I will be excited about Dallas Goedert for the next 94 years.
My 14th ranked player overall and TE1, Goedert’s presence in Philadelphia immediately makes the Eagles the hardest offense up against which to match in the NFL. We’re talking Gronk/Hernandez-level issues. We’re talking every-single-defensive-coordinator-in-the-league-hit-his-head-against-the-table level issues.
The freedom of the Eagles offense to determine matchups, disguise alignment, and run no-huddle is now unprecedented. They have the best TE duo in the NFL, the best red zone trio in the NFL, and the best offense in the NFL. Sure, my mind wanted a top tackle (Connor Williams) to back up Peters, but my heart is very full at this moment. I’m over the moon.
If they can keep this success rolling on Day 3, I’ll burst by the end of it all. With 4 picks across 4 rounds, here are three players (at each position of need remaining) that I’d target for Philadelphia.
Positions descend in order of importance.
Top dog: Tyrell Crosby, Oregon. Apparently, there are legit issues with Crosby’s medical checks that are scaring teams away. It was his junior year that was ended by the injury (left foot), but apparently the pain and instability lingered into 2017’s senior season. It may never go away. I’ve been told that scouts consider his left foot and ankle “skinny and weak,” and that he very well could bust. On film, however, Crosby strikes me as a starting tackle, and if Philadelphia thinks there’s any chance he can replace Jason Peters long-term, he’s worth the gamble.
Developmental piece: Will Richardson, NC State. Will’s been a quiet name in the process to this point for two reasons: firstly, he wasn’t great coming into this season; secondly, he has off-field concerns (two suspension in three seasons for marijuana-related nonsense). But the athletic profile is solid, and the upside flashed more and more as the season went on. Good player.
Sleeper: Desmond Harrison, West Georgia. Another player with off-field issues that got him kicked out of his first program (Texas), Harrison is one of the best movers at the position left on the board. He’s undersized and under-developed, but that athleticism in space is desirable for Philadelphia especially, and his year of sitting, lifting, and learning under Peters and Lane Johnson could benefit him tremendously
Top dog: Nick Nelson, Wisconsin. A transfer from Hawai’i, Nelson’s production at Wisconsin is eye-catching: 21 passes defensed (!!) across 15 games. The lack of INTs does create pause, but Nelson’s physicality and headiness to disrupt, mirror, and attack through the catch-point all project well to tougher NFL play. He needs to become less grabby against quicker WRs, however—that will be a primary focus for Cory Undlin, who has done well as the DB coach for Philly
Developmental piece: Anthony Averett, Alabama. A DB from Saban is a DB I tend to trust: Averett is a controlled, heady cover man with excellent foot speed and fluidity to turn. He will benefit from more true man coverage than he played in Alabama, and projects best to cover smaller slots given his thin frame (183 pounds at 5’11). Adding mass will help him handle physicality at the catch point, which is a current big question mark in his game.
Sleeper: Tre’mon Smith, Central Arkansas. An easy projection, we know Philly is willing to spend a draft pick on this small, shifty FCS prospect who also fits their need at punt returner. On film, I see a player with the foot speed, burst, and aggressiveness to play the slot well, but Smith has no idea how/when to take his risks, and regularly runs himself out of position. He’ll need a ton of eye discipline work to succeed
Top dog: Shaun Dion-Hamilton, Alabama. Like Crosby, injury concerns have pushed a Top-50 talent this far down the board. A quick and true processor who excels as a gap-shooter from in front of plays, Dion-Hamilton would prove a steady presence at WILL and sub-starter at MIKE—a great fit for Philly’s defense. If he can’t be trusted with long-term availability, however...well, the Eagles don’t need another Jordan Hicks.
Developmental piece: Genard Avery, Memphis. Weird to call my 60th overall player a developmental piece, but here we are. Avery needs work because he played EDGE more often than off-ball LB for the Tigers, but honestly, that only gets me more pumped for Philly—he’d be such a good blitzer. From the LB alignment, he gets too aggressive and needs to better deconstruct blocks, but he’s wicked physical, lightning quick, and a sure tackler. I’m down in a big way for Avery at 125 (or in a trade up).
Sleeper: Shaq Griffin, UCF. This is the first time I’ve ever pumped up Griffin to Philly, but now that it’s Day 3, hear me out: Philly has an absurdly strong roster, right? Look at all of the depth at LB. They can afford to risk a pick on a very dangerous player in Shaq Griffin. If he sticks, that means he’s good—if he doesn’t, he gets cut quickly and finds an opportunity with a team with bigger need. Philly’s roster is so good that pretty much any pick is low-risk at this point...so why not gamble on the insane upside that is Shaquem?
Top dog: Kyzir White, West Virginia. Listen, this young man can become a very good player. He’s young, he’s raw, and he makes some silly on-field decisions. But Kyzir White loves to hit, loves to mix it up in man coverage with big TEs (he’s 6’2, 220), and he has enough range to play in a Cover 2 split look. When you consider the West Virginia pipeline, White in Round 4 has serious legs for the Eagles.
Developmental piece: Dane Cruikshank, Arizona. A Malcolm Jenkins-esque player in terms of coverage ability as a safety, Cruikshank—like White—is a big (6’1 210) man-cover safety with the explosiveness and physicality to hang with tight ends up the seam. He’s a more fluid mover than White, which makes him better profile for slot work as well. He doesn’t bring the tackling ability or zone coverage looks that Kyzir does, and would work more as a box-centric player, which is what Malcolm Jenkins has become in his old age.
Sleeper: Troy Apke, Penn State. A Combine hero, Apke has the physical profile to come in and learn the ins and outs of the free safety position he never really played for the Nittany Lions. A guesser in coverage, his change-of-direction abilities are lost as he waits too long and begins to grab. When playing a deep shell, however, he showed a decent ability to read, react, and track the ball. His profile warrants a speculative add, especially as an in-state player.