Eagles

2020 NFL Draft: Breaking down Eagles' roster by round

2020 NFL Draft: Breaking down Eagles' roster by round

The Eagles will enter this month’s draft with eight picks at their disposal. 

They have one pick in each of the following rounds: First, second, third, fifth and sixth. And they have three in the fourth. 

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the current Eagles’ roster and its composition in terms of round. For this exercise, I looked at all 57 players on the roster who are not on reserve/futures contracts. 

Here’s the complete breakdown: 

First round: 6 (10.5 percent) 

Eagles: Derek Barnett, Fletcher Cox, Andre Dillard, Brandon Graham, Lane Johnson, Carson Wentz

Other: n/a

Thoughts: Last year when we did this story, the Eagles had eight former first-round picks on their roster including two from other teams in Malcolm Jenkins and Chris Long. Well, Long retired last May and Jenkins left as a free agent this offseason. The only new addition is Dillard, who replaces Nelson Agholor on the Eagles’ list. 

It’s also worth noting that all six of these players are starters and three of the six have been Pro Bowl players. The best pick of the bunch is Cox, who was taken 12th overall back in 2012. He was just named to the all-decade team for the 2010s and is still in his prime. Johnson has become the best right tackle in football. And Wentz is their franchise QB. The biggest misses in the last decade (Marcus Smith and Danny Watkins) are no longer in the league. 

Second round: 8 (14.0 percent) 

Eagles: JJ Arcega-Whiteside, Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert, DeSean Jackson, Sidney Jones, Miles Sanders

Other: Alshon Jeffery (Bears), Darius Slay (Lions) 

Thoughts: The Eagles have found success in the second round minus a few misses recently. And with Ertz, Goedert, Jackson and Sanders, the Eagles have built their offense on second-round picks. It’s too early to call Arcega-Whiteside a bust but it isn’t looking good. Jones hasn’t panned out according to plan either. 

The Eagles added Slay this offseason after they nearly drafted him back in 2013. Instead, the Eagles drafted Ertz and Slay went to the Lions with the next pick. Seven years later, they’re teammates. 

Third round: 6 (10.5 percent) 

Eagles: Rasul Douglas, Isaac Seumalo 

Other: Brandon Brooks (Texans), Daeshon Hall (Panthers), Javon Hargrave (Steelers), Duke Riley (Falcons) 

Thoughts: Similar to the Ertz-Slay situation in 2013, the Eagles were down to Seumalo and Hargrave in the third round of the 2016 draft. Fast forward four years and they’re teammates in Philadelphia. Could Hargrave follow Brooks in being a former third-round pick who didn’t reach his full potential until his second team? 

While Seumalo hasn’t been great, he’s at least grown into a solid starter. The same can’t be said for Douglas, who has been a spot starter for injured players. Not finding a true starting CB in 2017 when the Eagles drafted Jones and Douglas back-to-back has hurt the franchise. 

Fourth round: 4 (7.0 percent)  

Eagles: Avonte Maddox, Josh Sweat, Shareef Miller

Other: Hassan Ridgeway (Colts) 

Thoughts: The Eagles have three fourth-round picks, which is great, but two of them are comp picks late in the round. And it’s hard to hit consistently in the fourth round. In 2018, the Eagles got Maddox and Sweat, who have both turned into functional players. 

But in 2017, they took Mack Hollins and Donnel Pumphrey — both would be entering the final years of their rookie contracts if they lasted that long. 

Fifth round: 6 (10.5 percent) 

Eagles: Nathan Gerry, Shelton Gibson

Other: Genard Avery (Browns), Jatavis Brown (Chargers), Jake Elliott (Bengals), Malik Jackson (Broncos) 

Thoughts: Gerry has worked out nicely. He got off to a slow start in his career transitioning from safety but is expected to be a starter in 2020. Gibson almost doesn’t count because he’s in his second stint with the Eagles and is probably a longshot to make the 2020 roster. 

As for the “other” guys, Elliott and Jackson definitely figure into the team’s 2020 plans, while Avery and Brown are question marks. Avery came over for a fourth-round pick last year and barely played. Brown had a strong start to his career and the Eagles hope the free agent pickup can get back to playing like that. 

Sixth round: 8 (14.0 percent) 

Eagles: Jason Kelce, Matt Pryor

Other: Robert Davis (Redskins), Marcus Epps (Vikings), Rudy Ford (Cardinals), Will Parks (Broncos), Boston Scott (Saints), Nate Sudfeld (Redskins)  

Thoughts: Kelce is one of the best draft picks in Eagles history. Getting the best center in the NFL in the sixth-round was the saving grace of an otherwise horrendous 2011 draft class. They can’t be expected to duplicate that success. What you hope for in the sixth are competent backups like Matt Pryor — at least the Eagles hope he is. 

Among the others, Parks and Scott figure to have somewhat significant roles in 2020. The Eagles hope Sudfeld won’t have to.  

Seventh round: 2 (3.5 percent) 

Eagles: Jordan Mailata, Jalen Mills

Other: n/a

Thoughts: Since Howie Roseman got back into power in 2016, the Eagles have drafted just four seventh-round picks. The other two were Alex McCalister and Joe Walker in 2016 after they took Mills. Both Mills and Mailata could have significant roles this season and Walker’s time in Philly was short-lived but he played a little in 2017 and is still in the league. That’s a solid hit rate. 

The Eagles don’t have a seventh-rounder this year. If they don’t take one, it’ll be three years in five (under Roseman/Doug Pederson) that they don’t leave the draft with a seventh-round pick. 

Undrafted: 17 (29.8 percent) 

Eagles: T.J. Edwards, Bruce Hector, Nate Herbig, Cameron Johnston, Sua Opeta, Joe Ostman, Anthony Rush, Greg Ward

Other: Deontay Burnett (Titans), Elijah Holyfield (Panthers), Craig James (Vikings), Cre’Von LeBlanc (Bears), Rick Lovato (Bears), Rodney McLeod (Rams), Josh Perkins (Falcons), Nickell Robey-Coleman (Bills), Alex Singleton (Seahawks) 

Thoughts: Some pretty decent players in this list, topped by Rodney McLeod, who has been a starter in the league since 2013, his second NFL season. But there are plenty of contributors on this list from Edwards to Ward to Robey-Coleman, Cre’Von LeBlanc and both specialists. 

This percentage has grown from 26.8 to 29.8 in the last year. 

With the virtual setup of this year’s draft, it’ll be interesting to see how the undrafted free agent process unfolds. The Eagles have been pretty aggressive in trying to sign these guys in recent season because of their lack of draft picks. We’ll find out soon enough if they’ll be as aggressive this year. 

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Eagle Eye podcast: An athlete's role in effecting real change

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NBC Sports Philadelphia

Eagle Eye podcast: An athlete's role in effecting real change

On the latest Eagle Eye podcast, an open and honest discussion about race, injustice, police brutality and an athlete’s role in social change. 

Reuben Frank and Dave Zangaro are joined by Barrett Brooks during a difficult week in the country. 

The guys discuss Jeff Lurie’s statement and role in Philadelphia, Carson Wentz’s important message and the role of everyone necessary to push the country forward.

  • (1:05) — Jeffrey Lurie releases a powerful statement after team meeting.
  • (9:09) — Carson Wentz among athletes calling for justice after the death of George Floyd.
  • (18:09) — The isn't a Democrats or Republicans issues, it's human decency.
  • (25:17) — Malcolm Jenkins and Colin Kaepernick tried to tell us and we didn't listen.
  • (33:00) — It is important to figure out the next steps.

 

Subscribe and rate the Eagle Eye podcast: 

Apple Podcasts / Google Play / Stitcher / Spotify / Art19



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More on the Eagles

Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie 'repulsed' by injustice, vows to use platform for change

Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie 'repulsed' by injustice, vows to use platform for change

Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie released a lengthy statement on Tuesday afternoon, saying he is “heartbroken” and “repulsed” by the injustices the black community has to endure and also vowed to use his platform to effect change. 

Lurie, who has been one of the more socially responsible owners in the NFL, had been silent since the killing of George Floyd in Minnesota last week. 

During a team meeting on Monday, Lurie addressed the entire Eagles organization and then released the following statement on Tuesday, via the Eagles’ Twitter account.

Back in 2018, the Eagles formed the Eagles Social Justice Fund to “provide grants to organizations that work to reduce barriers to equal opportunity, with a specific focus on education, community and police relations, improving the criminal justice system, and other initiatives targeting poverty, racial equality, and workforce development in the Greater Philadelphia area.”

As of December 2019, that fund provided local organizations with $858,000 in funding. 

In Lurie’s statement Tuesday, he said he’s dedicated to committing more resources to organizations working on reform. 

“It is our shared responsibility to address the pain and combat systemic racism,” Lurie said. “There is so much we can all do to improve our unequal system of justice, our schools and our communities. This is a time for leadership. A time for us to be united in action.”

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More on the Eagles​​​