2019-06-15 15:42:131 Oct 2018 01:53 AM EST
-by Daniel Mogollon, Staff Writer; Image: Philadelphia Eagles first-round pick Andre Dillard at Washington State. (Image Source: Getty Images)
Here’s a review of the Philadelphia Eagles 2019 NFL Draft:
Round 1 (19th Overall): OT Andre Dillard, Washington State: At 6’5” and 315 pounds, Dillard has adequate size for an offensive tackle, however not many linemen can rival his athleticism, speed, or agility. It’s elite. Dillard is an explosive athlete who can really move well. Physically, his only downside is short arms, which some scouts worry will impact his ability to handle edge rushers, his primary duty. His nimble feet allowed Dillard to mirror speed rushers in college, where he excelled as a zone blocker. The Pac-12 product is slotted for a backup role in 2019, but is the heir apparent at left tackle, as 37-year old Jason Peters enters his 16 NFL season.
Round 2 (42nd Overall): RB Miles Sanders, Penn State: Philly traded for Jordan Howard, but he’s entering the final year of his contract and they like to spread the carries around among a deep stable of backs. Only one runner had more than 90 rushes in each of the past two seasons and Josh Adams led them with 120 attempts in 2018. While this wasn’t a major need, expect Sanders to be a big part of the offense as a rookie. The PSU man brings speed, explosiveness, and change-of-direction quickness as a rusher. He is patient and has good vision with the ball in his hands. His potential as a pass catcher should help him get on the field.
Round 2 (48th Overall): WR JJ Arcega-Whiteside, Stanford: The Stanford product is a big-bodied pass catcher who checks in at 6’2” and a whopping 225 pounds with a very large catch radius. Arcega-Whiteside has big, reliable hands and one of the largest wingspans (79 7/8”) among this receiver class. He not only knows how to use his size advantage to make catches in traffic, he also has the speed to run by defenders. Difficult to bring down, the former Cardinal can make plays after the catch. The Eagles have three starting-caliber receivers in Alshon Jeffrey, Nelson Agholor, and DeSean Jackson, so Arcega-Whiteside was drafted because of value, depth, and with an eye towards the future.
Round 4 (127th Overall): DE Shareef Miller, Penn State: Philly went back to Happy Valley, dipping into the instate talent pool for the second time in the 2019 NFL Draft. Miller is light in the pants at 254 pounds, but is long (6’ 4 ½”) with very big hands (10 1/8”), which will serve him well battling in the trenches. He lacks upper-body strength, so will look to get into the backfield by using his speed off the edge. Relying on more than just speed, he’s adept enough to take advantage of tackles who overplay him to the perimeter. Against the run, Miller can have trouble getting off blocks, but he’s good in space. His primary role will be as a situational pass rusher.
Round 5 (138th Overall): QB Clayton Thorson, Northwestern: There’s no franchise that better understands the value of a backup quarterback than the Eagles do. With Nick Foles having signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars, they had an opening on the depth chart. While Nate Sudfeld is expected to be the backup in 2019, his contract is up after the season. That gives them a year to groom Thorson for the all-important job of backing up Carson Wentz. Thorson has pretty good size at 6’4” and 222 pounds, with the mobility to make things happen with his legs. He’s a solid prospect who has starter potential. The Big Ten product has an NFL-caliber arm with the intangibles teams love. He’s smart and tough. Was inconsistent as a passer but also didn’t play with a lot of talent around him in Evanston.
Daniel Mogollon is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America. He is also a voter for the Thorpe and the Rotary Lombardi Award, as well as the Latino Sports MVP Awards. You can reach him via email: email@example.com.
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