Philadelphia Eagles 2017 Draft Review

1st/14 Derek Barnett, DE

Ht.: 6-3  Wt.: 259 School: Tennessee

Combine testing did Derek Barnett no favors, but when you break Reggie White’s career sack record it’s a clear indication he knows how to get to the quarterback. Barnett was at his best against the top completion with 21 of his 33 sacks against SEC teams while adding 32.5 tackles for loss. Playing in Jim Schwartz’s Wide 9 scheme will only enhance his pass rushing and allow him to make an instant impact.

 

2nd/43 Sidney Jones, CB

Ht.: 6-0 Wt.: 186 School: Washington

Before suffering an Achilles tear during his Pro Day workout Jones was considered to be a lock to go in the top twenty and be the second cornerback off the board. At a minimum Jones will start next season on the PUP list but as long as he recovers the Eagles could be getting one of the steals of the draft as Jones has the speed and change of direction skills needed to mirror defenders.

 

3rd/99 Rasul Douglas, CB

Ht.: 6’2 Wt.: 209 School: West Virginia

Picking Jones in the second round was a luxury pick taking whereas the Eagles are counting on Douglas to come in and challenge for a starting role immediately. Douglas is a a long press comer who struggles with changing direction but in Jim Schwartz’s defense they play mainly zone coverage which will allow Douglas to react coming forward and use his sped and length to break up passes.

 

4th/118 Mack Hollins, WR

Ht.: 6-4 Wt.: 221 School: North Carolina

After a disastrous performance by the Eagles receivers last year, improving the unit was top priority. Hollins plays in a similar style to Alshon Jeffery in that he is a vertical weapon who wins with his body control and the ability to go up and get the ball. Hollins has starting potential and could give Wentz another tall receiver to throw the ball up to.

 

4th/132 Donnel Pumphrey, RB

Ht.: 5’8 Wt.: 176 School: San Diego State

Despite his size Pumphrey has been a workhorse for the Aztecs breaking Ron Dayne’s career rushing record. Because of his size he won’t be used as a traditional running back and instead being used as a weapon out of the backfield like current teammate Darren Sproles has ben.

 

5th/166 Shelton Gipson, WR

Ht.: 5-11 Wt.: 191 School:West Virginia

After adding a big receiver similar to Alshon Jeffery the Eagles double back and add Gipson who gives them a speed element similar to Torrey Smith who was also signed in free agency. Gipson is a big play threat down the field taking the top off the defense and forcing safety help.

 

5th/184 Nathan Gerry, S

Ht.: 6-2 Wt.: 218 School: Nebraska

While at Nebraska Gerry has shown that he can play back in zone coverage with 13 career interceptions while also coming down into the box with 273 total tackles. Tight hips will limit Gerry’s ability to cover man to man but he has the skill set to develop into a starting strong safety down the line.

 

6th/214 Elijah Qualls, DT

Ht.: 6-1 Wt.: 313 School: Washington

It is clear that Qualls is a former high school wrestler based on who well he uses his hands to take on blocks and make plays in the run game. Qualls will benefit in the NFL from staying inside at tackle and playing in a phone both rather than being moved outside to rush the passer like he did at Washington.

 

Best Pick

Barnett (first round)

 

Upside Pick

Hollins (fourth round)

 

Overall Thoughts

There is plenty to like in the Eagles draft as they potentially got two top twenty prospects along with several players with high upside. Fixing the secondary and giving Carson Wentz were the two goals coming into this draft and they hit on both of them.

Grade: B

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