The Eagles left the first round of the 2019 NFL draft with offensive tackle Andre Dillard from Washington State and that was far from the most surprising thing to happen on Thursday night.
In order to get Dillard, they had to trade up three spots from 25 to 22, a move they thought was well worth it to get a player they considered to be a top-10 pick (see story).
Here are five takeaways from Day 1 of the NFL draft:
1. The Dillard pick makes plenty of sense to me. I thought he was in play for the Eagles. In fact, in my mock draft, I had him going to the Texans at 23, so it actually looks like the Eagles ruined that for me. (OK, I’m done patting myself on the back.)
Howie Roseman wasn’t lying when he said the Eagles weren’t going to draft for need or even worry about how much his first-round pick will play as a rookie. Because if Lane Johnson and Jason Peters stay on the field in 2019, Dillard is going to be watching. But Peters is 37 and this has to be his final season. So the Eagles drafted a guy they hope will protect Carson Wentz’s blindside for the next decade. If he ends up being that piece to the long-term puzzle, nobody will worry if he doesn’t play a ton in Year 1. The Eagles are going to soon open up the bank vault for Wentz and this pick is simply protecting that investment. Makes plenty of sense to me.
2. So what does it mean for the rest of the guys on the roster?
Johnson: Not much. He’s a great right tackle and Dillard has pretty much only ever played left tackle.
Peters: This is going to be the 37-year-old’s last year with the Eagles. We already pretty much knew that, but this cements it.
Halapoulivaati Vaitai: Since this is his last year under contract, Big V could potentially be a trade candidate. Dillard will now be the Eagles’ best backup tackle, so maybe there’s a team willing to part with something to get Vaitai. The Eagles shouldn’t give him away, but they should listen to offers.
Jordan Mailata: This is tough for the second-year Australian, because now it seems like both starting tackle spots are taken for the next several years. But Mailata is still a project, having played football for less than two years. Now, any potential pressure is off and he can just worry about getting better.
3. According to NFL.com, the top-10 remaining players going into Round 2 are: OT Jawaan Taylor, WR D.K. Metcalf, CB Greedy Williams, WR Parris Campbell, WR A.J. Brown, OL Cody Ford, OL Dalton Risner, C Erik McCoy, QB Drew Lock, WR Deebo Samuel.
With plenty of offensive line talent left, I’d expect there to be a run on OL early in the second round and possibly a run on receivers after just two went in the first round.
Here are a few names to watch for the Eagles in Round 2: S Juan Thornhill, RB Miles Sanders, DE Zach Allen.
4. Two NFC East teams got new quarterbacks on Thursday night. The Giants took Daniel Jones at No. 6 and the Redskins took Dwayne Haskins at 15. Between those two, I’m a much bigger fan of Haskins. The Giants took Jones at 6, which was way too early. But for my mock draft, I actually got that one right and I’m scared that I was able to get into Dave Gettleman’s head so easily for that one.
If I had to pick one of those guys, I’d definitely go with Wentz. But we might not really know for another decade.
5. A few awards from Day 1:
Biggest riser: Clelin Ferrell to the Raiders at 4.
Biggest faller: Jawaan Taylor (still on the board).
Most surprising move: Darnell Savage to the Packers at 21 after trading up.
Least surprising move: Devin White to the Bucs at 5.
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