Day 2 of the draft is in the books and the Eagles made 2 selections. Let’s talk about the players and what to expect from day 3 of the draft.
iOL Landon Dickerson, Alabama
Eschewing their clear needs at CB, S, and LB, the Eagles took a swing at iOL prospect Landon Dickerson. Dickerson is a versatile offensive lineman who has taken snaps at all five line positions but is more of a C/G than OT. He is a mauler on the interior of the line who wins by bullying opponents at the point of attack. He has below-average athleticism, but when he isn’t asked to play in space he excels. Dickerson easily has 1st round talent but a laundry list of injuries and medical red flags pushed him down draft boards. He has a torn ACL in his right knee, ligament damage to his left knee, had ankle surgery, and another ankle injury. He was at Alabama for 5 seasons after taking a medical redshirt in one of them. Of those 5 seasons, he only played 1 of them from start to finish.
Jason Kelce’s retirement feels imminent at this point and Dickerson would be a great replacement for him once that happens. He also offers some insurance against another injury to RG Brandon Brooks. The medical red flags are very concerning, but if anyone is plugged into what is going on with him it would be offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland, who came from Alabama and almost returned there this offseason.
I’m giving the Eagles a B- for the selection of Landon Dickerson. He was the #2 iOL prospect on my board behind Creed Humphrey who lasted until pick 63 to the Kansas City Chiefs. Dickerson is a better player but the injury history is very concerning. On one hand, the Eagles are rebuilding their roster and thus should be willing to take risks like this. But, on the other hand, no team has been more plagued by injuries in the past 2-3 years than the Eagles. At a certain point, you can’t keep blaming injuries for bad seasons when you continue to draft prospects with major injury questions and pay vets with injury issues.
Who I Would Have Picked
I would have selected LB/S Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah. The Eagles have clear needs at both positions, so wherever JOK ends up fitting would have been an upgrade. He is a swiss army knife type of player for the defense who can play WILL linebacker, box safety, and even cover TEs and slot WRs in man coverage. Unlike Dickerson, Owusu-Koramoah would have made a day 1 impact for an Eagles team that desperately needs impact players.
DE Milton Williams, LA Tech
After trading back from 70 to 73 for an additional 6th round pick, the Eagles selected DT Milton Williams. There is some confusion by fans about the position that Williams plays. At LA Tech, he often aligned as a 5 technique (across from the OT) on early downs and then slid inside on late downs. If you look at him against all defensive linemen you can see that he profiles as an elite athlete although he is undersized for the position.
If you look at him compared to only defensive tackles, then the athleticism pops even more but the trade-off is that he becomes even more undersized.
Williams’ Raw Athletic Score as a defensive end is 9.96, which is ranked 7th out of 1,371 DEs evaluated since 1987. Despite his size, he is an excellent run defender who possesses a high motor and great vision. He tends to be slow out of his stance and, although active on every pass-rushing rep, fails to display a wide array of pass-rushing moves or the ability to string them together.
I’m also giving the Eagles a B- for the selection of Milton Williams. On one side of the equation, you have an elite athlete who was available in the 3rd round and that is the type of player worth taking a risk on. On the other side of the equation, you ignored clear needs all over the rest of the defense to take a defensive lineman.
There is also this:
Yikes. Howie later seemed to indicate that someone they wanted at 70 went after they traded down. Regardless of who the target was (likely Alim McNeill or Aaron Robinson) I hope adding a 4th pick in the 6th round was worth it.
Who I Would Have Picked
When I write these I take into consideration who I would have taken at the previous picks. For example, here I would have taken LB Jabril Cox given the Eagles pick of Landon Dickerson. But, since I already said I would have taken JOK at that spot I don’t want to select back-to-back linebackers. So, given those constraints, I would have selected CB Paulson Adebo.
Adebo has 24 pass break-ups in the last 2 seasons. He has excellent ball skills and good speed and has a good feel for zone coverage. He is willing as a tackler but his technique is shaky and he will need to improve as a force defender against the run. Adebo would be a great fit for the Eagles on the outside and could mirror #2 WRs in man coverage or sit in short zones.
Overall Thoughts From Day 2
I don’t mind the Landon Dickerson pick or the Milton Williams pick in a vacuum. If either of the picks had been a defensive back or a linebacker I would have been really happy with day 2. But that wasn’t the case, so I can’t help but feel underwhelmed by the selections. The Eagles were the worst team in the worst division in the history of the NFL last year. With 4 picks in the first 3 rounds, I truly expected to walk away with 2-3 year 1 starters. They used 2 of those picks to select DeVonta Williams who will be a day 1 starter but I don’t see Landon Dickerson or Milton Williams being a starter this season. It is possible that Dickerson beats out Isaac Seumalo for the LG spot or that Milton Williams takes over Derek Barnett’s spot, but there were just bigger needs.
Not that a rebuilding team should necessarily draft for needs, there is an element of taking the best player available here as well. But the Eagles have one of the riskiest drafts in the NFL through day 2. I think every player they took was valued appropriately, but they selected 3 players with very high ceilings and low floors. DeVonta Smith has major size concerns, Landon Dickerson has major health concerns, and Milton Williams has major size and experience concerns. For an organization that hasn’t had a significant risk payoff in the last 3 years, it is a bold approach to take that will either boom or bust.
What to Expect on Day 3
The Eagles have 8 picks in the last 4 rounds of the draft. They have 1 pick in the 4th and 5th, 5 picks in the 6th, and two 7th rounders. I would expect the team to be very active moving around on day 3 as they usually are and maybe even some pick for player trades similar to the Marquise Goodwin trade last season. There is also a chance you see a Zach Ertz trade today. If that happens, I would expect to see him valued somewhere around a 5th or 6th round pick.
The Eagles could still stand to pick up a TE, RB, and a plethora of players for the back 7 of the defense. Here is a list of some of my top players available on day 3:
- LB Jabril Cox
- WR Tylan Wallace
- RB Michal Carter
- LB Dylan Moses
- CB/S Trill Williams
- CB Tay Gowan
- S Richard LeCounte
- S Hamsah Nasirildeen
- WR Sage Surratt
- RB Rhamondre Stevenson
- DT Tommy Togiai
- CB Tre Brown
- S Ar’Darius Washigton
- TE Brevin Jordan
- LB Cameron McGrone