The NFL Draft is fast approaching, so it’s time to take a closer look at players the Philadelphia Eagles could and should be targeting in each round. Here are five names to keep an eye on in the first.
Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame
Kyle Hamilton is the top safety in this class and for good reason. However, it appears he may somehow slip outside of the top-10. If this is the case then Howie needs to sprint to the podium. Hamilton is versatile enough to play both spots and talented enough to do so at a remarkable level. With a high football IQ that’s only enhanced by his athleticism and physicality, Hamilton will be able to handle anything that JG throws his way.
Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia
This 6’6, 340-pound lbs monster is a run-defending machine. If you take everything else out of the equation, he’d be on a line with Milton Williams, who is a far leaner and faster pass-rusher. This is the perfect compliment as Davis is not only big enough to swallow double teams, but athletic enough to somehow beat them and penetrate into the backfield.
Andrew Booth, CB, Clemson
There is a chance that Booth will be available in the mid-20’s which could prompt a trade back from Howie, but it’s a risk if he does get plucked before then. The Clemson product has scintillating short-area quickness and he’s feisty at the line of scrimmage. He’s a little shorter than ideal, but he ticks every box you could ask for and injury concerns may push him down far enough for Howie to deem his potential valuable enough to take a punt on.
Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa
Jason Kelce won’t be around forever and Linderbaum has literally been compared directly to the man who Phladelphia will forever cherish. It’s extremely rare you have an opportunity to draft a player as athletic as Jason Kelce, let alone twice in a decade.
While the team could eventually move their stalwart LG, Landon Dickerson to Center, it would be more practical for the Eagles to build the next generation of the offensive line. Having a quartet Mailata, Dickerson, Linderbaum, Herbig While Lane Johnson mentors? it’s a damn good start.
George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue
BG isn’t getting any younger and behind Josh Sweat, Derek Barnett is the cream of the crop. The EDGE spot needs investment and it needs it badly.
Karlaftis had 14 sacks, 29 TFL, 97 tackles, and 3 forced fumbles in 26 games with Purdue. Like Milton Williams, versatility is his calling card. He can set the edge, line up inside, and use his power to keep his head above water against much bigger linemen. He’s a power-rusher in every sense, but would be a great compliment to the growing lean, mean, rushing machine that the team are building.
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