We asked you to grade the Philadelphia Eagles’ picks in the 2018 NFL Draft right after they made each of their five total selections (and their decision to trade out of the first round). Now it’s time to look back at the final results.
Trading down from No. 32 overall
The lack of instant gratification likely explains why this grade is lower for some than it arguably should be. Trading No. 32 and No. 132 to the Ravens in exchange for Baltimore’s 2019 second round pick, No. 49 (Dallas Goedert), and No. 125 (Avonte Maddox) is a good deal for the Eagles, value-wise.
That 2019 pick has the potential to be a good one for Philly. Joe Flacco has a passer rating of 82.1 over the past five seasons. Baltimore’s offense has been garbage with him at the helm. On the flip side, the Ravens’ defense has been good (third in defensive DVOA in 2017, sixth in 2016), but they lost defensive coordinator Dean Pees this offseason. Pees retired and then un-retired to join the Titans. Perhaps Baltimore’s defense takes a step back without him. That would really have Ravens fans pissed off.
Having that extra second round pick could be very important for an Eagles team that’s up tight against the cap and could lose some key players in free agency next offseason.
2nd - No. 49 - Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota State
This seems about right. It’s easy to get excited about the Goedert pick after watching his highlights. He’s a player that would’ve made some sense for the Eagles at No. 32 and they got him at No. 49. Philly did a nice job of balancing need and best player available with this selection. There was no real inspiring option behind Zach Ertz if he went down.
The only quibble I have with this pick is that I wonder how much Goedert will play this season and beyond given that Ertz is already in place for the long-term. I don’t doubt Doug Pederson will find a way to get creative with his two tight ends. I just wonder if the picks used on Goedert (No. 49 and No. 169) will ultimately justify his snap count totals is all. Rephrased in a more nerdy way, it’s a question of whether it was the most efficient use of resources.
We’ll see. In the meantime, I do expect Goedert to be a useful contributor when he does play.
4th - No. 125 - Avonte Maddox, CB, Pittsburgh
I definitely thought the Eagles needed to add a slot corner type through the draft. They addressed a need here by adding Maddox. The Pitt alumnus will also compete for playing time as a returner on kicks and/or punts, which was another low key need.
I don’t know how much instant impact Maddox will provide the Eagles. He projects as a nickel corner in the NFL, yes, but he only played 40 snaps at that position in college. Maddox might need some time to develop into the role the Eagles envision for him. It could be tough for him to immediately beat out Jalen Mills in the slot.
4th - No. 130 - Josh Sweat, DE, Florida State
Sweat is arguably the Eagles’ best “value” pick. Not everyone expected him to be available at this point in the draft.
There’s a reason why he fell, of course, and that’s due to his knee. The lingering effects of the major 2014 injury caused him to miss practice time in college as recently as last year.
If Sweat can stay healthy, he has the potential to be a very nice contributor for the Eagles. He won’t see the field much as a rookie with Brandon Graham, Michael Bennett, Derek Barnett, and Chris Long all ahead of him. But Sweat will be around when some of those older guys move on in future years.
It’s interesting to think the Eagles might have their pair of long-term starting edge rushers due to the Sam Bradford trade. Barnett was selected with Minnesota’s original first in 2017 and Sweat was selected with Minnesota’s original fourth in 2018. Methinks the Vikings might regret that.
6th - No. 206 - Matt Pryor, OT, TCU
Pryor wasn’t really on the radar for even the most fervent draft analysts, such as the ones here at BGN. In a nutshell, he seems like the poor man’s Orlando Brown (hat tip to Bo Wulf). He tested poorly as an athlete (2.7 percentile) but he’s a massive human being at 6-7, 338 pounds.
The good news is the Eagles don’t have to count on him immediately. Jason Peters and Lane Johnson are the starters at tackle with Halapoulivati Vaitai entrenched as the swing tackle. Pryor will compete for that fourth tackle job, which was held by Taylor Hart and Will Beatty at times last year. Dicey.
Pryor’s versatility to play guard makes me think the Eagles might view him as the next Allen Barbre. Barbre was valuable thanks to his ability to play any non-center position on the offensive line. If Pryor ends up being a similar player, that’s good value late in the sixth round.
7th - No. 233 - Jordan Mailata, OT, South Sydney Rabbitohs
The Mailata pick is intriguing as hell. Howie Roseman even admitted they have no real idea for this guy’s ceiling ... or his floor. He’s obviously an incredible physical specimen at 6-8, 346 pounds. And he’s only 21 years old!
It’d be incredible if Jeff Stoutland can eventually somehow turn him into an NFL contributor. For now, expectations should be kept low. This is a guy with zero football experience. Rugby player Jarryd Hayne, who had a brieft stint with the 49ers, recently talked about how it’s very difficult to comprehend an NFL playbook after having no previous football expereince.
The Mailata pick is a stab in the dark. It’s a risk worth taking given the potential reward if it works out. It’s just not very likely to happen.
Here’s how you graded the Eagles’ 2018 NFL Draft class as a whole.