan but with the days just flying by, here’s a full recap in case you blinked and missed even a second.
The Eagles were set to pick 32nd in the first round of the NFL Draft (You know, because they’re Super Bowl champions) but the consensus was that the team would trade back in order to recoup some of the day 2 capital they were lacking. The Eagles were off the clock just as quickly as they were on, trading back to the 52nd overall pick (held by the Ravens), moving in the 4th round with another swap as well as inheriting a 2019 second rounder. The Ravens would draft Lamar Jackson and the Eagles would draft…
2nd – No. 49: Dallas Goedert | TE | South Dakota State
The Eagles weren’t done however. You’ll notice, Goedert was picked 3 spots ahead of that 52nd selection and that’s thanks to a trade with the Colts. A simple pick swap and a fifth rounder to say thank you pushed the Eagles into a position to draft one of the most explosive athletes in the draft.
How can you not love a small-school sleeper who has emerged as this year’s leading tight end prospect? Not only did this 6’5 tight end post back-to-back 1,000 yard season’s, but he also tallied a total of 13 100-yard receiving games during that span. The man is a complete monster and if the Eagles are looking for a tight end to hang their hat on alongside Zach Ertz, they needn’t look any further.
Goedert’s route-running is simply exceptional and he launches off the line with tremendous burst. Soft hands and an impressive pro-day round out a skillset that is only lacking blocking fundamentals. In fact, if Goedert was a capable blocker at the next level too, he’d be a bonafide top-10 pick.
What the Eagles are losing in Trey Burton, they’d be getting back in a slightly bigger prospect who can move just as fluently through the route tree and is arguably even more athletic.
Things started off nice and smoothly for the Eagles, who picked up some cornerback help at pick number 125 in the form of…
4th – No. 125: Avonte Maddox | CB | Pittsburgh
(The following is a scout report from our FREE NFL Draft guide on cornerbacks)
Maddox is everything you could want in a nickel cornerback. Speedy, willing and as reactive as a nuclear weapon. His small frame is misleading, with the Panther packing quite a rapid punch after posting a 4.39 40-yard dash time at the NFL combine.
Currently projected to go in the heart of the NFL Draft, Maddox is a very well-rounded corner who is fluid in his movement and aggressive when it comes to tackling. Someone who wants to be in the heart of the action, Maddox was still able to end his career with 51 passes defensed despite being undersized, which says a lot about his desire and drive to outwork whoever stands in front of him.
Injury concerns do shroud his stock however, with Maddox missing five games over the last two years and like several other corners in his class, his aggressive mindset can often sting him when all chips are placed on a bursting toward a route that then breaks the other way. Oddly, Maddox doesn’t initiate a lot of contact when in press coverage. He is smooth in his back-pedal, but he keeps his arms compact and his frame ready to pounce (like a Panther?) as opposed to trying to stake his claim and make his presence felt.
His short-area quickness is astounding, but with patience being something that has evaded his play for a while now, Maddox is a 0-100 cornerback who may not have the size to get away with it at the next level. As an athlete, he’s the complete package and you’ll find it difficult to find anything other than applause when people discuss his personality in other reports.
But with a potential rebalance of technique, Maddox would be best suited to a team who play cover-3 or frequently roll out an extra DB, just to give him that breathing room needed to find his feet, knowing that if he does begin to make mistakes at the line due to being urged to punch a little more often, he will have a safety blanket behind him. Maddox is everything you want in a nickel corner, he just may take a little longer to blossom.
Maddox fills a large nickel hole for the Eagles, although he does have the upside and the competitive nature to play outside. At the very least, he will throw the Cat among the Pigeons during Training Camp and provide fans with a thoroughly entertaining practice as he seeks to carve his niche in a somewhat crowded secondary.
4th – No. 130: Josh Sweat | DE | Florida State
With their second 4th rounder, the Eagles picked up one of this year’s most premier pass rushers in Josh Sweat. The rich get richer and the Eagles pass rush may be the richest in the NFL. While high school injury concerns may have scared some teams off, his 14.5 sacks and 29 TFL’s during 3 years with FSU didn’t detour the Eagles, whose medical staff deem him fully healthy. At 6’5, 251 lbs, his rangy frame and impressive first step look to wreak havoc in a role previously filled by last year’s first round selection, Derek Barnett. The pass rush is just ruthless…absolutely ruthless.
6th – No. 206 – Matt Pryor, OT, TCU
The California native became a full-time starter at right guard during his junior year and eventually spent time both there and at right tackle one year later. Consistently flipping between both roles, this giant 6’7, 338 lbs lineman really hit his stride during the 2017 season. A strong pass-protector thanks to his thick base and broad upper body strength, Pryor can also drive defenders back in the run, keeping his pads level and shifting his weight with ease.
Philadelphia don’t have a lot of depth behind Stefen Wisniewski at interior guard, especially considering neither Seumalo nor Warmack could win out a starting role. Should Brandon Brooks go down with an injury, the team would be paper thin on depth. This pick adds some bulk on he right hand side.
The Eagles give up a 2019 seventh rounder and switched final 2018 picks with the New England Patriots in order to draft…
7th – No. 233 – Jordan Mailata, OT, Australian rugby player
At 6’8, 346 lbs, the South Sydney Rabbitohs star has an incredibly rare physical skillset, as well as impressive size.
35.5 inch arms, a 5.12 40-yard dash and a 4.67 yard short shuttle headline a phenomenal list of tangibles for an offensive lineman. Oh, and did I mention he’s just 20 years old? The ceiling is incredibly high.
His story is just as exciting. A player who was met with a life-changing decision, to give up a rugby career that wasn’t paying him full-time wages, fly across the world and work out in Los Angeles. That decision has led to him being drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles. We’ll have much more on this unique prospect and his journey to the NFL in the coming days.
And there we have it. Just like that, the NFL Draft is over. Your 2018 Eagles rookies have been drafted and those five player all have some tremendous upside. Was this another home run hit for Howie? Let us know in the comments!