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Eagles pick up three new players in ESPN’s 2019 NFL re-draft

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How do you like this hypothetical haul?

NFC Championship - Green Bay Packers v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

Still no real news on the Philadelphia Eagles’ offensive coordinator search so why not pass the time with a fun activity like ESPN’s recent re-draft of the first two rounds of the 2019 NFL Draft?

As a reminder, here’s what the Philadelphia Eagles ended up with in reality:

1st - No. 22 (trade up) - Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State

2nd - No. 53 - Miles Sanders, RB, Penn State

2nd - No. 57 - J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, WR, Stanford

And here’s what the Eagles ended up with in ESPN’s re-draft:

1st - No. 25 - Deebo Samuel, WR, South Carolina

Samuel led all rookies with catches of 20-plus yards (17), finished fourth with 802 receiving yards, and racked up 159 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. He would look pretty good paired with quarterback Carson Wentz for the next several years, especially given the Eagles’ need to find young talent at the position.

2nd - No. 53 - Juan Thornhill, S, Virginia

Thornhill had three interceptions — including one he returned for a touchdown — to go with eight passes defensed and 58 tackles before an ACL tear late in the season. Rodney McLeod is a free agent and Malcolm Jenkins has said he won’t return under his current contract. The Eagles could use a succession plan at the safety position.

2nd - No. 57 - David Montgomery, RB, Iowa State

Montgomery finished second among rookies in rushing yards (889) and rushing touchdowns (six). The Eagles are happy with how the actual draft shook out, having landed Miles Sanders, but they’ll settle for Montgomery, who proved he can be a productive, tackle-shedding back in this league. Arcega-Whiteside caught just 10 of his 22 targets.

The Eagles’ re-draft class obviously would’ve been able to help the team out a lot more in 2019 than their real class did. The Eagles desperately needed help at receiver and JJAW basically gave the team nothing. Thornhill would’ve been a nice No. 3 safety as a rookie before taking over as a full-time starter in place of Rodney McLeod in 2020. Montgomery is a downgrade from Sanders but he still would’ve helped out.

Of course, the Eagles’ re-draft doesn’t give the team a replacement plan at left tackle, which is kind of a big deal. And are the Eagles able to make their late season run to win the NFC East without Sanders around?

Let’s put it to a vote: which class would you rather have?

Poll

Which draft class is better?

This poll is closed

  • 71%
    The Eagles’ real class (Dillard, Sanders, JJAW)
    (3361 votes)
  • 28%
    ESPN’s re-draft class (Samuel, Thornhill, Montgomery)
    (1343 votes)
4704 votes total Vote Now

We should also note that Dillard dropped to the Los Angeles Rams at No. 31 in the re-draft.

The Rams went into the season hoping a few of their young midround offensive linemen would pan out. Through injuries and shifting positions, several young linemen showed progress in their development. However, they should have spent a first-round pick on a tackle like Dillard, who could have spent a season learning from the longtime veteran Andrew Whitworth before taking over full time in 2020.

Sanders, meanwhile, went off the board to the Miami Dolphins at No. 48, which was earlier than his real draft spot:

The Dolphins were the NFL’s worst rushing team last season, and Sanders is a great choice to help that issue. His explosive rushing and receiving ability made him an Offensive Rookie of the Year candidate. There was strong consideration here to take Christian Wilkins or Jeffery Simmons given the great value, but it’s hard to take back-to-back interior defensive linemen given Miami’s many needs.

You’ll be shocked to see that JJAW was not selected in the first two rounds of the re-draft. Nine total wide receivers did get selected in the re-draft. For perspective, JJAW was the sixth receiver selected in the actual 2019 NFL Draft.