The start of the free-agency period is still two weeks away but the Philadelphia Eagles are off and running. The team signed former Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Renell Wren to a reserve/futures contract on Friday, according to his agent Kenny Zuckerman.
The Eagles later officially announced the move. Wren was selected in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL draft, 125th overall out of Arizona State. He appeared in 12 games for the Bengals, including two starts. The 6-foot-5, 315-pounder made nine total tackles on 196 defensive snaps while seeing another 48 snaps on special teams. The 26-year-old missed the 2020 campaign due to a season-ending right quadriceps injury.
Eagles general manager Howie Roseman has long emphasized how much he values strengthening the defensive line. He’s never afraid to take a flier on a promising interior lineman in the draft or grab someone else’s failed project in free agency.
Wren will jump into a strong defensive line rotation in Philadelphia featuring Fletcher Cox, Javon Hargrave, Milton Williams, Marvin Wilson and Marlon Tuipulotu. And there’s a good chance Roseman spends an early pick on another one in April. Travon Walker has been mentioned.
“We’re always going to build this football team and we’re going to start with the line of scrimmage. Right or wrong, as long as I’m here, that’s going to be the priority,” Roseman told reporters last May. “If we have an offensive lineman or defensive lineman sticking out on our board and they’re the highest guy, I promise you we’re going to take them.”
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Wren Called ‘Stupid Sick’ in Scouting Report
Wren was drafted right where most scouts thought, in the third our fourth round. NFL Media’s Lance Zierlein compared him to former Washington defensive tackle Kedric Golston. He called Wren a “boom or bust” prospect with good “strength and athleticism.”
The Draft Network’s Benjamin Solak had a slightly higher opinion of the St. Louis native. He gushed over his explosiveness – Wren’s best trait, according to Solak – and complimented his first-step quickness. Solak wrote the following:
Stupid sick, man. Has a tremendous blend of lower-body power, snap anticipation, and fleet-footedness. Improved pad level off the snap throughout the course of 2018 helped solve issue of popping upright at the snap, which allowed for more production based off first step quickness. Multiple examples of destroying play concept with initial surge; when lined up over center, attacks with hands early to build successful rushes off of winning early with explosiveness.
Wren enjoyed a stellar college career at Arizona State where he recorded 43 total tackles (4.5 for loss), one sack, and two pass breakups as a senior. He started 13 games at nose tackle to earn All-Pac 12 honors.
NFL Combine Kicks Off in Indianapolis
With the Senior Bowl in the books, the eyes of the NFL world turn to the NFL Scouting Combine. Prospective draft picks – 324 players were invited – and personnel executives from all 32 franchises will descend upon Indianapolis from March 1 through March 7.
Eagles general manager Howie Roseman and head coach Nick Sirianni are scheduled to address the media on March 2 starting at 1:15 p.m. The Eagles have three first-round picks in this year’s draft.