First Round, Number 26 overall – Marcus Smith, Outside Linebacker, Louisville
Not going to lie, as an Eagles fan at this point in the draft I expected a receiver like Florida States Kelvin Benjamin, or USC’s Marquise Lee. But i was sadly mistaken when I heard Marcus Smith’s name called. Now this was not a name that came up frequently in anyone’s mock draft so i hadn’t looked into it too much. After looking into it Smith will be a much needed upgrade from Brandon Graham. With 14.5 sacks last year he tied for second among NCAA ranks. Seeing as how it was completely necessary we addressed the pass rush, and that UCLA’s Anthony Barr wasn’t available, the pick of Marcus Smith should prove to be an intelligent move.
Second Round, Number 42 overall (by trade) – Jordan Matthews, Wide Receiver, Vanderbuilt
I was very happy with this pick. I expect Matthews to come in and make an immediate impact. Before you even make an assumption, no im not saying that he will replace Desean Jackson but he will impact them in a different way. Matthews has size, as well as excellent hands. Right now Chip Kelly says he will be in the slot where he could easily become effective. While Matthews might not be able to stretch the defense like Desean Jackson, Darren Sproles one of the the newest acquisitions will help in that department significantly.
Third Round, Number 86 overall – Josh Huff, Wide Receiver, Oregon
Okay now this one had me a little baffled. The receiving core that was pretty diminished before the free agency period started, filled up quick. After the free agency period the birds had Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper fresh off new contracts.Daren Sproles and Zach Ertz who also have the capability of lining up wide became a topic of conversation. Then in the second round enter Jordan Matthews a big physical receiver out of Vanderbuilt. So my question is why was this the choice with other needs that needed to be addressed? The only upsides are he already has chemistry with coach Chip Kelly, and that he will have the offense pretty much down already.
Fourth Round. Number 101 overall – Jaylen Watkins, Corner Back, Florida
I like this pick. A lot. Granted he doesn’t have the immediate buzz that his half-brother Sammy Watkins does, but don’t count him out. He is a very versatile option in the Eagles secondary. He has speed and the ability to play the safety position if needed. Looking at the Eagles secondary you need to see that their are no locks. Watkins might end up getting moved back and forth from corner to safety and it would be surprising. Coach Kelly Loves this pick and says that Jaylen Watkins is someone with an extremely high football IQ.
Fifth Round. Number 141 overall – Taylor Hart. Defensive End, Oregon
I also enjoy this pick. This former Oregon Duck is what i believe is a potential steal. He is a physical player who brings everything he has to every snap. Hart has familiarity with Jerry Azzinaro the defensive line coach as well as college head coach, Chip Kelly which is an excellent start. In the coming years do not be surprised if you see Taylor Hart become an effective defensive end in the NFL under the reigns of Chip Kelly.
Sixth Round Number 162 overall – Ed Reynolds, Safety, Stanford
After picking up Malcolm Jenkins from free agency in the off season the Eagles seemed to making steps in the right direction. Malcolm Jenkins came in and will immediately fill a starting spot in the upcoming season. After Jenkins there is a good chance the Earl Wolff, or the somewhat resurgent Nate Allen.will fill the second position. Now if one of these safeties doesn’t work out don’t be surprised if you see Ed Reynolds make his way into the rotation. He is the most physical safety that has been in the organization since Brian Dawkins. Now that might be an opinion, but Reynolds is not afraid to attack the run and use being physical to his advantage.
Seventh Round 224 overall – Beau Allen, Nose Tackle, Wisconsin
The Eagles added some serious needed size at nose tackle. Beau Allen stands at 6-2, 323 pounds and is an absolute run stuffer. Over his collegiate career he racked up 94 tackles, 15 of which were for a loss. On top of that he racked up 8 sacks. He adds an excellent option to switch on and off with Bennie Logan if they choose to attack the run. To wrap up the draft, Allen adds excellent versatility to the Eagles nose tackle position.