We all know that the Philadelphia Eagles drafted quarterback Carson Wentz out of North Dakota State University with the No. 2 overall pick in the first round. You can read all about that here. What some folks don’t seem to understand is that there are in fact more rounds to the NFL Draft and those picks actually matter too. Imagine that. Let’s talk about the Eagles’ draft after the first round and look at some of the good and not so good picks they made.
Round 3, pick No. 79: Isaac Seumalo, C, Oregan State
My Take: I really like this pick. It just made sense for the Eagles to draft an offensive lineman here considering their last offensive lineman draft pick was Lane Johnson in 2013. Not to mention all the investing in quarterbacks this offseason. Seumalo stands at 6-foot-4, weighs 303 lbs, and has a 33″ arm length. He had good size and is solid in both facets of the game. The downside is he is far from being dominant but is well known for being consistent and getting the job done. Pro Football Focus also gave Seumalo its second highest grade for pass protection among guards in this year’s draft. I’d say that’s pretty good. Eagles Head Coach Doug Pederson said in an interview in regard to Semalo, “We love his versatility.”
Seumalo will have the chance to compete for the Eagles’ starting left guard spot against Allen Barbre.
Round 5, pick No. 153: Wendell Smallwood RB, West Virginia
My Take: I’m actually pretty content with this pick too. I think the Eagles made a good decision to take Smallwood during a round where a few different RBs were taken within a couple picks of each other.
Smallwood is 5-foot-10 and weighs 208lbs. He led the Big 12 with 1,519 rushing yards in 2015. Not bad. Not bad at all. Smallwood also added 31 receptions for a total of 326 yards. This is a very important aspect of his game because it could be crucial for succeeding in Pederson’s west coast style offense.
Round 5, pick No. 164: Halapoulivaati Vaitai, OT, TCU
My Take: Good luck pronouncing this guy’s name. I almost would rather he turns out to be a bust because I think I would get a headache hearing the announcers say his name every couple plays. But seriously, once again not a bad pick. I see where the Eagles are going with this. They want to create a group of young offensive lineman that will keep the team stocked at its most important positions.
Vaitai is 6-foot-6 and weighs 320 lbs. His strengths are considered to be his lateral quickness, adequate athleticism, and his mental awareness. His weaknesses are that he is too stiff-legged, has very poor hand strength, and has a very average foot quickness.
The bottom line is Vaitai has been a full time starter at TCU for the last two seasons, but he doesn’t have the pure athleticism to play left tackle or the core power to start on the right side.
Round 6, pick No. 196: Blake Countess, CB, Auburn
My Take: Last year the Eagles and Chip Kelly traded away Brandon Boykin, a very effective nick cornerback, because of his height.
Well, I guess with Chip’s departure also went the height bias because Countess stands at 5-foot-9 and weights 184 lbs. Eagles executive vice president of football operations, Howie Roseman said that the team received a recommendation from Auburn defensive coordinator Will Muschamp. “Coach Muschamp, when you check in with him, he thinks he was not only one of the best players on the defense, he thinks he was one of the best players on the team,” Roseman said.
I would say that is a good sign.
Round 7, pick No. 233: Jalen Mills, S, Louisiana State University
My Take: Mills had an interesting career at LSU, including a misdemeanor for allegedly punching a woman (it later was dropped) and a broken left fibula, which caused him to miss five games.
Mills is 6 foot and weighs 191 lbs. A four year starter in a talented conference with good slot cover ability.
In 46 games, Mills intercepted six passes and broke up 16. He played cornerback, safety, and nickleback during his college career at LSU.
Round 7, pick No. 240: Alex McCalister, DE, Florida
My Take: McCalister is a 6-foot-6, 239 lb defensive end who still needs to develop. He is a good athlete but gets by mostly on raw talent and not fundamentals. He could also use some more weight on his frame but I’m sure that won’t be a problem. With some coaching and conditioning work, McCalister may realize his potential in defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz‘s pressuring the QB scheme.
Round 7, pick No. 251: Joe Walker, ILB, Oregon
My Take: Basically, the Eagles’ roster is light in the linebacker department so I think this pick was purely made to add some more depth to the position.
The 6-foot-2 inside linebacker will have to compete hard and show out during training camp in order to earn a spot. It will not be easy.