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2018 NFL Mock Draft: Eagles continue to strengthen the defensive line

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More beef.

Virginia Tech v Notre Dame

There are only 65 days until the 2018 NFL Draft begins on Thursday, April 26. We’re going to kill some time with our weekly Mock Draft Monday series from now until then.

Here’s who Dan Kadar has the Philadelphia Eagles picking in his weekly mock draft, which features trades, for SB Nation.

32. Philadelphia Eagles: Mark Andrews, TE, Oklahoma

The Eagles could lose two of their tight ends this offseason, and Andrews could fit into the Super Bowl champions’ roster straight away. South Dakota State’s Dallas Goedert would be a little bit redundant with Zach Ertz, while Andrews offers a more well-rounded game.

Kadar had the Eagles taking Andrews in last week’s mock as well. For my take on that, CLICK HERE.

In the interest of talking about something new, let’s take a look at Mike Tanier’s latest mock draft.

32. Philadelphia Eagles: Tim Settle, Defensive Tackle, Virginia Tech

Settle is a 330-pounder who can move. He battled conditioning issues at Virginia Tech, but the Eagles will only need him for a 30-snap rotation role in the short term, and Cox and Jernigan (and line coach Phillip Daniels and others in the tight-knit Eagles organization) will keep Settle from getting carried away with second helpings.

Speedy, undersized South Carolina State linebacker Darius Leonard could also fit here, as the Eagles grab best available athletes and compensate for the likely loss of Nigel Bradham. Georgia running back Sony Michel could replace LeGarrette Blount. Dallas Goedert could team up with Zach Ertz for a team that loves two-tight-end attacks but may lose Trey Burton to free agency and Brett Celek to retirement.

I get why people might not be crazy about adding another defensive tackle considering the Eagles are already paying big money to Fletcher Cox and Tim Jernigan. But they are hardly the only two defensive tackles to play snaps for Philly despite being starters.

As we all know, Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz loves rotating his d-linemen. I’m sure he also loves having great depth on the line due to how important that unit is to the defense’s overall success.

In 2017, Cox played 608 defensive snaps (59%) while Jernigan played 492 (47.7%). Now let’s look at the backups: Beau Allen played 422 defensive snaps (40.9%), Destiny Vaeao played 230 (22.3%), Elijah Qualls played 103 (10.0%), and Justin Hamilton played 44 (4.3%). All told, Eagles backup defensive tackles combined for 799 snaps. That’s a lot!

With Allen potentially set to leave in free agency, it’d be nice for the Eagles to acquire a strong third defensive tackle. And maybe Settle could be that player. Here’s a scouting report on the 6-3, 335 pound behemoth via Lance Zierlein of NFL.com:

Sources Tell Us: “I need to watch him more but Bud (Foster) moved him around and I saw a guy who can play both nose spots, 3 (technique), 4i, and maybe 5. Reminds me of when (Dontari) Poe came out. He ain’t Poe, but he can play all over the line like Poe could.” -- AFC defensive line coach

NFL Comparison: Vince Wilfork

Bottom Line: Settle has rare gifts for a big man with good mass, play strength, quickness, and agility. His substantial jump in production in 2017 was due to weight loss and additional conditioning that allowed him to play more snaps and play faster. He’s a disruptive, versatile defensive lineman who offers enough pass rush potential to warrant reps on passing downs. Settle is a natural 4-3 fit but can play in a 3-4 as well. He has the potential to become a very good starter with a Pro Bowl ceiling if he controls his weight and maintains his conditioning.

Here’s a 2017 highlights video:

I’m all for the Eagles continuing to beef up on the defensive line in order to make life hard on opposing offensive lines.