One day removed from a 27-10 preseason defeat, the Eagles are straight back to trying to improve the roster. Today, the team traded for Bills DE Eli Harold, sending former Penn State lineman Ryan Bates in exchange.
The 25-year old DE signed with Buffalo after spending 2018 with the Detroit Lions as an OLB. He played in 13 games, amassing 8 tackles and a career-high 4 sacks.
Prior to that, the former third-round pick spent three years with the Niners as a strongside linebacker, making 24 starts and posting 71 tackles. At 6’3, 243 lbs, Harold fits a speedier DE mold who has length at his disposal. He’s always been agile and tested well at the combine, with a 1.56 10-yard split. But he has trouble shifting down to defensive end this offseason, struggling to emerge out of the third-string depth.
Harold has plenty of upside and fills a void for the Eagles left by Joe Ostman, who was projected be the team’s EDGE4 player in 2019. Last night’s preseason opener flashed potential for guys like Daeshon Hall, but it may have also pushed the Eagles to add some extra spice into the competition.
As for Bates, he flashed versatility by playing both ends of the bookshelf during his time at Penn State. Another PSU alumni, Bates helped a dominant rushing attack flourish and brings a slightly more agile frame (6’4, 302 lbs) and athletic profile to the table. A shift inside seemed desirable and that’s likely where Buffalo will utilize him moving forward.
Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports