Eagles NFL Draft Tracker: Speed Everywhere for Philadelphia

Doug Pederson

Getty Eagles head coach Doug Pederson exited the NFL Draft with a ton of shiny new weapons on offense.

The Eagles entered the 2020 NFL Draft with eight total picks. They walked out of Day 3 with 10 new players after a flurry of aggressive and sometimes confusing moves.

Philadelphia had many people scratching their heads in the first round when they selected Jalen Reagor at No. 21. It wasn’t that anyone disliked the TCU speedster, but the fact they passed on LSU’s Justin Jefferson to take him rubbed some the wrong way. There was also a report floating around saying the Eagles had a chance to trade up and leap-frog Dallas for Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb. Those three receivers will forever be compared now.

The Eagles had a chance to stick to the script in the second round with edge rusher A.J. Epenesa or speed receiver Denzel Mims on the board. Not in the cards as they decided to turn a ripple into a splash. Philadelphia selected Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts at No. 53, a gadget-play specialist who could put undue pressure on Carson Wentz should he get hurt or struggle. Eagles GM Howie Roseman justified the decision by saying: “We want to be a quarterback factory.”

They capped Day 2 by selecting undersized linebacker Davion Taylor out of Colorado at pick No. 103 in the third round. Taylor didn’t play high school football due to his religious beliefs, then shot up NFL draft boards after clocking a blistering 4.49 in the 40 at the Combine. He upped that to 4.39 at this pro day. The pattern for the Eagles had become apparent: the need for speed, at every position.

Here’s what they did, in total (with grades):

1st Round, Pick 21, Jalen Reagor, WR, Texas Christian
2nd Round, Pick 53, Jalen Hurts, QB, Oklahoma
3rd Round, Pick 103, Davion Taylor, LB, Colorado
4th Round, Pick 127, K’Von Wallace, S, Clemson
4th Round, Pick 145, Jack Driscoll, OL, Auburn
5th Round, Pick 168, John Hightower, WR, Boise State
6th Round, Pick 196, Shaun Bradley, LB, Temple
6th Round, Pick 200, Quez Watkins, WR, Southern Miss
6th Round, Pick 210, Prince Tega Wanogho, OT, Auburn
7th Round, Pick 233, Casey Toohill, LB, Stanford

Eagles Invest in Speed, Speed, More Speed

The Eagles plowed ahead on Day 3 by addressing the safety position, another area of need with Malcolm Jenkins gone. They took Clemson’s K’Von Wallace in the fourth round (No. 127). He’s a hybrid safety and cornerback that immediately drew comparisons to Brian Dawkins. Wallace roomed with the Hall-of-Famer’s son in college. His aggressive style of play, coupled with a 4.53 40 time and 38-inch vertical, make him a fun toy on defense.

Next up, Auburn tackle Jack Driscoll in the fourth round at pick No. 145. Driscoll, a 294-pound sleeper pick, started every game at right tackle in 2018 and 2019 for the Tigers. He can shift between tackle and guard and told reporters that he has played center. He’s a possible replacement for Jason Kelce.

Then, the Eagles made a mind-boggling move when they brokered a deal with their hated division rivals in Dallas. They sent the 146th pick to the Cowboys in exchange for the 164th pick and a 2021 fifth-rounder. The compensation wasn’t bad but divisional rivals aren’t supposed to help each other, especially not when Dallas used it on Wisconsin center Tyler Biadasz.

Eagles GM Howie Roseman wasn’t done, though. He orchestrated a low-risk deal to acquire injury-prone receiver Marquise Goodwin from San Francisco. The Eagles received Goodwin and pick No. 210 overall from the 49ers in exchange for pick No. 190. Goodwin’s speed is insane: 4.27 seconds, the third-fastest time ever recorded at the Combine.

Wait, did someone say speed? They weren’t done. The Eagles used a fifth-round pick (No. 168) on Boise State receiver John Hightower. The 6-foot-1 burner from Maryland ran the 40 in 4.3 seconds. Hightower, combined with DeSean Jackson and Jalen Reagor, may form their own “Legion of Zoom” in Philly.

Philadelphia piggy-backed those moves by trading pick No. 164 to Miami in exchange for picks No. 173 and No. 227. Then, the Eagles packaged up those picks to the Bears to end up with No. 196, No. 200 and No. 233. The Eagles traded back down in the draft by sending their sixth-round selection (No. 190) to Chicago.

Filling Out the Roster in Rounds 6, Rounds 7

The Eagles stayed local and plucked a linebacker out of their backyard in the sixth round. They took Temple’s Shaun Bradley at pick No. 196 to solidify another position of need. At 6-foot-1 and 235 pounds, the Mount Holly, NJ native is a bit undersized (sensing another theme here?) but has the speed (4.51 in the 40) to excel as a WILL linebacker in a 3-4 scheme. He finished with 255 total tackles at Temple.

Speaking of speed, Quez Watkins was the next selection (No. 200, part of that Bears trade) and he can flat-out fly. The 6-foot, 185-pound receiver out of Southern Mississippi ripped through the 40-yrad dash in 4.35 seconds, the third-fastest time at the Combine. He projects as a speedy slot guy.

The Eagles parlayed the sixth-round pick (No. 210) they acquired in the 49ers trade into a 307-pound offensive tackle named Prince Tega Wanogho. The big guy excelled as a run-blocker at Auburn where he was a two-year starter. He can play both right and left tackle, possibly brought in as an insurance policy for Andre Dillard.

Lastly, Philadelphia added linebacker Casey Toohill in the seventh round (No. 233, from the Bears). Toohill was a four-year player at Stanford where he tallied 124 tackles and 14 sacks. He struggles at stopping the run but had been considered one of the best pure pass-rushers in the draft. He possesses really good size at 6-foot-4 and 250 pounds, and he’ll likely benefit from special-teams snaps in Philly.

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