Grading the Philadelphia Eagles 2020 Draft by Alberto Torres
Without question this past NFL draft will be remembered for so many things. First time ever, being a virtual draft, that was very very successful. Teams loaded up and traded up and traded down with rival teams to get their hands on this deep and great class of athletes. Who would of thought trading with teams that are your rivals in your division would have occurred so much and so frequently... but the quarantine makes people do some non-sensical things. The Philadelphia Eagles seemed to many fans and media to have made some of those non-sensical moves. Trade with their fiercest rival in the Dallas Cowboys, draft a QB to backup Wentz with an important 2nd round pick that many preferred the Eagles to use elsewhere, but here we are a full day removed from one of those eventful and much needed sports related event in the 2020 NFL Draft. Let us look at what the eagles did in each round and give them a final grade.
Round 1, 21st pick: WR Jalen Reagor No secret the Eagles needed a WR and maybe more then just one to satisfy the fans and most importantly to help Carson Wentz. The Eagles were projected for months and it was etched in marker that the Eagles will get another high ranked WR in LSU WR Justin Jefferson. Howie Roseman and the Eagles FO had other plans in mind. They go with Reagor who is another Desean Jackson even has some comparisons to Steve Smith Sr. He fits what the Eagles need at that position and will serve to be the right move when all is said and done. There were rumors that a possible trade up was possible ahead of the cowboys who grabbed one of the top WR in Ceedee Lamb, that trade up would have been with the Falcons but they asked for way more and the Eagles stayed firm to who and what they wanted and yes it is Ceedee Lamb, once and a lifetime generational talent but Reagor is a consolation prize and the right move for Philly. Grade: B+
Round 2, Pick 53- QB Jalen Hurts The Eagles stole the show in the 2nd and shocked and confused the football world and the other 31 teams in this draft by making this bold move. People can question it, that is their Prerogative but it makes sense in so many levels be it deep or small levels. Eagles went against the current of what they’d normally do and secured a “insurance policy” of sorts in a vital position that is almost always overlooked or not appreciated until it is needed, that is the Backup QB spot. People can argue he would have been their the next time the Eagles picked and I doubt that wholeheartedly. Saints just this morning (4/26/20) extended QB/Swiss army knife Tysom Hill and were finalizing a deal with Jameis Winston, this tells me the Saints were just as high on Jalen Hurts as the Eagles and would have leaped in on Hurts if he fell to them.
This isn’t an indictment on Carson Wentz and how he plays on the field, the FO isn’t questioning his passion or his skill set but injuries are building up and Seattle vs the Eagles in the Wild Card game scarred this FO. Josh McCown you did all you can with a leg injury you got during the game but can you imagine if a QB like Jalen Hurts had to come in, maybe the results would have been different, maybe this team makes a deeper run. A need at Backup QB was needed and it alleviates the possibility of the what-if. Best case scenario Carson stays healthy and helps bring this city a Championship but Eagles are covering there bases and they stole the most underrated QB in this draft class. Grade: Low-key A.
Round 3, Pick 103 LB Davion Taylor Has the skills is athletic and within a years time could surprise and contribute more then expected. Speed is the name of the game in the game plan the a Eagles front office had in mind heading into this draft. They got a speedy and athletic LB. Grade C+ **Spoiler alert the 3rd day was by far the best for the Eagles draft in so many ways** Round 4, Pick 127 S K’Von Wallace The steal of the draft. The end. No seriously, how did this stud fall all the way down to the 4th. He easily will come in and fill in the shoes of Malcolm Jenkins, not an easy task but he has such a rare skill set and a combination of experience in other places he can be used at that will benefit this team. He Loved being picked by the Eagles and instantly became a fan favorite. This move improved further a vastly improved secondary. Grade A+
Round 4, Pick 145 OL Jack Driscoll 1 of 2 Auburn offensive linemen drafted by the Eagles in this deep draft. Oh, did you think this class was only deep at Wide Receiver? No. Offensive line is another area that had so much depth it was borderline blubber how much depth their was at the offensive line in this class. Driscoll prepared and prepped some at center before getting drafted and it’s a skill set that not many have to be versatile like Driscoll and be moved anywhere that he could be needed in that interior of the Eagles offensive line. He still needs to develop some but with Jeff Stoutland, he will get the best out of Driscoll. Grade C+ Round 5, Pick 168 WR John Hightower Jalen Reagor alone wasn’t going to fix the hole at WR but the Eagles emphasis heading into this draft was speed and speed and speed. They get an excellent speedy play maker in John Hightower. But if you think this was it at that position you will be highly disappointed. -Side note- John Hightower pick was originally a 4th but it was traded with the rival Dallas Cowboys and in turn they swapped it for a future 5th in 2021, Howie loves value especially at the expense of a rival. Grade: B
Round 6, Pick 196 LB Shaun Bradley Eagles double dip at LB, they know it’s a need but it isn’t a need they are bending over backwards to address, its plug and play. The defensive-line is the bread and butter of that defense which offsets any deficiencies the Linebackers may bring and it helps the secondary become more focal. Shaun Bradley is a local product from Temple and similar to his counterpart Davis has speed and has strength, will take time to develop but could be a niche player for this team. Grade C Round 6, pick 200 WR Quez Watkins Another WR!!! Howie decided to triple dip at the position of most need in a burner but in a player that many had graded higher then he was selected. His speed and his contested catches and playing inside and outside will solidify him a spot on this roster and be a sneaky yet reliable target for Carson Wentz. Grade B Round 6, Pick 210 Another Receiver!!! No, but the Eagles were wise and swapped picks with the 49ers and with that swap they landed another track-star receiver in WR Marquise Goodwin. Again speed was the focal point of this Eagles draft and they get a steal with a veteran presence that can help contribute. A+ move.
OT Prince Tega Wanogho 2 of 2 of Auburn offensive linemen, if not for concern of injuries for Tega no doubt a day two selection at some point if not for the injuries. He comes into an ideal situation, he won’t be asked to start but he will be asked to possibly cross train and learn from the veterans and coaches that will serve him well. A rotational tackle was needed after Big V left and Jason Peters was released. Jeff Stoutland will get him ready if need be. Grade B+ Round 7, Pick 233 LB/DE Casey Toohill Intelligence and an eloquent verbiage is what this guy brings to the table but he is a sneaky good player at his position. Now it’s a matter of seeing how the Eagles want to use him as a LB or as a DE. Grade C-