2015 Draft in Review: Philadelphia Eagles
The NFL draft is over and it suddenly seems like a long time to wait for the next meaningful event on the NFL calendar. But frankly we’re still excited trying to break down what it all means for each team and so we’re going to share some of that excitement.
Every team is going to have each pick broken down as well as a look at their undrafted free agents. Let’s take a look at the Philadelphia Eagles, a team that likes to hit both value and needs when they draft.
Round 1: Nelson Agholor, WR, USC
After all of the first round trade rumors, the Eagles make a solid pick in Agholor. In a deep wide receiver class, he still stands out as one of the shiftiest route runners and best options with the ball in his hands. Agholor’s receiving grade ranked fourth in the draft class and he picked up the sixth-most yards after the catch with 573. He also showed good hands, dropping only seven of his 110 catchable passes, good for a drop rate of 6.36 percent that ranked 14th in the class. He should get plenty of opportunities to produce in the Eagles’ offense.
Depth Chart Fit: The road appears clear for Agholor to start opposite Riley Cooper. He can also do damage in the slot, so expect the Eagles to move Agholor around.
Round 2: Eric Rowe, CB/FS, Utah
Another pick to like, Rowe made a smooth transition to cornerback after starting at free safety for three years. A move back to safety may be in the cards, but at the very least, he brings a versatile option to the Eagles’ defense. He was a Top-20 player in coverage while ranking third among cornerbacks against the run. Rowe also adds sure tackling to the mix as he only missed two of his 51 attempts to rank fourth in tackling efficiency. When you add it all up, Rowe is a well-rounded player capable of covering a variety of athletes while providing solid run support regardless of whether he’s labeled as a cornerback or a safety.
Depth Chart Fit: If remaining at cornerback, Rowe has the inside track to start on the outside opposite Byron Maxwell. Regardless of label, Rowe’s versatility is a big part of his value.
Round 3: Jordan Hicks, LB, Texas
We don’t mind Hicks as a player, but saw him as more of a mid-round option than a third-rounder. He graded positively in all phases, while his coverage grade ranked ninth in the draft class. Hicks adds yet another good tackler as he missed one of every 21 attempts, good for third among inside linebackers in the draft class.
Depth Chart Fit: The inside linebacker spots are currently manned by Mychal Kendricks and Kiko Alonso, but there are still trade rumors surrounding Kendricks. If he stays in Philadelphia, Hicks will likely be the top backup with a chance to get on the field on passing downs.
Round 6: JaCorey Shepherd, CB, Kansas
The first of two sixth-round value picks, Shepherd’s coverage grade ranked seventh in the nation and tied for fifth in the draft class. He allowed only 38.6 percent of passes to be completed into his coverage, third-best in the class, and he tied for second with 15 passes defensed.
Depth Chart Fit: It’s a crowded cornerback position, but Shepherd should make a strong case for a roster spot and more.
Round 6: Randall Evans, CB, Kansas State
Evans wasn’t quite as good as Shepherd last season, but he held his own with a Top-30 coverage grade in the class. He posted positive grades in all but four games last season as he brings some size to the cornerback rotation.
Depth Chart Fit: Evans faces the same deep cornerback depth chart as Shepherd.
Round 7: Brian Mihalik, ED, Boston College
At 6-foot-9, Mihalik resembles the long defensive linemen that Chip Kelly coveted when recruiting at Oregon. Mihalik struggled as a pass rusher, managing only 26 pressures on 321 pass rushes, but he came on as a run defender after a slow start to the season.
Depth Chart Fit: Mihalik’s big frame projects to 3-4 defensive end in the Eagles’ system where he’ll battle the likes of Brandon Bair, Vinny Curry, and Taylor Hart for playing time.
Brett Boyko, OT, UNLV: Started eight games at left tackle and five at left guard, posting strong performances at both positions. He gave up four sacks, two hits, and 13 hurries on 602 pass block attempts on the season.
Jordan DeWalt-Ondijo, ED, Duke: A one-dimensional player, DeWalt-Ondijo’s pass rush grade ranked 16th in the edge rusher class but he paired it with a run stopping grade that ranked 108th.
Rasheed Bailey, WR, Delaware Valley: Did not play any snaps against FBS competition.
Malcolm Bunche, OT, UCLA: Started six games at left tackle and three at left guard while playing in a backup role in two others. Posted a negative grade in the running game while surrendering five sacks, two hits, and nine hurries on 387 pass block attempts.
Mike Coccia, C, UNH: Only one game against FBS competition (Toledo), Coccia graded negatively in the run game while surrendering two hurries on 55 pass block attempts.
Devante Davis, WR, UNLV: Caught seven of 22 deep pass attempts for 254 yards, but hands were an issue as he dropped six of 40 catchable passes, good for a drop rate of 15.0 percent that ranked 118th in the class.
Andrew Gleichert, TE, Michigan State: Played 273 snaps, catching one of the two passes thrown his way while posting a negative run blocking grade.
John Harris, WR, Texas: Caught 68% of targets for 1023 yards while dropping nine of 76 catchable passes. Posted the third-best blocking grade among wide receivers in the class.
Cole Manhart, C, Nebraska-Kearney: Did not play any snaps against FBS competition.
B.J. McBryde, DI, UConn: Showed well against the run with a positive grade on 190 run snaps, but managed only seven total pressures on 173 pass rushes.
Raheem Mostert, RB, Purdue: Finished with an average rushing grade on his way to forcing 13 missed tackles on 93 carries.
Travis Raciti, DI, San Jose State: Posted slight positive grades against the run and as a rusher, including five sacks, three hits, and 13 hurries on 270 pass rushes. Played 513 of his snaps against the run.
Denzel Rice, CB, Coastal Carolina: Did not play any snaps against FBS competition.
Kip Smith, P, Oklahoma State: Posted a poor punting grade while managing 15 touchbacks on 67 kickoffs.
Eric Tomlinson, TE, UTEP: Posted a strong run blocking grade to go with an average grade in the passing game on his 515 snaps.
Justin Tukes, TE, UCF: Graded average against the run while catching five of his seven targets for 45 yards.
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