Eagles draft super-athletic DT Milton Williams in the third-round

The third round of the NFL Draft fell perfectly into the laps of the Philadelphia Eagles. With a plethora of defensive options available, it should come as no surprise that the team stayed on-brand to stack the trenches and reload the DT position. Milton Williams out of Louisiana Tech will make his way to Philadelphia after a quirky trade from Howie Roseman saw the team drop back 3 spots and pick up an extra sixth-rounder.

The Player

At 6’3, 284 lbs, Milton is on the lighter side of defensive tackles, but don’t let that fool you. He ran a 4.67 40-yard dash, has a 38.5” vertical, and a 121” broad jump. An athletic monster, Williams plays well beyond his slender frame with explosive burst off the line, frantic hands, and a lot of smooth counters.

As expected, he does lack the real power to anchor consistently which is a concern at the next level, but the penetrative ability speaks for itself. According to PFF, he had 30 QB pressures through 10 games in 2020. This partners well with his 10 TFL and 4.5 sacks. In 2019, he had 5.5 sacks and 9 TFL. Production isn’t something that’s evaded him and the Eagles have an explosively lean pass-rushing missle at their disposal.

The reason

Fletcher Cox has regressed over the past two seasons and it’s not like his contract is getting cheaper any time soon. The veteran is now over the hump of 30 and after the team paid Javon Hargrave handsomely in 2020, they don’t have a ton of money to throw around. Bringing Hassan Ridgeway back was key, but adding a young pass-rusher who can get skinny in the b-gap and put snuff out RPO’s is even more so.

With a four-year contract, the Eagles have time to groom a potential long-term replacement for Cox if they do decide to cash-in on his contract or pass the torch to Hargrave. If they don’t, they have a very tasty short-term rotation with a lot of long-term potential buried in the depths.

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