The seventh round of the NFL Draft is always a fun one to watch unfold, but the Eagles won’t be picking there after all. They initially moved back to pick up Clayton Thorson in the fifth round, picking up pick number 246. That pick now belongs to the Colts after being shipped away in exchange for defensive tackle Hassan Ridgeway.
The 24-year old was originally a fourth-round selection back in 2016 and since then, has played in 34 games (starting 6), notching 41 tackles, 6 TFL, 4.5 sacks and one pass defensed. In 2018, he only played in 6% of snaps, tallying 6 tackles.
He appeared in five games that year but also had 3 tackles, 1 TFL and 0.5 sacks in the Colts short playoff run.
Seventh round picks are often spent on project players. The Eagles have filled a remaining void which is a complete lack of effective depth at defensive tackle.
Timmy Jernigan’s re-signing may have been the ultimate catalyst in the Eagles not bringing in one of the top defensive tackle prospects, but it doesn’t buy them long-term depth. As of right now, Cox, Jackson, Jernigan and now Ridgeway, would make up the rotation.
In 2017, Beau Allen and Destiny Vaeao played in a combined 64% of defensive snaps. The Eagles sorely missed their services last year, especially with the injury to Timmy Jernigan. Bruce Hector and a flurry of practice squad graduates were unable to provide a consistent push, leaving Fletcher Cox to battle double teams and do all the heavy lifting…all the time. The franchise DT rarely got a break and somehow set a career year in stone.
This move, instead of adding some practice squad level talent, gives the Eagles a defensive tackle with plenty of NFL experience who is somehow still just 24-years old on a one-year deal. The defensive tackle rotation is now that much more dangerous because the drop off in talent to what would be an undrafted free agent is that much shorter. This is a big move for the Eagles.
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