The NFL Draft is in the books and the Eagles haul went from questionable to sensational overnight. But who were the winners and losers from the impact that the ten selections made by the Birds will have?
The biggest winner of all was ultimately the most important man on the team – franchise QB Carson Wentz. The drafting of Jalen Hurts was confusing and may test the patience and trust Wentz has after handling such a tumultuous season like a champion, but the weapons given to him by Howie Roseman are deadly.
After a season carrying practice squad promotees to the playoffs while the rest of the team crumbled at his fingertips, Wentz will have more speed than he knows what to do with, which can only bode well for a man who somehow still ranked ninth in deep ball accuracy last year.
This Eagles offense may finally be positioned to evolved into a juggernaut after such an electric draft and of course, its captain is the ultimate beneficiary.
Not only is Rasul still on the roster after trade rumors swirled since the offseason started, but the Eagles opted against drafting a cornerback. There’s no guarantee that he’ll be on the team come week one, but it at least gives him a glimmer of hope and a lifeline of fighting for a roster spot in a crowded secondary where he once appeared to be the odd one out.
Rapid linebackers and a versatile Safety? Positionless football is becoming a theme for the Philadelphia Eagles and after losing Malcolm Jenkins, the team needed some kind of versatile infusion. That’s exactly what the defensive coordinator was given. Not only does he have a lockdown CB for the first time in his tenure with the Eagles, but there’s a whole lot of speed and range on that defense thanks to a stellar day 3 haul including K’Von Wallace and Davion Taylor.
Zach Ertz/Dallas Goedert/ Miles Sanders
There’s no two ways about it, any other skill position player currently on the Eagles roster will benefit from this draft. Much in the same way that Alshon Jeffery’s presence helped open up the field for the rest of the offense to function, this much speed will force defenses into more 2-high looks and of course relieve the pressure off the team’s securest receiver, Zach Ertz. Miles Sanders should be able to peel and dominate on wheel routes at an alarming rate and don’t be surprised to see the run-game transformed due to how laterally explosive this team will now be – forcing defenses to adjust and lightening the load for Miles Sanders when he sticks his foot in the ground.
It was never really looking good for Sudfeld to begin with, but drafting a quarterback in the second round did anything but secure his future. The road ahead looks bleak for Sudfeld and Jaylen Hurts may have just hammered the final nail into a coffin that has been building over the last few years.
We know DeSean Jackson won’t be around forever. We know the Eagles had to find an insurance policy after he missed the majority of last season with an injury. However, with this much speed around him, his role may become marginalized. This isn’t a bad thing, but from the perspective of his contract value, that costs the Eagles $8M this year and $10M in 2021, it’s a little concerning. Nobody is expecting John Hightower to suddenly take over his role and of course, Alshon Jeffery is still on the books along with JJAW. But Reagor is the clear heir to the ‘Z’ throne and with Marquise Goodwin lurking in the background along with 2 rookie receivers, there’s only so many slices of cake to go around.
No matter how you look at it, the Eagles defensive ends needed help. A seventh-round project doesn’t give them that. There’s already a ton of pressure on Derek Barnett ahead of his fourth season, not to mention Brandon Graham’s age, Josh Sweat’s expectation to leap forward and replace Vinny Curry, or even Shareef Miller and his 2 special teams snaps in 2019. This group was pretty much left untouched and it may sting them if more moves aren’t made over the Summer.
Mailata has been Jeff Stoutland’s project over the last two years and has come on leaps and bounds from when he was first named a seventh-round pick. His dvelopment from year-one to year-two was substantial, but when Halapoulivaati Vaitai signed with the Lions, and Jason Peters departed, it left only the Aussie behind young Andre Dillard on the depth chart.
Drafting All-SEC lineman Prince Tega Wanogho in the sixth-round is an absolute steal for the Eagles, but it may keep Mailata pinned down the depth chart and out of action for yet another season.
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
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